They say that a change is as good as a rest and not being on Instagram everyday seems to have been the change we needed. We miss seeing what our respected friends and peers are up to, of course, but in all honesty there is a certain peace that comes from not not looking or subconsciously giving in to all the comparisons. Not noticing shitty copying has been a weight off our minds too.
Mrs August is officially on the mend after being hit by a car and celebrating a long overdue huge step up in her career, our Christmas tree is all but a big twig after the small one realised she could hit it and make all the needles fall off and I got back in the workshop properly and actually managed a productive week.
First off, we finally got Mark's frame back from powder. As we said on Instagram, he has been an absolute prince amongst men, patiently waiting for his one-off custom frame and being nothing short of a fun, open and perfect customer. He also often brings locally roasted coffee beans when he visits, so he clearly knows the way to our hearts.
Mark commissioned this 29+ hardtail. It's fully rigid and is non-suspension corrected. It's a mix of Columbus tubing with a 4130 chromoly seat tube that we curved in-house (yes we sell these!). Mark is really into 90s mountain bikes with bullet-tipped chain and seat stays, so of course, we got amongst it and put our own spin on things because Syntace dropouts wouldn't work with everything, but where there's a milling machine (or two), there's a way. We carried the tips onto the brake mounts, the fork ends and the bridge too, for a little continuity.
As always, we included custom headtube rings, an integrated seat binder and it has stealth dropper post routing too, for a super clean look. The routing is internally sleeved to negate the need for tiresome cable-fishing and the downtube also has the rear brake hose inside it.
It can be run single speed or geared at a later date thanks to Syntace dropouts that have a bolt-on derailleur hanger, allowing for a wireless groupset when old man knees kick in.
Finished in a French navy powdercoat and with all stainless braze-on logos given a brushed look, this is a really chic shredder.
The other frame we collected is one of many we have built for Will, but this one came a cropper thanks to a branch in the spider. A locked wheel and a dented frame meant a repair was necessary and Will took the opportunity to spice up the powdercoat colour too. Previously more of a Cambridge blue, it has been given a neon green refresh, which will help it to blend in with one of his other custom bikes, seen here.
We have a lot of love for the frames we build Will. They always come from a place of excitement and wanting to do something weird and wonderful, but still functional. Though the one bike we already have booked in for him next year is going to be a lot different...watch this space.
We found time to make a bicycle hub tamper this week too. We are going to try and make one a week next year, as so many of you love them and are on the waiting list for specific items, but this little Dura Ace number is available now. Hand machined from catering grade stainless steel, it currently sits at 58mm diameter but we can custom size for your portafilter for no extra cost. Get in touch if you'd like to claim it.
Let's talk about availability for 2021. Basically, we have none, when it comes to custom bikes and frames. We've been exceptionally fortunate to have a number of brilliant people get in touch and book build slots, some as far back as early 2019 and we cannot wait to get to your builds. We are also not taking on any that we aren't genuinely fully invested in.
If we aren't on the same page about design, ethics or professional courtesy, we simply won't waste either of our time. There will be a builder to suit you perfectly and if we happen to know who they might be, we will point you in their direction. We are not yes-people. We almost became them this year with a project, but mounting issues from both sides and concerns about the way our painter was spoken to led to the project being cancelled and we think it was a positive move for all concerned. Not every project has to be taken and not every builder is right for you, so a few questions, a chat and some interaction will tell us if we are a good fit pretty quickly and let's all go on instinct, with no battered egos or hurt feelings. Honestly? It's just lovely to be considered.
We are available for smaller projects though and there have been a lot of custom stem orders coming in this week, which is amazing. Thank you! Stems, racks, wheels, unusual bits and pieces, CAD work and any and all Bullitt and custom Bullitt enquiries are all most welcome. As are bike and frame enquiries that have no short deadlines! Again, we've had something brewing for one of our next customers for two years and honestly? We are just getting more excited by the day. It's going to be an incredible build for a super nice guy that is open to our ideas. The dream!
Shithead of the week: Well. We've been thinking long and hard about this one. Mrs August vetoed the idea of a flashback shithead, so I'm going to have to nominate myself. We got some feedback from a wheel customer that read...a little snippily in email. I know, I know. You can't judge tone, yada yada. BUT Amy called him and it transpired that he has Asperger syndrome. Talk about feeling like a dick for getting defensive! We are fully experienced in having open dialogues surrounding Asperger's, so please guys, if you have it and feel comfortable enough, tell us when we work together! There's no judgement, just a frank discussion about those small details that are really important to you. We want you to be 100% happy, not mostly happy with a few sleepless nights thrown in because we didn't line something up the way you prefer. Let's not just talk the talk about mental health and being supportive; let's live it, learn from it and contribute in a positive way each day. Otherwise we are just performative shitheads every week.
Have as merry a Christmas as you can, depending on where in the world you are and hopefully we will see you next week guys! (Now I have a machine gun) ho-ho-ho!