We live in a world of instant visual gratification these days, which makes it nearly impossible to fully appreciate the work that goes into the bikes that we feature on these pages, although Jeff Bock’s custom tourer demands closer appreciation.
Jeff is an Iowa builder whose name is not nearly as well known as it should be, certainly not according to his skills and experience. He’s built more than a few hundred frames, dating back to 1975.
This custom tourer features Jeff’s specialty: hand-carved lugs that have taken hours of consideration and filing, the result of a long-standing association with another aficionado, Doug Fattic.
Jeff uses a mix of Reynolds and Tange tubes for his frames. The tourer is a result of his own riding experience — he’s ridden 20 or so RAGBRAI (the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa), and he and his wife has also ridden Land’s End to John O’ Groats twice, toured various places in the US, Canada, Ireland, Wales, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Jeff personally refers to this tourer as (with apologies to Tom Wolfe) the Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, and it is just that. The paint is an impeccable decoration of an elaborate frame, and he does all his own lug-lining.
It’s kitted out with Paul Components’ Racer Medium brakes, matching fenders, and a slew of parts that didn’t break the budget, and are simply functional, including a Velo Orange seatpost and Sugino cranks.
Jeff is continuously inspired by the bikes profiled in Bicycle Quarterly, and his custom tourer would be a worthy addition to its pages. It’s the kind of bike that could carry you in grace and style across the States and back again.
He’s opening up his order book again, so if you’re after an American-made classic by a living legend, get in touch with Jeff via his Facebook page.
Special thanks to Christopher Maharry for the photos.