Golden Saddle Rides: Scott’s Stripped and Raw Crust Bikes Romanceur

Double dipping on brands isn’t something I like to do very often. What I mean is yesterday’s gallery featured Crust Bikes and today’s – obviously – is too. What I can’t ignore are the impressive details that went into this build and how much of a joy it was to shoot this bike. So I’m riding this wave of emotions and posting this bike immediately.

Scott’s Romanceur might just be my favorite Crust Bikes I’ve seen to date. Sorry, Poppi! So what makes this build so special? Well, for one, its build kit is well thought out, but not by any means standard. The components used are a healthy mix of classic and current, with a heavy nod to French constructeur builds. Gilles Berthoud is the brand of choice for all the leather work, yet the mix of Japanese drivetain components, updated with modern Wolf Tooth accoutrement. For instance, the Roadlink allows the use of older XTR derailleurs with cassettes like the E Thirteen wide range TRS+, all operated by a friction shifter. The classic Dura Ace cranks run a modern Wolf Tooth ring. From there, the build just gets better, with purple and blue anodized bits, including Phil Wood’s rear road hub and various bottle cage bolts. The front SON completes the hub selection, which are laced to Stans rims and rolling on Compass tires. These wheels are covered by Sim Works fenders with Gilles fender flaps. A Sinewave lamp is held to the Nitto rack by a chain ring mount hack. The Velo Orange bars are held by a Nitto stem, with a Cane Creek headset, and Mafac levers are paired with Paul Klamper brakes. One of my favorite details is the ultralight Tune skewer on the rear!

I can’t even describe how good this bike looks in person and can’t wait to see how it looks after a few months of use. Scott, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoy riding this bike as much as I did shooting it!


If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.

  • Justin Scoltock

    Too many good details! Chainring headlamp bracket hack and Tune rear skewer on one bike! Rad.

    • DaymanDaryl

      +1 so many great details. Ace choice of parts!
      What I’m curious about is the choice of nut for the the threaded through-the-crown mount of the rack. Seems an odd choice, but I know my Romanceur fork isn’t drilled for recessed.

  • nothingfuture

    I saw this on the gram the other day and was eagerly waiting for it to show up here.
    Got Damn.

    It’s just so lovely- the juxtaposition of the old and new components? The downtube mounted bell (and shifter)? The PATINA?
    My favorite Crust I’ve ever seen.

  • Kerry Nordstrom

    Red Loctite on the square taper spindle? Hmm…

    • Grease dude.

      • I was always taught that you aren’t supposed to grease the spindles. 🤷🏻‍♂️

        • Kerry Nordstrom

          As was I, but the ever exhaustive Jobst Brandt says the reasons we were told for this are specious:

          But I’ll stick with the knowledge that won’t get me laughed out of any bike shop I’ve ever been to or worked at, no lubrificante

          • David Lane – the mechanic at GSC – is a master of his craft. If David Lane greases his spindles, then I’m ok with that. Remember all those hours wasted debating this on Bike Forums? Yeah… hah

            Let’s leave that debate there to rot. ;-)

          • Richard

            Chapeau for the Sheldon Brown/Jobst Brandt link. Bought my first bike from Harris Cyclery (early 70s) since it was the LBS of the neighborhood i grew up in. My young mind boggled at the smells and sights and sounds of the place, but little did I know…

    • Tim

      Red loctite used on the spindle may be a last ditch effort to keep worn out cranks from loosening up crank bolts continually. Certainly a viable solution but it does involve a blowtorch to ‘uninstall’ them.

  • Kevin Ehman

    next-level photography on this one John

  • Peter Chesworth

    Jolly good show. Not so much built as curated. A matching groupset is so twenty eleven. Black Nitto and SON and Sim bits burst my bubbles of bias towards silver.

    • I love the black post / stem and silver cranks.

  • Nicholas Tingey

    Def my favorite so far this year! Any idea where those anodized bolts are from?

    Are those decals on the wheels not removable?

    • you can remove the decals. The owner hasn’t even seen this bike in person yet, so who knows if they’ll take them off or not. The bolts are M515mm anodized bolts, you can find them all over. Some shops carry them too.

      • Alex Boyd

        Can you say more about the owner not seeing this in person yet? Would love to know more about how much of this build is GSC and how much is the customer. Did GSC strip and re-badge the frame? So interesting to see a build like this coming out of a shop and not a basement! Well done to all parties!

        • GSC did not strip the frame. The customer dropped off the frame and parts and GSC built it up. Sometimes, the customer orders everything through the shop, and sometimes they drop it off.

  • Adam Leddin

    Bike of the year.

  • kasual

    Pretty tremendous build. It’s new… but it already has the ‘beausage’ look… ‘pre-beausage’?

    • starground

      The word you’re looking for is ‘buysage’…

      • Kerry Nordstrom


    • Aaron Best

      Crust themselves posted the featured bike on their ‘Gram and tagged the owner, looks like he’s had it for a minute. I assume this is just a new build kit.

  • +1 for sure on the use of those ‘70s MAFAC levers and the Dura Ace “7100” crankset. SKF BB?Absolutely amazing build. 👌🏼 There’s little I love more when it comes to bicycles, or cars for that matter than a good mix of old and new. Would love to know the details on the spurcycle bell mount.

    • Meshkat

      That’s a Crane E-Ne bell and it looks like it’s mount directly to the downtube shifter boss.

      • You’re right I overlooked that, which is surprising since I own a spurcycle Bell.

  • Avuncular

    Haha. Seeing this amalgam of styles and parts from yesteryear with a nod or two to modernity, reminds me of colleague’s race bike from the mid 90s. He had a steel frame, exposed brake cables, disc wheels, ( I think a trispoke front) older style pedals with clips and a Mavic Zap transmission. An aesthetic abomination to my eye but it worked and he won a race or two. That’s really all that matters :)

  • Hold up. Where’s the John Watson that rails against raw and even clear-coated steel frames? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    • Bing Grosbeak

      No shite, I was just looking at the rail against clearcoat frames from 5 years ago. Don’t understand how this beautiful bike can be fetishized here after that previous post. Maybe I missed something that changed in the intervening time, I’ll admit I’m not a regular reader.

      I just got a clearcoated fillet braze frame (used, it came to me this way) and I’m contemplating a similar raw and chemically-blackened finish to change up the look.

      I don’t believe surface rust is a problem so long as it’s kept in check (dark and smooth, not bright orange and powdery/sandpaper rough) I have 40 year-old frames with surface rust that are daily riders. It’s unchecked corrosion and internal rust that will do in a steel frame, IMO.

      BTW I’m a metalworker with experience using these types of decorative finishing processes so I understand it needs wax, oil or varnish applied with some regularity if the bike actually gets out in the elements rather than hanging on a kitchen wall.

  • Holy smokes! This one is hot!!!

  • Richard

    You know they say “devil is in the details” but I’d argue the angel is in the details on this one. So fine. Leather bar tape? Check. Down tube shifter? Check. Exposed cables and Paul Klampers (?!?!?!?). Check. Shifter-braze-on-mounted bell? Check. Pump peg on the seat tube awaiting a zefal? Check.


    Anyone know who makes those locking anodized bar ends?

    • CV

      I was thinking exactly the same about the small details on this bike….so spot on.

      ….and, again, any leads on those bar ends would be really appreciated? Anybody??

      • Chris Valente

        Not sure who makes those ones, but Sim Works makes some in various colors.

        • The Sim Works ones are amazing. Co-sign!

          • Chris Valente

            They really are. I have no idea why such a little item got me so excited but I was downright giddy when my set came.

          • Aren’t the sim works the same as the Nitto ones? I have a set of the Nitto. They are good quality.

    • They look like the MASH SF bar ends to me. I’ve got a pair of the Oil Slick color and they’re great.

  • Bluejaystr

    This thing is the cat’s meow!

  • Nicholas Petersen

    Tune skewer with a Phil hub.

    • I love that detail so much.

      • i fully support any lightest/heaviest collabo.

      • Nicholas Petersen

        Totally something I would do.

  • pastafarian9

    Diggin em small details!
    This such a dope build!
    I am stealin a few ideas from here. haha

  • Dexter

    Favourite build on here so far! So many good details!

  • Sebastian Burnell

    how wide ist the bottom bracket? 110mm? 107mm?

  • Sebastian Burnell

    well balanced silver and black….

  • skog_smog

    Reaaaally want one of these. Oh, I see I’m not the only person making use of presta nuts as stand-offs (they also work well for mounting a front rack on a fork with only one set of dropout eyelets).

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    the GB leather tape is SO nice. Sick set up!

  • Trevor

    Anyone know what size fenders those are?

  • California Travis

    Rad! I see that Mountain Goat Cycles headtube badge!…….

  • Ed

    What front rack is that? Anyone know?

    • Jonestown

      It looks like a Nitto Campee 32F

      • Ed


  • Nick Erickson

    Steam punkish, that light mount is the business…..