by Michael Yakubowicz
Today on the NAHBS floor we are focusing on Canadian and Aussies at the show.
First, the Australian entry: Bastion Cycles was born this past year in Melbourne, the brainchild of three engineers. They brought this impressive road disc bike to the show, a combination of filament-wound carbon main tubes with 3D-printed titanium lugs, offering the stiffness of carbon, with the vibration absorption and customization of titanium.
Each bike is crafted for its end-user, with a choice of one of three carbon layups for optimal stiffness, and unlimited customization in terms of geometry, meaning you can build anything from a road racer to a gravel grinder. Right now, Bastion only offers electric cable routing and disc braking with thru-axle rear, a sign of things to come.
Now, on to the Canadians!
Danielle Schon of Schon Studios is a Toronto builder with serious welding chops who wanted to push her technical abilities with this NAHBS showstopper, attempting elements that she’d never worked with before. This was her first time working with stainless tubing and first time carving her own lugs.
The head tube logo is hand-carved with a stainless inlay for some visual pop. Steel tapered fork crowns don’t exist; she had to make her own by using a tapered Paragon steer tube and chopping up a generic cast fork crown, brazing them together and shaping things into something fork-like. She machined tapered internal plugs for the fork and rear dropouts because she’d “never seen them before and wanted a streamlined look.”
Since bottom bracket flex is a notorious annoyance with track bikes, Danielle machined a thicker gage stainless steel insert at the BB, which slides into the existing seat tube and connects with a joint similar to the lugs.
These are all inspired designs from this local artist, but the most important detail of all is this: the bike is donut inspired.
No. 22 builds titanium bikes in upstate New York, but is owned by two Torontonians, Mike Smith and Bryce Gracey. After more than eighteen months of prototyping, revising and incorporating rider feedback, their new Old King is a cross-country race ready 29” wheeled hardtail. The Old King blends the classic durability and trail-smoothing ride quality of titanium with decidedly modern stiffness and handling. Using large diameter and heavily sculpted chainstays, oversized, fully butted main tubes and stout seatstays, the Old King turns, pedals and accelerates on par with the best carbon frames available.
As a clean-sheet design, the Old King boasts a number of standard features such as BOOST rear thru- axle spacing, an oversized head tube allowing for tapered forks, thoughtful, adaptable cable routing and a T47-threaded bottom bracket shell. The Old King’s geometry is cross country race oriented, but with enough front end stability to make it a perfect trail riding partner. While No. 22 often stands out for their road, CX and gravel bikes, this new 29’er opened some eyes at the show.
Patrick Cycle Works is a small-scale local Toronto builder who started up in early 2014, run solely by Patrick Gauci, who specializes in steel fillet brazed and lugged frames. Patrick’s stated goal is building affordable, custom frames for the everyday rider who seeks more performance, style, or exclusivity than an off-the-shelf frame.
Patrick brought his own personal bike to NAHBS this year, comprised of True Temper OX Platinum tubing for inspired performance. With a hand carved head tube sleeve, subtle hand cut seat tube sleeve, and matching fork and custom stem, Patrick has managed to infuse his bike with a touch of panache at a very fair price point.
Check back tomorrow for our final day of additional coverage.
Michael Yakubowicz is the founder of Toronto’s Blacksmith Cycle bike shop, as well as CEO of Stage-Race Distribution. He is in Sacramento for NAHBS to meet with Blacksmith’s custom bicycle fabricators and to check out other cool stuff at the show.