July 15th, 2008 Hugh
This custom steel road bike is built around long reach caliper brakes with lots of room for 700x32C tires. The owner will be commuting into Guelph with the bike as well as road riding, so we’ve set the bike up with two sets of wheels – Ultegra SL wheels for road riding, and handbuilt wheels using DT Swiss TK 7.1 trekking rims, DT Competition Spokes and 36H Ultegra hubs for gravel road and commuter riding. The bike is built up with Ultegra SL, Shimano long reach calipers, Selle Italia Flight GelFlow saddle, Salsa 46cm Pro Road Handlears and a Chris King Headset.
June 18th, 2008 Hugh
I think this beautiful touring bike deserves a little extra attention. In addition to being custom made, by hand, in Canada, like all True North bikes, I’ll try to show you some of the details that make this custom touring bicycle even more special!
The bike is a classically styled touring bike with 700C wheels and compact road gearing. The bike is designed for faster touring with light-to-medium loads. The frame and fork will fit 700x35C tires and fenders easily, necessitating cantilever brakes and a slight bend to the seat and chainstays.
There are bosses for three bottle cages. Other than extra water carrying capacity, some people use the third cage to carry a stove fuel bottle, keeping any potential fuel leakage away from the rest of the gear. The black band on the seat tube is a chain catcher, which prevents chain-falls on the inside of the crank, which can really save your day, not to mention the paint!
‘Hourglass’ style rack braze-ons provide lots of thread engagement, and do not provide a path for water to enter the seat stays. The threaded insert under the seat-stay bridge (and the matching insert on the chain-stay bridge) provide a secure anchor for the rear fender.
Chromed chainstays provide extra protection. Under the paint, the chroming extends over the bottom bracket shell and up the seatstays for durability. Double eyelets ease the mounting of a rack and fenders, and give some redundancy in case of an incident. A 12-27T cassette combined with the 50/34T compact crank provide gearing suitable for the bike’s intended purpose.
As with all our bikes, parts selection is completely individualized for the customer. We can suggest parts that compliment your intended use and budget, or we can source the exact parts you desire. This bike features Shimano Ultegra hubs and drivetrain with an upgrade to the precise and reliable Dura-Ace shifters.
A carbon touring fork with lowrider and fender bosses is used. With an aluminum steerer, the fork is light, but durable enough for touring. Paul’s Touring Canti’s provide the stopping power. The Paul’s canti’s reliably provide an amazing amount of brake force when they are set up right.
I can’t say enough good things about Chris King headsets. They are pricey, but will pay for themselves in lifespan. The bearings are stainless steel (balls and races) – this makes them essentially impervious to water intrusion. Most importantly, they come in a great range of colours!
With a custom bike come custom paint. The bike is painted with candy red panels, silver bands and lettering on a candy orange frame. The fork is painted to match and the cromed chainstays are left unpainted. The candy colours are a tinted clear coat that is sprayed over a base (metallic silver). This produces a colour that is deeper and richer than anything you have seen. All told there are five distinct coats of paint on this frame.
Handbuilt wheels finish of the bike. DT Swiss double butted spokes lace Shimano Ultegra hub to DT Swiss TK7.1 rims. The TK rims are exceptional – they feature double eyelets and a welded seam. These rims are very precise and build a very true, evenly tensioned, durable wheel. Brass nipples are used as the corrosion resistance greatly extends the maintainable life of the wheels as compared to aluminum nipples.