Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
Pass the Torch is a concept I’ve been thinking about for some time. Its intent is to allow frame builders to share stories from their workshops. Whether it’s technique, random thoughts, or even, as in this case, production procedures, Pass the Torch will (hopefully) be a great, well-rounded resource for builders and nerds alike (myself included).
The first person to contribute is Mitch Pryor from Map Bicycles. Mitch creates some of the most elegant randonneuring frames and he documents his process with apparent ease. It’s not easy for frame builders to take the time to photograph their work, so I appreciate the time and energy Mitch puts into doing so.
These 3D printed lugs caught my eye and prompted me to reach out to Mitch and ask a few questions. Read on below and in the Gallery captions, as Mitch discusses a recent development in lugwork for his Randonneur Project.
Words and photos by Mitch Pryor
The laminate process is unique in that it allows a LOT of options in joinery and a more modern aesthetic than a casting, in my opinion. With the bi-lam, you not only get total flexibility of joining tubes of any size at any angle, but you get a very clean look with a traditional feel, and more personality than a straight fillet.
When I started doing the Rando Project, I was using lugs and building all those different sized bikes using the same castings was not ideal. Fit up has to be just right for everything to turn out spot on, and I wasn’t happy. It was a fight. Inspiration to try the bi-laminate approach came from looking at pictures of the French constructeurs tandems.
Here is where they had the same problem as me – no lugs would work. I made the switch to this approach in 2010 and have been doing it since. It’s a lot of work for style, so it costs, and that’s why I started working with Steelman on the S&P frames. It’s been working out great, but the urge to complete the look of a lug of my own design has been hard to resist.
That’s where Jono came in. Since I work primarily with physical things, it’s been hugely helpful to be able to model different design possibilities with Jono’s help. The 3D printed lugs you saw are what we arrived at over the past year of fooling around and tweaking the design. With the 3D samples we can actually miter tubes and set up the fixture as if these are actual lugs, to check angles, fit, and proportions.
3D printing makes it easy to dream, but reality is that tooling for the casting molds, and required minimums, make turning these laminates into investment castings very cost prohibitive to a company of my size. I’m planning to do the extra work of building with them as two laminates for now, fillet-brazing them together and then silver-brazing the frame, until I’m convinced there is enough reason to pursue a new casting.
Maybe a Kickstarter approach marketed to the framebuilder community to gauge interest. We’ll see.
Follow Mitch’s work at the Map Bicycles Flickr.
Over the years, Tom Kellogg has produced some insane track bikes, most of which go for a steal on eBay, Craigslist and at swaps. These machines have tight clearances, little details, great paint and you’d be hard pressed to find any two of similar breed.
Chris bought this frame off the Boston Craigslist years back. He’s raced it at Red Hook Crit and while it spends a fair amount of time hanging on the wall, sometimes he takes it for a spin into work at Mellow Johnny’s, where he wrenches.
Details include: custom fillet stem, insane seat stay cluster with bi-lam lugs, clearances for a 19mm tire up front, that fork, the clincher Shamals (rear rim was a road Shamal, laced to track Shamal hub) and yeah, that paint!
At a glance, this chop-job might actually appeal to some of you. Hey, it’s got everything you need. Low-riding porteur rack, shifting options, multiple paint finishes, massive tire clearances, rim options, disc brakes (hydro or cable) and a reasonable saddle to bar drop.
Doing this little exercise made me realize one thing: damn, there were a lot of disc brakes at NAHBS this year!
While I enjoy detail photos, the drive side of a bike lets you see so much, especially when it’s shot at a nice and level side profile. You can see clearances, BB drop, overlap, trail and reach.
The drive side photo is the most important portrait you can shoot of a bike, in my opinion anyway… This Gallery breaks it down. Flip through for easy comparison and if you missed any of these photosets, check out the 2014 NAHBS archive.
Photos by Kyle Kelley
I absolutely love everything about these photos. Greg from Cuppow brought his Chris Chance road bike to the west coast for a little R&R&R (riding, rest and relaxation). While he was in Los Angeles, Kyle took him to the blacktop for breakfast and shot some photos of his rad ‘Chance.
Check out more here!
When I saw these frames from Ruckus, I kindly requested higher res files. This is so good. While I don’t have a whole lot of information, I’m sure if you go bug the dudes over here, they’ll explain the origins of the cloning process they used to bring these carbon beasts back to life.
This came out so rad!
“Ohio based Stanridge Cycles is excited to announce the arrival of Katie Arnold to the team as it heads into it’s 3rd season competing in the Red Hook Crit Series. Arnold will join previous Red Hook winner and Cat 1/Pro, Evan Murphy at the start line in NYC this weekend.
This years Red Hook Crit program began in October of last year while in Shoreditch, London visiting Deathspray Custom. Ben Eine’s work on Mother London caught the eye of Stanridge Cycles Owner Adam Eldridge. After returning to the states Ben was contacted and it was on. Ben hand painted both frames for the event.
This year Enve Composites Paul Components and Vittoria Tires have joined as new team sponsors while Endo Custom remains as the jersey maker. Riders will use a variation of the iconic Stanridge HSP MkII (pictured) during the series to showcase a team that competes at the highest level of fixed crit racing.
“I enjoy creating bikes for this series. Having these frames used under race conditions means much more to me than hanging them on display at a bike show. They’ll get beat up, scratched and used which is perfectly fine with me”. - Adam Eldridge, Owner of Stanridge Cycles.”
Let me preface this by saying the Guest Gallery you’re about to click through (hopefully!) was no easy feat. Photographing macro details in a convention center isn’t easy, especially when you’re toting around a Hasselblad 500cm, equipped with an 80mm lens, an extender tube, a Phase One back and lighting the scene with an LED lamp. It doesn’t matter how much you know about cameras, that last sentence probably made you scratch your head a bit.
Why would any photographer go through that much of a hassle to shoot NAHBS? Well, because the photos produced by such a rig came out stellar, that’s why.
Photographer Atom Moore had the most unique camera setup at NAHBS. When I saw him toting it around, I had to see what he was working on and after flipping through his submissions to PiNP, I gotta say that I’m so stoked on how they came out!
Check out some incredible macro shots from the 2014 NAHBS in the Gallery!
In my groggy state at this year’s NAHBS, I met Casey Sussman, the builder of Mars Cycles, a small frame builder out of Oakland. His bright magenta track bike caught my eye but in a world of mail-order “fixies”, I didn’t initially register the bike as a hand made frame.
Once Casey introduced himself, I quickly realized that was no mail-order, made in Taiwan bike. It’s a legitimate, hand made track bike. Clean fillets, racing geometry, non-nonsense details and that tapered head tube. Mars Cycles’ work, at this point, is focusing on crit-ready track bikes and Casey’s bike is a prime example.
Mars Cycles will have a few racers rolling these frames at this weekend’s Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, so if you see them, make sure to wish them luck!
Leave a comment in the Gallery with any comments or concerns.
It’s been a long, long time since I first posted about Ben’s Columbus MS road frame. Last June, in fact. Chris and Ben both tracked down all the parts needed to build this beauty up and I gotta say, it’s one of the best road bikes I’ve seen come from Bishop. Which is saying a lot, considering my own and Michael‘s are still two stellar beauts.
Catch more of this insane road bike (if you can indeed catch it) at the Bishop Flickr!
Joe Wignall and Ken Bloomer, from Crema Cycles attended the Berliner Fahrrad Schau last week where they showed their new Static rigid 29′r shred sled in this limited edition configuration.
It features ENVE’s new MTB fork and a custom made carbon seat tube. The frame was built by Alchemy in Denver, especially for Crema Cycles and they will be offering 10 of these framesets (frame, fork, headset and seatpost). Each frame comes in a nice coat of custom paint and the Static is slated to be released later this summer.
Price is to be determined.
Props to the boys at e r t z u i ° film for the photos! See more in the Gallery!