As those of you who are local may know, Mike Flanigan of A.N.T. hosted his annual Open House today. What is A.N.T, you ask? Alternative Needs Transportation is one of the most respected makers of handbuilt bicycles in the U.S., with a focus on "not sport... transport". And they happen to be located not far from Boston, in Holliston, Mass.
A studio view of the classic A.N.T. Boston Roadster. Mike Flanigan has been a professional TIG welder for over 15 years, and all of his experience has been poured into making the Boston Roadster what it is: a seriously sexy bicycle, combining strength, reliability, utilitarian simplicity, and a handsome physique.
There was a lot happening at the Open House, including workshop tours, contests, tasty Indian lunch, hot apple cider, a 15 mile scenic foliage ride, and much velo-obsessed conversation. But for the purpose of keeping the length of this post in check, I will focus specifically on the bicycles.
I would say that the star of the show was probably the Basket Bike, available as either a men's or a ladies' frame. It was absolutely delightful, and everybody wanted to try it out.
As you can see, the front wheel is smaller than the rear, which is good for carrying heavy loads. The basket is enormous, and will fit at least 3 grocery bags side by side.
The front rack is welded onto the frame itself, improving the handling and stability of the bicycle when loaded.
Custom mount for the dynamo light is elegantly welded onto the fork blade. A.N.T.'s custom light mounts are just some of the features that make their bicycles special.
Another striking bicycle was this Scorcher Antique, which belongs to Randy. This is an amazing bicycle; it is impossible to capture in photos just how beautiful it is and how harmoniously all the colours and components fit together. The Scorcher Antique was built for the Shimano Alfine Frame Builder Challenge and won 3rd place.
The custom front rack features a "rising sun" design. This is perhaps the most beautiful front rack I have seen, and I think A.N.T. should offer it for sale in its own right. Note the light mount attachment.
Decorative lugwork and headbadge on the Scorcher Antique. Mmmm.
Seat cluster. Beautifully done!
Speaking of beautiful, it's time to move on to the ladies. Pictured above is Lacey's Boston Lady Roadster in vermillion red with cream tires. Lacey was kind enough to allow me to ride this bicycle and I will post a separate Test Ride Report about my impressions soon.
Laura's Derailleur Roadster. I absolutely love this colour. Notice the matching rims and the custom wooden front rack.
Betsy's turquoise Mixte. Yes, A.N.T. builds mixtes with twin lateral stays. This is another bicycle that I took for a spin, and a Test Ride Report is forthcoming.
And finally, Mr. Flanigan himself with his own bicycle - the original Scorcher, which I believe is a fixed gear.
Beautiful lines and a harmonious colour scheme; an aesthetic that is both vintage and minimalist. I should note that the handlebars on Scorcher models are custom made.
A.N.T. has recently announced that they will once again be making fully custom bicycles, which has made a lot of people very happy (the wait list had closed at some point, and for the past year only standard models had been available). Mr. Flanigan is a knowledgeable and generous person, whom I recommend very highly as a frame builder and whose A.N.T. website I invite you to visit. We had a wonderful time at the Open House and we thank Mike and Betsy for their hospitality. I also thank all the bicycle owners for their permission to photograph them with their bikes.
It looks like my attempt to limit this post to a reasonable length was not exactly successful, but I hope you enjoyed the photos!
- Trading Post