This week’s Readers’ Rides comes from Chris in the UK and his Brother Cycles Kepler with a wild 90s-inspired paint scheme. Check out all the trimmings in detail below!
Hello I’m Chris and live close to Coventry (once the UK’s bicycle and motor city and also the birthplace of 2 Tone music and, best of all, Delia Derbyshire). The music of The Specials documents the city’s post-industrial travails (and that of Thatcherite Britain) but it’s a place enjoying something of a renaissance lately. I do most of my cycling to the south of the city on the country lanes and bridleways of Warwickshire (Shakespeare’s home patch).
This is a Brother Cycles’ Kepler with its original 90s-inspired paint scheme. The latest iteration of the frame is built for 160 mm rotors, this earlier one takes 622 mm. It’s a comfy ride that has a spring in its step (but is the planing in my head?) and the Albatross bars help no end on the comfort front too. They’re wrapped in cotton tape and finished with twine and shellac. I think I just about pulled off the layering: the tape matches the saddle, the twine pairing with the bell (and the gate). Finding a matching purple Cyclists’ Touring Club sticker was also a bonus.
Component-wise, silver was the brief. It’s a mishmash of Velo Orange, Nitto, SunXCD, Shimano, and Campagnolo. The latter comes from a stash of alloy 10 speed I snaffled in the mid-00s when they moved towards being predominantly plastic (yes, I’m a fan of The Retrogrouch’s postings). Living in the west of England, mudguards with flaps are a must (don’t be deceived by the blue sky in the photos, there’s a reason for the greenery). The cork securing the front one to the rack is from a bottle of Rioja. Having a Spanish wife, this was non-negotiable.
Frame: Brother Cycles Kepler ‘Flash’
Wheels: hand built by Harry Rowland, Shimano LX hubs with Mavic rims
Tyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK TLC (700 x 35)
Chainset: Campagnolo Chorus triple (53/42/30)
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record triple
Rear derailleur: SunXCD long cage
Cassette: Shimano 9 speed (11-34)
Brake levers: Velo Orange Grand Cru regular pull
Brakes: Velo Orange Grand Cru Zeste
Handlebars: Nitto Albatross (with Newbaum tape and twine)
Saddle: Brooks C17
Seat post: Nitto S92
Seat collar: Soma
Headset: Velo Orange Grand Cru
Mudguards: Velo Orange Hammered 45 mm (leather flaps and Grand Cru reflector)
Pedals: Shimano PD-A600
Rack: Velo Orange Randonneur
Bag: Velo Orange / Road Runner Randonneur
Bottle Cages: Velo Orange Retro
Bottles: Sim Works
Pump and pegs: no brand chrome things off eBay
Bell: Crane E-NE
Wine bottle cork: Cune
We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. 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!