Built for Chris in Portland, OR, this bicycle was made to conquer the wide variety of terrain that Chris likes to ride in the Pacific NW. Chris is an avid cyclist, commuting by bike and putting in miles on longer recreational rides all around Portland. Chris asked for a road bike with a lightweight frame, hydraulic disc brakes, and the ability to fit wide tires and fenders.
Full-coverage aluminum fenders and 38mm tires are some of the critical components on this build. The wide, lightweight tires (Barlow Pass Extralight by Compass Bicycles) have very supple casings, providing a bit of extra cushion and grip on rough pavement, gravel and dirt.
Due to the light weight and supple casing on the Barlow Pass tires, not much overall speed is sacrificed as compared to narrow tires, even though these are much wider. Though I do consider this a "road" bike, it is unlike a typical road racing bike that can only fit skinny tires, and far more versatile and comfortable because of its ability to fit a wide tire like the Barlow Pass. Add a set of rigid yet lightweight aluminum fenders, and a bike like this can take you just about anywhere that you can find a road, be it paved, gravel, or dirt, no matter what the weather is like.
The custom fork has a segmented fork crown, ample tire and fender clearance, custom geometry and several mounting points for a front rack. The hydraulic disc brakes (Shimano RS685) offer unmatched stopping power and brake modulation, which is especially useful in a place like the Pacific NW, with lots of hills and lots of wet weather.
Fender stays are mounted just ahead of the fork blade, to provide clearance around the brake caliper.
High quality, handmade wheels (by Chris himself!) are an important part of any bicycle. These are lightweight and strong, with hubs by White Industries and rims by Velocity. Both are companies that make excellent products right here in the USA. A wide range, 11-32 tooth cassette will help Chris flatten the climbs in and around Portland.
As one of the first complete bicycles to come out of my new workshop in Putney, I am particularly proud of this one. This is also one of the first bicycles that I have painted on my own, with some help and guidance from the talented Chris Rowe of Independent Fabrication. I am pleased to be able to offer the highest quality liquid paint finishes, applied by me, on all future bicycles.
Check out the full gallery below for more photos. Thanks go out to Chris for being patient during my shop move, and an overall joy to work with. I consider myself privileged to have had the opportunity to build bikes for both Chris and his partner Joanie (see more of that bike here). If you live in Portland, keep an eye out for a dashing couple speeding by on a pair of Senecas, and wave hello! Chris and Joanie are some of the nicest folks around, and will surely wave back.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Thanks for reading!