NAHBS 2013: Littleford Bicycle’s Bombproof Touring Bike
With this year’s bike, Littleford crafted not only a beautiful design, but an extreme durable build. Having made frames for five years, this is what Littleford calls his “Prototype Expedition bike”. As his personal bike, it should see many miles. Stylish and fun, this build is packed with all the parts essential for a great tour, or a weekender.
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The frame is a fairly standard silver brazed chromoly. Coloring was achieved with rust browning finish. After that, a clear matte coat was applied to protect the frame.
The frame breaks apart with some S&S couplings on the top and down tube. Cable routing runs through the down tube, but the brake cable is routed straight through a brass tube in the frame. When the bike breaks apart, the cable is loosened and when put together again it’s tightened. Littleford always checks his brakes before riding, especially when hauling gear, so maintenance like this isn’t an issue.
The custom front rack is a two piece rig. It bolts to the frame and bolts together in the center right through the dynamo light to prevent thieves from snatching the light. The top bars can be removed from the side racks too. Dynamo cables on both front and rear are run along the rack to keep things clean.
Currently the bike’s running 26 inch wheels, but it’s also compatible with 700c.
Dynamo power comes from a Son Delux hub. All bolts surfaces are a stainless steel including skewers.
Littleford used some stainless steel Bruce Gordon cable couplers for routing, pretty darn hard to find nowadays, and there are plenty of bottle racks to go around.
Bar end shifters can double as down tube shifters in case anything breaks. Littleford doesn’t want to be caught in the middle of nowhere without parts, and he finds that a system like this is much more reliable, and can be fixed on the go in even the most rural bike shops. A Brooks tape, Brooks saddle combo dries quickly for those spontaneous swims while touring.