My Icarus Columbus MAX Track Bike

I think every cyclist goes through ups and downs when it comes to what they want in a bike. When I began talking to Ian at Icarus last year about my ViKING track bike, I wanted something more relaxed to ride on. We kept the geometry of the frame true track and went with a fork with a little more rake than normal, to make the ride more road-like. That way, I could just drop a 32mm track fork on the bike and have that “aggressive” ride associated with a track bike.

Well, after having the urge to ride a fast, nimble track bike on the streets, I contacted Ian about making a 32mm rake fork. Initially, we couldn’t find a Columbus MAX fork crown in 1 1/8″ so we went with a unicrown. At NAHBS, Chris Bishop told me he had a stainless 1 1/8″ MAX fork crown, so I bought it from him and sent the materials to Ian at his newly-located facilities in Ashville, NC.

A few weeks later and this baby arrived. I held off on painting it for now because I can’t afford to drop the cash at the moment and I want to work out the paint scheme. But with the Chris King polished stainless headset, I plan on polishing the crown to really set the bike off. Because Ian knew I’d be riding it raw, he torched it a bit, giving it a hippie tie-dye finish and then coated it with furniture polish to keep it from rusting.

The feather on the blade lets you know this bike means business. Beware of impostors, there is only one feather to rule them all.

Check out the Gallery by clicking the photo above, or click here to open a new tab.

  • Jonathan Brennan


    • Aaron

      times 2

    • Wade Stevens

      agree – it’s pretty hot the way it is, though polishing the crown will add some bling.
      painted will also look good.
      love clear coated frames.

  • chris

    Any reason you didn’t use your custom Icarus stem as well?

    Fork looks really nice as is man!

  • Chris L

    Yep…No paint

  • Victor Tvrdy

    Dude, what happened to those beautiful bars and even more beautiful icarus stem?
    This kinda looks liken aluminum/carbon frame with that cockpit.

    • John Watson

      I wanted to have more saddle to bar drop.

      • Wade Stevens

        it did seem to be riding high before. that X2 is a great stem.
        but that icarus stem and the segmented fork sure did look hot.

  • Luke

    I spy Times.

  • Ian

    Furniture polish prevents the bare metal from rusting? How often you you have to apply it?

    • John Watson

      I’m going to apply it once a month for now…

      • Ian

        Any particular type/Brand? I have a clearcoated frame that i am starting to see surface rust on. Might just blast it and try your method.

        • John Watson


  • Mawipoyo

    Add Cinelli titanium grammo art maybe? Will go well with that fork color. Btw, I wish…. for a first timer or any new featured bike by u / guest, u wud summarize / list down all details.. Tube type, Frame size,stem size/type chainring origin, saddle etc etc…. Well, Just my two cents. I hate to readn ask whats this n that. Thanks john.

  • guest

    So who are all these feather impostors? ;)

  • Tiny Tim

    Snide comment re: Feather, uncalled for.

    • LargeMarge

      when i saw the new feather bikes i thought they were icarus prolls is just sticking up for his homie

      • John Watson

        All I’m saying is Feather has taken notes from Ian multiple times, citing him as inspiration and then he changes his head badge from a very original crest to a feather… I like Ricky and like his work but there are some things you just don’t do. 

    • yank

      since when did brits become such pansies?

    • SnideMyAss


  • Wade Stevens

    those fat MAX blades always seem to make the fork look so short, since we’re so used to seeing skinnier lines.
    on this bike, the MAX blades make sense.  nice work John/Ian.
    you gonna’ have Ian redo the stem at some point when you get the geometry dialed, or keep it for the more comfy/upright option?

    • John Watson

      I’ll be keeping the old fork and bar / stem for when I wanna cruise. If Ian had a 31.8 bar clamp jig, I’d get him to make me a 120mm, -15* 31.8 clamp steel stem. For now, the Thomson will do just fine!

  • b $

    Race it !

  • Ckamp

    To me the MAX fork aesthetically defines a MAX bike. It looks great.

    Also, I love that your image hosting site does not get blocked by my IT.

    • John Watson

      That’s because the images are hosted on my server, who coincidentally doesn’t charge for bandwidth.


  • Glib Ivashchenko

    Are you using that fancy ’95-97 Campagnolo Record seatpost wiht vertical font with a little arrow-kind of thing? The one that Chris Campbell has on his C-Record Eddy Merckx, saying it’s period-correct, when it fact it isn’t? =))

  • marmuz

    who made the saddle?

    • John Watson

      Old Cinelli Unicanitor

      • marmuz

        beautiful stuff

  • alexander wallis

    damn that looks gorgeous. do you even have any kindof “beater” anymore, like a bike you wouldnt be worried about leaving locked overnight somewhere?

    • John Watson

      My Bruiser and my BMX – Also, I’ve locked my Woodville around plenty.

      • Wade Stevens

        how do you lock the front half of the Woodville?

    • alexander wallis

       also, if youre mostly riding it on the street, why not on some beefier yet classy hubs like pauls or zipps?

      • John Watson

        I’ve had those hubs for over 4 years with 0 issues.

  • tristan

    love the finish of the fork!

  • Guest

    i saw this bike in person photos dont do it justice. easily the best steel track bike on the internet

  • David Bernard

    absolutely gorgeous ..      what are the rims pse ?  DHRB45

    • John Watson

      H+Son TB14

  • juan lopez

    the custom paint job is fascinating
    the whole bike is just…wow

  • Robbyprieto

    whats the bar wrap?