Having booked flights from Perth for himself and a truck ride from Geelong for his bike, Forest had us put the final touches on this perfect build from Baum.
SILVER'S RAWLAND SOGN
We held onto this bike longer than we should've - it's an amalgamation of the original build of a Rivendell and this beautiful Rawland frameset. We kept it pretty stock, with nothing that was usable thrown out, and added some pretty, functional touches to make the commute that much nicer - think Compass, Velo Orange, and of course that Surly front rack.
SEAL'S LIGHTWEIGHT URGESTALT
Occasionally-but-all-too-often, our friends get hit by cars while riding their bikes. Seal (of #treadlycx fame) had her now unreplaceable fancy carbon race bike destroyed in a fistfight with a 2-tonne demon that also left her with a fractured hand and unable to work for weeks on end.
I wanted to tell the story of this Lightwight Urgestalt build, but it all feels a bit too silver-lining-ey, especially when the bottom line is that having this fancy new bike does not give our friend back the time she spent unable to ride, work or play, nor does it make up for the time it will take to feel confident riding in traffic again (as most of us know too well).
This is a beautiful bike that we should never have had to build, but we're grateful that Seal's back on the bike.
PAT'S VELO ORANGE CAMPEUR
A year ago, we built a bike for a friend based on a plan to go to Japan and ride around for a couple of weeks. Among other things we needed tyre clearance, plenty of eyelet mounts and a steel frame and fork - so we settled on a Velo Orange Campeur frameset after much deliberation.
Sram's Rival 22 groupset provides reliable shifting and Tektro brakes keep costs down while braking as well as any canti setup can (plenty, let's be honest). Soma's Hwy One bars provide a comfortable place to put your hands, and Velo Orange fenders, stem and front rack complement the bike perfectly. The cool part of this build starts at the White Industries MI5 hubset laced to H+Son Archetypes (in the Hard Anodised Grey to suit the frame colourway), Swift Industries front bag and tool roll, Spurcycle Ringer bell, and of course, the Tomii Magic Bean cable hangers (the best 3 grams you'll find on a bike).
Now that it's back, this VO has hit hills with the best, blown apart roadies on descents and taken in some of the best backroads the Adelaide hills have to offer, all without missing a beat.
WILL'S CURVE GROVEL CXR
A friend of a friend came into the shop one day saying he'd heard about "these Curve bikes from Melbourne?" and I was all ears. We threw a Chris King headset in it and paired it with their CC 30s Road Disc wheelset, knowing it could take the punishment of the backroads of the Adelaide Hills where this beast is to spend most of its time. A Thomson finishing kit (Master Piece post, Elite X4 stem and Carbon Mid-Compact bars) and a Shimano mixer group (RS-505 shift levers paired to R795 calipers, Ultegra mid compact crank, BB, front and rear mech, and a 105 11-32 cassette, for all the bike nerds) make this the perfect platform for us to get Will out in some backcountry on, and in a considerable amount of style. We finished with Clement Strada 32c rubber for now with some more dirt-friendly tyres to come, and Fabric's incredible Silicon Tape on the bars - not to mention the Fabric ALM saddle that almost acts as some kind of space-age crown jewel.
CUSTOM PAINTED BOMBTRACK AUDAX
We've had a mixed bag of paint jobs over the years, and it doesn't speak to the quality of the painter - bicycle frames, with their thin, round tubes and complete lack of flat surfaces, are notoriously hard to paint well. We reckon we've stumbled upon a lucky break in long-time friend of the shop Ben Hughes, who we commissioned to try his hand on a couple of frames we had to change the colour on for customers.
The brief was simple: one white, one grey, both with a finish that could be anywhere between matte and gloss - as long as it was somewhere between them. The bikes we started with were not custom frames or even framesets, but Bombtrack's excellent Audax. A Sanko 4130 frame and carbon fork lend the legendary ride characteristics (and instant cool factor) of Japanese steel, and a Shimano 105 groupset makes for easy shifting without much of a weight penalty to the higher-end groups.
TREADLY'S RITTE ACE
Ritte's Ace is the first of what I'm sure will be many bikes we get the pleasure of building from the Los Angeles based brand, with high demand internationally for their US-made Stainless Snob and true-monocoque carbon frames like the Ace and the Vlaanderen (a rarity in today's world of big-name frames made of 4 or 5 individual molded and bonded carbon pieces).
As always, we take visual cues from the bikes we've always loved and extend on what we already know works on our other custom builds - we know and trust Thomson parts on every other one of our bikes, and the X2 stem and Mid-Compact carbon bar are certainly not out of place on the Ace. Sram's Force 22 groupset combines an excellent value mix of light, stiff and smooth to get your energy to the Novatec R1 wheelset which will slingshot you up those climbs at half the price of competitors in the same field - and the Compass Chinook Pass 28c tyres will baby you down any descent you can find.
JAKE'S BOMBTRACK HOOK 2
A little while ago, we got in touch with Bombtrack Bicycle Co about how we could increase their visibility in the local CX scene - we love the BT 'cross range, and we just weren't seeing them get raced. Perhaps, we thought, it's because nobody else was seeing them raced locally either - just in photoshoots - and so they simply weren't on the radar. The solution was to get a few of our Treadly CX team on Hooks - including a Hook 2 for myself.
I stripped it down and put on a range of different parts - including a Stans Grail wheelset, 3T stem, Cinelli Hobo handlebar, Thomson Masterpiece post, and a mixed groupset consisting of Rival shifters and cranks, TRP's Spyre brakes, an Absolute Black 40t Oval chainring, 11-36 cassette and a GX rear mech. All finished off with some XT pedals a Fabric's excellent Silicon Tape and Line saddle (which I've since changed for something that doesn't hold quite so much mud).
JAMES' REVIVED MONGOOSE
We love making old, unused things work again - and to be honest, we'd prefer to help your old beater get back on the road than sell you something new. James came to us needing a bike for a tour around Europe with his family, and mentioned that he had an old Mongoose lying around that wasn't being used. Rather than spend thousands on a new touring bike and all the bells and whistles, he's managed to get a bike perfectly capable of everything he'll need it to do for a few hundred, and cleared some space in the shed!
CRAIG'S CUSTOM PRIMATE
Craig had a pretty vivid image of what he wanted when he got in touch with Tarn at Primate - visions of old Malvern Star dragsters with all the trimmings he could think of and plenty of orange. The curved double top tube is a testament to Tarn's gift with steel, a gift he's since turned to making bike-part-themed espresso machines.
Paul's Klamper brakes were rumoured for release while the frame was being built but it wasn't until the frame was well and truly itching to be built up before they were in production and on their way to us. Once Craig heard about them he couldn't even look at another brake - it was these or nothing!
The Brooks Flyer's lower stabilising bar is the perfect place to temporarily mount a Supernova tail light, which will eventually be more permanently mounted to a custom fat trailer that Craig is welding up himself for his two kelpies, Ginger and Treacle.
ZANE'S SOMA WOLVERINE
While Zane has been gallivanting at Mt Buller Victoria for the ski season we have been swooning over this custom Soma Wolverine build eagerly awaiting his return. As far as do-it-all bikes are concerned, we're pretty sure he's got most of the bases covered.
The brief was to replace a stolen road bike but it soon became apparent that he had no real use for a race bike when all he really wanted to do on it was commute and go out on the occasional ride at the weekend. We tried to future-proof for expansion on that in any direction - with possibilities like racing cross and hitting some of the local single track, the Wolverine was our first choice thanks to disc brakes, huge tyre clearances and the relaxed-but-still-fun geometry that has been so popular on builds past.