NAHBS 2013: True Fabrications’ Steel Road, City & Mountain Bikes

True Fabrications custom steel disc brake road bike

True Fabrications hails from Austin, TX, and has been building custom steel bikes since 2005. They started out just building 29er frames for themselves, but now offer road, cyclocross, mountain and commuter bikes. They also make stems.

The disc brake road bike shown here is for a customer in Dublin. It has all internal cable routing, which is done with super clean execution. The paint ain’t too shabby either!

Click through for closeups and their other booth bikes…

True Fabrications custom steel disc brake road bike

Cables enter through tight holes in the frame with no external (visible) buttressing.

True Fabrications custom steel disc brake road bike

True Fabrications custom steel disc brake road bike

All cable entries and exits are just as smooth.

True Fabrications custom steel mixte womens city bicycle

The city bikes are for a husband and wife that wanted something they could use in the city and lock up without fear of catching too much attention or getting banged up.

True Fabrications custom steel mens city bicycle

The bikes, built with Shimano Deore and the racks and fenders, are out the door for around $2,200 each, a virtual steal among custom bikes.

True Fabrications custom steel mixte womens city bicycle

Paint is hammer tone powder coat, which holds up well against bike racks.

True Fabrications custom steel 29er hardtail mountain bike

Colorado Trail Race bike is for True co-owner Clark that wanted something lighter than last year’s bike. It has a non-suspension corrected fork, which saves a bit of weight and let’s them put a bit more space at the headtube between the top- and downtubes, which lets him fit a bigger frame bag inside the front triangle. He’ll be racing single speed, so rocker dropouts let him swap drivetrain types.

Comments

feg - 03/26/13 - 4:27pm

what’s the fascination with internal cable routing? seems as if most customs, and high end production models, get that treatment. it’s a minus in my book. the hassle far out weighs the small aesthetic benefits. just a trendy thing for showing off build skill? please tell me if it’s for more than just an aesthetic thing.

Walt - 03/26/13 - 4:28pm

TF is awesome – bike you would actually ride built by guys who ride hard. No hipster wooden kickstarter posing. Let’s see more of this kind of stuff!

-Walt

Matt - 03/26/13 - 4:58pm

@feg
The way that Clark from True Fabrications does the routing on this bike is a continuous stainless sheath inside the frame that’s then brazed into place. No fishing or hassle required at all.

It’s actually really really easy to setup. Run your housing all the way through to your derailers and brakes. Cut to length, put ferrules on, run your cables, and you’re done. Easy as can be.

Pros:
It keeps the cables out of the way. No need for cable-clips or ties. Makes fewer places for water to get in and rust your cables, thus extending serviceable lifetime. No rattles from a slack cable bouncing around between long open runs (like the top or down tube). And it looks great.

Cons:
It weighs a bit more.
But if you’re getting a custom steel bike in the size of the one shown, you’re not exactly a weight weenie.

feg - 03/26/13 - 5:50pm

thanks Matt.

Alan - 03/26/13 - 11:33pm

Those are some handsome bikes!

OtherMatt - 03/27/13 - 10:02am

I’ve got the first TF frame to use the internal and in 5yrs I have had zero problems with it. They are a thing of beauty. I’ve also got a hammer tone powder and the above is correct, it seems to just bounce rocks and bike racks right off with no real paint damage. Even if you could see it.

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