Joe wanted a stainless steel bike for fast road riding. He was also into a raw fillet brazed finish, disc brakes, an aero position, as light and stiff as his last carbon road bike, an integrated seat post and internal cable routing.
Much of the above generally makes me feel a little weird when discussing bikes, I am used to making off road bikes and talking about simple uncomplicated (non integrated) design – seat post toppers are generally not on my mind. Another build consideration was that Joe rides a small size bike in a very aggressive position. He was after a low front end to achieve what he wanted in terms of aerodynamics but within the confines of a standard disk brake spec’ed fork with clearance for 28mm tyres there isn’t much to play with. Thankfully the brief was also very open and he was happy however I went about achieving his wish list. The challenge for me was to achieve what Joe wanted while keeping my solutions as simple as possible. Simple is best as far as I am concerned. The seat post topper is a copy of an idea used by Rob English that I was put on to by a friend when we were discussing generally how inelegant most toppers are. This coincided with a frame repair on another bike with a stuck Thomson seatpost which had left the top 150mm lying around in the workshop – I modified it to work like a quill stem inside the seat tube to achieve the simple, interrupted seat tube line I was hoping for.
To achieve a low stack I shaped the top tube towards the front end to get it to fit on the small headtube. To keep the frame clean the rear brake hose is routed inside the downtube, through a T47 bottom bracket shell and out of the inside face of the chain stay just in time for the caliper.
The final build was left as raw stainless steel and silver to keep down the weight and give the overall fillet brazed appearance Joe was after. It is rubbed down to 1000 grit and lightly waxed but will for for the most part be left to tarnish and not be kept highly polished. The resulting bike is pretty *bling* but happily remained fairly practical in execution. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out and Joe cant stop going on about it – which is great.
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