Category Archives: frame builders
Good Things Don’t Change at Mercian Cycles
Photos and words by Jim Holland
Sometimes good things don’t change, Mercian Cycles is one of those things.
The current workshop has sat in the same spot since 1965, watching as modern industrial buildings crop up around it and other older workshops disappear. Underneath the steeped, church like ceiling, little has changed and the intermittent clang of tubes and scraping of files ring out as they have done for the last 50 years whilst one by one, men make bicycles by hand.
Frames are still brazed free hand on an open hearth, as they have been since day one, amongst the very last practitioners of this method, Mercian believes it to be gentler on the tubes, which contributes to the longevity of the frame. Die hard Reynolds stalwarts, they don’t often stray from Birmingham steel and have a good stock of 531 for the true nostalgist.
One of just a handful of England’s traditional shop based builders that remain, the torches are still firing brightly and the benches are seldom dormant as the orders keep pouring in, one of them mine, I’m counting the days.
Follow Jim on Tumblr.
Some of the cleanest lines in cycling lighting teamed up with some of the cleanest fillets in framebuilding for Interbike this year. While I covered Sparse + Icarus in my Interbike coverage, Sparse took the time to photograph this beautiful road bike.
Head over to the Sparse Flickr for more!
What I said yesterday about Austin seeping with cross bikes stands true and I haven’t even begun to cover them. Mark from Majaco recently built up this sick singlespeed cross bike from True Temper OX Plat, specifically for the forthcoming Philly Bike Expo. His component choice is well thought out, putting the extra money where it counts and maintaining the aesthetics throughout.
Case in point: White Industries cranks and freewheel with Surly hubs. He then went with Paul and Thomson, resulting in a frame that by my judgement, weighs in around 16 or 17 lbs. It’s incredibly light!
I love the classic red to white livery and stainless head badge. For those interested in a similar frame, expect a pricepoint around $1400 for standard geometry or $1750 for fully custom.
It’s almost cross season here in Austin, with the first race of the season coming this weekend, everyone’s dialing in their race rigs. So it goes without saying that everywhere you ride these days, you’re being bombarded with balleur bike builds. Take for example, Peter from Mellow Johnny’s new (to him) Richard Sachs team cross bike.
While I’m not sure of the exact year, knowing Richard’s internet presence, I’m sure he’ll be able to chime in – especially with that fork crown detail.
Peter went with Campagnolo Chorus 11 speed on this bike, with matching Zipp bar, stem and post, topping it off with Chris King R45 hubs, laced to HED Belgiums. When you photograph a Richard Sachs, you end up just hitting all of his logos and lug work, both of which were given meticulous presence by none other than Joe Bell himself.
I gotta say, riding bikes to shoot them is fun, but this was a pleasure…
I can’t get over how metal these Bones Project bikes are shaping up. Each one is hand-painted by Eric Bones. Here’s number 04 and you can see more at Firefly’s Flickr.
People have all kinds of ways for showing their admiration of Columbus’ tubesets. Of course, you could always just put a decal on one of your bikes, noting the tube but that’s not the case with the latest from Firefly…
It’s been a while since I’ve shot a bike from Mark Majaco‘s shop here in Austin. Four years if I count correctly. In that time, we’ve both finely tuned our art. Well, I can speak for Mark anyway. This True Temper road bike is heading to the Philly Bike Expo and is a prime example of what Mark describes as a straight-forward, fillet brazed road frameset.
Built, painted and assembled in Austin, TX, these frames run under $2,000. Paired with Ultegra and you’ve got one solid machine…
Three things can make all the difference on your ride: tires, bar tape and your saddle. This bike in particular is about as dialed as they get, both in aesthetics and comfort. Out of all my bikes, I gotta say, the Woodville has the most character and I’ve been enjoying each of the three aforementioned choices so far.
Easton’s bar tape, Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires and the Brooks Cambium C15.
As a side note, I’m not sure what spawned this, other than I’m trying out a makeshift studio in my office. If anyone has experiences mixing a B1 500 TTL strobe with speedlights, I’d love to hear from you! I’m using the Air remote.
Once I get these photos dialed in, maybe I’ll post a photoset. For now, here are three detailed shots I’m stoked on.
Jeremiah Kille is an artist in Santa Cruz, California and like John Caletti, he creates vibrant pieces of work, relying on geometry and color. This new titanium road was built to Jeremiah’s specifications, utilizing a plethora of chevrons, inspired both by the sunsets of Santa Cruz and classic surf culture of the 70′s.
Photographer Peter Thomsen took his time documenting this one. See a few more below and the full set at Peter’s portfolio site
You too can wow fans as you rip around dirty, dusty corners on a cross bike and while you’re most likely not riding a Richard Sachs team bike, at least you’ll look the part. Check out the House Industries-designed Richard Sachs Cyclocross kit pre-order for more information.