Sleek Road Build for NAHBS
In the last week of February, I packed a few bikes, a display, some handouts, and a bunch of snacks into CIRCA-mobile and drove down to Sacramento to participate in the 2016 North American Hand-Built Bike Show (affectionately called NAHBS).
For those of you not familiar with NAHBS, this is essentially the holy land for custom bikes, and it was an honor to be able to present our latest design to cycling enthusiasts who had traveled from all over the country to see the amazing creativity that comes out of the custom bicycle community. NAHBS was a 3 day show, and it was a total blast talking to folks (more or less constantly) about how Circa’s innovative building methods can create a revolution in localized bike building. Between the frame and component selection, the bike we presented was about 90% made in USA. Although we didn’t try very hard to watch the final bike’s weight, this large build weighed in at a nimble 19 lbs.
The frame is constructed of bonded, anodized 6000-series aluminum, with lugs that were cut in Vancouver, WA, using our proprietary modular construction system. For the rider, the geometry is super-versatile and could be considered ‘recreational’ for it’s slightly laid-back angles and longer chainstays. It would be a great commuter, daily rider, event bike, winter beast, or distance bike. Drawing on our Portland, Oregon heritage, there’s ample clearance for fenders, and the frame is designed for long-reach brakes to simplify fender mounting and allow wider tires. For this frame, we took advantage of local laser-engravers to apply all of the frame graphics. The combination of lasers and anodized aluminum creates a graphic that’s virtually indestructible.
Color and Finish
For the color scheme, we went with a very minimalist “Space Gray” anodizing for the majority of the frame, accented with red color hits at the head-spacer and rear brake bridge. The tubes and lugs are all hand-textured before anodizing to create interplays of light.
We started with Shimano Ultegra as the foundation for the drivetrain. It’s a great balance of value and performance.
Stem and Seatpost
I love U.S. made Thompson components for their performance, heritage, and commonality to Circa’s frames, in that they’re CNC’d using similar techniques to our lugs.
We went with silver long-reach Velo Orange rim brakes. These are by far the most beautiful long-reach brakes on the market, and the final surfacing is done using CNC equipment, so there’s a common aesthetic to our frames.
American-made Velocity rims, mated to red hubs from Portland’s Chris King and hand-built by one of the best (and least known) builders in Portland: Tom Patterson.
Chris King, obviously!
For more information about our custom road bikes, please click here.
Special Thanks to Jay Lawrence of Polara Studios for the great photography.
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