Yesterday, we shared a profile of Rob Roberson that traces his storied bicycle fabrication career from the 1970s to present day. Today, we’re taking a look at seven bikes Rob built during that impressive 50-year window, from early track bikes to road frames and his most recent personal all-road build. There’s a lot of intricate eye candy here, so let’s get to it!
It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Career: The Legend of Rob Roberson
Rob Roberson is an enigma in the handmade bicycle world. Some would consider him “the greatest known unknown bike fabricator” of the American frame building movement. His career, which spans nearly 50 years, puts him among a very small pedigree of builders that have both mass-production experience and have also built custom bikes under their own name without giving up the ghost. Yet, with such a significant trajectory, Rob has remained largely unknown. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring bikes made by Rob and the stories about them. Today, however, Zach Small and Josh Weinberg are honored to introduce you to Rob Roberson.
2021 Philly Bike Expo: Chapman Cycles Basket Commuter
Based in Pawtuxet Village, RI, Brian Chapman builds intricately detailed bikes blending classic design and vintage parts with a modern approach. Brian is no stranger here, as we’ve documented a number of Chapman Cycles over the years. Jarrod Bunk linked up with Brian once again at this year’s Philly Bike Expo to photograph the Basket Commuter bike Brian recently built for a customer that wanted to carry a dog on-board. Continue reading to learn more about this bike and to see all of its exquisite detailing!
ATMO, this looks great! Check out some more masterpieces at Richard Sach’s Flickr.
Bishop Dura Ace 10-Pitch Track Bike
Chris Bishop cleaned up shop at the 2012 NAHBS with a trinity of gorgeous frames. He won best fillet construction, best lugged construction and this frame brought home the best steel bike. That’s the second year in a row that he’s won that for a track bike and this one isn’t messing around. There’s nothing to hide here. Each builder was urged to bring an unpainted bike for this years show, prompting Chris to complete this frame rather quickly.
This haste doesn’t show in his craftsmanship however, as each 1970’s Prugnat pressed lug was painstakingly carved and reshaped with brass. The bottom bracket was hand carved, the track ends drilled, fork crown shaped and when he completed everything, nothing but classic track geometry was left. Steep angles, tight clearances and a complete Dura Ace 10-Pitch group set this apart from the rest. I had the pleasure of photographing it in an back alley on the final day of the show. See so yourself in the Gallery below, or perhaps you’d like to buy it? Check the details out below.