is a one-of-a-kind - the first and (so far) only Velo Esprit Randonneuse.
a long time I've been wanting to try my hand at building a lugged
steel frameset. When I found out my friend Kara's brother had built
several I immediately contacted him about teaching me how to do
it. Over the course of several weekends he guided me through the
process from full scale blue print to mitering tubes, setting up
the jig, pinning joints, cleaning and tweaking lugs, curving fork
blades, checking alignment, silver brazing... It was very much a
hands on experience. Kurt would show me what to do but he let me
do most of it myself. When all was said and done we had built my
randonneuse frameset. From there it was off to Davinci Cycles (local
tandem builders) to have Brian paint her in Emerald green and Storm
titanium. I designed decals with the help of William Anderson Jr.
and Jen Green took my design for a headbadge and turned it into
bike jewelry (it's even sterling silver). I had a grand time doing
this and definitely plan to build more in the future. I think the
frameset turned out quite well - not bad for a first timer whose
never picked up a torch before.
build details are as follows:
56x56 frameset with Henry James lugs (polished stainless steel dropouts
- took a bit of work to get them good and shiny).
- Nitto 136AA bars with Cane Creek brake levers, shellac'ed tape,
Purely Custom end plugs
- Ibis ti stem (with decals removed and liberally polished)
- Tektro cantis with Velo Orange brake cable hangers
- Nitto front rack (still need to make attachment for front fender)
- Honjo hammertone fenders
- Mavic rims, Campagnolo Record hubs, Grand Bois Cypres tires
- Sugino crankset with Velo Orange Grand Cru bb, Crank Bros. Eggbeater
- Campagnolo Centaur front, Veloce rear derailleurs, Simplex Retrofriction
- Brooks saddle, Nitto "boat tail" seat post
- Gilles Berthoud or Nigel Smythe front bag (depending on mood)
- Still need to work out the lighting
forward to putting lots of miles under her wheels. Oh, about the
name, "Velo Esprit" - two meanings here. Of course the most obvious
being "Cycling Spirit" or "Bike Spirit" (no, not the ghostly spirit).
But also, my Saluki's name is Esprit.