It’s always reassuring to discover that top cyclists are still opting for steel when it comes to their material of choice for a custom frame. And it’s fantastic to discover that they are open to the marriage of the latest technology, like Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system, with the age-old culture of a steel racing frame.
English Cycles aren’t based in the UK. Rob English hails from Eugene, Oregon. I was convinced it was something in the Portland water supply that produced such prodigious frame builders but no, whatever it is has obviously contaminated the whole Oregon catchment. Rob created this frame for Emiliano of the Het Fairwheel Podium, and it’s been built up with the aforementioned Di2 system.
Rob’s time-trial experience is evident in his frames: long, slender, compact and single-minded. The custom stem houses the Shimano Di2 control deck with internal routing for the cables, which continues through the steerer and frame before exiting just before the rear derailleur. The battery pack has been craftily concealed inside the seat tube. The streamlined profile of this hi-tech machine makes it the bicycle equivalent of an iPod.
Special thanks, once again, to Emir for the photography, head to his flickr set for more details.