December 17, 2018 2 min read
Today's Bling Build was built by our own Alex Palmer! Here's how he explains the process:
When I was a bike obsessed kid in the late 80's and early 90's I had the good fortune that my Dad taught high school technology (ie wood / metal shop)... cycling was in the family for generations so it was only natural to scratch that bike nerd itch by trying to build some steel frames. It was a pure home / garage project, using my Dad's metal working skills, some Reynolds 531 tubesets and very rudimentary jigs.. but the result was around 20 or so frames that we built before I was 18 and gave up bike racing and went to Uni.
Steel frames rapidly went out of fashion at the time in the mid-90's so I forgot about making bikes..... then fast forward to the summer of 2012, I had some time on my hands between jobs, the steel frame scene had made a full on comeback with some interesting new features like oversized tubing, electronic shifting etc. So I thought i'd see if I still had the skills to build a frame.
Given that my frame building experience was somewhat limited I stuck to lugged construction, and sourced some really nice oversize lugs which let me run the largest diameter Columbus LIFE tubes I could find. The geometry is full on custom.. I ride a really forward saddle position, and love frames with short chainstays so I went all out and built this with a 75degree seat angle, tucked the rear wheel in as close as possible and used a 25mm set back seat post. The rear wheel clearance is paper thin with 28c tires, anything larger and it shaves a little bit of paint off the back of the seat tube!
While the bike was originally built with Di2 in mind, the advent of eTap a few years ago saw a re-build, and I love the clean lines you get on a steel frame without any cables or wires. The frame was repainted last year by Co Motion in a 7-Eleven inspired livery complete with Silca Impero frame pump. The build features ENVE bar / stem / fork / seat post / bottle cages, Chris King headset and BB, EE Cycleworks brakes and some Zipp 303 wheels re-built by our AVT wheelbuilder on some black White Industries T11 hubs, secured in place with matching red Phil Wood skewers.
It's still my goto ride and I still absolutely love it... fast handling with enough comfort for longer days in the saddle and that nice steel springy feeling. Stay tuned in 2019, this might not be the last you see of Palmer Bikes!
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