This build was a collaboration of what Paul knew he wanted and what we knew would make the build amazing. This bike is built for comfort with the hidden element of speed. The larger tyres and heavier frame may hinder acceleration but once on the move he’ll be flying with no effort at all.
The build was based around a Surly ECR frame finished in a shade of military green. This is a frame that is equipped for anything and everything. There is clearance for 3 inch 29er tyres and mounts for either a single speed or geared drivetrain, giving you the versatility to change the bikes setup in the future. The icing on the cake is the dedicated Rohloff torque arm mount, a necessity for Paul’s requirements. The fork isn’t to be ignored either with a huge number mounts for anything you want to attach and sturdy enough to carry anything you’re strong enough to steer with.
The drivetrain of the bike made up of a Race Face Turbine crank with direct mount chainring turning the Rohloff Speedhub 14 in the rear. This combination leaves the bike looking clean and uncluttered but still with a huge range enabling you to always be in the right gear. If you want an internally geared hub the Rohloff is always the one to go for, it is a hefty investment but will be propelling you for years to come, either just to work or on a round the world tour. It can do it all!
Once your up to speed there are a pair of Hope X2 brakes to slow you down. Not the newest brake by Hope but after a quick service form the experts in Barnoldswick they’re better than new. It just shows why investing in quality parts makes sense as you can just move them along to new bikes as ones need’s change.
Handlebars are usually an overlooked aspect of the build, but not this time. Paul wanted the famous Jones H-Bar, and of course we obliged. Such a great and unique bar design to match the style and ethos of their maker Jeff Jones. If you don’t know that name give it a google and you’ll be in for a serious treat, just hide the credit card! The H-Bar is a great alternative to drop bars giving multiple hand positions but not being forced into aggressive position. Most popular with adventurers and ultra endurance riders such as those of the Tour Divide.
The finishing touches were the rack, mudguards and Hope front light to keep things dry and visible. Full specification and gallery below.
Full Build Specification
Frame: Surly ECR
Fork: Surly ECR
Headset: Chris King Sotto Voce
Handlebars: Jones H-Bar
Bar Tape: Lizard Skin DSP
Shifter: Rohloff Twist Shifter
Stem: Thomson Elite X4
Seatpost: Thomson Elite Inline
Saddle: Brooks B17
Brake Levers: Hope Tech Evo
Brake Calipers: Hope Tech X2
Crankset: Raceface Turbine with Direct Mount Chainring
Bottom Bracket: Race Face Cinch BSA30
Rims: Stans Flow EX 29″
Spokes: Sapim Race
Front Hub: Hope PRO 4
Rear Hub: Rohloff Speedhub 14
Pitlock Security Set
Hope Front Light
Building a custom bike isn’t just buying separate components and assembling them onto a frame. It is the art of tailoring each component’s selection to the specific needs of each customer, informing them of all available options and their differences and guiding them to the final choice, all while remaining in their budget.
Howard’s build started when he came into the store looking for a winter frame to swap his current components onto. We started to discuss his requirements and showed him his options. After a few minutes it was clear that this wasn’t going to be a long-term solution and was just a stop gap measure. Howard wanted good disc brakes for winter stopping but was trying to avoid the extra outlay of new brakes and wheels just to make this change.
After looking at the Lynskey frames and testing a couple of bikes Howard knew titanium was a the only option for him, as were disc brakes, but he wasn’t sure which size would be best.
So a bike fit was the next step in the process.
The bike fit with Tony Corke consisted of fitting Howard to our adjustable jig and creating his optimum position – then transferring this onto a suitable frame.
After the fitting session Tony uses BikeCAD to create a virtual bike with the correct contact points and measurements. This is sent to the customer, as shown above, and can be used for new bikes or adjusting the position of anything currently in the customers fleet.
It was at this point that Howard decided that the Lynskey was not the best option for him and took the upgrade to a handbuilt custom Wittson Titanium frame.
This gave Howard the freedom to sit down with Tony and consider all the minute details of the frame to make the bike exactly what he wanted.
Once all the details were confirmed the dimensions and design was sent off to Wittson for approval and building. This is the only negative of the custom build process – the waiting, but when you consider a titanium bike is for life, waiting a few months isn’t all that long in reality.
Once the frame arrived we confirmed the component choice with Howard. It’s only too common that with a wait for the frame options can change and new products can come to market.
Upon arrival of the parts the bike was assembled and test ridden. It’s at this stage when you take the first pedal stroke that you’ll know if it’s all gone right and this build definitely did!
Finally the reveal! The moment a customer sees their new bike is the reason we love to do custom builds.
We want every build to exceed the customer’s expectations and this one definitely did. From knowing it felt amazing just up and down the road to hearing it had been ridden solidly through the abysmal Christmas weather without missing a beat.
Another job well done, happy customer with a superb custom build – what more could we want?
Frame: Wittson Titanium frame with integrated seat mast and topper
Forks: Whisky No. 7
Headset: Chris King InSet 7 Black
Finishing Kit: Easton EA70
Saddle: Brooks Cambium C17 Carved
Groupset: Campagnolo Chorus 11
Brakes: TRP Spyre
Hubs: Chris King R45 Disc
Rims: Stans Alpha 400
Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
Tyres: Schwalbe One 700 x 28c Tubeless
We love creating handbuilt bikes for our customers. Every machine that leaves our workshop is a story and a piece of art and a damn practical mode of transport, all rolled into one.
Here are just a few of the latest builds and a little bit of the story behind each.
Thes gorgeous Cinelli Vigorelli frame is perhaps our favourite of all the Italian brand’s models. The one pictured is the Barcelona Red Hook special edition, which we’ve built with lairy, all-black components and deep section carbon rims.
This Mixte Reynolds townie is the perfect example of simple, elegant and above all, practical bike design. Drum brakes give it consistent stopping, the Brooks saddle and grips boost the comfort factor, while the internal gears and Velo Orange guards are going to keep things clean. Perfect for grisly city weather!
We love titanium and we love Lynskey, the brand that created this frame for one of our recent road builds. It’s tough, fast and with those 32c tyres it can even handle gravel. Grrrr!
Last but not least is this gorgeous 8bar fixie, with Mike Giant x Cinelli griptape and fierce Mavic rims. We love the look of this build and we know you do too.
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