Raoul's Low Trail Porteur
Raoul wanted a bike for his commute to work with a heavy bag, to carry shopping and the odd leisurely longer day in the saddle. He is something of a bike man and has owned a few custom machines (including one very fine Donhou road bike). His main objective with this build was the practicality of an everyday machine combined with good handling and a sharp look. He also had some specific parts he wanted to try out like the Compass Rat Trap 26" tyres and a Specialized pizza front porteur rack.
I made Raoul a town bike with a low trail porteur geometry, a steel uni-crown fork with mounts for a front rack, full length colour coordinated aluminium mudguards, a short chain stay and clearance for 26" wheels and Rat Trap balooner tyres. I made a re-enforced custom 1 1/8" head tube to handle the extra weight on the front end and set it up with a very short chain stay for manoeuvring through traffic, hopping curbs and pulling the odd 'on the way home from work' wheelie. The large fork offset and 73° head angle (porteur style) makes the front end quite twitchy until you add the magic heavy bag of shopping or work stuff and, like banana man, transforms! becoming responsive and confidence inspiring.
This bike is very much made to do the job for which it is required; carry that bag, hopefully make his day -pretty much- every day and look very sharp in the London traffic.