obligatory columbus ms bb shell shot. this tubeset was designed in the 80s with early CAD analysis, which helped determine the optimal shape for each tube. guess what? the optimal shape for a non-drive side chainstay is… a triangle. this tubeset is a right of passage for builders- so rare, so intriguing, strangely beautiful. impossible to clamp in a park stand. i don’t know how many of these were ever made, but they are a weird branch on the bicycle’s evolutionary tree that i’m glad i got the chance to see. more photos once it’s presentable.
sometimes an order comes in, and you know it’s gearing up to be a BIG PROJECT. this was one of those orders. this bike is a tribute to some of the great randonneuring bikes of yore and features a “greatest hits” of several decades worth of parts- mafac canti brakes, ta cranks, huret drivetrain with simplex shifters, zefal pump, ideal saddle (with aluminum rails!). luckily i didn’t have to source any of these (thanks tom!). BUT, there are also a load of firsts on the frame- bi-lam joints on the head tube; internal wiring in the fork and through the frame to the rear light; 1” threadless stem; singer style rear canti brake cable routing. the customer tom got in on the BIG PROJECT action and had his machinist Dario fabricate the canti yolk pulleys and binder bolts. and that chrome! it is not easy to chrome a bike these days, i can tell you. but it all came together quite well in the end. although if this was eighty years ago, i would have fabricated all of the parts myself. and the fenders. and the racks. but we live in a modern world, and this is as close to a constructeur as i want to get.
check out the full shoot on the royal h flickr. excellent shots by eric baumann.
nothing is more nerve wracking than standing just out of frame while the bike you spent the last month working on is perched on a high ledge over deep water on the windiest day of the year. nothing. that said, i think these shots came out quite well. thanks to eric baumann who did a bit of high wind balancing himself to take these. the entire set is on the royal h flickr- i invite you to take a look.
from loaded to lean in three seconds! custom frames allow you to convert your awesome road bike into a weekend adventure machine with ease. and any day now it will stop being 13 degrees and time for some serious light touring. in anticipation of the long, pleasant days ahead, why not order yourself a royal h? don’t let springtime catch you under-prepared! thanks to eric baumann for being a sport about coming outside and shooting photos for a gif on the windiest day of the year. check out the rest of the shots on the flickr!
there’s more than one way to braze up a bike. this frame needed to have a little more top tube slope than usual, so i packed up my lugs and riffler files, turned the torch up to eleven, and laid down some brass fillets. i have to say, aside from the fact that you wear through your fingers sanding at the end, fillets are pretty fun. maybe ian was on to something… just a reminder that a bike like this could easily be yours for less than $4k, in less than two months. something to think about now that winters icy death clutch is finally beginning to weaken its grip on new england. more of eric baumann’s shots on the flickr.
nice light in the shop this afternoon. heavy finger on the shutter- check out more on the flickr.
this is a funny frame for me. there was a time, maybe four or five years ago, where i swore i’d never do a bi-lam bike. the notion of not only cutting your own lugs, but doubling the brazing work seemed daunting, to say the least. but now that brazing isn’t the frustrating mystery it once was, it seems natural to want to try new techniques. so here i am doing a bike with lugs and fillets like i said i never would. who knows what currently impossible thing i’ll be doing five years from now!? thanks to jordan hufnagel for planting the seeds for this when he gave me the lug blank materials. they sat in a box taunting me for several years before i worked up the nerve to take the file to them. some more shots on the flickr.
i hope everyone had a great tofurkey day! i got to deliver a bike over the holiday to my (de facto) brother in law, and the gravy wasn’t even cold on our plates before he took it outside and put it through the paces. apologies to susan for the river of ice mud in the driveway. check out some pre-mud shots here!
night shots in the freight elevator- a new royal h is born. photography by eric baumann.
as a framebuilder, you can sometimes get so caught up getting ready for a show that you forget to tell people about the show. this is one of those times. from now on, two months of radio silence means the philly bike expo is right around the corner. this year i am bringing some proper show bikes- if you’re in the philly metro area, come by and take a look! more info here.
you read the poster- be there! world premier of the new royal h cycles mountain bike. come to providence!
newest photos of the newest royal h. they would be hot of the press if they came from a press. check out more of eric’s shots here.
not the kind of order you get every day- a couple of touring bikes for a biking couple. LOTS more detailed documentation to come, excellently shot, as always, by eric baumann.
ALL POINTS BULLETIN! A royal h was stolen this very evening from a porch in Medford. I wanted to get the word out quickly, as it belongs to a good friend and is from the old days, the early days when friends like this helped me get my start building their frames. Easily identifiable- Columbus max tubing, campagnolo track ends with stainless faces, custom norton style graphics, cream w/ orange lug lining, Phil wood track hubs, brooks swallow saddle. If you see it, email me, contact Medford police (781-395-1212), lock it up. If you blog in the boston metro area, please re-post. Lots of eyes out for this one ! Full gallery of frame here. Thanks.