Chris Kvale: The Thinnest Lugs Can Get Dec 31, 2010


The first time I got to see the work of Chris Kvale in person was during the Mid-West Mayhem last year. Mark Sirek let us stay with him in Milwaukee and lurking in his basement was a wonderland (scroll to 3/4s the way down the post) filled with Beautiful Bicycles. In the mix was his custom Chris Kvale road bike. I was amazed at the lugwork, particularly the seat tube cluster. It was so incredibly thin! So thin that they had to use the thinnest paint possible when coating it or the lugs would disappear.

Since posting the McLean earlier this week, I’ve had many correspondence with a group of gentlemen who own quite a few McLean road bikes. One of which is Neil “Gunnar” Berg who runs a blog called 1410 OakWood. Aside from calling this blog the “dark side“, Neil wrote a nice little piece about his thoughts on the McLean’s paint job. Originally being a skeptic of the paint’s color, Neil and I exchanged some emails with the last correspondence ending in a photo of this Chris Kvale seat tube cluster.

Have you ever seen a lug that thin? Amazing! Oh, I mean Minneapolis NICE! Thanks Neil!

  • Beautiful Work!

  • Dear Darkside,
    In the cluster shown, note the top extension. It is actually the seat tube protruding through, is then shaped to whatever profile he is looking for. Just because he likes the look. He also removes the seatpost clamp from the casting and attaches his own custom barrel. These are all little things, but there is detail like this all over the frame. “My goal is not efficiency, my goal is perfection.”