Yes, it has been 40 years since I built my first frame. What does one build after 40 years to commemorate four decades of putting bicycle frames together ? The sensible thing to do would be to build something I have never owned, so that's what you see here. It is a touring frame, fork and the frame has an integral rack. Correct, the rack is welded to the frame. Bad idea ? I don't see it that way. As long as this bike is mine it will be a dedicated light touring bike. I live in a relatively dry climate and will not be carrying that much on the bike- hence the light touring designation. That said, it is probable that I'll be doing some 90-100 mile days on it going from town to town. I have gotten back in to doing short 4-6 day tours after a couple of decades of concentrating on work and cyclocross.
This bike will be fitted with 650x42 Pacenti tires. I bought the tires at least two years ago thinking that I wanted to try them. I did not have a bike suitable until now. My goal with this bike is to build it up and have it and a few others on display at NAHBS in Sacramento this coming March. Of course, I could just blow off the show and go on an extended bike tour but since I have already paid for the booth I guess I had better show up. I do want people to see this frame as it shows off just about every skill I have as a bike builder. Some of the frame features make me proud......some of them maybe not as much. When I got to building the fork I did get a bit impatient. I'm hoping that some skilled work by the painter will make it all look seamless and good. I am proud of the lugs- they are not all that special but they were given a good deal of attention with the files . I'll let the people be the final judge of my work- that said, the lug shorelines will be the furthest thing from my mind when I get on this bike and start riding south.....or north.
In short, this is a pretty odd build- 650 wheels, integral rack, flat mount disc brakes, lugs with a fillett brazed BB, sloping top tube, 12 mm thru-axles front and rear. Something tells me that there won't be another one like it at the show. The combination of old and new is sure to make some folks scratch their heads and think that the builder is a bit nuts. -I'm fine with that. Nobody has to understand it except me. After 40 years, this made sense to me. It will have a use. If it didn't it most likely would have not existed.I would like to thank two former builders for a bit of inspiration and materials:
Michael Knepp for the cool fork crown
Bruce Gordon for his collection of riffler files
Mitch Pryor.....he was next to me at the last show and I got to see his touring bike- inspirational