I’ll admit. When I first saw Jon from Two Tone ATL‘s bike sitting in the Six Eleven booth at NAHBS, I didn’t know what to think. First, I looked at the bottom bracket, which looked like a drop track, then the angles were pretty damn close to parallel, with a cross fork rake and S&S couplers. Rando? Tourer? Cross? Travel, disc road with fender clearance? Honestly, it looked kinda like a track bike, too.
Initially, I was reminded of the Homer Car, which might seem like an insult but it’s not. One of the merits of a custom build is that no matter what you think you may want, a builder can and usually will make it. Jon’s a self-described “trackie”. He likes the feel of a track bike. Aggressive angles, nimble handling, higher bb and yes, Speedplay pedals. The seat tube and head tube angles float in around 73.5 degrees with a BB drop of 55mm (most cross bikes float around 65mm – 68mm) and 420mm chainstay.
If I had to categorize it as anything, it’d be a cross bike but it’s more than that. Maybe a “Rock and Road”, a la Bruce Gordon? Jon describes the bike as “versatile” and I feel like a lot of builders get requests for bikes like this. A jack of all trades, master of none. Mechanical discs, Chris King Iso Disc R45, ENVE tapered cross fork and yes, it has Retroshift, which I actually like on this bike. I always use barcons on my touring rigs and I can appreciate the simplicity and reliability of shifting with barcons.
Look, this is an odd duck. Not an ugly duckling, but a strange fowl. It is not a production bike, however, so don’t get your feathers in a ruff. For Jon, this is exactly what he wanted and I’m sure people are still going to insist that they know best here – read Bike Snob‘s commentary yesterday? Jon knew exactly what he wanted. He’s a well seasoned cyclist and this is his dream machine. Maybe one day you can chat about it with Jon on a ride but chances are, he’ll be waiting for you at the top of even the steepest climb (not joking, dude is a hoss).