Wandering around the Oregon Handmade Bike Show, I noticed several not-so-ordinary custom built bikes, racks, paint jobs, and the list goes on and on. One bike as it turned out had all that and a little something extra; a back story. The bike caught my eye, the craftsmanship and finish pulled me in. When I asked about the olive-drab matte finish, Eric Estlund of Winter Cycles reached into his back pocket and produced a handkerchief-sized piece of matching olive-drab fabric. I stepped back waiting for him to blow his nose, thinking “wow, this guy built a bike to accent his handkerchief.” As it turns out, this wasn’t the case.
Get the rest of the story after the break.
The story is that a lady came to Eric with a picture of a Columbia brand Military Model which she was looking to reproduce. Eric took up the task. However, the picture produced was black and white, which is where the fabric comes in. It was provided as an era-correct color sample, to give a starting point for the final matte finish.
The execution was flawless, and was tied off with with a custom rack. The welds were smoothed out, and the stainless look matched up very well with the rest of the brushed and lightly polished components. The hubs, handlebar, and several other parts were refinished by hand to maintain a uniform look.
The headtube provided a great example of what you can do with some basic fillet brazing. Consistent brazing depth and width, combined with a lot of finishing work, produces a great looking bike, even if its relatively basic. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Speaking of which, the crown was topped off with both a 1914 and 1918 penny. Never, ever have I heard of a frame builder obsessing over 100 year old pennies.
Also on hand was this fancy painted road bike. The unique paint is part of what is to be a “stock” model road bike that may be in the future for Winter Cycles. It was done as a test to see how the finish would come out. If you ask us, it’s pretty darn impressive.
It was done using a special powder coat process and followed up using liquid paint for the green.