I’m always interested to hear what my customers will say when I ask them what color they want their new bike to be. Some offer vague words of guidance, some have a precise color in mind, some know exactly where they want every letter in every decal, and some are in between. When I asked Susan, she said she wanted something to do with Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers, and the Wicked Witch’s striped stockings. It makes me grin every time I think about it! Now if only I had slipped in some yellow brick road pin striping…
The bike itself is an interesting blend of traditional and modern. Sometimes folks who don’t really understand what I do accuse me of being a luddite, or falling into a nostalgia trap where things best forgotten are romanticized. It’s not really true, I just happen to think a lot of the old ways really were better. Susan doesn’t see the world that way, but, to my delight, she ordered a bike from me anyway. This left me with the interesting challenge of building a machine for someone who likes all things modern, yet still holding onto the bits of the past that really were better.
I came up with a bike that still has a steel frame and fork, fat 650B tires, aluminum fenders, a front bag supported by a small custom rack, and a dynamo powered front and rear light set; but also a Shimano Di2 drivetrain, a USB charing port, and tubeless tires, all seamlessly integrated. She’s only had the bike for a few weeks and it already has over 1000 miles on it.
Here are some process photos, and one of the completed bike. Enjoy!
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