There is something completely romantic and thrilling about what Eric Baar does. His constant push for new mediums to master coupled with the way he weaves his areas of technical and artistic expertise together allows him to create some of the most unique frames in the world.
His single frame for the Philadelphia Bike Expo, the sole BMX frame on the floor, was designed and crafted to be a demonstration of Eric’s current level of mastery, laid bare without an opportunity for error, for everyone to see and scrutinize.
Since we spoke with Eric last, he’s continued to push his most current area of focus, striping and leafing. He recently returned from the Brushmaster’s Get-A-Way, a three day intensive workshop with some of the world’s best painters, to give his lettering, brushwork, and gold and silver leafing skills a bump. This frame is the first he’s touched since that experience.
As with other frames of his we have seen, Eric has created his characteristic striped pattern in the tubing surface (Ground Up Speed Shop enthusiasts will remember that Eric creates this pattern as it reminds him of his cat’s tail).
While seeming to be just a neat little visual effect, the stripping serves a very impressive purpose. As the striping is performed before welding the tubes, any post processing such as buffing or bead-blasting would damage or destroy the pattern. This means that the weld beads as you see them are untouched after finishing pass. There has been no process to obscure or clean up Eric’s beads… he’s basically leaving it all out there for you to see as a demonstration of the level of his work.
Eric’s philosophy behind this is that it allows people to see the raw level of his craftsmanship. He is not hiding anything because he can not hide anything.
He utilized Paragon sliding dropouts for the rear. The titanium chainstays and seatstays are 22mm and 19mm in diameter, respectively.
The rear of the seat cluster.
As with all of his titanium BMX bikes, Eric constructed a unified seat/seatpost, his reasoning is that it much lighter and stiffer than having an adjustable assembly.
Plus, it looks pretty cool.
As with many of Eric’s bikes, the finishing is ambitious. Notice the gold leaf lightning bolts on the saddle, outlined in blue striping.
This finishing theme continues onto the top of the top tube, where Eric has placed a very interesting logo. It is a gold leaf brush with flames for bristles – a perfect logo for a man who puts as much emphasis in his brushwork as he does his torch work.