Every now and then I come across a part that makes me want to create a bike around it. It’s a round about way to do things, but it works for me.
Such was the case last year when I first saw Soma Fabrications cafe racer handle bar. It inspired me to create the Caffeine Racer mixte for my better half.
While at NAHBS, I was conveying this story to Paul Tolme, who runs PR for Gates Carbon Belt Drive. He came back to our booth a bit later and handed me a pink belt that Gates had produced in limited quantities to raise awareness for the fight against childhood cancer going on at the Pablove Foundation, and challenged me to create a bike around it.
It wasn’t a “double-dog-dare-you” kind of thing, but he was pushing my buttons.
At the same show, I received a unique set of shaped stainless steel tubes from our crazy and stylish Italian metal-heads at Columbus. It was obvious… shiny and pink had to go together.
The head tube is a story all by itself. I wanted to use 3T’s new tapered steerer road fork, so that meant an oversized HT to accommodate, but no stainless tubing exists in the proper diameter, so in stepped Mark Norstad from Paragon Machine Works. Mark spent 9 hours of machine “spindle time” milling this head tube out of solid stainless bar.
Expensive as it was, I think that it was worth it, since it gives the front end a bit of presence to go with the aggressive fork and over-sized down tube.