If you want to learn how to make your own bicycle frame correctly, you will need to seek out a teacher that is willing to impart his, or her knowledge. Koichi Yamaguchi is a master of the art who has been generous enough to start a framebuilding school in Rifle, Colorado. Chris Chou was fortunate enough to complete the course and the final result is a credit to both teacher and student.
The waiting list to attend the Yamaguchi school is about a year. So, after submitting a deposit, Chris had plenty of time to decide upon the bike he would like to build: a light, classically styled tourer.
Chris already owned a custom frame by Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames (another YFBS alumnus), so he had a good idea of what a perfectly fitting bike feels like. His light tourer, however, is .5cm shorter in the top tube and 1cm shorter in the stem for a more relaxed ride.
It’s a prefect build for a cycling sojourn, there are provisions for low-rider racks front and rear, as well as fender mounts. Chris tells us there’s even braze-ons for a third water bottle under the down tube.
Chris continues: “The construction techniques used highlight the three main techniques employed by steel framebuilders — the front of the bike is fillet brazed, the seat cluster is a half-lug or bi-lam construction (half fillet and half lugged), and the bottom bracket cluster is a lug”.
“I wanted to try my hand at all three whilst under the watchful eye of Koichi and I think it turned out wonderfully — aesthetically and functionally. The bike is lively but forgiving, and riding with some beers and a sweatshirt in the Ostrich saddlebag is no problem. I’ve taken it to the beach many times already this summer and hope to be doing some short range bike camping soon”.
Bryan at Fresh Frame applied the paint on Chris’s Icarus frame and performed a similarly spectacular job on his YFBS bike, adding color and design references to both Spectrum Cycles and Merckx Corsa/Corsa Extra frames.
The superb photos of Chris’s bike are the combined efforts of both Chris and his good mate Cooper Ray, shot on location during a tramp through the forest and on the roof of Chris’s building in Brooklyn. Massive thanks to both of them (Follow Chris’s tumblr and Cooper’s tumblr for more velography).
PS: I’d like to extend a big welcome to the latest supporter of The Spoken, Exquis Cycles. Based in Singapore, they provide a worldwide online shopping experience, stocking everything you need to complete your dream bike. Not only that, they can supply you with a completely custom Colossi frame — just email Exquis Cycles to order. Check them out, they’re helping to keep our wheels rolling.