This is a special bicycle, built for my father. He is an avid road cyclist, and I like to think that I may have had a hand in kindling his love for cycling over the years. I remember with fondness the many great rides that we have done together (we've climbed Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier and ridden around Bryce and Zion national parks, among many others). It was a pleasure and an honor to build this for him, to give him a modern bicycle that fits perfectly and will keep him rolling for years to come.
I knew that my dad wanted a lugged bike, as he likes the traditional and elegant look of a lugged steel frame. He also wanted Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 components- arguably the best road bicycle drivetrain currently available. And he wanted a lightweight yet durable road bike that matched his fit parameters. The result is a combination of old and new technology. The tried-and-true (lugs, steel, leather saddle) meets the cutting-edge (electronic shifting, carbon fiber cockpit) in harmony.
The initial fitting was performed by Smiley, an ex-Serotta fit guru in the Washington, DC area. Smiley provided me with all of the fit data that I needed to design my dad's new bike. Some specific requests included a sloping top tube and extended head tube, both for increased standover clearance above the top tube (when straddling the bike with feet on the ground) and for a higher handlebar position.
Though it is sometimes difficult to design a lugged frame around certain custom fit and geometry requests due to the constraints of fixed joint angles, I modified some lugs on this particular bike in order to make it all work, including the extended head tube lug pictured above.
A slightly relaxed seat tube angle (72 degrees) and an Enve seatpost with 25mm of setback allow for the proper placement of the lovely Brooks Team Pro Titanium saddle. Saddle placement, including saddle height and fore-aft adjustment relative to the center of the bottom bracket, are determined during the fit process and reflected in the custom bicycle design.
Component choices are all top-shelf: Chris King hubs, headset and bottom bracket, Enve Composites fork, stem, handlebar and seatpost, Speedplay X2 pedals, and Arundel carbon bottle cages. The wheelset is unique in that both the Schwalbe One tires and HED Belgium Plus rims measure 25mm wide, giving the tires a wider and more rounded profile (as opposed to a more standard, narrower rim).
The Dura-Ace Di2 componentry is electronic, and all wiring is run inside the tubes of the frame for a neat, clean look.
The battery that powers the electronic shifting system is hidden inside the seatpost. Star-shaped reinforcements, like the one seen above, were placed on the shift wire entry and exit points and underneath the water bottle cage bosses to add some strength to the otherwise thin-walled frame tubes. All tubing on this frame is Columbus "Spirit for Lugs".
The paint was expertly applied by Philip Harwood, including these custom-painted initials on either side of the top tube.
In the end, here is a bicycle that reflects what Seneca Cycle Works is all about- custom fit, classic looks, and a touch of modernity. It was a pleasure to deliver this bicycle in person a few days ago, and I can't wait for the next ride with my dad on his new bike!