#Icarus-Frames

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A Gift to My Mom

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A Gift to My Mom

Last summer, after I watched my mom cross the finish line of her first century, I went over to congratulate her and took her bike away so she could sit down. She has been riding mostly flat routes back home in coastal North Carolina but that century packed in 5,000′ of elevation. After watching this woman fight against all kinds of internal struggles on that ride, I promised that I’d set her up with a proper road bike this year.

It seems that I always go to Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames when it comes to building custom bikes for the women in my life (Lauren’s Commuter), so I contacted Ian for this one.

Keeping it simple, we went with True Temper OX Platinum, an ENVE fork and a Paragon removable hanger. It just got back from the painters at Circle A and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

See some more below and hopefully, I’ll be able to post the bike post-build.

Ross’ Icarus Light Tourer

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Ross’ Icarus Light Tourer

Since moving to Austin, Ian from Icarus has been making custom steel frames for my friends. Many of which have requested an all-arounder of sorts from him. Ross already has a pretty deep stable of frames. A Richard Sachs cross, a Speedvagen road and now this Icarus light tourer.

I say light tourer because Ross is a bit of a camping weight weenie. Usually a bivy sack will do the trick on top of his titanium Tubus rack. For the front end, Ross chose a Wound Up fork for its fender mounts and tire clearance. He didn’t want ‘cross clearances’, just room for a 28c and fenders. Right now, he’s got it set up for a few weekend outings and just the other day, he put over 300 miles on it.

Other highlights are the split-paintjob chevrons, precisely finished by Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame and full Campagnolo gruppo. Personally, this is one of my favorite Icarus frames, mostly because it’s so tailored to Ross’ idiosyncratic tastes. Check out more below!

Joshua’s Sparse-Edition Icarus Steel and Carbon Road

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Joshua’s Sparse-Edition Icarus Steel and Carbon Road

Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames is no stranger to uniquely-constructed bicycles. His Leviathan is still, to this day, one of my favorite concept bikes I’ve seen. When Josh from Sparse lights contacted Ian about doing a fillet steel and carbon tubed road bike, Ian took the challenge… and the result is amazing. After fillet brazing the sleeves and shaping the ends, he bonded ENVE carbon tubes to complete the frame.

The final result was painted by Brian Meyers at Fresh Frame, with Sparse branding and fit with Mad Fibre wheels. Personally, I think it’s one of the most unique frames to come from Ian since the Leviathan… See for yourself in the Gallery!

Icarus Frames: Sportiff Road in Tokyo

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Icarus Frames: Sportiff Road in Tokyo

Blue Lug Japan has been supporting Ian from Icarus Frames for some time now. It all started with a few track bikes, then a road bike here and there, but this frame in particular really resonates with me. With a little more casual geometry, a SON generator light, custom stem and pretty balleur parts selection, you can’t help but think of all the rad rides and roads this thing will see.

Check out more photos at Icarus Frames!

Chris’ Icarus Road

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Chris’ Icarus Road

When Ian at Icarus moved to Austin, Texas, I don’t think he anticipated working on this many local frames. Or that Chris would put down two deposits at once: a lightweight road bike and a fendered, touring / commuter. This is the first out of the queue, a modern, steel road bike with a matte paintjob and a few clean details. Nothing extravagant, but also nothing simple.

Chris is a father and he works full time, so riding is always a last minute, unplanned endeavor. He was looking for a little inspiration to sneak in an hour or two when he could and Ian built him just that. With a Zipp cockpit, seatpost, Chris King R45 to HED Belgium, Fizik Kurve saddle, Campy Chorus 11 speed and King Cage bottle cages, it’s up there in the “dream bike” category…

There’s Only One Thing I Like More Than a New Icarus

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There’s Only One Thing I Like More Than a New Icarus

… and that’s a dirty, new Icarus. Chris has been putting miles in on his new Icarus road and I shot some photos of it yesterday. This one was particularly difficult to photograph. Matte on matte, grey on black with silver accents. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting the photos, or if I’ll retake them but I am digging how this one came out.

I love how Austin is embracing Ian’s work. Support your local frame builder!

My Icarus Is Now Complete

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My Icarus Is Now Complete

My Icarus Viking MAX track bike was incapacitated for a few months while the fork sat en queue at Fresh Frame. After a lot of surface rust started to form around the shorelines, I felt it best to just get it painted, if anything, for the longevity of the bike. Since this bike has one of the uber-rare Chris King stainless steel headsets, I got Bryan Myers from Fresh Frame to polish the stainless crown to match and he even added a little bit of wood inlay in the lug window. I have to admit, I wasn’t completely stoked on the wood inlay but It’s growing on me.

This bike has proven to be one of my favorites in the stable and why wouldn’t it be? It’s a classic track bike with some very unique detailing…

An Icarus Cross Frame With Nice Details

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An Icarus Cross Frame With Nice Details

I had to swing by Icarus Frames ( @IcarusFrames ) today to pick up a few things and while I was there, I got to see some of his latest handywork. This 1×10 commuter cross frame is heading up to Boston and while the customer didn’t want anything too fancy, Ian added some clean detailing. The fork will be an ENVE cross and it’ll be heading out to paint shortly. Part of me really loves seeing a frame in this state but a good coat of paint always brings out the details.

Check out a few more shots below.

Lauren’s Icarus Commuter

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Lauren’s Icarus Commuter

Any guy will tell you that putting a bike together for his lady can be an emotionally taxing event. Luckily for me, Lauren knew exactly what she wanted when I proposed the idea of buying her a new bike for her birthday. She loved my Icarus and Ian’s work but wanted something practical to commute on here in Austin. I was pushing for a full-on touring bike but she doesn’t like the idea of bigger tires and wanted something zippier.

What we agreed on is a mashup of a few things: primarily a long-reach caliper, lower trail road bike. It’ll fit 28c tires and fenders or 32c without, it has rack mounts on the front and the rear for any sort of light touring or camping we’d do but most importantly, the front cockpit is by no means racey…

She liked the riding position of her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine build but wanted the bars a little wider and better stopping power than her cantis. After finally wrapping my head around figuring out what she wanted, we met up with Ian of Icarus Frames, who measured her and went through the new frame procedure.

In the meanwhile, I started looking for parts. Rather than going all budget, I splurged a bit and went with a lot of American-manufactured products. Ian was making a stem to accomodate the back sweep of Nitto Albatross bars to which we’d run barcon shifters on. Chris King had these “ox-blood” Sotto Voce headsets at NAHBS, so I picked one up. Then, I consulted my friend PAUL and kinda went all out. Soon, I had purchased Canti Levers, polished Medium Racers, Moon Units, Polished Tall & Handsome seat post, Funky Money cable hanger and it didn’t stop there…

As with any commuter, gearing is a key factor. Lauren had been riding a single speed to work consistently but some of the hills en route to her teaching job were a bit tough. We also want to be able to do longer rides out to the hill country, so I chose the White Industries VBC cranks (46/30) with a mid-cage Shimano 105 rear derailleur and a 12-32 cassette. Shimano 105 hubs to H+Son TB 14s are bomb-proof, budget wheels. Topping the build off are Panaracer Paselas 32c, Brooks B 17 S saddle and tape.

The paint would be from Fresh Frame and the color we chose is an elusive one. Was it blue? Or green? It changes with the light. In the shade, it’s sort of jade but in the sun, it sparkles blue. Whatever it is, the final product is stunning.

While the bike is shown here, sans racks, we’re in the process of tracking down a good front basket and a rear rack for panniers. The bike is light, coming in at just a hair over 19 lbs and it “rides like a dream”. If it were my bike, I would have done a few things differently but that’s the beauty of a custom bike, you get what YOU want and trust me, there are few arguments I’m willing to engage in with this lady. She always gets what SHE wants… who can blame her? Further down the road, I’ll look into new panniers and maybe a porteur bag but for now, I’ve spent enough money on this thing!

Many thanks to Austin Bikes for the build, Bens Cycle for the assistance in the components, Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames and Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame.

Lauren’s New Icarus

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Lauren’s New Icarus

Being the girlfriend of a “bike blogger” has as many ups as it has downs. The obvious down being that I’m on the road a lot but one of the ups is, well, this… Lauren loved her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine porteur but wanted something more suited for front-loading and longer rides in the hilly landscape that is Austin. Maybe, just maybe, some camping, too.

I chatted with her a lot about what she wanted and we came up with this “sportif porteur”. Mid trail for front-loading, fender / rack mounts, long-range gearing and an upright riding position. She didn’t want big touring tires, so its designed to fit a 28c with fenders or a 32c without. The build is quite reasonable, with higher-end components where they count.

Once we resolve which basket or rack we’re gong to use on the front, I’ll shoot more photos, highlighting Ian at Icarus‘ handywork. For now, this is all you get…

Birds of a Feather

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Birds of a Feather

Since I’ve known Ian at Icarus Frames, he’s been tinkering on this motorcycle in between frame jobs. When Tracko was visiting, we swung by his shot in South Austin to catch up. Kyle wanted to shoot some photos and I had my camera, so I figured what the hell. I keep telling myself that I want to photograph this bike digitally and so I never shoot a full side profile of it with film. Kyle got a good shot of Ian riding it in his back yard and there’s a few older photos on my Flickr as well. One day I’ll go and do a proper photo shoot of this moto.

Until then, check out more in the Photoset and I even shot some of Chris’ new road frame before it went off to paint.

Leica M7
Leica Summicron 50mm f2
Fuji Neopan 400

Recent Roll: The Son of Daedalus Redux

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Recent Roll: The Son of Daedalus Redux

Two years ago, I visited Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames at his workshop in Boston and shot some photos. I ended up naming the post “The Son of Daedalus” after the Greek tale. For those unfamiliar, Daedalus was a great inventor and he had two sons, Icarus and Iapyx. Icarus and Daedalus wanted to fly like the birds, so they fashioned wings of wax, string and feathers.

Before pushing his son into flight off a cliff, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun. Icarus ignored his father and fell to his death. It’s a very morbid tale but Ian found it suitable as a name. Even before he had a name for his small framebuilding company, he used to attach feathers to his bikes, which later became his head badge.

I’ve been wanting to shoot more photos of Ian working in his small shop here in Austin so I took my Hasselblad, the 50mm CF T* lens, a tripod and some Ilford Delta 3200 over to do just that. The grainy, low light photos capture his shop environment quite well. As he worked away, sanding and filing on a new road bike, I tried my best not to get in his way. His shop is small but utilized efficiently as his tools and frames occupy every inch. I felt like the standard approach would be to try and bring more light into the film, but the dark exposures turned out perfect.

There will be a lot of Icarus on the blog in the forthcoming months, with Lauren’s bike on the way, my MAX fork, Ross’ light tourer and Chris’ road, pictured here.

See more below.

Recent Roll: Lauren’s Icarus Frames Porteur

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Recent Roll: Lauren’s Icarus Frames Porteur

One day, Lauren said to me “I wish my commuter had gears”. For someone who loves supporting his frame building buddies, it was like music to my ears, so I contacted Ian at Icarus Frames right away. After some measurements and a lot of back and forth, we had an idea what to build Lauren. The end product was a low-trail touring bike that could be set up like a porteur for now and easily converted into a road-drop touring bike. As always, Ian provided some of the cleanest fillets in the business and now we just have to decide on a paint job.

I shot some photos with my Contax G2 and Kodak E100VS before sending it off to Bryan at Fresh Frame. Check out more below!

One Fresh Frame: Icarus Road

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One Fresh Frame: Icarus Road

Bryan Myers of Fresh Frame has painted two of my bikes, my Icarus MAX track and my Bishop road. He’s a master masker and the designs that leave his shop are, well, incredible. While Fresh Frame didn’t have a booth at the Philly Bike Expo, he did lead a seminar on painting and for an in-progress project example, he brought this partially finished Icarus road. This frame is stunning! I can’t wait to see it built up. Check out more below.