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

 

FMB Cyclocross Tires

By: Brandon Aug 5

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When it comes to 'cross tires, tubular is where it's at. Low pressure, huge grip, no pinch flats. But what fun are CX tires that get pumped out of a huge factory? That's not the Embro Way.

If you were to ever find your way into a pit at a World Cup race, let's say in Koksijde or Namur, you'll find yourself surrounded by handmade tubular tires, most likely coming from one of two sources.

Our tire of choice comes out of Francois' factory in Northern France. Though, "factory" is a funny word in this instance, with only a couple of sets of hands ever touching your tires. But, let's say that's not enough, you need something more substantial than the ethereal beauty of a handmade tire. Francois seals his tires from the factory, which adds some very significant longevity to your new tires. The durability is greatly improved and installation times decreased because you no longer have the step of adding Aquaseal to your sidewalls.

Next major step after deciding on FMB tires? Tread choice. We can help there....

SSC Slalom

FMB's newest tread melds the shoulder of the Super Mud with the center tread of the standard SSC. A tire that rolls fast but has massive grip in virtually all conditions.

SSC Sprint

The tire of speed freaks in dry conditions. File tread center with SSC shoulder knobs to add cornering grip. Blazingly fast in grass and hardpack without feeling like you're cornering on ice like some other file treads.

SSC Super Mud

Grip everyone, rail everything. A tire that will not slip, slide, or slow you down with the conditions take a turn toward the slop

Grippo XL

The tire when you need to run one tread all year. Grip and speed all in one, it's a tread that won't quit, from September through January.

$125/tire, $115/tire when buying 2 or more.

Each FMB order will include an Embro Logo T, just let us know your size in the notes during checkout.

Tread
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photos by Adrien Levinger, words by Brandon Elliott

 

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