Longtime readers might recognize this bike. I first documented it in 2015. Unfortunately, when our server crashed, we lost the images from 2015-2016, so when I had the opportunity to re-document it, I had to jump on the opportunity. The frame was built by Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames. It was designed to clear a 45mm 700c tire, and yes, those are quick-release axles! This bike was ahead of its time in terms of “gravel bikes” and it’s still alive and well, now rolling under my bud Gideon Tsang who bought it a little while back. Gideon is a good friend of mine, going on 10 years. He’s a spiritual person, a counselor, and as much of a sage individual as anyone I know. Check out this piece he wrote for the Radavist about riding bikes and embracing the silence only found on self-isolating rides…
Big guys have big headtubes. How big? Bigger than a tallboy? Depends, but if you’re a Texan like Josh Hines, everything’s bigger there, so why stop with a bicycle?
Joking aside. Josh and I are buddies from Austin. He’s in Los Angeles this week to take on some mountains and break in his new Icarus Frames road bike. After being fed up with stock sizing and carbon fiber, he wanted something with more longevity so Josh turned to Ian Sutton to make him a special road bike… and special it is.
Ian’s not one to turn down a challenge. Well, that’s not true, I’m sure everyone has their limits but let’s just say Josh’s request piqued his interest. While Icarus has made carbon and steel bikes before, he hadn’t spent much time working with carbon seat tubes, which is what Josh wanted. Will Ian do it again? Probably not, as it turned into quite the challenge. Does it look rad? Of course!
Josh wanted a road bike for long days in the saddle. His full time job of being a chef doesn’t offer much free time, so when he has a day off, he wants to spend it all on the bike. He wanted the frame to be painted to match his older Beat the Clock Cycling kit, which has geometric patterns all over it and while the frame is about a month old, the parts were all bought used. Even those Bontrager Aeolus wheels! In fact, all he’s waiting on is a new stem, painted to match the Ben Falcon-paint job and he’ll clean up that steerer-area asap.
Til then, Josh has been enjoying Los Angeles’ killer road climbs. Yesterday he rode Mt. Wilson and we’re trying to convince him to take on Cloudburst… We’ll see! Even if he doesn’t, that bike will be happy regardless.
Oh yeah, how’s that new Will Bryant-designed Beat the Clock Cycling kit? So good!
Part commuter, part touring bike, beautiful functionality with that Icarus flair.
Chris wanted a bike that did all of the above. Having already commissioned Ian to build him a matte black road bike, he knew exactly what he wanted in a commuter. Tubus titanium racks, SON hub, Edelux lamp, Chris King, Paul components, custom painted Berthoud fenders, Swift Industries panniers, Jack Brown Blues and White Industries cranks, all being operated by SRAM’s XO long cage rear derailleur and barcons.
A lot of the parts selection was informed by my Geekhouse when Chris was selecting his kit. Dependability was the most important issue yet as we said earlier, it needed to be beautifully functional.
Maybe he’ll have time to get out on a tour? Or maybe it’ll just serve him as it has for the past year as a commuter for Austin, TX.
For frame builders, randonneuring, or commuter frames can present a bit of a headache with all of the braze-ons and clearance concerns. It certainly takes a bit of planning, fittings and patience. Ian Sutton at Icarus Frames recently published one such project on his blog.
This “commuterando” frame features unique bottom bracket cable routing, a custom stem with internal brake hanger and a bell mount. The classic proportions, round tubing and 650b 38mm tires make it comfortable for bumping around the city or cruising down a dirt path.
It’s not a cross bike, it’s a road bike with clearances for bigger tires. Sure it uses an ENVE disc cross fork, but the bottom bracket drop, chainstay length and angles are more in line with what many would categorize as a road bike. A road bike that likes to gobble up rugged and rutted roads.
The Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires were the starting point for Ian at Icarus Frames to build Tyler his new all-road machine. He wanted hydro disc brakes and road gearing, which he may or may not swap out in the forthcoming months for a clutch and a wider range cassette. With a burnt orange paint and subtle Icarus branding on the downtube, Tyler’s bike has a confident stance without being overly gaudy. Keep it clean with the paint and get it nice and dirty…
Truth told, I’ve been wanting a bike like this for some time now and it was a pleasure being able to document it both for Icarus Frames and Tyler.
If you can’t tell, the “sickness” has spilled over into the weekend. I hope you’re all out riding and soaking in the summer sunshine. More on this bike next week!
Even though Icarus couldn’t fly close enough to the sun, he apparently has no problems flying over to Japan, where our friends at Blue Lug always take building up these frames with pride. Check out the latest from Austin, Texas framebuilder Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames at the Blue Lug Japan Flickr!
Ian from Icarus Frames came by the Radavist HQ today and he brought this new matte black road frame that just came back from paint. With a mix of True Temper OX Platinum at the seat tube, head tube and Columbus Zona / Life elsewhere, it’s got modern lines with very classic proportions. This one’s a beaut! Clean fillets, a braze-on front derailleur hanger and an ENVE road fork.
My favorite detail however was the arrow, painted on the top tube and the classic Icarus insignia on the downtube.
Shooting matte bikes in a studio isn’t easy, but I’m getting the hang for it. I wish I could shoot this beaut all built up. Instead, you’ll just have to check out more studio photos of this killer frame below.
Photo by Spencer Brown
Later on this week, Beat the Clock Cycling is going on a superrrrrr chilllllll bicycle tour. We’re rolling to some low-key parks and campgrounds southwest of town and one of the dudes going on the ride is Spencer, who’s taking his new Icarus.
Last week, he got to break it in on a ride in Fredericksburg where he lives.
Nice shot man!
Some of the cleanest lines in cycling lighting teamed up with some of the cleanest fillets in framebuilding for Interbike this year. While I covered Sparse + Icarus in my Interbike coverage, Sparse took the time to photograph this beautiful road bike.
Head over to the Sparse Flickr for more!
As a frame builder, Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames has built many people their dream bikes. Road, track, cross, touring, light-touring and even a few mountain bikes. Most recently, he’s been building a lot of lightweight road frames with modern tubesets like True Temper’s S3.
Paired with Columbus’ oversized stays, Ian got to work on his own S3 frame. Since he doesn’t often build with this tubeset, he wanted to try it out for himself before recommending it to any customer for their own frame.
When he finished the frame, it went off to Circle A for paint and the locals here in Austin pitched in for some parts so he could get it rolling. Thanks to David from Nelo’s and Chris from Mellow Johnny’s for putting this bike together for Ian!
To top it off, Josh from Sparse sent Ian a set of lights to match.
Ian and I joked about hating our long head tubes, but that’s what we ride and for this being such a tall bike, I think it looks extremely well balanced. Now if I can just get him out into the hills!
A while back, I posted about Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames trying to sell this prototype track machine here in Austin. Turns out, my buddy – and part time intern – Andre picked it up. Rather than go with a classy, wet coat, he got it painted dark black with a clear sparkle top coat. Something that neither Ian nor myself saw coming…
I’ll admit, both of us were apprehensive, but when I saw the bike in person, I knew exactly what Andre was going for and Circle A killed it!
Andre built the bike up with all Zipp components: seatpost, bars, bartape and stem. For wheels, he went PAUL track hubs to H+Son Archetypes and SRAM Omnium cranks. It’s a standard, classy build on a very unique frameset. Since he works at Mellow Johnny’s he had the mechanics dial everything in.
The Cervelo fork and its tight clearances are right at home with this frame, that barely squeezes in a 23c tire. It’s a mean steed with a bit of sassy sparkles.
Ride safe Andre!
Ian from Icarus is selling a size 51cm ST by 52cm TT commuter / gravel rider cantilever frameset for $1900 including a paint job by Circle A. Head over to Icarus for the details.
I absolutely love this bike! The paint, the Campy 80th and the ENVE. See more at Icarus.
This is the bike that really put Ian from Icarus Frames on the map. Well, at least that’s what I think anyway. My reasoning? It was one of the first truly over-sized / shaped tubesets he fillet brazed and the Fresh Frame paint job was so loud at the time, that I don’t think anyone was coming close to hitting that mark. Seriously, what the hell is up with those chevrons?!
When Chris built this up for the 2011 Philly Bike Expo, it had a Dura Ace group and Chris was still working on his fitness. Since living in Austin for over two years, he’s finally got this bike dialed in with performance in mind. Switching the King headset out for the Crank Brothers Direct SL Cobalt allowed him to lower the front end considerably. He then sold the DA, leaving this and his Serotta both full-SRAM.
What sets this build off the charts in my opinion are the wheels. Working at Mellow Johnny’s, Chris has access to some really great wheels, namely the Bontrager Aeolus 5 clincher. These lightweight race wheels are made in the USA and turn this every day road bike into a mean, lean race machine.
It’s hard to believe that Chris has had this bike since 2011. It seems so long ago. In that time, the neon orange paint has faded a bit, but the bike is every bit as stunning! See some more updated photos in the Gallery.
It says a lot when someone buys the two most important women in their life custom frames from one builder. Ian Sutton from Icarus Frames is a good friend of mine, so when I realized that my mom was in need of a new road bike, I called him up and got the ball rolling.
The geometry is clearly road, but the drivetrain is geared more towards a cross bike. Up front, I chose Shimano‘s Ultegra cross crank, with a mid cage Ultegra rear mech and a 32t cassette in the back. This will help my mom get up steep hills with ease, while giving her the range she needs while riding coastal North Carolina roads.
Circle A nailed the paint, coating the frame and the ENVE fork in a bright “marine” blue.
Easton was kind enough to send along the bars, post, stem and even bar tape. I couldn’t be more thankful! For her wheels, I bought a set of the NAHBS display Chris King Alloy Ride wheels. Taking advantage of the trade show pricing, I also bought some King Cages.
When I dropped the parts off to Mellow Johnny’s I still needed a headset – NoThreadset in Sotte Voce black, a saddle – Fizik Vitesse- and tires – Continental Gran Prix 28c. In the end, it came out great. As shown, it weighs 17lbs on the head.
There is no greater feeling in this world than to see your mother happy, healthy and riding in style. Cycling has no doubt changed her life for the better and to me, this bike was worth the investment. She did her first century last summer and I’ll be pressing her to do another this summer!
It’s kind of nice living two miles from Icarus Frames‘ shop in South Austin. When Ian gets in a frame from paint, I can just cruise on over and shoot a few photos. When he gets a frame in like this singlespeed road however, I spend a little more time documenting it.
This is a custom bicycle. It’s a NAHBS-worthy bike, although Ian has never shown at NAHBS. The detailing is above and beyond your average frame. Everything is shaped, carved and sculpted to perfection. Stainless rear, stainless lugs, internal routing, polished everything, immaculate shorelines, covered by a wild wet paint job, courtesy of Fresh Frame.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so dialed come out of Ian’s shop and to think, his queue has a quick turnaround. I just wish I could have photographed the complete bike!
Check out more insane details in the Gallery.