Orange Soda

This frame was built for a friend, David, during 2013 to address his inability to find a frame that was suited to his combination of stature and strength. Before designing the frame, we went for a ride on the local paved trails so that I could evaluate his riding style on his then-current bicycle, built around a steel frame from a now-defunct local builder. He had purchased the frame off-the-shelf years before because it happened to fit him; however, it was more suited to someone 40kg lighter and of average strength. This became apparent when I asked David to climb a short incline out of the saddle…the bottom bracket area (and his wheels) flexed so much (like a “soggy noodle”) that the rear tire had rubbed the paint away from the inside of the chain stays. The frame also was not suitable for tires wider than 25mm. Both of these issues were addressed, as well as extra details that David wanted: internal cable guides for dérailleurs and rear brake; disc brakes; polished stainless fork crown and seat stay caps.

To build a frame suitably stiff and, at the same time, comfortable, a rider-specific mix of tubing was used and provision was made for 32mm tires (with fenders). The main tubes are Tange Prestige heavy-gauge, over-size, mountain bike tubes; the chain stays are heavy-wall BMX CrMo chain stays; the fork blades are heavy-gauge CrMo tandem fork blades. The fork crown and seat stay caps are polished stainless steel. The front ends are Columbus castings; dropouts are classic Shimano vertical castings. The front and rear disc brake mounts (custom-machined) are reinforced with hand-cut steel plates to distribute the braking loads.

In addition to the usual braze-ons, a custom-fabricated fork braze-on was made for the computer sensor.

This frame was painted by Chris Kvale in orange (Imron #1021) with a gold pearlescent overlay, which I dubbed “Orange Soda”:

The frame was built up with a mix of Campagnolo Chorus and Athena components. Wheels were hand-built by Paul Wyganowski using HED 700c x 24mm black-anodized rims, DT Swiss spokes, and DT Swiss hubs. Initially, the frame was equipped with Avid cable-actuated disc brakes, later replaced with TRP HY/RD cable-actuated, hydraulic disc brakes. Fenders are Honjo-Koken hammered aluminum. Tires are Grand Bois (Panaracer) Cyprés 30mm tires, which end up being 32mm wide on the HED rims.

This bicycle has been displayed at Minnecycle in 2017.

In 2019, David asked me to build him a recumbent to replace this frame due to neck issues. Photos of that bicycle…coming soon.


All photos were taken with a Nikon D700 digital camera (12MP).