What's Green and Lugged and Not a Bicycle? An Unexpected New Addition!

All right, so some may know this already, but I received a tremendously generous gift for the holidays that is so beyond what I anticipated or deserved that I am almost ashamed to mention it. "Almost" being the operative term, as my excitement clearly surpasses my sense of shame or modesty. Plus I had to confess it sometime.

So, the gift: Well, it's green. It's lugged. But it's not a bike.... At least not yet.

It is a bicycle frame! Exciting and utterly unbelievable! Between this and the custom mixte frame (which is now awaiting paint), it looks like 2010 will be The Year of Building Up Frames. I suppose that's taking it to the next level from 2009, which was The Year of the First City Bike Purchase?

But enough rambling. I should really introduce you already. Who is this beauty, shimmering a pearlescent puke green that seems to have been custom-mixed for my bizarre aesthetic sensibilities?

Yes, who indeed?

Well, I will leave you to your own conclusions for now. But have no fear, an excruciatingly detailed post will follow. I just needed to get this off my chest. Happy weekend!


  1. Now.... That's a frame!
    Wonderfull luggs, beautyfull color.

  2. Gorgous lugs! I see it with yellow cables and perhaps black mudguards.

  3. Purty... :-) Have fun with you build!


  4. Ah, but what to do with it; what to do. If I had the answer to that myself I'd probably already have one.

    But I don't.

  5. a bike is a wonderful gift to give AND receive... soon you are going to be dealing with the anxiety of too many choices, and the guild of leaving some bikes behind...

    ...There are worse problems to have ;)

  6. Thanks all : )

    Luc - I will either sell or permanently put away into storage at least one of my current bikes once the new frames are built up. And they will each have their designated function. The only competition really will be the same old catfight between the Pashley and the vintage DL-1, as they perform the same function.

    kfg - Drop bars and long distance touring. That will be my goal for 2010.

  7. With that introduction, I thought you were with child. A lugged frame is also a great responsibility and you should raise it with good components.

  8. OOoh, a Sam Hillborne. Very nice. I'd recognize those Rivendell lugs anywhere. 650b wheels will makes for great city riding. Enjoy!

  9. I don't know how the "d" snuck into "guilt" ... but there it is.


    ...that is exactly how I have justified (and continue to justify) my plethora of bikes

    1) My Cannondale is strictly road/sport; think of it like a "Sunday" car ;)

    2) My MTB is obviously for trail/off road

    3) My commuter is exactly that.

    4) my "vintage" (and I do use that term loosely) single-speed is just for local, nice weather cruising... but it does have drop bars (as all my bike but for the MTB)... hence my desire for a more "relaxed" cruiser style bike.

    As far as drop-bars go; more times than not they are my preferred style of handlebar. The sheer variety of different available hand positions makes it the most versatile, sure, but I would have to agree that it is not least aggressive style; but it is about cheating the wind a bit...

    ...do you have a distance goal in mind as far as your touring goes?

  10. Jefe - Thank you for implying that my hypothetical child would be green and lugged!

    Andrew - The lugs do give it away, don't they : ) Yes mine is 650B; it's the 52cm frame.

    Astroluc - I had an adventure with drop bars last year (I initially kept the original ones on my vintage Motobecane before replacing them with VO Milan bars) that ended in a nerve damage injury of the hands. Don't even ask. So this will be "Take 2", where I will try to do it properly.

  11. Is that a Hillborne? Nice! Jealous. Building that up is going to be a labor of love.

  12. " . . .this will be "Take 2", where I will try to do it properly."

    A wider, higher and noodly appendage works wonders.

  13. kfg, surely you're referring to the nitto B135?

    building up this frameset will be fun-- so many possibilities!

  14. Somerville - No actually, the 177; and stop calling me Shirley.

  15. Love the colour - like Kermit the Frog sprinkled with stardust :-). That frame is all class (as well as all lovely lugs). What fun you're going to have building it up... look forward to regular updates on it.

  16. If the Co-Habitant gave you that frame, I must find a new Co-Habitant. I did NOT get a frame. That is a gorgeous color and a Rivendell as well! Ahh, Envy....

  17. Congratulations on the Riv! I've been riding a Hilsen since summer 2008, and the switch from an aluminum-frame Cannondale has been something of a revelation to me. Suffice it to say, the road bike has been hanging from a hook for nearly two years now.

  18. What a lovely gift in a lovely colour. Tho' I must object to the term 'puke' green. I've worked in health care for over 25 years and many of those years on the graveyard shift at a core area hospital, Honey, I've never seen puke that looks that nice. ;)
    Enjoy! (the bike, not the thought of vomit.)

  19. Wow, the Sam Hilborne! Fantastic! If anyone can appreciate those Rivendell lugs, you can :) We're practically related now, as you that's Betty's boy cousin (as opposed to her brother, Yves Gomez). Can't wait to hear all about it.

  20. Congratulations! It's beautiful. Wishing you many, many happy miles together!

  21. I would marry anyone who gave me a Christmas gift like that!

  22. Before you all get any ideas about snagging my man, the gift was actually a joint contribution from several parties : )

    Dottie, I like the idea that "we're practically related now" and I agree about the brother/cousin structure. I always felt it was unhealthy that I tend to think of objects in this way. Now that I see I'm not alone, I feel much better!

  23. Filigree: Yeah, it's probably a bit unhealthy. There are even people who think that it's unhealthy enough to rail against it. On the other hand they feel compelled to rail because so many engineers engage in the practice. There is obvious relationship in both provenance and thought between designed objects, and biological terms are the intuitively most obvious way to express that.

    Unfortunately I think my Riv looks a bit like the mailman.

  24. The joint parties wish you a happy new year and many happy miles on the new Sam Hilborne. Oh and some of them wish to add this: "Miaw." That is all for now.

  25. Wow! That's pretty wonderful.

    But I am slightly confused. I'm curious about the triangle geo on the Sam. ( doesn't it have the tradit men's frame and not the mixte/ step thru like Betty?) This is a departure from your usual bike frame is it not. I'm just curious for the change.

    You've been talking about the rivendell bikes in my comments making we want one again and now I really want one.

    someday I'd love you to break down how you use each differently- B needs to see that I am not the only one who longs to collect bikes. Although luckily Co-H is fully enabling you, whereas mine is not. ( to the fullest of my desires that is- ie an ANT, a Betty and maybe a Geekhouse b/c I'm addicted to local bikes!)

  26. Vee - Yup, the Sam Hillborne is a men's frame. And I am going to fit it with drop bars. It will be my sports bike, in as much as such a thing is possible for me. I will even wear pants. Maybe. I am going to write in the next post about the rational for this model; perhaps B will find it convincing!

  27. Nice gift! I'm with Mama Vee though. I'm very curious now why you didn't get the Betty Foy instead?...

    "The Betty Foy is designed for women, with a low diagonal tube that's easier to step over. That is the only significant functional difference between the Betty Foy and the Hillborne, and the A. Homer Hilsen. "

    Guess I'll have to wait for your next post!

  28. A diamond frame is a very different ride than a mixte, in my experience. The reaction of the bike frame to the pedal stroke is probably the most obvious distinction, as well as the general ride over varying road surfaces.
    You're going to have two really distinct rides in your Royal H and your Hillborne.

    I look forward to a comparison of the two from your point of view.


    Corey K

  29. Forget the man; I'll take the bike! ;-) If it was a joint gift, well, it means a few people really like you. As well they should.

    I can't wait to hear about building and riding it. You might say that when I read your blog, I re-experience some of the fun I had when I was learning about bikes and cycling.

  30. Har, beautiful pearlescent mung-bean green lugs.

    Hope you don't mind my using 'mung-bean' ..:p
    I love sweetened 'mung-bean soup' ( an Asian dessert) when I was on vacation with 'fren' in Singapore recently.

  31. What fun you have in store. I concur with everyone above - gorgeous color. Sounds like you have particularly thoughtful cats.

    Though I am curious, too, why you went for a men's frame instead of the Betty Foy? (and the Lady Raleigh - not so great for long-distance touring?)

    Also, have to say - if you were to have a child green and lugged, at least you would be able to provide excellent care - no one better!


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