It’s not de rigeur to feature a frame only on The Spoken, but when Timmy Rowan of England’s Rowan Frameworks sent these photos of his recently completed ‘crosser, I felt it was too good not to share.
Timmy was the winner of the Best Newcomer and Best in Show awards at the 2015 Bespoked Bristol show and he’s been holed up in his Woodchurch workshop honing his skills, surrounded by worn textures and reliable old machines.
The ‘crosser, topped with an integrated seat post, was a labor of love. After completing a course at The Bicycle Academy in Frome, Timmy has been continually pushing his abilities, using only basic tools and files.
Timmy used a set of Reynolds 853 DZB tubes for the frame, designed with a focus on quality and strength. His customer, Dave, is a hard rider so it’s built to withstand a high level of abuse — especially on the CX courses it’s destined for.
The head tube is a stainless steel number, custom-turned. “The challenge”, Timmy says, “was getting a 34/49 headset which is also long to sit proportionally well with the frame and the fork”. It certainly looks in proportion to the rest of the frame.
Timmy explains further: “Under the ISP is the engraved RF, made in a brass plate, sweated on as a cap with silver, then finished and nickel-plated and brushed, so I didn’t have to use a stainless sleeve — creating another step — just cleaning things up.”
Apart from the hidden RF on the topper, the extent of the branding is the magnificent Rowan head badge. Timmy makes no secret of his appreciation of Fast Boy Cycles‘ Ezra Caldwell’s subtlety, relying on the craft to speak for itself.
Timmy used Paragon Poly Drops, but he struggled with their modern look on a bike that takes aesthetic cues from the classics. But it works with the matte Land Rover Light Green, black bolts and paint that was delicately removed from the contact areas.
There’s a fade in the pinstripe from green to nickel that is barely noticeable, and Timmy is loathed to reveal it. Those crisp lines were executed by Alistair McLean of Fat Creations, a highly defined mix of the matte green and cream pearl.
The fact that this pristine frame is about to get well and truly coated with mud is challenging to accept, but reassuring to know that it will. That’s what it was built for. Here’s looking forward to what Timmy comes up with next.