Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Frameset News

I spent a lot of time at the frame shop today David and I were able to work out pricing and some other details.

The semi-custom* frames will be lugged with a single color paint job. There will be a choice of six colors. Fenders and lights will be integrated. Internal wiring for dynamo powered lighting systems will be standard. This includes headlight and taillight. All frames will be made to measure and designed according to the particulars of each rider. 650B and 700C models will be available. Sidepull, centerpull, or cantilever brakes can be specified.

Framesets will be $1650. The first few orders will receive a discount, which may come at the price of limited color selection. We'll need to have an example of all six colors as soon as possible because paint swatches are pretty useless for bicycles. But we'll have three samples made before any frames are built for customers, so three colors will be taken care off the bat. Colors outside of the palette of six will be available for an upcharge--as will custom racks, stems, decaleurs, etc.

I hesitate to call these randonneur bikes, country bikes, or any other label. The framesets will be suitable for all types of road riding--club riding, brevets, transportation, credit card touring, unpaved roads and light off-road use. But the individual design process allows a lot of flexibility with regard to the final product. If you want the frame to be 700C sportif designed around 700Cx30 tires that will have the geometry to ride well unloaded or with a light front load we can do that. If you want a porteur designed around 650Bx42 tires and a massive front load we can do that. This is the reason I was geeking out about BikeCAD last week, it allows me to take a few stock designs and very efficiently tweak them to fit different riders, tire sizes, uses, etc.

I'll post more details and pictures as they become available. We'll start building bikes sometime in the middle of next week, and I'll be spending as much time as I can in the frame shop before I leave town so I can familiarize myself with the framebuilding process as much possible.

*By semi-custom I mean that a few aspects of the framesets have been standardized to streamline the production and keep the final cost down--selected tubeset choices, standard lugs, dropouts, etc. The design will be very flexible. We will offer custom framesets starting at $2200 in which all frame material choices are left wide open.

2 comments:

meade said...

I would (humbly) suggest that the 700c frames be constructed to accept wider tires…as you likely know both surly and Kirk P offer wider crowns…once you add fenders that 30 mm gets decreased quickly… I’ve gotten stuck on 32+ tires for the front at a minimum if not 35s for the ride comfort and durability…

Longleaf Bicycles said...

I said if that's what someone wants. Just to be clear for the future, the default mode around here is with fenders. If I say 30mm I mean 30mm with fenders. I agree that wider tires are generally more useful. The default fork crown will have room for a 50mm fender and a 42mm tire under the fender. If someone wants to narrow the fork crown, they can go with a "standard" 43mm between the tangs crown.

There is zero reason to have anything narrower on a bike that isn't made for highly competitive racing.