Winner of numerous awards at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Baltimore’s Chris Bishop crafts frames that are already modern classics. His latest is destined for Rob, a customer in San Francisco who wanted the aesthetic of a retro racer and the functionality of a fair weather commuter.
Leave it to the skilful eye and hand of Bishop Bikes to combine both into such a fine machine. It’s a pleasant reminder of the steel frames of Colnago and Pinarello during their heyday of the 80s and early 90s, especially when coupled with a heavily modified 10-speed Campagnolo groupset.
Chris is well known for his lug thinning, a process that requires hours of focused filing to shave the ends of each to paper-thin points. It is a laborious process, but it results in a frame that lets the eye flow smoothly from corner to corner and can be admired for a lifetime.
Rob’s road bike is a racer first and foremost, so Chris accounted for the addition of a front rack by installing the mounts on the inside of the fork blades, with the second mount attaching to the steerer tube. This way, the profile still looks like a champion thoroughbred.
In keeping with the retro look, Jon Williams of Drillium Revival was contracted to work over the Campagnolo Record cranks and levers. A fraction of weight may have been saved, but it sure contributes to a fast and flashy ride, just like the Italian racers we love so much.
Columbus Air tubes were used for the seat stays and fork blades. To hide the rear derailleur cable, Chris ran it through the chain stay, keeping the frame even more streamlined. The red paint and white paint graphics were expertly applied, once again, by the deft hand of Bryan Myer of Fresh Frame.
The best of old and new, wouldn’t you say? Special thanks to Chris Bishop and Keith Trotta for the photos — see more on the Bishop Bikes flickr stream.