Sitting outside the lodging, Chris Bishop’s lugged road bike attracted the other builders and participants like moths to a flame. The lug work, details and paint all begged for attention, and even Zukas admitted being inspired by Chris’s work.
Roll through to see what made his baller bike the star of the show…
The silver clamp between the headset nuts is for a custom rack. Lower mounts are on the fork, sometimes hidden on the insides of the fork legs. Headbadges are made by a company that makes electronics control panels. Once they’re machined, Chris paints them then burnishes off the top layer to get the shiny over black.
One of Chris’s trademark touches are the tapered lug ends. Note how the part of the lug that extends onto the tubes gets flatter? It’s a small thing, but it makes a huge visual difference across the entire bike, smoothing the whole thing out.
This one shows the tapered, flattened lugs very well. The smooth finishing on the cable ports takes it all to the next level.
The polished finish around the port was a happy accident. His painter did one by mistake and started explaining it away until Chris said he liked it. Besides being pretty, it keeps the paint from chipping during cable installation and service calls.
Perhaps the most trick feature of the frame is also the hardest to do. The seatpost binder bolt is incorporated into the drive side seatstay and threads directly into the other stay. To do that, he inserts a steel rode into the non-drive stay, then drills and taps it so the bolt will thread into a solid base. The hard part? It’s the final step on the frame, so a mistake there means the entire frame might need a do over. He said he was really sweating the first five or six he did but has gotten pretty good at it since.
The seatpost and stem were “decorated” by Drillium Revival. While they look deeper, the machined ridges were less than a millimeter deep and (Chris says) won’t affect strength or durability on these particular components.
Details, details, details…
Cut outs on the BB lug add visual interest as well as save a bit of weight and provide a drain hole.
The extra drilling and machining even extended to the front derailleur’s braze-on mount. Note the polished mounting surface here, too.
Tooled axles front and rear do more than provide security – they provide a subtle continuation of the overall clean appearance.
He does about 15-20 frames per year with about a 16 month wait list. On top of being a great builder, Chris is a fun guy to hang out and ride with. Check him out at BishopBikes.com.
That’s our collection of the builders’ bikes from the 2014 Baller’s Ride weekend. Here’s the others:
What did I ride? Well, a stock bike just wouldn’t be at home at Ballers. And virtually everyone else present was riding something custom (Gaulzetti, Crumpton and other such rides were spotted). So, I reached out to Denver’s Alchemy Bicycles for a test ride on their prototype Aithon gravel bike. Stay tuned for a short review later this week…it is simply amazing.