April 22nd, 2010

First off, if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not, please stop by on Saturday May 1 from 1-4pm for our annual Open Haus Extrordinaire. You will there meet a fine selection of our friends and bikes, and there will be food and drink and general carousing. Don’t miss it! Afterwards a bike contingent will be rolling down to the May Day rally at the Statehouse.

Among the bikes you hopefully will see is Benno’s fabulous randonneur sportif. This has been one of most labor intensive and rewarding bikes I’ve ever built. Sometimes we have customers who give use their measurements, maybe a general direction, and let us have at it. Benno is not that customer. He essentially designed the bike himself, providing me with a BikeCad drawing, and was involved in all the details, including the design of a new fork-blade bending fixture!

Well the frame is done and mostly built up, and Brian will be making a custom front rack… here it is before parts:

Details to note: box lining by Josie Morway, a rear brake cable stop design stolen shamelessly from Peter Weigle, grommets for the coming internally-routed lighting, posts for the Mafac brakes, spoke ends for the electrical routing… and of course the gorgeous and super-light G.P. Wilson dropouts. More on those in a sec.






And here are some more pictures of the bike in process. Note the custom plugs I machined that allow me to silver braze the G.P. Wilson stainless dropouts.



I used an internal plug for the chainstays, as I did on the fork tips, but a stepped internal/external for the very skinny biconical seat stays, similar to what I did for Eric’s belt drive bike. Those are Dedacciai seatstays, as are the chainstays; the main frame is Reynolds 853.


Old spokes are super handy. Here I’m using one to hold in place the front fender boss. Also to note: matching the Mafac posts to the width on the original.


I also did a restoration on John’s Nishiki. Here’s a picture of it as it came in (with an old downtube shifter boss repair we did a while back still in primer gray), followed by pics of the finished product. I also removed the old cable guides for the rear brake and added slotted stops:



Next: Dawson! Rachel! And Mike’s single speed/multi speed lugged beauty!

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 at 4:58 pm and is filed under Bike Building, Bike Painting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “OPEN HOUSE MAY 1, 1-4! BENNO’S RANDO-RAMA!”

  1. Ace says:

    April 25th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    EXCEPTIONAL work on Benno’s frame! The design, the execution, the details, and the paint, are all in a league by themselves. Frame #200 is truly a milestone! This frame and others that you and Brian have built recently are undisputable proof that I am living in a new era of great constructeurs! I look forward to seeing it at your open house with the custom front rack, and hopefully completely built-up. “Hmmm, I wonder what fenders Benno has in mind?”

  2. Big Bike Little Bike » Blog Archive » Stainless steel frames, complex front racks, and the big day. says:

    June 21st, 2010 at 6:05 am

    […] of the other projects I was working on recently was a rack designed by our friend Benno who Chris built a bike for earlier this year. This rack is designed to go with the fork that Chris […]

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