Do you remember Drew Devereux’s Readers’ Rides from 2020? If you do recall, then you remember that he made a folding all-road bike in his home shop. Well, Drew is back with another folder! Let’s see his latest below!
This allroad bike has worked out well for me since I made it about 6 months ago. I wanted a drop bar bike with 26” wheels that could go anywhere and do most things, but not be too heavy or sluggish. By going anywhere I mean road, gravel, trail, and it should be able to get in a bag for intermodal transport too.
I fillet brazed this steel frame together using 8/5/8 cromo tubing. The fork uses lightweight and flexy thin wall blades (Nova 9/6). The chainstays are a long 48cm. Top tube slants quite a bit allowing plenty of clearance. I made a stem to bring the handlebars up to the level of the saddle. A 26×2.4 Maxxis HolyRoller tire will fit with fenders and at least 6mm clearance all around. It has 72 head tube and 73 seat tube angles. The 68mm bottom bracket is rather low… 275mm from the ground with 2.4 tires. On the trail I need to be conscious of where the pedals are to avoid strike. Parts for the bike are mostly what I had squirreled away in a box or in the attic over the years. Hubs are 100/135 quick release.
The front and rear racks I made from cromoly tubing. I made a wire basket for the front rack out of 1/8” steel rod and wire. It fits a standard grocery sack perfectly. The fenders I made out of aluminum roof flashing and laminated cedar strips. I cut the bottom of the front fender rather high, and added a long mudflap. This makes it less likely the fender will catch on something when I am riding a trail. The mudflap is made of adhesive cork shelf material; 2 pieces with the sticky sides compressed together, and with nylon open mesh fabric between them (for reinforcement).
When I found a shiny Campagnolo clamp-on deraileur cable guide in my parts box, I thought I should use it. I read there was a time when bicycle frame builders had the notion that brazing stuff on a frame weakened it, and because of that these clamp on fittings were rather common. Suntour downtube clamp on shifters were in the box too, so onto the bike they went. I did braze on the fittings for 3 water bottles and 2 for the rear brake cable housing. It rolls on the cushy and versatile Rene Herse Humptulips 26×2.3” tires.
The fork with its 1” steerer is the heart of the bike. The superlight 9/6mm wall fork blades flex quite a bit; at first it was a bit alarming how springy it felt. But it helps a lot to smooth out bumpy tracks, and I am very happy with it.
The front rack is bolted to the fork crown and brake braze ons. The brake braze-ons are set to the highest possible position, which puts the brake pads in the lowest position, which allows for maximum space above the tire.
The take-apart feature is perhaps the most novel thing about the bike. The chainstay/seatstay assembly unbolts from the main triangle and folds down to be compact. I doubt I will use the take apart feature much, if at all, but it’s nice to have it as an option. When I expect there may be a need to get on a train or bus I will take my folding bike instead.
A Saint Christopher medallion serves as the head badge. He is the patron saint of travel, and is pictured carrying the baby Jesus across a river. These adornments were made for bicycles in the 1950s with a metal strap that fit around a head tube. This one came off an old Italian Ideor Asso bike I used to own. The above photo also shows the seatstays bolted into the seat binder bolt, and the chainstay assembly clamped to the bottom bracket.
The rear stay assembly, removed from the bike and folded together.
A pile of disassembled bike (but without the racks, fenders, or basket). Fork and crank are not removed in this photo. To get it into an airline legal suitcase I would need to remove the right crank, but could probably leave the fork on.
After a multi-surface ramble I can stop at the local grocery store on the way home and load the bike up with a bag or two.
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!