Here’s one rolling stone that won’t be gathering any moss: The two Irish neighbors of apparel-maker Victory Chimps and frame builder Donard Bikes teamed up on a project that visually celebrates their ancient heritage and its terrain.
Ryan O’Reilly is the Belfast-based designer and illustrator behind Victory Chimps, and he applies his exceptional cycling-inspired graphics to locally-printed art prints, musettes, sweatshirts and ethically-made tees.
When Ryan discovered there was a frame builder located nearby in beautiful Strangford Lough, it was only a matter of time before he tracked down Owen Byrne of Donard Bikes and instigated a collaboration.
Graphics were traded for frames on Owen’s debut custom carbon frame for the annual Lap The Lough event, and for Donard’s award-winning show bikes for the 2017 Bespoked show. Most recently, Ryan worked with Owen on Donard’s rebranding.
In return, Owen built Ryan a frame. While Donard Bikes’ usual offering is fully custom carbon lay-up, tubes and painting, he’s also well-versed in traditional steel construction. The result was this superb fillet brazed Reynolds 853 frame with Columbus stays.
It’s a cyclocross bike from September to December and a fun fat-tyre tourer for the rest of the year — “A bike for all the rocky farm tracks, peat bogs, forestry roads and single track that constitute an Irish ‘gravel’ ride”.
700cx45mm or 27.5″x2.1″ tires can be fitted, and there’s mounts for three bottle cages, fenders and racks. The super-strong 44mm head tube is adorned with an elaborate laser cut, polished stainless steel Donard head badge.
The graphics are inspired by Ogham, a primitive Irish alphabet found at the edges of standing stones (these photos were taken at Beaghmore Stone Circle), and the words for forest (foraois), mountain (sliabh) and bog (portach) are painted around each tube.
Read more about the process on the Victory Chimps blog.
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