Beautiful Custom Bikes

At more or less the same time, Treadlie magazine borrowed one of our copies of The Golden Age of the Handbuilt Bicycle to feature in the latest issue (which has since hit the stands).  Other than an Alex Singer bike and a Toei that both came through the shop, this Jack Taylor is the closest we’ve had to a bike that might feautre in the book or in Bicycle Quarterly, one of our favourite magazines.

Read on if well-integrated pannier racks, pinstriping and smart light mounts are your cup of tea.

Jack Taylor bikes are the closest English equivalent to some of the classic French touring bikes we’ve mentioned before, and have been featured in Bicycle Quarterly.  They are made one-by-one to fit particular riders, but for the most part are customized versions of standard Jack Taylor models.  This one is a Super Tourist with time tested geometry – a low bottom bracket, long chainstays, steeper headtube than most English touring bikes, slack seat tube and a fair bit of offset on the fork.  It has room for wide tyres, good mounts for mud guards and racks, and this particular one has beautiful handmade racks designed just for this bike, with one of the best light mount positions we’ve seen.

He built his up with a really nice mix of vintage parts (and a few modern parts that were sympathetic to the feel of the build).  He is using a pair of Stronglight 49D wide range double chainring up front and a graet hub and 5 speed freewheel on the back in order to get a good range of gears for touring and longer unloaded rides.

One of the most charming things about it is the colour scheme with all the English frills – nice lugs outlined in a contrasting colour, pinstriping, head- and seatube panels with the mix of colours you wouldn’t expect to look good together, but which do.

We built the wheels for it too – H+Son TB14s laced to a Schmidt SON Delux on the front and a lovely Maxi-Car on the rear.  We’ve been really happy with the TB14, and have been using it for a number of wheels that will be shod with wide tyres, but aren’t necessarily doing loaded touring.

As soon as we get photos of the completed bike we’ll post them here too.