Okay, today I’m going to show just one bike. Partly because I’m that in love with it and partly because of this insanely slow Interweb connection I have. I could spend the day trying to upload photos. Ugh. Sorry for the excuse; I’ll do a serious image dump once I’m back home.
The bike in question is by Chris Bishop and it’s some of the most significant work I’ve ever seen at NAHBS. I can think of maybe a half dozen guys who have ever done work like this. It’s not that there aren’t more guys who can do it; there just aren’t many who choose to do it. The why is simple: It’s more work than trying to negotiate a nuclear treaty with North Korea.
This bi-laminate head tube is precisely what’s so great about this bike. The half-lugs of the top and down tubes flow into the head tube with the workmanship I’ve come to expect from a guy like Dave Kirk or Peter Weigle.
What I see going on in this randonnee bike from Bishop are all the values I hold highest in frame building, and all in one bike. The fillet brazing is exceptional. He thins the points of the lugs, which I can say from experience takes more filing than you’ll do in a year of fingernails. And he adds small brass fillets to the lugs to smooth the transitions from one tube to the other. Forget for a moment the incredible paint—including the exceptional pinstriping—Bishop didn’t do that.
I should also mention that the fact this is a rando bike has absolutely nothing to do with why this bike is so great. These fork dropouts with the polished stainless steel accents don’t look half as good in this photo as they do in person. I didn’t see a thing on this bike that needed more refinement.
Stunning, I tell you. Stunning.