Bespoke Builds - JP's Eriksen Titanium Commuter

By: Brandon Aug 18

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The newest in what is already a deep and beautiful lineup of Bespoke Builds comes to us in a slightly different way: it just walked through the doors at Embro HQ. This one, a Kent Eriksen, was virtually the choice of friends of the owner as much as the owner himself. While JP knew he was looking for Ti, he did a poll of sorts to figure out which builder to use. After the first two answers from trusted friends came back suggesting Kent Eriksen, the poll was closed and the order was placed.

Designed to mirror the geometry of his cyclocross race bikes, the idea behind this Eriksen is rather simple: a weather-proof training bike that sees year-round commuting and plenty of hard training and intervals. This bike sees salt, snow, rain, dirt, gravel, and travel.

Being the kind of guy who would much rather be riding his bike than designing it, JP had a few ideas to share then he set Kent free. Though one major detail remained that Kent didn't have a hand in: the fork. Walt Works was brought in for this custom job, which included details he'd never done: 140mm post mount rotor and internal generator wiring. Obviously the fork turned out perfectly, it's beautiful and the finish really is unparalleled.

One of the touches JP insisted on was the pictured generator hub from Schmidt attached to their Edelux light.

Of course I think we'd be missing much of the point of covering this bike if we didn't talk about the SRAM Force CX1 drivetrain. JP knew from the get-go that this frame would be a rolling test-bed for the viability of CX1 as more than "just" a cyclocross group, in return much data has found it's way from this Eriksen to SRAM HQ in research of future product possibilities for 1x road applications. Talking about the drivetrain choice led to a lot of number crunching of gear ratios and how a 1x system can be quite easily applied to use on the road in the flatland states.

While JP was happy to chat about cable routing options and fork choices, he's clearly much more excited about riding the bike than staring at it.

photos and words by Brandon Elliott


Bespoke Builds - Sam's Independent Fabrication Ti Planet Cross

By: Brandon Aug 13

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Following on the heels of our last Bespoke Builds article of an Argonaut, this is an Independent Fabrication Titanium Planet Cross out of Signature Cycles in New York. If you're ever nearby any of their stores in Greenhich, Manhattan, or Central Valley, you must pay them a visit.

Like many other custom builds, this one has a story. From Blake of Signature Cycles:

This week we are highlighting something unique. We wanted to highlight this beautiful Independent Fabrications Ti Planet Cross, but more importantly we wanted to highlight the fact that it is 7 years old. That's right! Having a handmade bike is an investment... while many people opt to buy new bikes every 2-3 years, there's something to be said about the long term investment of a well made item.

In 2007 Sam purchased this bike with in intention of racing and riding through NYC's worst weather. In reality, what it became was much more than it was ever intended to be. Sam began riding to work daily, even riding through Hurricane Sandy and this past winter. If you ask any mechanic, nothing destroys a bike quite like commuting, and after 7 years of punishment, it was time for a little TLC.

We stripped the pink paint, bead-blasted the Ti frame to give it a Matte finish, and replaced the entire parts kit. New Campy Record 11, replaced this Record 10. His trusty Fulcrum Racing 1s were replaced with Enve's SES 3.4 hand-built wheel laced to orange Chris King R45s. The old Avid Canti's replaced with custom anodized Paul Mini Moto brakes.

In almost every way this bike is new... however the "spirit" of the frame has not changed, and all the folks at IF that designed, machined, welded, and finished the bike can still see their craftsmanship at work. Here's to the next 7 years!

There's no doubt that living in New York offers near endless possibilities of where to shop for your next custom build. The crew at Signature Cycles are clearly stepping their game up to meet the challenge and the quality and quantity of custom builds coming out of their doors should stand as a testament of their dedication to their craft.

photos courtesy of Signature Cycles, words courtesy of Signature Cycles and Brandon Elliott


Bespoke Builds - JWs Seven Axiom SL

By: Grayson Smith Aug 6

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This is a hipster bike.

It's hand made. In small batches. Using some of the best American sourced materials. Right here in the USA. Artisanal.

The Seven Axiom is a bicycle that is produced as well as our species knows how to make a bike (within the restrictions of the UCIs rules) and they've been making bikes as a business with this mentality since 1997.

Seven Cycles makes incredible bikes. I remember the first time I'd heard of them, way back in the late 90s when I would visit my local bike shop Pleasant Hill Cyclery looking for a neat new thing I could bolt on to my bike, or at least dream about it. The company stood out because it didn't. It wasn't flashy with marketing photos showing a pro team riding its bikes in the TDF. It transcended the racer boy image. It was a little more mature, more subdued. Little did I know of the pro-peloton politics of the 90s and that Titanium was somewhat popular with the big names before Carbon took over.

At the time the concept of a custom made bike didn't even register with my teenage mind - all I cared about was aluminum and carbon fiber. After all I was riding on a friends borrowed steel Fila (yes, the shoe company) branded bike (which I'll always have a soft spot for). I didn't know the difference between a quill or threadless stem.

The fact that they're still around when the likes of Serotta, Schwinn, Klein, Gary Fisher and several other frame builders (custom or otherwise) have come and gone is a testament to their methodologies and formulas. They've figured it out. Not just how to make great bikes but how to sell them and keep a top level custom bike company thriving in an industry with upside down margins.


Seattle has a lot of Sevens rolling around, almost entirely thanks to Cascade Bicycle Studio which built up this one as well. This Axiom belongs to a very nice and very strong friend of mine. Actually, he owns two Sevens. He also owns the Hufnagel we posted the other week.


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