Category Archives: Icarus Frames
I had to swing by Icarus Frames ( @IcarusFrames ) today to pick up a few things and while I was there, I got to see some of his latest handywork. This 1×10 commuter cross frame is heading up to Boston and while the customer didn’t want anything too fancy, Ian added some clean detailing. The fork will be an ENVE cross and it’ll be heading out to paint shortly. Part of me really loves seeing a frame in this state but a good coat of paint always brings out the details.
Check out a few more shots below.
Any guy will tell you that putting a bike together for his lady can be an emotionally taxing event. Luckily for me, Lauren knew exactly what she wanted when I proposed the idea of buying her a new bike for her birthday. She loved my Icarus and Ian’s work but wanted something practical to commute on here in Austin. I was pushing for a full-on touring bike but she doesn’t like the idea of bigger tires and wanted something zippier.
What we agreed on is a mashup of a few things: primarily a long-reach caliper, lower trail road bike. It’ll fit 28c tires and fenders or 32c without, it has rack mounts on the front and the rear for any sort of light touring or camping we’d do but most importantly, the front cockpit is by no means racey…
She liked the riding position of her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine build but wanted the bars a little wider and better stopping power than her cantis. After finally wrapping my head around figuring out what she wanted, we met up with Ian of Icarus Frames, who measured her and went through the new frame procedure.
In the meanwhile, I started looking for parts. Rather than going all budget, I splurged a bit and went with a lot of American-manufactured products. Ian was making a stem to accomodate the back sweep of Nitto Albatross bars to which we’d run barcon shifters on. Chris King had these “ox-blood” Sotto Voce headsets at NAHBS, so I picked one up. Then, I consulted my friend PAUL and kinda went all out. Soon, I had purchased Canti Levers, polished Medium Racers, Moon Units, Polished Tall & Handsome seat post, Funky Money cable hanger and it didn’t stop there…
As with any commuter, gearing is a key factor. Lauren had been riding a single speed to work consistently but some of the hills en route to her teaching job were a bit tough. We also want to be able to do longer rides out to the hill country, so I chose the White Industries VBC cranks (46/30) with a mid-cage Shimano 105 rear derailleur and a 12-32 cassette. Shimano 105 hubs to H+Son TB 14s are bomb-proof, budget wheels. Topping the build off are Panaracer Paselas 32c, Brooks B 17 S saddle and tape.
The paint would be from Fresh Frame and the color we chose is an elusive one. Was it blue? Or green? It changes with the light. In the shade, it’s sort of jade but in the sun, it sparkles blue. Whatever it is, the final product is stunning.
While the bike is shown here, sans racks, we’re in the process of tracking down a good front basket and a rear rack for panniers. The bike is light, coming in at just a hair over 19 lbs and it “rides like a dream”. If it were my bike, I would have done a few things differently but that’s the beauty of a custom bike, you get what YOU want and trust me, there are few arguments I’m willing to engage in with this lady. She always gets what SHE wants… who can blame her? Further down the road, I’ll look into new panniers and maybe a porteur bag but for now, I’ve spent enough money on this thing!
Many thanks to Austin Bikes for the build, Bens Cycle for the assistance in the components, Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames and Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame.
I finally shot proper photos of Lauren’s new Icarus yesterday. Spring is officially cracking in Austin and I can’t wait for Summer…
Being the girlfriend of a “bike blogger” has as many ups as it has downs. The obvious down being that I’m on the road a lot but one of the ups is, well, this… Lauren loved her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine porteur but wanted something more suited for front-loading and longer rides in the hilly landscape that is Austin. Maybe, just maybe, some camping, too.
I chatted with her a lot about what she wanted and we came up with this “sportif porteur”. Mid trail for front-loading, fender / rack mounts, long-range gearing and an upright riding position. She didn’t want big touring tires, so its designed to fit a 28c with fenders or a 32c without. The build is quite reasonable, with higher-end components where they count.
Once we resolve which basket or rack we’re gong to use on the front, I’ll shoot more photos, highlighting Ian at Icarus‘ handywork. For now, this is all you get…
Here’s something unrelated to bikes but related to frame builders. I shot some photos last week of Ian from Icarus Frame‘s recently completed Triumph moto for Megadelux. His interview is now live on their site, so head over and check it out! Usually, I sway from moto content but a lot of people expressed interest in seeing more shots of this beast when I posted my Recent Roll photos earlier this month.
Since I’ve known Ian at Icarus Frames, he’s been tinkering on this motorcycle in between frame jobs. When Tracko was visiting, we swung by his shot in South Austin to catch up. Kyle wanted to shoot some photos and I had my camera, so I figured what the hell. I keep telling myself that I want to photograph this bike digitally and so I never shoot a full side profile of it with film. Kyle got a good shot of Ian riding it in his back yard and there’s a few older photos on my Flickr as well. One day I’ll go and do a proper photo shoot of this moto.
Until then, check out more in the Photoset and I even shot some of Chris’ new road frame before it went off to paint.
Leica Summicron 50mm f2
Fuji Neopan 400
Two years ago, I visited Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames at his workshop in Boston and shot some photos. I ended up naming the post “The Son of Daedalus” after the Greek tale. For those unfamiliar, Daedalus was a great inventor and he had two sons, Icarus and Iapyx. Icarus and Daedalus wanted to fly like the birds, so they fashioned wings of wax, string and feathers.
Before pushing his son into flight off a cliff, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun. Icarus ignored his father and fell to his death. It’s a very morbid tale but Ian found it suitable as a name. Even before he had a name for his small framebuilding company, he used to attach feathers to his bikes, which later became his head badge.
I’ve been wanting to shoot more photos of Ian working in his small shop here in Austin so I took my Hasselblad, the 50mm CF T* lens, a tripod and some Ilford Delta 3200 over to do just that. The grainy, low light photos capture his shop environment quite well. As he worked away, sanding and filing on a new road bike, I tried my best not to get in his way. His shop is small but utilized efficiently as his tools and frames occupy every inch. I felt like the standard approach would be to try and bring more light into the film, but the dark exposures turned out perfect.
There will be a lot of Icarus on the blog in the forthcoming months, with Lauren’s bike on the way, my MAX fork, Ross’ light tourer and Chris’ road, pictured here.
See more below.
One day, Lauren said to me “I wish my commuter had gears”. For someone who loves supporting his frame building buddies, it was like music to my ears, so I contacted Ian at Icarus Frames right away. After some measurements and a lot of back and forth, we had an idea what to build Lauren. The end product was a low-trail touring bike that could be set up like a porteur for now and easily converted into a road-drop touring bike. As always, Ian provided some of the cleanest fillets in the business and now we just have to decide on a paint job.
I shot some photos with my Contax G2 and Kodak E100VS before sending it off to Bryan at Fresh Frame. Check out more below!
When your precious track bike gets hit by a car, most would just hang her up on the wall and blow her kisses at night. Not Donal. He sent his wrecked Yamaguchi to Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames for a little repair job. The completed work is really rad, as captured here in this studio portrait. Looking good holmes!
Bryan Myers of Fresh Frame has painted two of my bikes, my Icarus MAX track and my Bishop road. He’s a master masker and the designs that leave his shop are, well, incredible. While Fresh Frame didn’t have a booth at the Philly Bike Expo, he did lead a seminar on painting and for an in-progress project example, he brought this partially finished Icarus road. This frame is stunning! I can’t wait to see it built up. Check out more below.