Well, here we are again! It's been a busy week and we are ready to tell you all about what's happening, but first, a moment of honesty. We're sitting in the workshop office writing this, listening to a shockingly bad playlist on Spotify and we are typing to Shaggy's It Wasn't Me. We're not proud of it but it is what it is and we're always transparent. Fucking hell, Shaggy was a SHIT rapper though. Maybe second only to that Sean Paul knobber.
The August Bicycles Townie ordering process
It's happening guys. So many of you have been in touch for more info and we REALLY appreciate it. Obviously, we revealed how much the framekit is going to cost last week and gave you some info about what that includes. Now, we want to go into some extra details so you understand exactly why we've chosen certain features.
If you are hoping for an idea of full build costs, we are aiming for £2k with a 1x groupset. This will include mudguards and Brooks Cambium contact points.
The technical stuff:
Segmented fork – We built the original with this style, so there was no way we were going lugged or unicrown for this run.
Integrated headset – The original show-winner used this type of headset, we custom
machined the cups to a shape of our liking as this gave a great simple aesthetic for the cockpit of the bike. We have done the same for this batch. The frame will come reamed and faced, the headset bearings literally drop into the frame, no press tools or hammers/blocks of wood needed to install them, plus they are cheap and easy to source. If they are tough enough for BMX use, they will be more than enough for this.
Stem – Part of the overall build of the first townie was the custom stem. This integrates the upper headset bearing cover into the steerer clamp and is another custom-machined part that mimics the shape of the headset cups. If you choose not to have a stem as part of your build, a custom headset cover will come with the frame kit instead. This has the same shape as the cover that is built into the stem to keep that nice clean look. The stem will be supplied with a 31.8mm handlebar clamp, as this gives a wider range of handlebar options that can be used. 25.4mm and 26mm handlebars can still be used if you source the necessary shim (we can help).
Rack – The rack that is supplied with the framekit will be built using the same spec chromoly tubing as the original, but the mounting style will be simplified, to make the build more budget-friendly and allows easy mounting of aftermarket racks/luggage holders if necessary. Dyed In The Wool have kindly said they will be on hand to make bespoke bags to the exact rack specs, if any of you need extra gorgeousness.
Eccentric Bottom Bracket – The frames will be built with a 46mm I/D PF30 bottom bracket. This allows the use of an eccentric bottom bracket that allows chain tensioning at the chainset. We have used sliding dropouts and track style dropouts for chain tensioning, and while both have their merits, we prefer the EBB route. The sliding dropouts are great as they keep the disc calliper and rotor in the correct position relative to each other, but the 6mm thick alloy slider is bolted to a 6mm thick steel static dropout which makes the rear end of the bike super wide. I personally have had issues with heel strike on the chainstays due to the additional width. Track style dropouts are a pain to remove the rear wheel when there is a derailleur thrown into the mix or if you are running mudguards.
An EBB allows the dropouts/disc mount/derailleur hanger to be standard, the wheel drops out vertically, preventing mudguard issues and the wheel will always be placed in the same position, keeping single speed chain tension constant. With the EBB you can also gain yourself a little extra BB height, run the bike fixed and avoid pedal strike! Win, win, WIN.
Dropouts – We use our own CNC machined dropouts on these bikes, made from 4130
chromoly plate with stainless steel mounting faces for the rear wheel. The derailleur hanger is replaceable and we also supply a hangerless insert that can be bolted in place if you are using an internal gear hub or running single-speed. This means no derailleur mount hanging in the breeze like a spare part.
Cable routing – The frame has provisions for full-length outer cable housings, the guides on the chainstays are static, the downtube guides are modular bolt-on so you can chop and change depending on your cable retention needs.
Tubing – The fork, stem and rack are made from aircraft-grade chromoly, the frame Is built from a blend of Columbus Zona and a couple of grades of Reynolds Tubing.
Brake mounts – The original bike had a pretty fancy brake mount setup, but this allowed
the use of only one calliper style and rotor size We have built the townie with IS Standard
brake mounts, to create maximum flexibility when it comes to your disc brake choice.
Other bits – The frame is designed around 100mm QR front hub and 135mm QR rear. The
seatpost is 27.2mm, the steerer/stem is 1 1/8” all very set in stone standards. Parts will be
available easily and for a long time. You probably have some bits in your spares box that
could be used to build the bike. Wheel Size is 650b, clearance is for 47c tyres with no ‘guards or 42c with them. This is based on the wheels and tyres that we have here in the workshop, there may be other combinations out there that measure slightly different in real life.
We are opening the deposits NOW. If you are interested, we have popped an item in our shop that allows you to pay £1. This gives you access to our terms and conditions. You need to read through them really carefully and if you are still happy to proceed, send us a signed copy to email@example.com (all in the document) and Mrs A will invoice you the remaining £499 for your deposit. This is the standard deposit amount whether you are having a framekit only or a full build. Deposit slots will close on June 30th at midnight. We will then build all the bikes in July, ready for delivery in August. Mrs A will be in constant contact with you all, to make sure we know what colours you have chosen and have your custom sizing info in good time.
If you're within easy driving distance to us, we will most likely deliver to you for fuel costs, as this will keep things cheaper and safer. Yes, we consider London an easy distance!
Mrs A's commuter is at the powdercoater now but with an estimated turnaround of two to three weeks, so please see our Instagram pics of it and of our original Townie for more inspiration. Remember: you can have any colour scheme, including our infamous beige and orange.
What the fuck is gainful self-employment?
We had reason to ponder this question recently. When you have a good accountant, they make sure you stay legal and honest, but also that you don't have to pay more tax than is necessary. Well, apparently, this can make you seem like you're not gainfully self-employed. So...we're guessing most people aren't?
Don't get us wrong, it's not something we bemoan. Our outgoings are very small and we are as self-sufficient and self-motivated as possible, but having your existence boiled down to the concept of whether or not you're taking a £40k+ wage or not feels...dystopian. Ah, we have a Tory government. That explains it!
We just wanted to say that if you're paying your bills with your own business, don't rely on a side hustle and answer to nobody but yourself, you might not be gainfully self-employed but you're fucking doing it. You're living the so-called dream, maybe just in slightly less fantastical ways. So congrats and keep going.
False allyship and why it can fuck off!
Well, it's here, PRIDE MONTH! So you all know what that means: corporate rainbow-washing and declarations of allyship (apart from Chick-Fil-A in the States, they're just bigots all year round). Why is this an issue? Well. Where do we start? First off, allyship, as we understand and subscribe to it is a permanent status, not a trendy month-long marketing campaign. Secondly, going all out to declare what a staunch ally you are for 30 days centres the dialogue around the wrong people.
Are we allies? Absolutely. Do we rainbow-up our profiles? No. But we will stand with everyone that feels comfortable having us with them, 365 days a year. And we will call out big companies that should know better, do better and help people live safely.
We haven't made anything new this week, BUT. We can wholeheartedly recommend the new Kallo caramelised onion lentil cakes. We like a smear of peanut butter on top. Pretty fucking boss and...you can do two, stick them peanut-sides together and go out with a handy, flat, riding snack. NICE. Even fits in a Rapha jersey. We assume.
Fuck me. Travis just came on this diabolical early 2000s playlist. Time to skip and then continue. Why does it always rain on you Travis? Maybe because you write garbage songs that sound like you're moaning all the bloody time. Perhaps you are manifesting the shitty weather...
Swear of the week
Last week's entry was popular. It led to a Dictionary Corner-style definition in Mrs A's posh voice and plenty of messages to say it had been used. We particularly enjoyed that some of you took it into your workplace and introduced it to a new audience. Lovely stuff.
This week, we are going with a longstanding household favourite and there will be a reel tomorrow to further emphasise the pronunciation of:
PUBIC-HAIRED RUBBISH FUCKER
A wonderfully longwinded way of referring to someone who is simply a twat. It tends to confuse your opponent as well, leaving you with enough of a gap to win an argument and shut them down completely.
"Anyone ever tell you what a pubic-haired rubbish fucker you really are Barry?"
"Eh/what did you just call me/whattt?"
*uses Street Fighter voice* "FINISH HIM."
August's photo casebook
We have the best of intentions to do this then it seems like so much work. However, photos have been taken for next week's, so it'll be (not at all) worth the wait.
Instagram story questions
We asked if there was anything you wanted to know, so here are your questions and our answers.
1. Why is it socially unacceptable to wear a sombrero 24/7?
The simple answer here is that it isn't. What is the difference between that and you wearing a beanie/bobble hat/ top hat? Is it the cultural appropriation element because you aren't a Mexican citizen? Well, that could be a problem, but if you're wearing it because you love it, are grateful for the opportunity and feel happy with it on, where's the harm? Nobody seems to have an issue with berets being worn outside France...
2. What's with the lack of 'your mumma' jokes?
We are shit at telling jokes and your mumma ones are always centred around weight/dragon lady status. We'll leave these to Jimmy Tarbuck et al. They get away with them!
3. What about the lack of representation for women, non-binary and trans people in framebuilding?
A huge issue and one that filters into what has been happening at Thundercrit too. Lack of representation comes from ignorance and those in power being unwilling to expand platforms to include everybody. It's shameful, dangerous and inhumane. The right to be SEEN is one that everybody on this earth should possess as a matter of course. We want to talk about this in-depth with people more knowledgable and personally affected than us, which is why we are opening our platform. Find out more next week.
4. What about a mother-in-law joke?
Ok! "My mother-in-law is an angel." "Lucky you, mine's still fucking alive."
5. What's the current status of parts and materials? Are shortages still affecting you?
Yes, they are! Some parts are still showing expected delivery dates of 2023 and beyond. We've never seen it so bad plus, the margins have been squeezed even more. You might not realise it, but many of us are making no money at all on build kits and parts, as we try to price-match online retailers. In some cases, Wiggle is selling components for less than our trade price from the official UK distributor. We wish were were joking here, but we aren't.
We are trying to tackle this by designing and machining as much as we possibly can ourselves while being very grateful for more influential companies within the sector that love and help us out.
6. How are you?
Good and bad but we are so grateful that you asked. Thank you.
7. Thoughts and feelings on the Thundercrit drama?
This. Is. Tricky. Our first thought is that we all have yet another reason for Boris Johnsson to fall down a bottomless manhole, as once again his thoughtless and inexperienced commentary has put an innocent person in danger. The second is that the right-wing media in the UK is a perfect case for removing the press' freedom of speech and that comes from a household with a journalist in it. However, this is removing the focus from the amazing riders that competed and that's what feels off to us.
Here is our 10 pence-worth on the 'drama'. Emily Bridges won Thundercrit. Lilly Chant came second. Both identify as women. Whether or not you agree with the gender-neutral race is a personal opinion and doesn't change that it happened and will happen again. What we think can be agreed upon is that the way the race was reported on has been a fucking disgrace. The seven riders in the race have all stated that they were delighted to take part and that should be the end of it. Emily, Lilly and every other rider in that race category are talented sportspeople that could, thankfully, outpace a pitchfork-wielding mob with ease. BUT THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE TO. The riders enjoyed the race and had nothing bad to say, so why are bigots diving in?
It's a bike race. Someone won because they were the fastest. It was a woman called Emily. Congrats to her. But you know how it goes...you can't spell BIGOTRY without BRO and we think that's where a lot of the issues have stemmed from. An old fashioned mindset with some indignance thrown in that maybe identifying as male isn't the be-all-and-end-all.
Backslaps and call-outs
Nick, for always bringing the mental health check-ins.
The thousands of people watching our reels! We are getting into it now. Please share/save/remix them with our blessing! And help us pretend we know what we are talking about.
Those of you who still buy us coffee, you are amazing.
Shaggy, for giving us the nostalgia punt this evening.
Farm shops. Good shit.
Boris Johnsson. The Daily Mail. The Daily Express. AKA ALL FASCISTS AND BIGOTS.
Our daughter for not eating anything at Yo Sushi! then claiming to be hungry when we got home.
You, if you're looking to see if your name is here (that means it should be).
Politicians telling everyone to "just get better-paid jobs" or "work more".
Whoever decided to make a couple too many series of Archer. It was good. Leave it alone!
See you next week!