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!


Seat tube reinforcing sleeve is brazed on, top tube is mitered to fit.


Raw bottom bracket fillet.


Looking at the cutout on the inside of the seat tube/down tube joint. This was done so that the Di2 junction box and associated wiring could be hidden and protected inside the frame.


Driveside rear dropout and chainstay, showing exit port for rear derailleur Di2 wire.


Finished fillets at the head tube/top tube/down tube joint.



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