The truss frame bicycle is a Massachusetts classic, the original having been built by Iver Johnson in 1910 as a pathracer. Mike Flanigan revived the design about a decade ago and made it his own. The basic ANT Truss is what I would call a "civilised recreation" bike: a simple single speed with a reinforced frame, wide tires and low but swept-back handlebars, intended for casual road-to-trail cycling in one's regular clothing. Over the years, the Truss has become one of ANT's signature designs. This, and its relevance to local bicycle manufacturing, is why it appeals to me. I consider this bike to be a ridable collector's item and a piece of local history.
An additional aspect of owning this bike that's interesting to me, is that it is a prototypical ANT and in no way a "collaboration" with me. I merely signed off on features that the builder himself thought best to use. And yet, I like everything about it; I agreed with all the choices Mike made. The bike shows off the shared aspects of mine and the builder's tastes, with neither of us having had to compromise.
This Truss is a 52cm x 54cm lightweight cro-moly steel frame. It is a hybrid between a classic pathracer and a modern track frame, with a high bottom bracket, aggressive geometry, clearances for 35mm tires, and a generous wheelbase. There is no toe overlap with the 35mm tires.
The Eastwood (not RAL) powdercoat is an interesting colour half-way between sage green and slate blue. It looks greenish in the sun, bluish in the shade.
The fork is also handbuilt by Mike Flanigan, with a brazed double-plated fork crown. These forks are Mike's specialty.
The main tubes are TIG-welded with a superbly smooth finish. The headtube features decorative lugwork. The handmade ANT headbadge was made right in front of me, with the process shown here.
The seat cluster features the signature ANT stays and a lugged collar.
This bike does not require a rear brake bridge, and in its place is a signature ANT plate. Paul dropouts were used for the rear fork ends.
The stem is handmade by ANT, fitted with Soma Oxford handlebars flipped upside down, a Dia Compe front brake lever, and classic grips from Gripworks.
The stem is rather stunningly made and finished, and also one of the builder's specialties. The hard plastic grips are made in Missouri. Gripworks only sells them wholesale in large batches, but Mike has individual pairs available, if anyone is interested. They are very firm to grip, which I prefer to the softer rubber ones. I also like the shape quite a lot - gently fluted and not too thick.
The crankset is Paul's, with 170mm cranks. I love the beautiful circles design and the classic look. MKS Touring Pedals were customised with ANT cutouts and the cages powdercoated black.Paul's seatpost with a standard amount of setback. And a Selle Anatomica saddle.
Mike Flanigan prefers to make as many parts of the bike on his own as he can, and to source as many of the remaining components as possible from the US. On this bike Mike made the frame, fork, headbadge, stem, and pedal cages. The headset, crankset, brake, seatpost, saddle, and grips are US-made.