With the Philadelphia Bike Expo wrapped up for another year, thanks to the untiring efforts of the Bilenky family, most of the exhibitors are returning to their workshops and build queues. Eric Estlund of Winter Bicycles is driving back to Pennsylvania as we write this, carrying Suzume, one of his latest builds.
Eric takes pleasure in naming his creations after relevant references, and Suzume was titled after the sparrow which, according to Japanese tradition, represents the honor of repaying one’s debts. In this case, Eric pays homage to the esteemed builders of keirin frames that have gone before him.
Suzume is endowed with numerous characteristics that Winter Bicycles is known for, exquisite detailing and construction not being the least of them. From the ‘flat top’ stem inspired by the French constructeurs, inlaid with a Winter plum blossom shield, to the elaborate dropouts, this is a bike that oozes class and track racing heritage.
It’s classy and classic, using tubes with diameters that aren’t seen enough these days, yet they’re made from modern alloys, and are utterly sufficient. The lugs have been subtly tooled, and Suzume’s racing pedigree is clear: there’s barely room between the front tyre and the downtube to slide a Rizla paper.
At the centre of the Sapim CX Ray-spoked wheels are a pair of Holey hubs by Curtis Odom, held on by a matching pair of track nuts. The light blue paint reminds us of the sparrow’s realm, while the blood red accents are reminiscent of the samurai’s honour — both colors applied by Todd Eroh.
With a slew of Japanese track components bearing the now-obsolete but still highly regarded NJS stamp, and with rims polished for the purpose of cutting through the competition, Suzume is like a breath of fresh air. Head to the Winter Bicycles website to see more.
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