Category Archives: Icarus Frames
Photo by Brian Vernor
I had the wonderful opportunity a few weeks ago to introduce Brian Vernor to Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames, where he took some photos of Ian’s tiny shop in South Austin. This being my favorite. I’ve shot this photo before, but there’s just something about seeing it in 35mm format… See more at Vernor’s Flickr.
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!
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!
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!
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…
… and that’s a dirty, new Icarus. Chris has been putting miles in on his new Icarus road and I shot some photos of it yesterday. This one was particularly difficult to photograph. Matte on matte, grey on black with silver accents. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting the photos, or if I’ll retake them but I am digging how this one came out.
I love how Austin is embracing Ian’s work. Support your local frame builder!
My Icarus Viking MAX track bike was incapacitated for a few months while the fork sat en queue at Fresh Frame. After a lot of surface rust started to form around the shorelines, I felt it best to just get it painted, if anything, for the longevity of the bike. Since this bike has one of the uber-rare Chris King stainless steel headsets, I got Bryan Myers from Fresh Frame to polish the stainless crown to match and he even added a little bit of wood inlay in the lug window. I have to admit, I wasn’t completely stoked on the wood inlay but It’s growing on me.
This bike has proven to be one of my favorites in the stable and why wouldn’t it be? It’s a classic track bike with some very unique detailing…
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…