Modern Lugged Steel

The  bicycle featured here is the result of modern design and materials combined with traditional framebuilding methods. 

Chromoly steel tubing from Columbus in "super-oversized" dimenions, a sloping top tube and small head tube extension, modern hand-carved lugs silver brazed to the tubes and a carbon fiber fork combine to make this bike stiff, lively and highly responsive. Originally documented here, this particular frame was built in late 2014. Only recently has it been assembled into a complete bike, and the result, I think, is extraordinary. 

Silver components, mostly made from polished aluminum, used to be the norm on racing bikes. I like the look, though it is increasingly hard to find high quality components made with a polished silver finish. This particular build features a Campagnolo Athena 11-speed drivetrain, Ritchey Classic bar, stem and seatpost, and a Rolf Prima Vigor wheelset made in a special edition silver finish. 

The Athena drivetrain shifts crisply and operates smoothly and quietly, just what you want from a drivetrain. I am a big fan of Campy drivetrains, mostly for their excellent ergonomics and durability. But I admit to harboring a bit of a romantic fondness for the Italian brand's components, both for their legacy and their sheer style.  

A carbon fiber fork brings the front end of this bike further into modernity. Enve Composites made this one, and it is light and stiff, as you might expect. A headset from Chris King complements the silver components found elsewhere on the bike. Nitto water bottle cages are elegant, lightweight and functional. 

A  project like allows me some subtle artistic freedom in shaping the lug edges. I like simple, smooth lines with defined edges. 

Since the seat tube on this frame is "super-oversized" (31.8mm in diameter), I installed a glass fiber insert inside the top of the seat tube. This reduces the inside diameter to 27.2mm, a common seatpost size. The glass fiber insert also strengthens the joint and adds considerable holding power to the seat clamp, while greatly reducing the chance for corrosion to develop between the steel seat tube and the aluminum seat post. 

A joint like this also allows me to make an elegant seat stay attachment, using small caps brazed onto the seat stay ends. I like using these small, angled flat caps on my builds. You can see something similar on some of my segmented fork blades on other builds (here, here and here). 

This bike is fast, smooth, very responsive to pedal and steering input, and a blast to ride. It is going to be part of my "demo" fleet, so feel free to get in touch if you are in the area and would like to try it out. It will also be making rounds at various shows and exhibitions as an example of my work. 

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for reading.