This is where you can check the new custom bike builds from the workshop. Everything from single speed cyclo cross race bikes to custom steel gravel bikes to shreddy mountain bikes. Its all right here.
Liz’s Gravel Traveler sl
Murdered Out with Sparkles of Course!
This bike, Kristjan’s (below) and Bear’s (more below) will be at the 2018 Philly Bike Expo Oct 27 and 28th.
My cousin Liz is pretty awesome. She self proclaims, though its also quite obvious when you meet her, that she marches to the beat of her own drums. Last spring she told me she was done with her clunk gravel rig and if she was going to step up to a new one, she really felt getting a bike from me was her only choice. I very much appreciated that as anyone would imagine.
Design wise we kept to the standards of the Gravel Traveler, which a few changes. One of her major complaints about her now previous gravel bike is that it felt big and clunky. It didn’t help that it was aluminum which is, unless done with great design, a terrible material for gravel…IMO anyway. So we started out by cutting her dimensions down a bit, and getting proper geometry dialed in. The other main design feature was to use some materials to improve the ride quality by solid leaps and bounds. I used a blend of Columbus SL Life and Spirit tubing, as well as some of my last and cherished True Temper OX Platinum stock. Since Liz is pretty light I used a oversized thin walled Spirit top tube and Life seat tube. (classic oversized is small by modern comparison for those that don’t know the lingo. 28.6 diameter to be exact.) The down tube was one of my favorite thin walled OX Platinum tubes that is actually double oversized. I chose this because while I wanted light and snappy, I also wanted to create front end stability as Liz like to hit the dirt more than anything else. Additionally the OX Plat is super hard so if she takes a rock shot, it ain’t not thang. The back end of the bike is some new curve formulas I worked out for the both seat stay and chainstay just for this bike, and may become my regular for my GT models. I think the bends came out really nice. The seat stays are Columbus SL and the chainstays are thin walled 4130 with custom squishing to make everything fit. The design is rounded out with a tapered heat tube from Solid BMX and the move to flat mount brakes on the back. The tapered head tube really helps to keep the proportions of the smaller diameter tubes from looking like straws attached to a beer can, it also allows for a little extra stack by running and external headset cup on top. The flat mount has been showing up on more and more of my 700c/650b road/gravel bikes. It keeps the brake tucked away better and is a little fiddly with set up in fabrication, but I have it well sorted at this point. Lastly we chose to the use the Columbus Futura Gravel fork on this bike to keep the ride more stable than my More Cowbell. It keeps the head tube a little longer while still allowing for a fairly meaty tire. My new standard fit up for 700c Gravel Travelers is the WTB Resolute at 42c, this is shown with Riddler 37c but the Resolute clears Aok.
The build and colorway! Liz in my mind is a very colorful personality so when she said she wanted something “just black,” it gave me a bit of a head scratch. We worked out some of the thoughts on that and came up with a great plan. Satin Black with gloss clear logo and fonts. THEN, I had the idea of where we could let the colorful have at it. I showed Liz a sight of color flake, and we jumped down the sparkles rabbit hole. Between her, me and Ollie at Dark Matter Finishing (the finest in the biz I tell ya.) We determined that lots of iridescent in the gloss clear would give it a slightly understated feel from afar but wowzer flavor when you got more near. Liz chose to go classic with the cursive fonts and she added a triangle on the top tube. I love the idea and meaning of the upside down black triangle, but really why not add sparkles!? Certainly I couldn’t be prouder of my cousin Liz and the other LGBTQ folks in our family and lives! Liz also has no shortage of ink, so when I was thinking of other details that would be fun and also have some meaning, I could only think of the local Boulder artist Mike Giant and the bar tape he did for Cinelli. Its got Mike’s style all over it. It also has throw backs to his time in SF, Mike is also head to toe inked up. Anyway, Liz and I really reconnected after a long while when we both lived in SF. Lastly, Liz and my grandfather Dadu, is the guy whose coins I use for my custom bikes. I have only one or two mercury dimes in that collection and thought it would be awesome to use one of them for a family member. As mercury is sometimes representative of successful travel and often a trickster, it really couldn’t be a better coin for this bike. Build wise, this thing is pretty well decked out to be a top notch riding machine:
Cockpit: Whisky Parts
Drivetrain: Sram Force 1
Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Grail
Headset: Chris King… Natch!
Bar Tape: Cinelli Mike Giant Special Edition
Saddle and Rubber: WTB
Colorway Design: Liz Me and Ollie
Colorwork: Ollie Cleveland, Dark Matter Finishing
Design and Geo: Me
Photography: Me on location at Obikeco Headquarters.
Kristjan’s Loam Roamer 29 Plus
“I showed up for the horses, I ended up with a steed.”
Ok well Kristjan didn’t really say that, but it is kind of true. Kristjan was at a fundraiser called Boots, Buckles and Bourbon which supports the Great Escape Wild Mustang Sanctuary and Training Center, (a great cause and epic party if you haven’t been… Tickets on sale now!!!). I had a frame there as a sample donation which caught his eye. Kristjan is no short stack and has been getting worked by an ill fitting semi ancient RockHopper for years. He saw the opportunity to support his friends and get himself a custom ride in the process. An added bonus was that Jay, the brains and brawn behind Angry Bovine, a creative juggernaut looking to take over the creative world, and additionally the side kick to Michelle the founder of Great Escape, had commanded his talents to do the graphic design and colorway for the finished bike. Jay also happens to be pretty tight with the folks at Spectrum Paint and Powder Works who, beyond being a benchmark in the cycling industry for frame finishing, also graciously donated their efforts to do the color work.
So, what’d we do? Kristjan pretty much gave me free reign on the project with the idea that he wanted a new mountain bike that would fit him better and also had some of the modern build concepts to it. We also had to account for him being a good bit over 6 feet tall and not being someone I would like to have to arm wrestle any time soon. The design we came up with was a modern 29 plus all rounder with Paragon Machine Works Rocker Drops for some adjustability. Much of the design came out of what I learned building Thunder Pig #1. It essentially has the same back end concept as Thunder Pig but with a little extra flavor on the seat stays and some standards changes to help get more room. An added bonus is that if you use a RaceFace crankset, you can play around with spindle lengths to optimize chainlines and adapt for bigger chainring clearances. That said, we ended up with heaps of space for 3 point Ohhh’s and some darn fancy bends, as well as a minimum chainstay length of 420mm. It has a longish front, so much so that I almost ran out of down tube when I made the cuts, steeper seat angle than Thunder Pig to help with the climbing, and a nouveau xc/trail head tube angle. We topped everything off with a solid build comprised of Shimano XT/XTR mix, Fox squishy and droppy stuff, Stan’s NoTubes Sentry Wheels and WTB bits to hold down the fort, oh and King Cages…Natch.
Kristjan and Jay collaborated on the colorway, with Jay showing his ability to design somewhere in the space of “Punk Rock kick your teeth in” and “Oh sorry did I kick your teeth in let me pick those up for you” civility. It should be noted also that Jay has been more than a peach in helping me lock down the cohesion of my brand and visual identity. If you need someone to get your brand to where it needs to be, get in line cause the dude’s a busy man!
In all I have to say that this project was a fantastic one. Getting to build a rad bike for Kristjan, helping Michelle and Jay with Great Escape and working with awesome folks all around is a tremendous win that somehow I think seems elusive sometimes. Thanks all for the collaborations.
As an aside, this bike will be at the Philly Bike Expo this weekend Oct. 27th & 28th, I’ll be there too.
George’s Gravel Traveler with Rival.
Put a Spork in it, cause its done!
After NAHBS last year I got a call from a fine gentleman who said he had seen a write up on my Dirt Kan in Velonews, and was pretty excited about getting a local builder to build him his birthday bike! It was much to my surprise and I even had to go online to find said write up. George and I chatted a bit and set up a time for him to come by the shop and meet. When he came be brought his Bianchi Zurigo. The first things I noticed were 1. George is tall. But much like myself its all in the extremities. Especially his legs! It was especially noticeable by the fact that he had a setback seat post and the seat was nailed all the way back on the rails. More setback for sure!.
We had a great time talking about bikes, who he/we ride with and what his favorite rides are. George rides. A lot! and all over. Which is awesome for me because thats my ideal client. through our conversations we came up with a plan. His spec desires where to have a really great all rounder that could run up to a 700 x 45c but could possibly run a pretty narrow tire and still feel “normal”, used a Rodeo Spork, fit him properly but didn’t look to much like a Zinn (sorry Lennard), can run 180mm or possibly longer crank arms, and that we used tubing that provided him with a comfortable ride and wasn’t a brick.
Design wise, we tweaked my stock GT’s geometry a fair hair to make the setback function properly, adjusted the head angle to take deal with slightly less rake then I normally use, and got as much head tube material in there without going from a front triangle to a front parallelogram. In addition, George provided a Redshift Stem, which is reminiscent of a Girvin flexstem but far less terrifying. In fact, while not the lightest thing around, its a pretty nice addition to the ride quality of the bike. In the end, we both felt like the overall design look came out nice. Not too much exposed head tube, not 1000 spacers. I pretty much looks like a regularly proportioned bike that happens to be a 61cm.
Colorway wise, George was hankering something orange. So orange is what he got! We both went over to see Chris as Spectrum Paint and Powder to dial in the how the colorway would play out. The orange is a safety orange powder coated base, with chocolate brown two tone and details. We finished it up with the classic cursive logo to keep it classy and even got the Spork logo on there too. Thanks giving me the honor of building your birthday bike.
and without further adieu…
Happy Birthday to George and to many more years of Gravel Traveling.
Colorway Design: George and Me
Color Work: Spectrum Paint and Powder Works
Photography (man! that orange no likey color correction. you really need to see it in person.and Bike design: Me.
Josh from The Coffee Ride's More Cowbell Single Speed Bean Bike
First lets start with Josh. (I apologize for the heavy links here but all should be clicked through as they are all pretty rad.) Josh and I first linked up at Caffeinated Mornings run by our buddy Jay from Angry Bovine. Josh is the caffeinated in the morning, meaning he is a micro coffee roaster here in Boulder who not only meticulously roasts mind blowing coffee to keep this town functioning, he then will hand deliver it to you by bike. In any case, when I sent out my first set of bikes from the "new" Boulder workshop, I wanted to send a piece of Boulder out with the bikes. Josh's coffee immediately came to mind. I rolled to his shop, we started chatting and now we are pretty well buddies on the regular. Its great to have some other friends in town doing the small business life. On that note, Josh is hard workin, hard ridin man with a tenacious drive for the good life. When I decided to see if there was 1 or 2 people to be ambassador riders for me in town, Josh was the first on my list. And I am happy he obliged, I am sure his legs are still a little fried from the Bean Bike's first voyage. So some serious high 5's to Josh for being what essentially represents my "team."
That intro said, the Bean Bike is what happens when two people get together, drink tons of coffee and conjure up a plan to paint a bike, even before the bike has been conceived. It went from, "beans would be pretty cool" to "shit, lets cover it with beans." to "yeah, lets fade the paint so that you can see the bean roast, so like green to brown." Well thats what we did! Thanks to the folks at Spray Bike, and a whole lot of bean masks, we laid down some solid amateur paint work. As for the bike itself, it was designed pretty much as a straight up CX bike. Sure it can roll gravel or road or whatever, but by the numbers it will really go full gas on a cross course, or getting rowdy on some trails. Its running a short set of chainstays with some Paragon Machine Works rocker dropouts for the singlespeed duties, slightly shorter stack and reach than you might see on todays gravel rigs, the bottom bracket runs some evil drop at 66.6mm's (after all if you want to hop barriers, some times it takes a deal with the devil) and the frame and fork can run 700x45c tires all day long. Tubing is a combo of Columbus Zona tubing for decent weight and durability, with a True Temper down tube. While the bike is fairly light, it will do well if there is an occasional carcass party as well as still feel pretty snappy. The component mix is all pretty solid stuff. Stan's No Tubes Grail wheels, WTB Riddler 45's and Volt saddle, Easton EA70 post and stem with a Salsa Cowbell bar. Stopping is taken care of by some TRP Hylex RS post mount brakes. (Post mount because of the Rocker inserts, but also in my opinion for CX post mount is still a better platform.) Finishing out the build party are an Enve Composites CX fork and a pair of Apex cranks.
Paint by Josh Crane and Me using Spray Bike rattle cans, with mask help from Spectrum Powder Works.
Colorway Concepting by Josh and Me and lots of coffee
Bike Design and photography by Me.
Bear's Custom All-Road Campy Record H11
This was a great project. Bear has been a Pinarello guy for quite some time. When he mentioned to me he as thinking of getting a Gan-GR I couldn't really bite my tongue. While Pinarello makes great bikes, the idea of an off shored carbon bike that Bear would then have to reconfigure to get the parts on he wanted just was too long a reach for me to let slide. Steel is of course an outstanding material to work with, add gravel or a all rounder hard tail mountain bike and steel is really really in its element. It wasn't a tough sell on my side. Tough build... well that was a different story. Bear wanted the internal routing he had become used to with his other carbon Pino's. Not a super huge order, however, when you actually look at how the weight pencils out between internal routing done correctly and just brazing on some cable guides, you are talking nearly 1/2 a pound if not more for the internal routing. That's not considering the labor involved. When it was all said and done, I sorted out a way to internally route the cables, without running full housing, and with using essentially and internal housing stop, then having the cable run through the frame sealed in a narrow stainless flute, finally exiting blind out the bottom bracket. There were a fair amount of experiments to make sure it would work, and more importantly continue to work for the lifetime of the bike. It came out pretty clean and gives the bike a bit of a classic look at the derailleur housing entry spots. Other than that major hurdle of "light" internal routing, most of the rest of the bike came together super well. Frame build wise, the tubing is a majority Columbus life with a True Temper down tube I just really love for gravel and cross bikes. To keep in the traditional look, I did a sort of old school feel seat lug to pair up to the 31.7 top tube. To keep the bike feeling light and nibble, we chose to go with the Enve Composites disc road fork, which will give Bear enough room to squeeze a 32c is he wants.
Parts wise, I hadn't worked with the Campagnolo H11 stuff yet. It is a super nice groupo and clearly the magura engineers were on top of it for the flat mount brakes. And of course, in Italian style the whole groupo looks like it belongs together. The cockpit is 3t with the Ergonova carbon handle bar becoming one of my favorite handle bars to work with. The flare and drop isn't Salsa Cowbell style, but its enough to give the rider a little wider stance in the drops is they want it. The bike is rolling on the Industry Nine AR-25's. For weight, design and some good old American machining, these wheels really are pretty spectacular.
And of course, the paint. Bear said he wanted a Vespa green. So he and I scrolled through heeps of old Vespas as well as restorations to find the right color. We used a little light brown to give the frame some accents and then took it a bit further with the seat and bar tape. When I sent the frame and fork to paint, I asked Ollie of Dark Matter Finishing if he thought he could hit the target for the Vespa green. He said not only could he hit the mark, but he already knew the color as he had done a fair share of Vespa resto paints in his previous work.
Paint by Ollie at Dark Matter Finishing. Vespa Green (light olive not mint, hard to tell the difference until you see them next to each other) with Light Brown Cream.
Colorway Concept by Me with inspiration fed to me by Bear. Ollie's good call on the logo blacklining.
Bike Design and Photography by Olivetti Bicycles.
Jeff's Custom Loam Roamer 29 Adventure/XC
Gloss Black is always a gorgeous canvas. With all the murdered out matte black stuff out there, its nice to see something that looks super clean like this one. Jeff has long awaited this build. We finally landed on a design that was centered around his natural habitat; riding trail... A lot and for very long periods of time. My design goals for Jeff's bike were true to my mission concept; I wanted this to be Jeff's everyday all day bike. The bike that called to him when he was looking over his quiver. I hopefully succeeded. The characteristic for the design were, adventureable if thats a word, fun but quick geometry and light. That said, this Loam Roamer has space enough for a 1/2 frame bag, and plenty of clearance for a big bike packing seat bag. It also has 3 cage mounts with the low mount being any cage compatible. I wanted the frame to be light but still be stiff enough especially in the back for when its loaded, so the stays are custom shaped and oversized. (SS are 3/4" and CS are 7/8") I gave them some custom curves to stay nice and tucked in, and to protect the chainring area I scalloped in a piece of thick stainless. This provides adequate chainring clearance for a 36t ring, but could probably handle something in the 40t realm. As well it protects the stay area from any chain or other item issue that could happen there. The geometry is, in my mind, neuvo xc, with the more and more common 51mm offset as a 69 degree head angle. It has a mild case of forward front end, and the bb is a compromise between stable and not smashing your pedals in rocky stuff. Just pedaling it around after I built it up made me a bit jealous of the design. Components wise, the Fox Step Cast 32 is a 100mm travel fork, and oh man its light! We spec'd it with great WTB shoes (Trailboss 2.25 front, Ranger 2.25 rear) , and some Stan's ARCH wheels with 26mm internal width which work great and are overall a solid wheel in my opinion. The Shimano XT 8000 drivetrain...bomb proof! The rest is a rounding out of RaceFace front end and a Ritchey post.
Paint By Ollie at Dark Matter Finishing: Gloss Black with Fox Orange Logo and Seat Tube Tag.
Colorway Concept by Ollie, Me and Jeff.
Bike Design, Photography and Location by Olivetti Bicycle Company
Nick's Fillet Brazed Gravel Traveler
Nick's custom fully fillet brazed Gravel Traveler is a real head turner. It has a slight more road type geometry so its a bit more on the "all road" side of gravel, but if the needs require it can still take up to a 38c tire. We used some pretty light columbus tubing to keep the weight down and put a pretty tricked out build on it. Its a Force 22 hacked to Force 1 with the left shifter converted to actuate the dropper post for the times Nick wants to shred some gnar on Tam, or if he tries to nab a KOM decent. The dropper is the PNW Components Rainer 27.2 dropper and I custom routed routed it through the top tube for a classic road look. On that note I also chose to do a clean fastback seat stay attachment and gave the seat collar a bit of an old school point. Wheels are Nox carbon on Industry 9 hubs and sapim cx-ray spokes. Cockpit is 3t and shoes are WTB Exposure 32's.
Paint by Ollie Cleveland at Dark Matter Finishing: Colors: Gloss Lime Green, Sky Blue with Creamsicle outline.
Colorway Concept by Nick, Ollie and myself.
Design, Photography and Location by Olivetti Bicycle Company... hey thats me!
Justin's Dirt Kan
Here is the first incarnation of the "Dirt Kan." The idea of the bike design is to be a full fledged gravel endurace bike to ride the type of rides for which it is named The Dirty Kanza. It has a slightly longer head tube, longer chainstays and fork offset, along with slider or rocker dropouts to accomodate either single speed or just to be able to run the back end way out there to make for a more comfortable ride over those super long bumpy miles. Angles are generally what you would see in the newer gravel/road segment, but can be fully custom for those that are so inclined.
Paint by Ollie at Dark Matter Finishing
Concepting for paint design by Justin Hawkins (bike owner) and me.
Photographs by me.
shot on location in my back yard.
Day to Day on the Instagram