... A BICYCLE BUILT FOR MISADVENTURE.
What the hell is it? Well it’s an idea that’s been brewing for a few years now, a bicycle that doesn’t really know what it is... it’s not one of those do-it-all bicycles that will do everything perfectly because, honestly, that bike doesn’t exist. That’s why we like it...
It’s a bike we want to see used inapropriately, a bicycle used for misadventure. Take it to the local time trial (and try really hard) take it to the skatepark, go for a long ride and load the bag with all the tasty snacks, strap your life to it and take it around the world, or just use it to head in to town and pick up the shopping. Whatever you want, it just needs using...
So this is our first go at a production bicycle, a weird sort of useful utility bicycle made with a lot of fun in mind. This is us scratching our own itch, the bike we would like to put our leg over most often. It’s loosely based around the geometry of early 90’s mountain bikes, fast and fun, but you really had to ride it. Perhaps if you get it, then you get it.
We're making these in small batches. It's pretty simple... there's three checkpoints along the way, we'll call it Order, Build and Ride. We open the order window, and you pay the deposit, when the window closes, we start building. Checkpoint 2 and we're getting all of the parts together and checkpoint 3 and we're sending the batch to paint and building and packing them up. To make it easier on your side, we split the payment in to three equal parts, so you pay a smaller chunk at each stage.
The price for the full build is £4350, so that breaks down to 3 equal payments of £1450. Please note, this is a very limited batch run. From order to delivery we expect to take 7 - 9 weeks, so orders placed now will ship in November.
The idea wasn't to hold back on the special little details, that's such an important thing for us... the closer you look the more you see, in fact we've added quite a few more. Everything is done in the workshop, by Timmy and Thomas. It's usually done the slow way, but we love the details... here's some of what goes in to making an EDC...
We knew that a straight up gloss or matte finish wasn't going to work for this bike... it had to be brutal, industrial and utilitarian, but still be super high quality and with our attention to details. We worked hard with Cole coatings and developed this rubble paint, our own recipe developed from a super hard wearing truck flat bed paint, but applied with finesse. There are two textures going on, one as a super hard wearing finish all over and the other with extra texture in the places where the bike will get most abuse. This batch comes in Black or Black (well it's really a very dark grey).
Custom brass bar ends
We have a 4mm brass plate expertly engraved with the RF monogram, a brass plug is then turned on the old 1929 Southbend lathe before we sweat them together with silver. It's then back on to the lathe to turn the RF plate to the right radius, and soften the edges. We then see how close to centre the RF was eyed in, we could measure it to be precise but it's more fun this way... they're usually a bit wonky, but we think that adds to the charm.
Stainless steel Tombstone rack mounts
This is the kind of stuff that really makes a difference to us. There's more than one way to do this, but we believe in the mantra of 'how you do something, is how you do everything.' We got a little obsessive over this detail, the simple rack mount. the result was this little stainless guy, that goes through 2 operations on the Southbend, before heading over to the mill, then the pillar drill with the hole countersunk to take these little stainless bolts. The edges are finished by hand with the file, each one chamfered slightly differently. They're then silvered in to the rack tubing with a tiny overlap so that the paint has a crisp line to come up to. It's an operation that takes way too long, but it's what makes the difference to us. Oh and check out the little hemp twine cable tie. Yum.
Sweet sweet chestnut crate
From the local wood yard we get the finest bundles of riven sweet chestnut laths. These would traditionally be used to clad timber framed walls before a wattle and daub or lime plaster was applied. And it just so happens that they also work really well for making bicycle racks. Sweet chestnut is strong and light, and pretty flexible. They're cut to size with a Japanese hand saw lined up by eye on your rack and marked and numbered (look for the pencil marks) before being drilled on the Fobco drill. We then apply a secret formula (not secret... beeswax and linseed oil warmed in the microwave) and get messy to make sure they last the elements. They're then bundled up and labelled with your name, ready for when the rack comes back from paint. It's then on to the little anvil, where each slat is hand hammered to the rack with copper rivets, which are then peened to remove any sharp edges.
Waxed cotton and canvas stuff bag
It's something I've wanted to make for a few years, in fact the Blue tourer with the original sweet chestnut crate was made to have a little bag in it. The idea is to have a bag that you can throw anything at, that will withstand the elements, keep your cargo safe and be easy to find stuff. We went for a large roll top, waxed canvas on the outside in slate with a heavy slubby canvas interior. As always it's made to get better with age, the canvas and leather tabs, will all darken and show signs of life. The really clever part is that when it's on the bike, the tabs on the bag with eyelets sit on top of our little turned brass posts. A tiny threaded hole in the post holds a sprung grub screw so it pops on and off with a satisfying clunk. And like the crate, the bag is reinforced with heavy duty copper rivets. And if you should ever wear a hole through over the years, the bag comes with a little patch and thread repair kit. If it's anything that seems more complicated, then send it back to us and we will repair it and patch it up for you. We can't wait to see what they're looking like in years to come.
Geometry and Sizing...
This is where we think this bike gets really interesting. We wanted a ride that was capable of taking on the rough stuff, but would stay nimble, flickable and fun. What the hell does that mean? Well the stack and reach are based loosely on what's a comfortable position on a road bike when you're on the hoods. the head angle is a little slacker, it's actually pretty close to an old early 90's Stumpjumper, if you remember those.
We're running these in Small, Medium and Large, to cover most bases. Have a look to see which size will fit you best. If you have any questions about which may work best for you then please just shoot us an email.
This part was kind of easy... it goes along with the ethos of the bike, if you could ride any bike, with any parts, what would you go for?... so these are the best parts we can think of, no compromises. A lot of what we use are from our friends in the US, we considered staying local, but the bike industry is part of one world, and these are the parts that given the choice, we go for. Paul Comp takes care of the cockpit and post with Love levers and thumbies, which are 11sp micro shift and a Tall and Handsome 27.2mm post. Stopping is provided by Paul Klampers, delicious. If you have ever wondered what the absolute best cables you can get, no expenses spared, then you would look no further than these Japanese beauties, the Yokozuna reaction. White Industries features heavily with the XM11 hubs, M30 1x chainset and their brand new headset. Contact points are stood on the ultra slim and super grippy Gamut Podiums. Brooks provide the C15 Cambium seat and the bar tape, which is cushioned under the cotton tape and finished with our thin hemp twine. The bike rolls on a fast but cushy set of rubbers from Compass, the Rat Trap pass.
So that's the Rowan Frameworks EDC, a bicycle built for misadventure...
RELEASE DATE : Friday September 1st 10:00am GMT until sold out.
We hope you like it. A load more details and FAQ's out next week and please feel free to get in touch with any questions here... EDC@rowanframeworks.com