Say what you will about social media and its adverse effects on society but we’ve been served some stunning bikes through our Instagram Explore page over the years and as a result have connected with some genuinely amazing individuals. So maybe it’s not all that bad? Today’s Readers’ Ride is case in point: Andrew‘s Crust Bikes Florida Man looks like something we’d document in our Philly Bike Expo Reportage. Andrew went to town with this one and boy oh boy is it a looker! Without further adieu…
Over the years, I’ve been dreaming up the ideal all-rounder build for myself. Something that kind of blurs the lines between a traditional steel road bike and an old school mountain bike. It would have to be equally well suited to a mix of pavement and dirt surfaces, comfortable, efficient, practical enough to use for daily transportation and still have enough fun factor to keep things exciting on weekend rides!
Having always enjoyed the simplicity and zen-like aspects of riding a singlespeed drivetrain, I decided to start with the Crust Florida Man frame as a platform. It had the massive tire clearance and tastefully relaxed geometry numbers I was looking for. I wanted the ability to run a set of cushy 650b Ultradynamico Mars tires and also have the option to run voluminous slicks with full coverage fenders to help me get through the wet winter months here in the PNW.
Right out of the box, the FM got me most of the way there! Crust is pumping out some of the coolest stuff these days! The only issue for me was the original version of the FM was designed with a fixed gear drivetrain in mind, with the option for a front brake only. It didn’t have the cantilever brake bosses that I wanted for safely bombing down our steep local hills and tackling some flowy single track trails on the side.
The silver lining, though, was that this became an opportunity for me to learn the basics of brazing, something I’d been interested in doing for quite some time! Thanks to everyone who gave tips and resources to help me get started! I added the cantilever brake bosses and built the fork truss from scratch out of 4130. Hopefully this project will act as a stepping stone to building my own frame someday. You gotta start somewhere!
The fork truss is a super cool design feature that I’ve always admired in vintage bicycles and motorcycles. This one was built with thin enough diameter tubing that it bends in such a way to allow for the fork blades to flex as they should, while still being rigid enough to help support a large handlebar bag. I brazed on a threaded M5 rack boss to hold a barrel adjuster, acting as a stop for the front brake cable housing.
A few little warm tone details like the gorgeous brass barrel adjusters by Shovel Research, brass headset spacers by Blue Lug and the undeniably excellent Hoshi Peregrine spokes by SimWorks really helped tie everything together. Stunt Doubles Color in Seattle, WA did an incredible job on the paint. Having seen some of their work before, I decided to go for the Creative Juices Special and let them do their thing! Very pleased with the result to say the least, I think it suits the character of the build and my personality perfectly!
I made my own head tube badge out of a salvaged piece of copper, which I think plays nicely off the hammered copper rivets on my Brooks B-17 saddle. “If Dogs Run Free” is one of my favorite Bob Dylan tunes from his 1970 album New Morning. In a phrase, it’s an encapsulation of my whole philosophy to bike riding. It’s essentially about the carefree nature of rambling around through space and time, for no other reason than the love and freedom of it all.
With no goals or agenda in mind, one is able be fully receptive to each moment as it unfolds, existing truly in the moment heightens the quality of experience and creates a sense of meaning behind the activity. This is a space that has become increasingly difficult to find in our modern lives.
Our mental health is on the decline as so much of our attention is being directed away from the natural experiences of which we evolved and into a new, highly artificial world of engineered experience, one consisting mostly of flashing screens and endless notifications. I believe getting outside and riding a bicycle is one of the easiest ways to break away from all of that and reconnect, even if just momentarily, with what is important.
A special thank you to Shawn Crowley, who was generous enough to build me the custom fillet brazed stem for this build!
You can find me on Instagram if you’d like to see some of my past bike builds and check out what I’m currently up to. Please though, make sure to put down your phone afterwards and get outside!
Lastly, the Crust Florida Man is the signature frame of Leo Rodgers, who is currently rehabilitating from a bad accident involving him on his bike and an SUV. Here’s a link to the GoFundMe page where you can help him out if you’d like. https://www.gofundme.
Frameset: Crust Florida Man 58cm paint by Stunt Doubles Color
Truss: IDRF Custom
Headset: White Industries 1-1/8”
Spacers: Blue Lug Brass + Nitto
Stem: Fillet Brazed 80mm built by Shawn Crowley
Handlebars: Crust Towel Rack 630
Tape: Newbaum’s with Nitto plugs
Brakes: Paul Neo-Retro
Cables: SimWorks Nissen Heritage
Levers: DIA-COMPE 202
Saddle: Brooks B-17 Special Titanium
Post: SimWorks Beatnik 27.2
Crankset: White Industries Road 172.5mm
BB: White Industries 113mm
Chainring: White Industries 40t
Pedals: SimWorks Bubbly
Chain: Izumi Super Toughness 3/32”
Freewheel: White Industries 18t
Hubs: Surly Ultra New 32h
Spokes: SimWorks Hoshi Peregrine 278mm
Rims: Crust Rim Brake 650b
Tires: Ultradynamico Mars Race 2.2”
Bags: Swift Catalyst + Zeitgeist
We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!