A Madrean Rock ‘n’ Road Tucson Special Tracklocross

Hubert d’Autremont from Madrean Fabrication is building bikes that he wants to ride. From a chubby road bike, to a bikepacking rig, and even a bird as strange as this. The Tucson Special is a single speed or fixed gear with 50mm of tire clearance and more relaxed geometry, tuned for hitting cutty singletrack around town and jumping curbs. Put a rack and basket on it, flat bars or drops, clipless or platforms. The beauty of the platform is its inherent versatility.

This particular model is built with PAUL hubs, a front Klamper, White Industries Cranks, Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n’ Road tires, an Eriksen seatpost, custom painted stem, titanium townie bars, and a Brooks saddle. With paint done in-house, Hubert is working on dialing in the production process for his bikes and moving towards a production sizing operation. While there is no launch date for a Madrean, he’s getting there.

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55 responses to “A Madrean Rock ‘n’ Road Tucson Special Tracklocross”

  1. Aidan johan says:

    What stem is that?

  2. Phil Rooney says:

    Ritchey cross fork?

  3. George T Rosselle says:

    Is that a right side brake lever run on the left? Or am I looking at it wrong?
    Has the saddle rivet been removed because of where the riders sit bones are?
    Is a ti handlebar kinda flexy for a fixed gear? It is a fun looking bike.

    • John Watson says:

      Not sure. I hadn’t thought of that. Nah, not at 31.8 clamp.

    • AdamBike99 says:

      I’ll second your “R lever run as L lever” comment. Works just the same, but it caught my eye as well.
      Ti can be stiff AF or quite flexible. Depends on wall diameter, plus this one has a 31.8″ clamp which helps too.

    • Hubert d'Autremont says:

      The rivet just fell out at some point, it was on my old touring bike. The bars a really sweet and not to flexy, maybe if they were wider, but they are essentially the same as the Thomson ti bars with different sweep.

      • George T Rosselle says:

        Thanks for the explanation. I have built bikes with whatever I had laying around more than a few times. But they were never as nice as this one. This is a beauty. And John’s great photography really shows it off. I bet this will be one of the best bikes of 2019 next January.

  4. whatbars.com says:

    This bike looks like an absolute blast, and the colour/component selection is 👌🏼. Makes me want to single speed & flat bar my Soma Wolverine.

  5. Brad says:

    What a clean super build, the best kind. I’m always for the understated look. Details like the coloured bottle cage bolt do not go un missed.

    • Hubert d'Autremont says:

      The bolt was just what I put in there to prevent blast media and paint from messing up the threads but I dig it so I left it. Thanks!

  6. C N says:

    Dear lawd 🙌

  7. Transit says:

    Tucson! Tucson! Tucson!

  8. Johnny Rhubarb says:

    I really enjoy these tires a lot!

  9. AdamBike99 says:

    IMHO, this sets the bar anew for: purposeful simplicity, an aesthetic, visual joy to stare at, and the fact that I can practically feel how this baby rides (once again, fantastic fotos John!).
    Simply Sano!

  10. Gordon M says:

    Wow! Who makes that bar?

  11. Davey Struthers says:

    love a shorty laid back

  12. Happy says:

    Beautiful bike but I cant stop thinking this is just a Steamroller that can take disc brakes, but a steamroller could if the front fork got changed out. It also doesn’t have fender or rack mounts (but being custom thats a non-starter I guess). Geometry looks much more relaxed though which might be the biggest difference besides the lack or mounts? (obviously the quality and workmanship will be much better than the surly though)

    • John Watson says:

      This is worlds apart from a Steamroller. Not dogging Surly, but this bike is just different.

      • Happy says:

        I really want to believe you, but I don’t see how it’s world apart besides this having a more relaxed geo, handcrafted, and this bike being built up with much more expensive componentry than one would find on most Steamrollers.

        • John Watson says:

          Tubing spec, carbon fork, cleaner (aesthetics), more shaped, hand made, wet paint, fillet brazed, detailing like that rear seatstay bridge, etc. Just because it’s a singlespeed doesn’t mean it’s a Steamroller. There are other singlespeed frames I’d say this is probably closer. It honestly reminds me of the Hufnagel and Freeman Transport bikes.

          • Happy says:

            Im not trying to equate all single speeds to being like a Steamroller. And I‘m very aware this bike is a lot nicer than a Steamroller, but at the end of the day is it really that different? That said, I’ve never had the opportunity to experience riding a handmade bike to compare the experience.

            Either way, it seems like Hubert built this bike for himself as a means to getting back into framebuilding (and getting a sweet bike!), but I think if he asked about a production fixed gear for shredding around town and easy trails the Steamroller would be reccomended.

            I‘m also realizing its not a good point to bring up anyway. This is the first time I‘ve looked at one of the beautiful bikes on your website and thought “I don‘t get the hype, this is just a (production bike) except a lot nicer.” I don‘t know why it happened today.

          • Hubert Dautremont says:

            It’s not gonna be a production model, it was just a bike I felt like making out of some tubing I have always really enjoyed the ride of.

          • AngryBikeWrench says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but Surlies are handmade too. The hands are Taiwanese, but they’re still very good at making bikes. Just sayin”.

          • John Watson says:

            Yeah, for sure.

  13. m burdge says:

    If I didn’t have more than a lifetime’s worth of quality quill pedals in the parts hoard I would totally be interested in those elegant WI pedals.

  14. Lachlan says:

    why bother with front brake but with no rear caliper mount. ik its meant to be ridden fixed but still seems silly to me.

    • John Watson says:

      Ah the ol’ rear brake / front brake fixed debate. It’s like Bikeforums, circa 2005! ;-)

    • Terry Dean says:

      considering it was mentioned that this bike was meant to be used as a single speed or fixed gear that you can throw racks and baskets on, i was surprised to not see any way of attaching a rear brake or racks. but hey, i remember people riding ss with only a front brake! or you could always do a coaster brake. as far as racks, i guess you could use some P clamps?

      personally, i’d rip it as-is and use a different bike if i wanted to ride something other than a fixed gear monster truck

  15. Hubert d'Autremont says:

    Howdy all, figured I’d chime in since John and I didn’t actually have any time to talk about this bike, but first a little about my history and design philosophy.
    Madrean Fabrication is something I have been working on for a couple years now, after taking a long break from the bike industry and specifically building custom bikes. My goal with Madrean is to be a production shop, but I wanted to create a space for doing bikes that I found compelling when the time fit. I hate to use the word compromise, so lets instead say that design is all about choices, and what is prioritized. For me, fabrication quality in paramount, and something I will always work towards bettering. For the customer, it is all about fun. Performance is really important but I want people to have fun first. After spending almost a year, moving shops across country, and then moving spaces after three months, I realized I hadn’t built a bike in a long time. This bike was just for me to get back in the swing of things. I spent a long time thinking about what i wanted as a townie. a scorcher like this, or a 90’s inspired mtb/porteur. I then realized there was no reason I couldn’t do both, which lead to the idea of the Tucson Speciale, a chef’s choice kinda thing, just for fun. This scorcher is a throwback to when I lived in VT and all the mechanics at the Old Spoke Home, would build up winter fix gears with big tires for getting around in the shitty conditions. We would crimp stays and use what we had around, like brake levers from the wrong side or forks with qr that no one will buy anymore. It is meant to be a fixed gear, and it is meant to rip in town and on easier local trails that are honestly boring on a modern mtb. Yes the brake lever is from the wrong side (a leftover), and yes the carbon fork does prevent a basket, but at the moment I have a different basket bike. Yes it is similar to a steamroller but for me it was just a bike to practice, it wasn’t even painted for a year, its one of the first bikes I painted and there are plenty of mistakes, but hopefully it will be so chipped soon so for me it doesn’t matter. Sorry for the long post, but hopefully that answers all the questions.

    Thanks to John, for all the support and for creating a space to showcase stuff that is fun.

    • Peter Hedman says:

      Being a framebuilder is a unique and often conflicting choice of profession. You really only do it because you love it, but constantly building other people’s “dream” bikes takes its toll… Some stop building and take up other professions (yours truly), others get jaded and lose their passion, and a few folks keep on doing it through sheer love / compulsion / insanity.

      Most builders don’t have the luxury of building themselves a new frame that often, as paying the bills is more important. The great thing about bicycles is that they present an opportunity to do what you want and enjoy. This sounds like a bike that Hubert enjoys and that is all that matters. I would shred it for sure…

      Keep on with it Hubert!

    • smoovebert says:

      looks good to me!

  16. Chris Wagner says:

    every time i see a “set back”seat post with the saddle pushed forward, I have to ask, “why”? P.S., I love my Surly.

  17. m burdge says:

    The arc of the rear ‘brake’ bridge is very elegant–it would be neat to see that on a bike with a fork that replicated the arc and gap between the tire and bridge; either with a twin plate fork or a unicrown that repeated the same shape.

  18. Callum James Wrathall says:

    Nice looking pedals, any idea who makes them?

  19. This bike hits a sweet spot! Definitely one of the bikes of the year so far (at least for me)…and thanks for bringing this one up John! Keep up the good work!

  20. Scott Wolfe says:

    scorcher. beautiful bike, hubert

  21. Kristian Kristiansen says:

    Thats hot!

  22. AngryBikeWrench says:

    Reminds me a lot of a Fast Boy, which should be taken as a great compliment.

  23. loganbouchard says:

    Love this, it looks like a d’Autremont. Can’t wait to see what Madrean brings!

  24. Bregan Koenigseker says:

    I’m loving this bike!