From time to time, we receive Readers’ Rides submissions from people who build their bikes. Whether they’re framebuilders just starting out or people who build for fun in their workshop, it’s always a pleasure to receive such submissions. Today’s entry comes from Mads, who built his new 29er called the Plummet. Let’s check it out below!
I’ve been making bicycles since 2012 while juggling teaching and research with freelance design and fabrication work.
While getting my degree in architecture, I got the bug for metal work. Seeking something more than architecture had to offer, I began to explore the process behind how things are made and above all how things are made well.
This led me to take a break from architecture and study precision mechanics. Here I learned to work with metal professionally – and it changed my perspective on how and why things should be designed.
With my final year project, I defined my approach to making, specifically, frame building. Self reliance and self-learning were the key principles fueled by the ever-expanding online bicycle forum community. By sharing my process with a mix of jaded professionals and eager enthusiasts, I received loads of support, valuable advice and some good offers along the way. The end result was a steel cargo bike – the ultimate symbol of self-reliance and independence, as well as living proof that you can accomplish a lot if you seek out knowledge. This became my story: to design, build, and share.
I believe that bicycles are infinitely important. Especially simple and beautiful bicycles. I try to do my part in not abusing this planet – a difficult thing when you’re trained to create desirable objects. I want to leave a subtle footprint on Earth and I want to share knowledge and inspire. I would like my work to reflect sustainability and longevity. Quality not quantity.
The Plummet is a hardtail specially made for me. I am 6ft4” with an extremely long inseam for my height. This means that saddle to bar drop is always an issue on off-the-peg frames. It’s one of the reasons I got into framebuilding actually.
The frame is made from a mix of tubes (mostly 4130). I was struggling to find a downtube long enough (770mm) so I went for a tandem tube. The 1 3/4inch (44.5mm) diameter suits the fat swoopy seat tube. Although the tubes are pretty oversized I think it ends up looking balanced because the frame is so big and the tubes look right proportionally next to each other.
We are talking Down Countryesque geometry with a steep seat tube and relatively slack head angle. I am currently running a 100mm travel fork (I already had) as it is fine for my local trails but when it’s time to get new forks I’m planning to get 120-130mm travel instead.
The crown jewel is the CNC machined yoke I designed for Stayer Cycles OG Plus gravel bike (https://www.stayercycles.com/
I lived in London from 2015-2019 and met the Stayer crew during this time. We have done loads of projects together and I love when they throw me a design challenge. They obviously also supplied me with wheels. I am really stoked on their new alu rims.
Through my work and research as an architect I have come across linseed oil paints for wood and metal. I have often wondered how it would hold up on a bicycle and I wanted a sustainable alternative to powder coating and 2K paints, so I got in touch with danish company Linolie & Pigment. They could not give me the answers I wanted so they asked me to test it out for them and report back.
I spent quite some time getting the technique right and took my time painting this frame in ultra thin layers.
I will share my findings on the matter in a proper update later but the bottom line is that the paint isn’t ideal for a MTB. Although it absolutely protects the steel from rust, this specific paint (Dodenkop pigment and linseed oil) isn’t durable enough to allow the frame to be clamped in a bike rack or resist the wear and tear of a frame bag. Also the paint is best on ferrous metals so the fillets are quite visible through the paint. The look is perhaps a bit of acquired taste, but the brush strokes and slightly rural aesthetics go well with the sculpted fillets and slender steel tubes in my opinion. There are different types of linseed oil paint with different pigments and some are harder wearing and glossier than others so I am not done testing yet. Maybe for a Sunday best road bike? Until then, this frame will probably be powder coated.
Rockshox Reba 100mm
Salsa seat clamp
10sp XT rear mech
Bontrager Inline Elite dropper
Renthal Fatbars 31.8mm
Thomson X4 50mm
Stayer Cycles 30mm alu rims on Hope hubs
Hope brakes and rotors
Ergon GA3 grips
Selle Italia Flite Alpes saddle
Hope Evo chainset (awaiting non boost chainring)
Hope 30 BSA BB
Witslingers custom framebag
Maxxis Minion DHR II 29×2.4 WT EXO TR tyres
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!