My Bishop Road Bike

Where do I even begin with this bike? At the 2011 NAHBS, I spent the afternoon with Chris Bishop, after all the madness of the show had subsided. We rode around Austin, soaked up the sun, got lunch and chatted bikes. That’s when he asked if I would want to have a road bike in the 2012 NAHBS. Of course I wanted a Bishop road bike but I was torn. Since Chris was mostly known for lugged frames, would he want to make a modern, light, fillet frame? Hell, I didn’t even know what I wanted to be honest.

But first thing’s first. I had to get fit by Chris. After the Philly Bike Expo, I headed to Baltimore with him and Tommy, where I stayed the night and got fit in the morning. We began with what I knew, my Merckx road bike and some standard body dimensions. These became our starting point. From there, we tweaked the fit based on what kind of riding I do. Everything was dialed in on the fit bike: head tube angle, fork rake, seat tube angle, etc. Chris asked what I liked and what I didn’t like.

After some back and forth, we had a geometry and finally, a tubing selection: the downtube and chain stays are Columbus Spirit. The head tube is True Temper OX Platinum, Seat tube NOS Columbus MAX, seat stays, top tube are Dedacciai Zero. I wanted the bike as light as possible but not getting into weight weenie status so we went with an ENVE cockpit and a ENVE 1.0 fork, along with an ENVE post, which was made in the States a week before the show! Other tidbits include a Chris King No-Threadset headset and a Fizik Kurve saddle.

Since I love SRAM, a mix of Force and Red was used (not showing the Red Cassette) but I’m most stoked on the wheels. I went with Pewter Chris King R45s laced with Sapim spokes to HED Belgium Rims. Tommy built the wheels with CX Rays up front and Race spokes on the rear. But the frame is what makes the bike. Chris went to town on every single detail here. The cable stops were machined, the replacable, 7075 Paragon drop outs were machined, the pressfit 30 BB shell was hand filed and the fillet construction is pristine. So pristine that it won best fillet construction at the 2012 NAHBS. To top it off, Bryan at Fresh Frame and Tommy concocted one killer paint job, using my logo colors and my love for chevrons as a precedent.

There, enough talking, check out the Gallery by clicking the above photo or click here to open a new tab.

So how does it ride? Like a fucking rocket. It fits me perfectly and for the kind of riding I do everyday, I couldn’t ask for a better bike. We only do hill rides, so the slightly-steeper seat tube addresses my desire to ride the saddle back in the rails and keeps the front end from popping up on climbs when seated. The cockpit is surprisingly stiff and incredibly light. There’s no sway when I’m out of the saddle, hammering up a climb. I’ve never been on a pressfit 30 bike before but combined with the massive Columbus MAX seat tube and the Spirit downtube, there is no movement coming from that sucker. This bike corners like nothing I’ve ever ridden before and descends like a demon into hell. It’s my beast, my Necronomicog.

As it is, with the new SRAM Red cassette and without the pedals, it comes in right at 17lbs. For a massive (62cm) steel road bike, that’s VERY impressive. I can’t explain how satisfied I am with it. All I can do is thank Chris for all his hard work, Brian at Fresh Frame for the paint and all the companies who helped out!

  • Kevin

    sweeet prolls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/333mike Mike Glover

    very very nice! i was a bit bummed to not get to see this beautiful rig at NAHBS 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jake-Johnson/789908579 Jake Johnson

    SWEET RIG BUT WHERES THE RED!

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      cranks are Red Black and I’ve got a Red Black cassette now.

  • http://twitter.com/dagbert dagbert

    Only 17 pounds? Holy shit.

  • http://twitter.com/chrispiascik Chris Piascik

    FUUUUU that’s nice!

  • Eshawks

    Great bike, glad to see the heads of the pulling spokes are on the outside of the flange. Also, the extra cable guide on the chain stay is a nice touch! killlller paint!

  • Richard Smith

    Congratulations on another superfine bicycle machine… So when’s the custom tourer being built?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      I have a custom tourer already! The only reason I had the Iris on the ST on the MKE was because I broke one of the standard cages and the only replacement the local shop had was an Iris.

      • ASSHOLE

        dont get this one stolen too bro

        • http://theradavist.com John Watson

          Don’t get hit by a car on your ride home, ASSHOLE

          • http://theradavist.com John Watson

            Seriously, what a prick.

  • JValiensi

    As a student of Architectural Engineering doesn’t it bug you that the centerlines of the seat stays don’t intersect at the same point that the seat tube and top tubes centerlines intersect?

    Nice bike all together.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      no

    • Jake Ricker

      It looks totally fine.
      And the reason it’s a little higher up is for the integrated seat bolt clamp.
      If the stays were any lower you risk not have enough clamping power.

      • http://theradavist.com John Watson

        Yeah and a steel fork would be overpowered by the massive downtube. The photos don’t do that thing justice.

  • Garrett

    Longtime reader, but never have commented.  I have to say that is the best looking bike I have ever seen!  What makes me even more envious is that it is in my size.  Great blog, great pics, keep it comin!

  • Sk8indj

    awesome bike, but I wish it had a handcrafted lugged fork instead of the enve. Seems like all the custom builders are throwing those on their frames…

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      A steel fork would be overpowered by the massive downtube. The photos don’t do that thing justice. And besides, I wanted to save weight. The best place to save weight on a steel frame is the fork. 

      • Aizkolari

        I’m looking at the Milwaukee Bike Co OX Platinum frame. IYO, both technical and aesthetically, ENVE 1.0 or the lugged waterford they offer? Also, any thoughts on White Bros Industries hubs vs chris king r45?

        • http://theradavist.com John Watson

          I like the Enve 1.0 but this it depends on how you wanna use the bike.

  • Editor

    HELL F**KIN’ YEAH! Great job by everyone involved.

  • Phallic Ronnie

    your bar ends look like penises. 

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      It’s the ENVE bars. I told the guys they looked like foreskin and they were cracking up.

  • hater69

    That looks spot on. 

  • Chris Bishop

    Awesome pictures. Thanks John. I’m glad you are enjoying the bike!

  • Jake Ricker

    The sickest!
    I love everything about it.
    Congrats buddy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pmahart Paul Ahart

    This certainly is a sweet looking ride.  I’m in the bike business, and am so amazed at customers who think they need carbon, Ti, or aluminum (actually all want carbon), and I tell them, it’s like riding a piece of plastic, which it is.  Nothing finer than a finely designed and executed steel bike with some flex so it will “plane” on the uphills, not beat you to death, and will likely outlast the rider, so far as durability is concerned.
    My congratulations to the builder and the owner.  Well done!

  • crazyspirit

    This bike gives me hope.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      m/

  • krameekram

    This is bike porn for sure mate. But do you always run right rear brake, left front brake? And please bring it with you on your next trip down under!!!!

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      That’s how us yanks do it. You know it!

  • sorry charlie

    have you picked out which bike(s) you are bringing to chicago?

  • G1ngerk1d

    You and your toys. There isn’t a single detail I would change, its amazing!! And as always the paint detail with a bishop is spot on. Bring it to Nahbs in Denver next year and I’ll take you 2 into the hills 

  • toy killer

    this bike will only go 15mph max under you

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      CSB come ride.

      • toy killer

        fags

    • Realdeal

      you mad bro? i follow prolls on strava dude smashes it more than you do – bet me. take your hoopty bike to the salvation army and quite being homo
      http://app.strava.com/athletes/john-watson

      • http://theradavist.com John Watson

        lol don’t feed the trolls please.

  • El Palucha

    Simple yet beautiful. 

  • Gallus

    thats rad as hell. didn’t realize that was your bike while at the show, but wasn’t it unpainted at the show?
    Jeremy

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Nope, that was the track bike.

  • Sznome

    I have a Bishop.  Thought it was the most beautiful bike I’d ever seen until I saw yours.  Nice ride.

  • Pondoro51

    Nice looking bike which ever way you look at it ,nice detailing and fluid flow of the metal work .The detailing logos etc are classic with pizazz .Live to ride ride to work !

  • Xgoodxlifex

    I had Jack Lindquist build me the same wheelset. Best wheelset I’ve ever had on a bike.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      I do like it. But I wish I went with DT Swiss spokes off the bat. My Sapim spokes weren’t strong enough for my fat ass. I had to get them relaced to DT after 3 months of riding.

  • Grant Lee

    How are you liking this bike? I am very close to ordering a bishop or a feather but cant decide.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Chris Bishop all the way. He’s been building much longer and has a lot more experience. Also, his fillets are so buttery smooth.

  • givemeyourshoes

    You sir have impeccable taste!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gmlyman Gabriel Lyman

    I think this is one of the most beautiful bikes I have yet to see.  I’ve been a huge fan of Chris Bishop for the better part a year and half now, and I have to stay this is stunning. This is totally my style, from the fillets, to the geometry in respects to the size, to even the paint scheme, I am awe. I have a huge amount of bike envy right about now! 

  • Caad666

    I would love to see a hollowgram crankset on this! Then it would be un-upgradable hahaha…

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Thinking about putting one on now…

  • http://theradavist.com John Watson

    I should do an updated post once I put all the new parts on it.

  • http://twitter.com/AdamWritesGood Adam Hook

    How you liking that saddle? Thinking of upgrading to the Aliante Bull Kurve with some tax return dough.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      They’re great but I’ve cracked two. No telling if it was from carrying heavy shit and hopping onto the bike or a manufacturer’s default…