Small Builder Focus – Winter Bicycles
Perusing the various Flickr pages covering the Oregon Manifest handmade bike show, I found a few brands I’d never heard of and thought I’d share some of the cooler ones with you. Ã‚Â First up, Winter Bicycles.
Shown above is their Track frame called the Whip. Ã‚Â If you can see past the day-glo pink, check out the integrated seat tube…the first steel one I’ve seen, sort of retro/modern tech.
Winter Bicycles is based in Eugene, OR, and builds full custom bikes from steel, selecting the tubes based on the rider’s specs, desires and goals. Ã‚Â They also make custom forks, stems, racks and other fittings. Ã‚Â Get the LD on the brand, the builder and some more cool pics when you read “more“…
Winter Cycle’s Randonee randonneur bike (above) comes with a front rack and fenders. Ã‚Â The Mountain Touring Bicycle (below) is really something unique.
Classic steel uses a 1″ top tube and 1 1/8″ seat and down tubes. On this bike the top tube is 7/8″ and the seat and down tubes are 1″.Ã‚Â For reference, that means the top tube is a few mm smaller then tire, which is approx. the same diameter as the down tube. In addition I scaled down the seat and chain stays. The full name I gave the bike was the “experiMENTAL Whip”- and it was just that, and experiment. I’d just wrapped up several over sized steel bikes, and IÃ‚Â wanted to try something I had not seen before- specifically undersized tubes. This was two fold- I wanted to see if it would hold up, and I wanted to see what it would be like for a larger rider to ride a “classic” tube set.
To get back to your question about flex- surprisingly, the rear end is pretty darn stiff. I ran really short chain stays (a hair under 380mm), which helps. Seat stays work mostly in compression, so running these, especially with the wishbone configuration, was surprisingly stiff. I’ll be using this more for sure. The integrated seat tube/mast also helps. The frame is flexy, but all of that happens at the front end (as expected by dropping the tube diameters). It’s not a sprint bike (especially for real upper body pullers), but if you are a spinner, or are thinking pursuit/ TT applications, I think there are merits to the tube choice. Its been working great as a mainly urban fixed gear as well.
This bike combines lots off different ideas I had, and while I probably won’t do them all on the same bike, they will all likely get used again on future Winters.