Latte Menta

“Latte Menta” is the name of this paint color. Originally spotted on a Fiat, the name translates to “milk and mint”. Picture a minty latte espresso beverage, and you are on the right track. The custom painted sunglasses are a special extra touch that somehow seem so appropriate.

This particular bike is designed with the Nitto/Rivendell Albastache handlebar in mind, though a drop bar or something more upright can be fitted as well without detriment to the overall ride quality. Versatility is paramount here, and to that end, the design is influenced by the venerable Bridgestone XO-1, introduced all the way back in 1992.

Fully lugged frame construction, a level top tube, a custom lugged steel fork, and 650b wheels round out the package. A wide gear range (triple cranks!) and wide, supple tires make this bike perfectly suited to the hills and dirt roads of southern VT, where this bike will be ridden most.

Some builds go more smoothly than others, and this one certainly falls into that category. It was a pleasure working with the client on the build, from initial design conception to final delivery (including a maiden voyage ride with the client, which is always a huge treat!).

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below, or you can get in touch with me directly. Thanks for reading!

Belt Drive Touring Bike

Amy approached me late last year with interest in a unique bike. She had done her research and had a list of attributes that she wanted in her new bicycle: belt drive, Rohloff 14 speed hub, lights, fenders, and a rear rack, among others. Amy also had her own fit data on hand from a Retül fitting that she had done locally. After months of planning, design, fabrication, and assembly, I am pleased to present photos of her new bicycle!

The bike is great. We went for a ride yesterday and it rode like a dream. ...

The build process was a wonderful collaboration experience for me. I feel really fortunate to have stumbled upon your web site.

Thanks for the kind words, Amy!

Though the bike looks like it has been painted black in lower light situations, Amy picked out a really sweet, subtle metallic color that reveals itself in bright sunlight. The color’s full name is, “Malbec Black Metallic.”

The bike has 26” wheels, custom 155mm crank arms, and a slew of other custom features. A small pump, painted Malbec Black Metallic to match, fits nicely behind the seat tube.

The Gates belt drive is quiet and clean, and it never needs to be lubricated. Amy chose a set of highly efficient LED front and rear lights by Busch and Müller, powered by the Schmidt SON generator front hub.

Amy’s rear fender was deliberately shortened so that she can “wheelie” the bike around in tight situations when not pedaling. The bike will be ridden in a city environment where tight spaces make the wheelie a necessary move to get on and off trains, into tight parking spaces, etc.

Though it looks like a lot is going on in the pic above, the underlying design is still pretty simple. “Rocker” style dropouts allow belt tension adjustment with the help of a pair of PDX Ti Rockerbones. A Gates “snubber” wheel sits behind the belt and cog just to prevent the unlikely event of a skipping belt. The rear light wire passes through the chainstay and into the rack tubing itself, where it is routed to the rear light. The frame has a split in the rear triangle to accommodate belt installation and removal, and you can see that here as well.

Custom built wheels will accommodate heavy touring loads and the inevitable encounters with city potholes. Multiple bosses on the fork allow all sorts of rack and bottle cage options.

The non-drive view shows the shifter cable box and its interface with the Rohloff hub. All cables are cleanly routed underneath the down tube, and all feature full housing to keep dirt and water out.

I love the look of the the silver parts on Amy’s bike! The polished hub shells look great.

Check out a complete gallery below. It was a true pleasure working with Amy on her new bike!

Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. Or, you can get in touch with me directly.