Matt’s Crust Bikes What-Would-Weigle-Do – Jarrod Bunk

Matt’s Crust Bikes What-Would-Weigle-Do
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

Matt’s brain – the owner/operator/designer for Crust Bikes – always has rats spinning on a hamster wheel. His affinity for the modern randonneur is apparent in a lot of the bikes he designs.  What does a person who could essentially develop any conceivable bicycle that their hearts do, well they start with a simple question? What would Weigle do?  Call it an homage or a cap nod to the  Concours de Machines that Peter Weigle made a few years ago, the top tube and downtube are cut from longer butted tubes and only the thin-walled center section is used. Matt is a lighter rider so he can afford to run this type of tube set without worry. Fabricated by Darrin Larkin in LA, this is one of one and it’s a beautiful example of pushing the custom bike limit especially when built around a smaller rider.

The build kit is compiled of a lot of René Herse, Compass and of course Honjo fenders, as well as a Chris King Hub/Headset, Ti Record Post and a Berthoud saddle.  Yeah, the bike is really light, of course, and there are ways to make it even lighter. Your eyes don’t deceive you there are no bolts in the rear posts, that’s cause the posts are flared. Does anyone have any guesses on the weight?


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  • James

    I have one question and one question only: How on earth are all these
    downtube shifter people doing friction shift with 10 and 11 speed and
    up? Do I just need to practice my skills more? I’ve tried and it was
    just perpetual clunking.

    • I am not sure. All I’ve had experience with are barcons.

    • Andy-bmore

      I’ve done it with 10 and know others who have as well.

      Basically you just need to do two things:
      1) care less about being in a specific gear. The mindset should be much more “I want to make pedaling easier/harder”
      2) take a little longer per shift. Shift until cadence feels the way you want it to, keep your hand on the lever, fine-tune until it holds properly in the gear.

      • Aaron Best

        Spot on. Did a 2k mile tour this past summer, brand new dura ace indexed bar ends that I switched to friction on the third day just to try out; haven’t switched back yet!

    • I have a 1×10 that I previously used friction. I now use a dura ace indexed downtube lever. In my case, both were mounted as thumb shifter mounts on the handlebar. This may make my experience somewhat different, but overall I found that friction shifting 10spd was relatively easy. As with most things, it’s muscle memory that really helps you. Simply put, it takes some practice. Some people will pick it up quicker than others. It takes: shorter more precise movement of the lever and a feel for the chains movement. Proper cable tension is obviously very important for both proper shifting and ability to shift properly, if that makes sense. Overall, an indexed lever is quicker and easier, but way more finicky.

      • Tim Guarente

        I did 1×11 friction using an old Shimano 7 speed shifter on a Gevenalle mount. I was using an XTR 952 9 speed derailleur, and it worked. It was finicky, but it worked. I could hop from one end of the range to the other super fast, and anything in the middle was accessible. I never got too set on using any specific gear, but went for “easier” or “harder.” I’d do it again.

        • For clarification, what I refer to as ‘finicky’ is indexed shifting need for very precise cable tension and adjustment at the derailleur to maintain proper shifting. Not the actual action of moving the lever. Every indexed system I’ve ever used, I’d describe as finicky. But I get that’s probably subjective. But if you’re not practiced with precise lever throw for a 10-11 friction system, you probably wouldn’t find the average indexed system as finicky. When indexed is spot on, it’s hard to beat, it’s just not always spot on and that’s annoying. That’s where friction (and good muscle memory) really shines.

    • James

      Thanks legends. That’s more or less what I imagined, but I tried it for an afternoon or two and got sick of it. Maybe I’ll try again with these neat 600 Arabesques I’ve got lying around….

      • Hell yeh, practice makes perfect and that just means you get to ride your bike more. WIN WIN!

    • Kevin Mulcahy

      A common trick is to switch the upper and lower pully cogs. That’ll take the lateral slop out of the top pully and the chain won’t wander.

      • James

        Interested in this: Are the sizes of the pulley cogs typically different? Is that what takes away the slop?

        • Kevin Mulcahy

          Yeah, typically the top pully has some float to it so it’ll naturally align itself when you’re indexing. This lateral float works against you when you’re trying to fine tune friction shifting

    • James

      You can convert 8 speed Campagnolo to 10 speed to have fully indexed 10 speed shifting. Weigle did it on the Concours bike and there are a few tutorials online about it.

    • earle.b

      Microshift makes an 11spd thumbshifter, so that can be used on some downtube bosses.

  • George T Rosselle

    I guess 23.5 lbs.

  • Chris

    Lovely bike. Is it me or are there not bolts on the rear cantis?

    • Correct the posts are flared.

      • Chris

        Sorry, not following you. Can you elaborate?

        • The top of the post is flared, enough so that spring tension etc wont allow the brakes to come off, the flare acts as the bolt retaining the caliper.

          • Chris

            Ok, now I get it. The post screws into the base and is flared to hold the brake on. Thanks.

          • Nicholas Petersen

            That is next-level crazy. I’m a ti allen bolt guy myself.

          • How easy is it to remove the arms if the tension spring is released?

          • Lets just say they go together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich thats been in your jersey pocket for 60 miles.

      • m burdge

        I would think a more sensible approach would be to lathe a groove in the canti post, then use circlips as retainers–the weight savings, but more serviceable. Don’t you think?

  • rust is the new paint.

    • Billy Arlew

      C-rust B-ikes

  • YaanG

    “only the thin-walled center section is used”
    How much weight did that save? 20g? Omitting paint is probably a better weight savings, but the frame will get heavier over time as oxygen is added to it.

    • This is a standard practice in randonneuring frames, which is one reason why traditional randoneurring bikes wouldn’t be able to use disc brakes.

      • rocketman

        kinda curious what wall thickness tubing he used. I’ve never heard of anyone using straight tubing unless it was fairly thick. With tig welded joints you really need some extra thickness to offset the reduction of tensile strength at the welds. Normally you would leave a short butted section at the welds and have really thin walls in between to reduce weight and increase frame flex.

      • ol’grumpy

        ….ummm….I’m pretty sure using thinwall straight gauge is not standard practice in any type of bike frame, unless it was a proof of concept bike. Which this bike might be….? Maybe Darrin biased the tubes so there was the least amount of butted tubing at the joints? The disc issue has more to do with the shape and thickness/taper of the fork blade and has less to do with the main tube thickness.

    • WheelNut

      I’d take the 20g hit for a frame that will last way longer. Short butts, okay, no problem, but how is straight gauge tubing some badge of honour? That’s a claim built on a ridiculous premise. Straight gauge tubing is for el-cheapo bikes because it is cheaper. Should have just hit and saved sending the big cash to Reynolds…
      Anyway, tubing aside, it has a pretty cool aesthetic.

    • ap

      Standard practice for randonneuring still uses a .7-.4-.7 when using “ultra thin wall” tubing. So did this just use .4 mm wall tubing across the full length of the TT? How about the DT? Pretty wild!
      Way cool Matt / Darrin!

  • terriblemcnaughton

    Larkin has been low-key producing some crazy-nice frames as of late that I keep spying throughout the interverse. He must know I am a sucker for tall heatube aesthetics and playful geometries. Kudos (bar).

  • We’ll best common sense guess would say between 21 & 23 lbs. compass extra light tyres, custom very thin walled tubing, friction shifting and non aero levers, a lot of ‘classic’ weight saving. Hard to judge, considering the custom tubing. As pictured, I would say between 21.5 and 22.5 lbs. I would be pleased, but surprised if it weighs under 20 lbs.

    I have a 58cm Raleigh 531 frame setup as a SS, 700×32 on 36 spoke wheels, mostly dura ace 7400&7600 components with a VO porteur rack. It weighs 22.8 lbs

  • Ryan Flynn


  • Tim Donahoe

    17.5 lbs.

  • Nicholas Petersen


  • Lee Murai

    I’d love to know which nitto handlebar we’re looking at here.

    • noodle

      • Lee Murai

        These look like they have significantly more flare than noodles. I was thinking dirt drops but they seem to have a pretty shallow drop.

        • Jan Heine

          I am pretty sure it’s a Rene Herse Maes Parallel. Much lighter than any other Nitto bars, since the spec is proprietary to Compass/Rene Herse.

          • Lee Murai

            That looks right. Thanks Jan!

          • Nah they’re noodles, 48cm modified a bit.

          • Lee Murai

            Thanks Jarrod. They really look flared.

          • Correct, they are, in a vise, AKA that Kyle special.

          • Jan Heine

            Forgot that Matt loves wwwwiiiiddddeeee bars…

          • Still waiting for you to release some Jan.

          • Actually they’re Nitto Noodles, 48cm and they’re modified AKA the Kyle special.

          • spencer harding

            *cue a gif zooming in on one of those rad “Jan Heine is Wrong” stickers*

  • Jan Heine

    Love it – a steampunk version of the Concours de Machines Weigle! The Weigle weighs 20.0 pounds without the bag (which added just 266 g). Love the details on Matt’s bike – but I suggest plugging those rear brake pivots with a wooden dowel: once dirt gets in, it’ll weigh as much as a steel bolt.

  • Daniel M

    Before today I had never admired a front derailer braze-on. And unlike modern racing bikes, it allows for height adjustment so you’re not committed to stupid large chainrings.

    I’m guessing 20lbs. My daily ride is about 33lbs so anything on this site seems crazy light to me!

    And finally: straight fork and a threaded headset? I would go with the exact opposite, but then again it’s not my bike.

    • Michael Baquerizo

      you’re still pretty limited from my experience – mostly big or bigger on my bob jackson.

  • deez

    Quick gram count in my head puts this at a hair over 20 pounds not including the bag.

  • Meshkat

    So many great details. This is my favourite kind of build.

  • 19.9 lbs

  • mark rothschild

    ….Perfecto Mundo

  • Sub 20!

    • George T Rosselle

      Including the bag, racks, and lights? I struggle with that.

    • AdamBike99

      Sweet. But the unavoidable onset of corrosion will put it over 20 by the end of the year hahaha JK

      • Jared Jerome

        Just wait a little longer and it’ll start going the other way.

    • Just, but I have it on a wight loss program.

  • That cable stop/canti brake boss hanging off the seat tube bolt is brilliant! Never seen that before. Simple and elegant.

  • Terry Dean


  • Brent Kyono

    Given that Weigle’s big boy frame was 20lb, I’m guessing Matt’s WWWD is 19.9! Exchange lugs for TIG, 38’s for 42’s, frame size for lowriders, a drillium headset race for invisible rear pivot bolts and by my scientific maths they are just about even. In my heart I hope it’s lighter though…

  • adventureroadbiker

    Surprised they’ve done away with the bolts in the rear posts and even cut down the barrel adjuster on the front brake but haven’t trimmed the threaded section of the rack coming out the back of the fork crown. Could possibly even cut it right down and relocate the nut inside the steerer? Beautiful bike though!!

    • At this stage in the build Matt has just completed it while recovering from a broken leg. This weekend was one do the first rides on it, I’m sure that, as well as some drillium will happen in the future.

  • Emory Hancock


  • Kevin Kevin

    Anyone know what crank bolts were used on this build. They are not Rene Herse.

    • They are some Ti ones. Cant remember where I found them.

      • jw dubensky

        Could be older White Industries items.

  • mark rothschild

    380 lbs….less than Trump

  • tony365

    Wow! total dreamer of a bike! Fantastic in every way. Nice work to all those involved.

  • Peter Chesworth

    Proper bike. Could nerd out on all the bits … or just ride it. Day and night.