Category Archives: Icarus Frames
Chris’ Icarus Race Bike
Chris' Icarus Race Bike

This is the bike that really put Ian from Icarus Frames on the map. Well, at least that’s what I think anyway. My reasoning? It was one of the first truly over-sized / shaped tubesets he fillet brazed and the Fresh Frame paint job was so loud at the time, that I don’t think anyone was coming close to hitting that mark. Seriously, what the hell is up with those chevrons?!

When Chris built this up for the 2011 Philly Bike Expo, it had a Dura Ace group and Chris was still working on his fitness. Since living in Austin for over two years, he’s finally got this bike dialed in with performance in mind. Switching the King headset out for the Crank Brothers Direct SL Cobalt allowed him to lower the front end considerably. He then sold the DA, leaving this and his Serotta both full-SRAM.

What sets this build off the charts in my opinion are the wheels. Working at Mellow Johnny’s, Chris has access to some really great wheels, namely the Bontrager Aeolus 5 clincher. These lightweight race wheels are made in the USA and turn this every day road bike into a mean, lean race machine.

It’s hard to believe that Chris has had this bike since 2011. It seems so long ago. In that time, the neon orange paint has faded a bit, but the bike is every bit as stunning! See some more updated photos in the Gallery.

May 5, 2014 16 comments
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom

It says a lot when someone buys the two most important women in their life custom frames from one builder. Ian Sutton from Icarus Frames is a good friend of mine, so when I realized that my mom was in need of a new road bike, I called him up and got the ball rolling.

This is the third custom bike I’ve bought from Ian. The first being my Viking Track, then Lauren’s Porteur and now, this True Temper road bike for my mom.

The geometry is clearly road, but the drivetrain is geared more towards a cross bike. Up front, I chose Shimano‘s Ultegra cross crank, with a mid cage Ultegra rear mech and a 32t cassette in the back. This will help my mom get up steep hills with ease, while giving her the range she needs while riding coastal North Carolina roads.

Circle A nailed the paint, coating the frame and the ENVE fork in a bright “marine” blue.

Easton was kind enough to send along the bars, post, stem and even bar tape. I couldn’t be more thankful! For her wheels, I bought a set of the NAHBS display Chris King Alloy Ride wheels. Taking advantage of the trade show pricing, I also bought some King Cages.

When I dropped the parts off to Mellow Johnny’s I still needed a headset – NoThreadset in Sotte Voce black, a saddle – Fizik Vitesse- and tires – Continental Gran Prix 28c. In the end, it came out great. As shown, it weighs 17lbs on the head.

There is no greater feeling in this world than to see your mother happy, healthy and riding in style. Cycling has no doubt changed her life for the better and to me, this bike was worth the investment. She did her first century last summer and I’ll be pressing her to do another this summer!

Apr 2, 2014 25 comments
Icarus Fade Chevron Singlespeed Frame
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It’s kind of nice living two miles from Icarus Frames‘ shop in South Austin. When Ian gets in a frame from paint, I can just cruise on over and shoot a few photos. When he gets a frame in like this singlespeed road however, I spend a little more time documenting it.

This is a custom bicycle. It’s a NAHBS-worthy bike, although Ian has never shown at NAHBS. The detailing is above and beyond your average frame. Everything is shaped, carved and sculpted to perfection. Stainless rear, stainless lugs, internal routing, polished everything, immaculate shorelines, covered by a wild wet paint job, courtesy of Fresh Frame.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so dialed come out of Ian’s shop and to think, his queue has a quick turnaround. I just wish I could have photographed the complete bike!

Check out more insane details in the Gallery.

Feb 14, 2014 16 comments
A Gift to My Mom

Last summer, after I watched my mom cross the finish line of her first century, I went over to congratulate her and took her bike away so she could sit down. She has been riding mostly flat routes back home in coastal North Carolina but that century packed in 5,000′ of elevation. After watching this woman fight against all kinds of internal struggles on that ride, I promised that I’d set her up with a proper road bike this year.

It seems that I always go to Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames when it comes to building custom bikes for the women in my life (Lauren’s Commuter), so I contacted Ian for this one.

Keeping it simple, we went with True Temper OX Platinum, an ENVE fork and a Paragon removable hanger. It just got back from the painters at Circle A and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

See some more below and hopefully, I’ll be able to post the bike post-build.

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Feb 3, 2014 15 comments
Ross’ Icarus Light Tourer
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Since moving to Austin, Ian from Icarus has been making custom steel frames for my friends. Many of which have requested an all-arounder of sorts from him. Ross already has a pretty deep stable of frames. A Richard Sachs cross, a Speedvagen road and now this Icarus light tourer.

I say light tourer because Ross is a bit of a camping weight weenie. Usually a bivy sack will do the trick on top of his titanium Tubus rack. For the front end, Ross chose a Wound Up fork for its fender mounts and tire clearance. He didn’t want ‘cross clearances’, just room for a 28c and fenders. Right now, he’s got it set up for a few weekend outings and just the other day, he put over 300 miles on it.

Other highlights are the split-paintjob chevrons, precisely finished by Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame and full Campagnolo gruppo. Personally, this is one of my favorite Icarus frames, mostly because it’s so tailored to Ross’ idiosyncratic tastes. Check out more below!

Dec 2, 2013 16 comments
Joshua’s Sparse-Edition Icarus Steel and Carbon Road
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Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames is no stranger to uniquely-constructed bicycles. His Leviathan is still, to this day, one of my favorite concept bikes I’ve seen. When Josh from Sparse lights contacted Ian about doing a fillet steel and carbon tubed road bike, Ian took the challenge… and the result is amazing. After fillet brazing the sleeves and shaping the ends, he bonded ENVE carbon tubes to complete the frame.

The final result was painted by Brian Meyers at Fresh Frame, with Sparse branding and fit with Mad Fibre wheels. Personally, I think it’s one of the most unique frames to come from Ian since the Leviathan… See for yourself in the Gallery!

Nov 20, 2013 15 comments
Icarus Frames: Sportiff Road in Tokyo

Blue Lug Japan has been supporting Ian from Icarus Frames for some time now. It all started with a few track bikes, then a road bike here and there, but this frame in particular really resonates with me. With a little more casual geometry, a SON generator light, custom stem and pretty balleur parts selection, you can’t help but think of all the rad rides and roads this thing will see.

Check out more photos at Icarus Frames!

Sep 9, 2013 12 comments
Chris’ Icarus Road
Beautiful Bicycle: Chris' Icarus Road

When Ian at Icarus moved to Austin, Texas, I don’t think he anticipated working on this many local frames. Or that Chris would put down two deposits at once: a lightweight road bike and a fendered, touring / commuter. This is the first out of the queue, a modern, steel road bike with a matte paintjob and a few clean details. Nothing extravagant, but also nothing simple.

Chris is a father and he works full time, so riding is always a last minute, unplanned endeavor. He was looking for a little inspiration to sneak in an hour or two when he could and Ian built him just that. With a Zipp cockpit, seatpost, Chris King R45 to HED Belgium, Fizik Kurve saddle, Campy Chorus 11 speed and King Cage bottle cages, it’s up there in the “dream bike” category…

Jul 3, 2013 18 comments