My next bike is being made for me in Stoke on Trent from Reynolds 853 steel tubing by Rourke Cycles. I intend it to be my forever bike. I wanted a steel frame for two reasons: the legendary ride quality and because it can be made-to-measure whereas carbon can’t.
Of course when you want to order a made-to-measure bike you have to be measured. The process took about 3½ hours; it involved fitting various different-sized parts to my existing bike until my riding position was perfect. Once I was in a good position the relative positions of the saddle-top, bottom-bracket and handlebars were measured. The frame dimensions are then worked out so that when my selected seat-post, saddle, stem, bars, headset, fork and wheels are installed I will be in the same riding position we already determined to be perfect.
The advantage of doing this on my existing bike is that it is now set up to ride as similarly as possible to how the new one will feel; this means I can do some long rides and report back any problems while there is still a chance to change things. I didn’t find any issues, but it was comforting to have the capability.
As they say on their website, the hardest part is picking the colours. I want my bike to look fairly old-fashioned, so I’ve gone with a solid red frame other than two white panels containing the maker’s name in black in a cursive style. The forks will be painted in the same red to hide their carbon nature.
For the drivetrain and brakes I have the SRAM Rival group; I have had Shimano before and didn’t like the way the brake lever moves side-to-side, and although I preferred the looks of Campagnolo Athena (no visible carbon) I found that I did not like the shift-lever positions.
Stem, seat-post and handlebars will come from Easton’s EA70 line, in black; saddle will be a Specialized Romin, in black; pedals will be Speedplay Zeros in black; bar tape will be black cork. The frame will have braze-ons for mudguards and a rack and will be supplied with both mudguards and the rack fitted.
Hopefully I have now enumerated everything except wheels, which will be the Campagnolo Zonda wheels I mentioned in an earlier post.