Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ANT Truss Bike... Mine!

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
For some time now I've had a trade deal in the works with Mike Flanigan of ANT. In the early stages we discussed what kind of bike it would be, but couldn't decide with certainty. A loop frame with faux lugs? A basket cargo bike? Then one day I knew: a truss frame. And trying one that belonged to a friend cinched that decision.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
The fork is also handbuilt by Mike Flanigan, with a brazed double-plated fork crown. These forks are Mike's specialty.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
The seat cluster features the signature ANT stays and a lugged collar.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
This bike does not require a rear brake bridge, and in its place is a signature ANT plate.

Paul Dropouts, ANT Truss
Paul dropouts were used for the rear fork ends.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

ANT Handmade Stem
The stem is rather stunningly made and finished, and also one of the builder's specialties. 

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

Paul Crankset, ANT Truss
The crankset is Paul's, with 170mm cranks. I love the beautiful circles design and the classic look. 

ANT-Branded MKS Touring Pedals
MKS Touring Pedals were customised with ANT cutouts and the cages powdercoated black.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
Chris King headset and a Paul centerpull front brake with Kool-Stop pads.

Paul Seatpost, ANT Truss
Paul's seatpost with a standard amount of setback.

Paul Seatpost, Selle Anatomica Saddle
And a Selle Anatomica saddle.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
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.

Velo Steel Coaster Brake, ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
We wanted this bike to be a single speed with free/fixed possibilities, but we agreed that it should not be drilled for a rear brake. So the natural solution was to have two wheelsets: one fixed and one with a coaster brake. We installed the coaster brake wheels to start with and I will probably leave it this way for a while. The rear hub is VeloSteel, made in the Czech Republic. Harris Cyclery built this wheel around a spare Bella Ciao rim I had left over from an earlier project. The front wheel is also a Bella Ciao left-over. The rims are aluminum and made in Germany. My fixed gear wheelset is a very low-end one, but some day I will save up and replace it with one built around Phil Wood hubs, to honor the builder's US-made preferences.

ANT Truss Frame Bicycle
You don't need me to tell you that ANT makes good bikes; Mike has been on the scene for decades and has a legendary reputation without my help. Having known him for three years now, to me Mike is a very real person - creative, independent, open-minded and kind, with great stories and valuable advice. I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to own one of his bicycles, and I think the unique Truss was the right choice. The bike fits me wonderfully, it rides nicely, and I will surely post more about it as I get to know it better. Full set of pictures here.

111 comments:

  1. That is a truely gorgeous bicycle,I cannot look away... (otherwise speechless)

    The Disabled Cyclist

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  2. Very interesting indeed! Is it even possible to get brake levers, chain and handlebars made in the USA?

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    1. Not that I know of, though I could be wrong.

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    2. brake levers: www.paulcomp.com

      chain: not that i know of

      handlebars: can't think of any OTTOMH, but they're not hard for a metal shop or framebuilder to fabricate. my framebuilder friend makes his own on occasion.

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    3. Moots and Jones are MUSA handlebars.

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    4. Moots and Jones both make MUSA handlebars. They don't have very many options in their line ups though.

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    5. Of course, you're right. Even Seven makes their own handlebars. I guess what I meant was that no one I know of in the US makes classic North Road style bars.

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    6. Diamond chains made in US can still be had. Not sure if they're current production or old stock.

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    7. I thought those were vintage NOS only, will have to investigate further.

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    8. First of all, I've got to say that this is a beautiful bike. I love it.

      Now, to clear up some confusion:
      -only readily available new-production MUSA brake levers come from paul. With everything else on this bike being from Paul Components, the bike is begging for a Paul lever.
      -Also, weird that you want a Phil track hub, when Paul makes one, too...it's not as nice, but it's cheaper, and would match your crank, seatpost, brake, drop-outs, and (hopefully one day) your brake lever.
      -Diamond still makes chains in the USA; diamond #41 chain wasn't designed for bicycles, but is fully compatible with 1/8" "singlespeed" chains. Motorized bicycle guys swear by them; i've never used them, as they are pricey. The one you want is on page 4:
      http://www.diamondchain.com/catalogs/diamond-chain-product-guide
      -Good look with the velosteel hub. I have one, and love it. By far the best current-production SS coaster hub. FWIW, if you wanted to geek-out on the made-in-us thing, you can get purportedly NOS Morrows on the interwebs.
      -Lots of firms currently make lots of handlebars in the USA. It drives me crazy to see ppl list only a few ultra-high end makes, when bars (and grips!) are some of the last bike components being affordably made in the USA (admittedly, most of these are for BMX or Mountain bikes.) I own a lot of MUSA handlebars, some of which were very pricey, and others which aren't. As for northroads, you can't get much more affordable than Wald 8095 bars, made in the state of Kentucky out of chromed steel. The truss frame might be slumming it with some $13 bars on it, but at least they're not Soma bars.

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    9. Damn, your knowledge is vast and I am out of touch.

      Somewhere deep down I knew about Wald, but forgot. I do not like the Paul's brake levers for this bike. Would like to find something that looks similar to the Dia Compe if possible. Didn't know Paul made hubs; will check it out. And thanks for the link to the chain.

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    10. Screech:
      Does everything have to match in branding? What is the point to doing that other than to promote the brand unless all the parts are superior in appearance and function to all the other possibilities?

      Frankly I don't like the look of the CNC'd Paul brakes, but I don't mind the crank at all.

      Velouria, I want this bike even more than the lilac fixed gear. Well done!

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    11. Dude: Absolutely not; I just think that when everything else matches pretty nicely, you might as well take that ball and run with it. And, Paul is pretty much the only one in manufacturing stuff domestically where you can get your whole "group" by the same maker....so long as it's SS. If this were my frame, I think i'd have gone with White Industries for a lot of the drivetrain, paul brake/levers, thomson post, Wald bars, and a Brooks saddle. To each his/her own...I just think that having Paul everything with a Phil hub would seem sort of discordant.

      V- I'm flattered but really this is just a juxtaposition of 2 things with which I am obsessed: bicycles and stuff produced in the USA. I also have a huge soft-spot in my heart for Wald products in general. My knowledge isn't all that vast; it's more a case of my sickness being pretty dire. =D
      -rob
      ps- I think paul racers are the hottest (if least practical) brake currentl available.

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  3. so how many does this make? ;) (congrats! looks lovely)

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  4. I understand what you mean about getting this bike as a collector's item and to show off Mike's work in its pure form. I would bet it is also an investment, if you keep it in good shape.

    But I'm also a little surprised you didn't go for a cargo bike. You've mentioned before that you could use one and this could have been just the opportunity.

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    1. Cargo bikes are large and I am not entirely sure that I really need one. I would also not want to store an ANT outside where we live, and having to drag a cargo bike in and out of the house every time would undermine its usefulness. The truss bike is small and can be easily stored, easily taken along when we move. More than anything, I wanted Mike to make a bike that he wanted to exist but didn't often have a chance to make just the way he wanted, if that makes sense. For something uber-utilitarian like a cargo bike our ideas would not have coincided as much.

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  5. what did you trade him that got you all this bike...?

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    1. Several years of advertising, and photography. Email me if you're interested in my rates.

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    2. Do you think he would take a kidney for one in my size? :D

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  6. I'd send it back!!! The handlebars are upside down!!

    (Nice bike!!)

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  7. What a great bike. I love how you spec'd it. What was the consideration between 700C and 650B?

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    1. The wheels are 700cx35mm. The frame was basically designed for the 700C Schwalbe Delta Cruisers. Larger wheels are traditional for this bike, and Mike assured me there'd be no TCO, so wheel size never came up as an issue.

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    2. OK, so room for large tires w/ no TCO built into it, sounds good! If those concerns are addressed, do you tend to prefer 700C?

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    3. You know, I don't think I have a preference between 700C and 650B. Perhaps it depends on the kind of bike it is.

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  8. Well, I could go on about the form and color, the integrity, energy, and sweep in its artisanal design and execution, and on and on in feeble deconstruction. I'll simply admit defeat and leave off to just say that this machine has allure. No small feat. Congratulations to you both and thank you for sharing. Jim Duncan

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  9. How does your bike compare to the other truss bike you test rode last year? Are they consistent? I am a light weight female and my boyfriend says the truss construction would make the frame too stiff for someone like me. You haven't mentioned anything about that. What do you think?

    Dana

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    1. My friend's bike had 28mm tires and was fixed gear, so that makes it hard to compare.

      By the frame being too stiff, do you mean you are concerned the bike would feel sluggish, or too harsh, or what? Mine definitely does not feel sluggish; it's a zippy bike. The ride quality is not harsh. But with these things it is really a case of YMMV. You could always request tubing to suit your weight and riding style, but I wouldn't know how to go about suggesting which.

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    2. Well, pictures are only pictures but looks more like a 22mm round fork blade than a standard 24mm. Could it be Columbus PL? Those ride too soft for big guys so maybe. For sure the curve on the fork starts high and that will smooth the ride a bit.

      The seatstays look normal diameter. The taper doesn't look familiar. Something special? The chainstays are definitely something small diameter. There's a lot a builder can do to smooth the ride. At first glance it looks like Flanagan did.

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  10. So what's the thinking behind owning two custom fixies? Not that thinking is strictly required!

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    1. No thinking behind that. I got this bicycle simply because I wanted it to exist. I do not mind admitting it is predominantly a collector's piece for me, a specimen of the builder's work to preserve over time and to share with readers.

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    2. Well, it is a beauty, and a vicarious pleasure to learn about it. I guess I was also wondering why, given that you already have a nice fixie, why you didn't choose to build this with gears, making it more versatile in our hilly NE. Now I'm thinking too much!

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    3. I wanted to have the ANT plate in the rear, and not to clutter the frame with cables and drum brake hubs. Basically, personal use/usefulness was not the primary concern here. I have all the transportation bikes I need already.

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    4. 'a specimen of the builder's work to preserve over time and to share with readers.'

      Okay, when can i drop by to take this beauty for a spin?

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    5. Any time, as long as it's virtual.

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    6. All jokes aside, it makes sense for someone in your position to accumulate a retirement fund of collectible hand built bikes. Just make sure the geometry is not too weird on any of them, and they should at least retain their value down the road.

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    7. That is pretty much how I see it. I think this bike is highly collectable, and the geo is not weird at all.

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  11. I am SOOOOO jealous of your new bike! OMG, I want that same bike, in my size! I have been thinking about getting a Pashley Guv'nor, but I'd rather support the American work force and industry. I really want a bike like that and could imagine using it for events and adventures, not just for riding around town. I'd be tempted to have it built around the Sturmey fixed gear 3-speed rear hub and I'd definitely want a rear brake, too, since it's so mountainous where I ride.

    I will say I have always liked ANT's work, but have always been put off by his choice of TIG welding. To me, TIG is not worthy of custom work. Custom steel frames should be lugged or fillet brazed, in my opinion. I don't know why I have this bias against TIG, except that I associate it with mountain bikes and with factory- or robot-made bikes. I have always found it curious that Mike Flanigan uses this method of joinery. Obviously it makes no difference to the ride qualities of the bike, nor the integrity of the design. It's just my little hang-up and, frankly, this could be the bike which helps me get beyond that sentiment!

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    1. His welds can be almost invisible. I think it looks cool without lugs in this case. I suppose fillet brazed and painted would too.

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    2. Oh no, so much for one bike to rule them all!

      As I've written before, one reason I am attracted to the truss frame, is because I think this is one of the few designs that actually looks better without lugs. Therefore I do not see the TIG welding here as a compromise. Lugs + truss would just be too cluttered.

      The Pashley Guv'nor is a cool bike, and we have a test ride report from MDI's POV here. But, I think this is not the bike for the terrain I now know you ride through every day. The ANT? Maybe. A lot would depend on the geometry and tubing you choose, which is one of the benefits of going custom after all.

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  12. i'm sage green with envy! congratulations on the new acquisition!

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  13. Drat, another bike to want. Very nice. I'd have it set up as a ss or perhaps with an AW -- I suppose that ANT will make one with a bridge for a rear caliper?

    What do they cost?

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  14. Just admit it, you like top tubes so much you want two of them:P
    I can understand you won't leave that bike outside. A knowledgable thief would buthcer it for parts in a second even if the frame is locked up.

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    1. Yeah, just imagining this bike chained up outside gives me heart palpitations. I do not have components this nice on the bikes I let out of my sight.

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  15. I'm thinking that this pony may be the eponymous Lovely Bicycle.

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  16. Big props to Mike for sourcing as locally as possible (himself!).

    While I can take or leave the truss, the modern front geo with long chainstays is a really good idea. Perfect if a person wants a long rack or platform for stuff, standard panniers would fit but extra big ones could too.

    The truss is great for stiffening up the front end for a front rack as well, so this design could be a great platform for a light-duty cargo bike.

    The build on this is nice.

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  17. No pics of you on it? How does it fit? I mean did you choose the size to fit you a certain way, this being a certain kind of bike? It does look like a bike just to ride.

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    1. I need the Co-Habitant to take pictures of me riding in daylight and the timing hasn't worked out. Hopefully this weekend.

      I did not change a thing from the way Mike set up the bike; the fit feels spot on as pictured. I am fairly upright, and the low handlebar position gives me leverage to lean in when I really want to accelerate. The way I feel on the bike makes a lot of sense for the kind of bike it is.

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  18. Beautiful bike!! Congratulations ... all of your work on this here blog seems to be paying off well. It is more difficult than most people can imagine to write interesting material on a daily basis ... keep up the good work!

    On a side note ... I find it interesting that the truss frame, essentially a double top tube, is seen as beautiful and "great" for stiffening up a frame to use with racks and so on ... but the double top tube frames from Rivendell, also generally used with racks to carry loads, are often viewed as undesirable ... or even a "dumb design"/"bringing back the klunker" sort of thing. Is it just the shape of the second top tube that makes the truss frame more visually appealing, and therefore a "good" design, as opposed to a straight double top tube that's considered somehow silly and something that ruins the ride quality? Confusing ...

    All that aside, your new bike is stunning, and I can only imagine it rides as well as it looks. Hope you'll be giving us the full report in the near future!

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    1. Personally I do not at all see double top tubes as unsightly. Tall frames with double top tubes have been common for ages on Dutch bikes and English roadsters to reinforce bikes that transport loads. However, on smaller frames they are simply unnecessary. Rivendell, as I understand it, is making the argument that the 2TT is a utilitarian feature, and for a 56cm frame I just don't see how. It is an aesthetic quirk, but certainly not necessary for the bike's integrity. What bothers me is not the double TT in itself, but Rivendell's move toward "standardising" this feature for normal sized frames.

      The ANT Truss frame is a decidedly eccentric bike based on a curious vintage local design, and ANT does not present it as anything other than that. Mike does not make the argument that everyone needs to be riding a truss frame bike, or that truss frame bikes are better. It is simply a cool, unique little model he offers in addition to his other bikes. That is the difference between this and Riv's 2TT/ diagatube thing, as I see it.

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    2. Hey, you remembered what I said!

      Ok, here you go: Riv, imho, is going after big guys. They are already substantially built, now they are MORE. Put a rack or two on it, trundle around. Good design for a lot of weight, but it presumes a lot of weight.

      Now...the ANT is small diameter, traditional tubing so is going to be giving a more supple ride quality than above. Is that good? Depends on what you want. I don't know if Mike chooses tubing to fit the rider, but if he did more substantive stuff could be used depending on rider weight, desired ride and anticipated cargo.

      Are you 260+ lbs. and want to travel the world on a bike? Get a Hunqapiller.

      Anon potshots are ok, but they usually reveal the ignorance of the commentor.

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    3. BTW after the Klunkerz Debacle I tweeted Gary Fisher to determine what the real weight of those things was. He (might have) said, "about the weight of a new Rivendell."

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    4. Well to be fair, ANT transport bikes - when they are fitted with hubs, lighting, fenders, racks, baskets, bells, and the kitchen sink, are not exactly light either. But the basic truss is fairly lightweight; lighter than a Riv Quickbeam as I recall.

      What I wrote above is not different from what I'd thought/ written earlier, your input notwithstanding. When Riv came out with Bombadil 1.0 (raw finish, double top tube), I thought it was super cool and wanted one. But when they started to introduce extra tubes to all their models, explaining that it was better that way, that became a different story.

      Incidentally, in the same newsletter where Riv wrote about the popularity of the Betty Foy, they also wrote that the Hunquapillar (one of the diagotube bikes) is not selling well. Looks like the 260lb+ customers are out of luck :(

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    5. Sorry, one more because I'm drunk: Riv, pay attention to this blog. Big guys, alright whatever. Chicks like the Foy. Build lighter, build pretty, build neutral yo.

      Classic.

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    6. Jim ... there's nothing "humble" about your opinion. However, I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert ... which I suppose is what you refer to as being "ignorant".

      It wasn't really a potshot ... just didn't quite understand how you could call Rivendell's double top tube "dumb", and the truss frame "great". But now you've certainly "schooled" me with your vast knowledge. I would never have thought tubing diameter and wall thickness would make a difference in weight, strength, and frame flex ... but thanks to you, now I know. Yes, that was intended to be sarcastic.

      It's too bad that Rivendell is no longer appreciated here, especially since they're a paying sponsor, but honesty is important, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion ... and I guess mine is just "ignorant". I'm beginning to think that the more one envisions themself as a "serious cyclist", the view changes on what a "properly-built" bike looks like. Thank goodness I'm not that serious.

      I'm off now to trundle around on my blatantly-overbuilt-for-no-good-reason Rivendell. Sadly, it does not sport a second top tube, because it's a smaller size frame. Even more sad, I do not weigh 260+ pounds, and therefore probably won't experience the true nature of the bike's intended design. Nevertheless, it makes me smile to ride it, and since it's so substantially built, I have no worry of breaking anything, no matter where I choose to go. I'm in no hurry to get anywhere, I'm not traveling the world, and I'm not training for anything. I just love to ride. If that makes me less of a cyclist to you, or "ignorant", then so be it. Enjoy the view from your throne on high.

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    7. Naw, if you actually signed your name and asked a question politely, I would have answered in kind.

      If your tone is hostile I'm not tone deaf, you'll get it back.

      Other thing is when Riv is mentioned negatively here, but for V, the anon hostile comments come out.

      My throne is a bench; everyone is invited to sit.

      Now let me get back to my basketball.

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    8. Dear readers, don't drink and post! Or if you do, stick to gin... works for me.

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    9. Don't be sarcastic now.

      Gin is for mean drunks. I'm quite jolly.

      Some Riv nuts have never played a sport. Just sayin.

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    10. Sarcastic yourself. I love gin.

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    11. Dude, sans politesse ca ne me fait rien.

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  19. Wow!! What a work of art! Form and function in the same package. I love every aspect of it, but I think I am most impressed by how clean the welds are. Not really even visible in the photos. I think lugs would have detracted from the beautiful simplicity of this gem.

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  20. Shoot, I thought you listened to me...


    To your fair point - yes. This bike is the frivolity to your other's purposefulness. In Cali we do the clip on of those accoutrements because of the weather. Here, anyway. Theoretically we'll have a few sprinkles between now and October.

    Don't get me wrong: if Riv or anyone else can build me a very fast, comfy racy bike with a low trail Enve fork with a quick release integrated (you know what I mean) platform rack and braze-ons for a rear I'm all over it.

    Tim O'Donnell at Shamrock did something sort of like this but Kermit green just made me puke a bit.


    Disclaimer: I'm in the middle of a drink experiment if none of this makes sense.

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  21. Oh.my.God. I don't even believe it--this is practically my dream bike and you have it! I'm thrilled for you and almost levitating with sheer envy. I've been so enthralled by this truss frame since I first saw photos and then only a couple of weeks ago, an ANT truss frame bike appeared in my neighborhood. I wouldn't say I've stalked it, but I've definitely lurked. Congratulations--this is a beautiful, beautiful bike and I think you're justified in appreciating it for its design and craft. Love the color too--very subtle and well...lovely.

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    1. If you're local, you're welcome to have a look and try it; email me. I see ANTs and other local builders' bikes around my neighbourhood all the time as well; things like that make me feel a bit more normal!

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    2. I am--would love to take you up on that some time!

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  22. Oh my goodness--that color is gorgeous!!!

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  23. I was all set not getting any more threaded bikes until I saw this stem. :)

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    1. I am sure he could make it threadless, but it might look a little weird.

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  24. My two favorite lines in this comment section.

    V: I got this bicycle simply because I wanted it to exist.

    And Johan T: Just admit it, you like top tubes so much you want two of them.

    Never saw this design before. Was the original intention of the truss to stiffen things up with some specific purpose?

    Don't know why but the fork is to die for.

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    1. The fork crown is a fetish object, plain and simple.

      There is some info here about the truss, including in the comments. The truth is, no one is really sure about the original intention of the design.

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    2. Iver Johnson has been gone for a very long time; too bad for us, as he was an interesting engineer.
      (He also gets my props for sponsoring Major Taylor as a cyclist at a time when an awful lot of people wouldn't even shake hands with the fellow.)

      Johnson also invented the shrouded hammer "safety" revolver, fwiw.

      Congratulations on a really stately bicycle, V.
      This one rates with the DL-1 loop frame, the Steyr swan-frame roadster, and the Bella Ciao frascona curve step-through as a truly Lovely Bicycle.

      Oh, and gin is a no-no except when it's pith helmet weather. At least here in Soggy Thicket.

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  25. Velouria, Get help.

    Spindizzy

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    1. Um this IS help. How do you think I kicked my crack addiction?

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    2. Looks like you picked the *right* time to stop sniffing glue.

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  26. Another masterpiece in a growing fleet of gorgeous bikes. Each one is unique, expertly designed and executed.
    Hats of to the amazing builder and the happy owner.

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  27. I want to further develop my frame building trade so that I can work with customers like you. Everything about this post is heartening. Congratulations and thank-you.

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  28. ANT bikes are sweet, for sure. The truss-bike woulda been my choice, too - conggrats.

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  29. Cool - love you ANT welcome to the Truss Club! Many of the parts on your is the same as mine, only I choose a White Ind crank and Strumey 3-speed coaster. Mike's bikes are fantastic.

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  30. Oh gosh. That is seriously drool-worthy. I cannot recall seeing (even on the internet, let alone live) such a gorgeous specimen.

    That color and creme tires would go on my custom dream bike. In fact, I have those tires on my orange fixie - she looks great, but not quite that great.

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  31. Number of bikes you need =n+1, where n= the number you have :)

    Do you find that there are bikes you almost "forget about" and then "rediscover"? When you're picking what to ride any particular day, how do you decide? Do you pick what to ride based on your mood? The terrain of your ride? What you're wearing?
    Sounds like a post I'd like to read.

    I have a hard time sometimes deciding among my paltry (in comparison) fleet of 6.

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    1. I prefer to ride the same bike for transportation every day, so I change bikes usually only with the season or weather. Last summer I pretty much rode my mixte every day unless it rained; then I put it away in October and rode the Bella Ciao all winter. The Gazelle has been in the basement for a while, because it is redundant with the Bella Ciao. Later this Spring I will be selling at least 3 bikes, so the n will decrease again, or at least remain stable : )

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    2. Velouria, I'm going to sell four of bikes, or at least frames, this year (Rivendell All-Rounder, Raleigh Competition, Kestrel 4000, and one other TBD). Then I am going to order an Ant truss bike practically identical to yours (except bigger and with three gears). It will be "the one 3-speed bike to rule them all"!

      So I guess my ideal number of bikes is currently N-4+1. Here's my fleet:

      http://www.adventurecorps.com/chronicles/bikes/

      Thanks for the inspiration! I've admired Ant's truss bike for quite a few years and now you've pushed me over the edge. I am sure I will love the TIG welding, too. ;-)

      Delete
  32. Envy here. I've loved that frame type since I first saw a picture of an Iver Johnson bike with it. If it were mine I'd have used a hub brake in front but I wouldn't change anything else. It's damn near perfect.

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  33. If anyone is considering a ANT Truss, I would look into getting a 3-speed coaster brake set-up. Mine is great around town and very clean looking with no cables anywhere, and I had Mike do a suicide shifter on the seat stay (way cool). I do love the color of yours though, I went with classic black. I keep my in the dinning area, so I can drool over it every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The seat stay shifter sounds awesome; glad you're enjoying the bike!

      Delete
    2. Dave, do you have a photo of that set-up anywhere online that you could share? I'd really like to see it. I'm going to order the truss bike and thought I'd run my 3-speed fixed gear (S3X) hub on it.

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    3. Send me an email and I would be happy to send you photos.

      Thanks, Mike

      Delete
    4. I <3 that set-up. i almost went that route, but decided on a 2spd kickback with coaster brake, Sturmey Archer S2C.

      Mike, can you make my bike NOW? PLEEEEAAASSSE! ;)

      OK, I'll wait 3 more weeks....

      Delete
  34. Thank you to everyone for your nice comments about my work.

    I have a nice red Truss bike being built up to ship out this Friday and will post pictures to my blog.

    antbikemike {this blog will not let me post by name?}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Mike, blogger must be acting up.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog; hope the comments did not exhaust you. Looking forward to seeing the red truss bike!

      Delete
  35. Your ANT rocks! what gear combo are you using? (ring/cog)

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    Replies
    1. I am waiting for a new cog in the mail, and once it's installed the combination will be 48/20 on the coaster brake wheelset.

      Delete
  36. Hi Velouria- I look at that stem and think "ouch." I guess as the queen of wipe outs, I see bruises where I don't want them between abdomen and thighs. I'm a wimp, I know, but I've worn bruises from hitting potholes and such.

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  37. @Ground Round Jim:
    Just sayin.

    Velouria,
    Schwinn and others made truss frame bikes too. It looks great. That IS a performance improvement if your criteria for performance of an object includes aesthetics.

    And yeah, I have bike envy for that one.
    Practical and beautiful. Hope you ride it to the end of its service life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "... That IS a performance improvement if your criteria for performance of an object includes aesthetics"

      Reading this makes me realise that mine does not. If performance is what I require, then I will choose performance over aesthetics. Of course, if it's possible to get the same level of that performance with more pleasing aesthetics, I will do my best to find that option.

      Now I need to find an example of a truss frame Schwinn, never seen one!

      Delete
  38. It is a shame that Paul never did move past mid 90's CNC styling for most of the components they make. While very functional most of them are pitifully ugly on anything other than a early to mid 90's mountain bike.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really think so? To me the crankset looks rather elegant, as do the seatpost and centerpull brakes. Not all components they make are beautiful, but certainly some.

      Delete
    2. I will concede that the chainring on the crankset is nice enough but look at the rail clamp on the seatpost and compare it to the same part on a Nitto post. The post itself is evidence that they can make something smooth but the rail clamp looks like something a civil engineer designed for a bridge as does the brake. The polished finish does add elegance to these components and softens their appearance somewhat but can't hide the fact that they are the result of a multi-tool machine center and computer program.

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    3. "...but the rail clamp looks like something a civil engineer designed for a bridge"

      For a bridge you say? Well, then it's kind of fitting for this bike, if you think about it : )

      Delete
    4. Well in that context I surrender and will concede that there are some beautiful bridges out there :)

      Delete
  39. melissatheragamuffinMarch 29, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Velouria, brass tax - what would a bike like that cost? My LBS is looking to pick up another line of bikes from a small manufacturer. I mentioned both Rivendell and Seven because of what all I've read about them on this site. But, I'd like to see more pretty transport bikes on the road - inspite of the fact that I ride a Long Haul Trucker.

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  40. V - Not sure if you are still following this thread but I just saw this and thought of you:

    http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1893_1940/1917_06.html

    A little cheaper back then :)

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  41. Noticed it's not in MY BICYCLES, nor is the 1936?

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  42. Just arrived in your blog true Seven 2013 catalog. Portugal is watching you. Great bikes you have.

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  43. pretty bike. Much deserving of a my Thompson Cola Bottle Grips, rather than those hard thin grips you have on there. Same vintage look, modern more comfortable feel. Email me if interested. I'll sell you a pair at wholesale.
    ijt64@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Nice bike...

    Not keen on the steering stem, that is of the testicle tearing style of impeding object though.

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