Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hi-Ho Silver!

I admit that I cannot resist a silver bicycle - especially one that looks slightly "steampunked" with copper and leather accessories. I saw this one at DBC City Bikes in Somerville, Mass. last week:

This bicycle was built up using a custom Gerhard Marshall frame (originally made for Velorbis), with Sogreni, Brooks and Nitto components. I take it the frame is either chromed or stainless steel, but I cannot recall which. If anyone has any info on Gerhard Marshall frames, I would love to hear it; cannot seem to find anything about them.

Here is a view that shows off the fenders and handlebars better. The fenders are Sogreni, but were altered to fit the frame and tires.

Sogreni chainguard.

Copper and leather - mmmmmm...

Braided bar tape, inverse brake levers, brass bell.

All in all, this is one of the most striking bicycles I have ever seen in a bike shop. Though I understand it has a decidedly weird geometry, the build-up is incredible. Some inspirational food for thought for those considering silver frames!

16 comments:

  1. I remember Dan saying that it's stainless. I really don't understand why they built it up as a single speed. It would look so good with a brass 3-speed shifter and it's just one more cable.

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  2. It's hard to tell from the photos but I'd be surprised if it was stainless. For one, I'm not aware that there are any stainless steel fork blades available on the market today. And from what I see in the photos the shorelines of the lugs look rather monolithic - if it were stainless, there would be a noticeable color & texture difference there.
    Either way the bike has a really interesting design. Cool post.

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  3. What would you actually USE such a bike for, however? And it is not going to excite passion if hung on a wall.

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  4. I think it's meant to be a Sunday cruiser of sorts (judging by the tyres). Single speed, although not quite upright. It needs a little basket or leather bag for a newspaper.

    It's really mirror-polished in person, which may be another argument against stainless since that's so hard to do. Maybe it's plated?

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  5. Gorgeous, but too shiny for me. I need color.

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  6. @ Steve...that would be my slow ride to get coffee bike and to make the bike nerds drool. LOL Not ALL bikes have to be totally practical ;-)

    Aaron

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  7. steve, i agree with you. the geometry of this bike is truly "unique", and although this is a very interesting "fashion" bike with very nice details, i'm not sure exactly who this bike would appeal to. it seems to have cruiser-esque geometry, but with a road fork.

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  8. another quirk: inverse levers work best on bars that have a swept back grip area; they're not typically used on bars whose grip area flares out at an angle, such as milan bars (is that what these are?).

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  9. Steve - perhaps it an haute couture bike, designed for inspiration rather than practical use?

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  10. Somevillain: ". . .it seems to have cruiser-esque geometry, but with a road fork."

    You've just described the majority of Rivendells. That's one of the reasons I like them. I'm no particular fan of low trail.

    I'd swap the tires for slicks and either swap the brake levers for standard city types (and I wish they were available in that quality), or the bars for Albatrosses.

    Other than that it seems a quite practical bike to me (given that I almost never use my racks around town and find a messenger bag most convenient).

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  11. It appears to have a high bottom bracket (note how the chainstay is virtually parallel to the ground). So probably it has a fixed gear: the high bracket is to enable the cyclist to pedal through sharp corners.

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  12. ivan,

    the choice of TA cranks also supports leaning into sharp corners because of the low Q factor-- among the lowest of all cranks. i wonder if it has a track (narrow) bottom bracket?

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  13. Thanks for these enlightening comments, it's amazing how much I still have to learn about bicycle geometry!

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  14. I really love those braided handle grips. What's underneath the bar tape do you think?

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  15. The chainguard is killing me with the gorgeous.

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  16. I know I am quite late with my answer to your question, but I discovered your wonderful blog recently, so that's why.
    You will find the respective builder of this frame when you search for 'Uwe Marshall': http://www.marschall-framework.de/english/index.html . He mainly (or even exclusively, I am not shure about that) uses stainless steel for his frames, but gives them an ultra high polish so they indeed resemble chromed frames very closely.
    And his frames are always tailormade, so the admittedly strange geometry of the frame pictured above must have been a customers choice. It reminds me of some sort of cheap sporting bikes that were popular in Germany in the mid-1980s - best suited for light touring (because of the long chain stays that allow for large panniers), and for a flat bar, not for a road bar (because of the quite long top tube). But to be honest, I don't think that bikes build with such a geometry are very good at anything, and they don't even look good, which is a sad thing if you consider what amount of high-level craftsmanship went into it ...

    Matthias

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