Being the girlfriend of a “bike blogger” has as many ups as it has downs. The obvious down being that I’m on the road a lot but one of the ups is, well, this… Lauren loved her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine porteur but wanted something more suited for front-loading and longer rides in the hilly landscape that is Austin. Maybe, just maybe, some camping, too.
I chatted with her a lot about what she wanted and we came up with this “sportif porteur”. Mid trail for front-loading, fender / rack mounts, long-range gearing and an upright riding position. She didn’t want big touring tires, so its designed to fit a 28c with fenders or a 32c without. The build is quite reasonable, with higher-end components where they count.
Once we resolve which basket or rack we’re gong to use on the front, I’ll shoot more photos, highlighting Ian at Icarus‘ handywork. For now, this is all you get…
Here’s something unrelated to bikes but related to frame builders. I shot some photos last week of Ian from Icarus Frame‘s recently completed Triumph moto for Megadelux. His interview is now live on their site, so head over and check it out! Usually, I sway from moto content but a lot of people expressed interest in seeing more shots of this beast when I posted my Recent Roll photos earlier this month.
Since I’ve known Ian at Icarus Frames, he’s been tinkering on this motorcycle in between frame jobs. When Tracko was visiting, we swung by his shot in South Austin to catch up. Kyle wanted to shoot some photos and I had my camera, so I figured what the hell. I keep telling myself that I want to photograph this bike digitally and so I never shoot a full side profile of it with film. Kyle got a good shot of Ian riding it in his back yard and there’s a few older photos on my Flickr as well. One day I’ll go and do a proper photo shoot of this moto.
Until then, check out more in the Photoset and I even shot some of Chris’ new road frame before it went off to paint.
Two years ago, I visited Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames at his workshop in Boston and shot some photos. I ended up naming the post “The Son of Daedalus” after the Greek tale. For those unfamiliar, Daedalus was a great inventor and he had two sons, Icarus and Iapyx. Icarus and Daedalus wanted to fly like the birds, so they fashioned wings of wax, string and feathers.
Before pushing his son into flight off a cliff, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun. Icarus ignored his father and fell to his death. It’s a very morbid tale but Ian found it suitable as a name. Even before he had a name for his small framebuilding company, he used to attach feathers to his bikes, which later became his head badge.
I’ve been wanting to shoot more photos of Ian working in his small shop here in Austin so I took my Hasselblad, the 50mm CF T* lens, a tripod and some Ilford Delta 3200 over to do just that. The grainy, low light photos capture his shop environment quite well. As he worked away, sanding and filing on a new road bike, I tried my best not to get in his way. His shop is small but utilized efficiently as his tools and frames occupy every inch. I felt like the standard approach would be to try and bring more light into the film, but the dark exposures turned out perfect.
There will be a lot of Icarus on the blog in the forthcoming months, with Lauren’s bike on the way, my MAX fork, Ross’ light tourer and Chris’ road, pictured here.
One day, Lauren said to me “I wish my commuter had gears”. For someone who loves supporting his frame building buddies, it was like music to my ears, so I contacted Ian at Icarus Frames right away. After some measurements and a lot of back and forth, we had an idea what to build Lauren. The end product was a low-trail touring bike that could be set up like a porteur for now and easily converted into a road-drop touring bike. As always, Ian provided some of the cleanest fillets in the business and now we just have to decide on a paint job.
I shot some photos with my Contax G2 and Kodak E100VS before sending it off to Bryan at Fresh Frame. Check out more below!
When your precious track bike gets hit by a car, most would just hang her up on the wall and blow her kisses at night. Not Donal. He sent his wrecked Yamaguchi to Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames for a little repair job. The completed work is really rad, as captured here in this studio portrait. Looking good holmes!
Bryan Myers of Fresh Frame has painted two of my bikes, my Icarus MAX track and my Bishop road. He’s a master masker and the designs that leave his shop are, well, incredible. While Fresh Frame didn’t have a booth at the Philly Bike Expo, he did lead a seminar on painting and for an in-progress project example, he brought this partially finished Icarus road. This frame is stunning! I can’t wait to see it built up. Check out more below.
So Ian at Icarus has been working on this monster track machine for a little while. The idea is that bigger track racers, like 200+ lb sprinters, need a stiff bike and weight isn’t really a big of an issue. So he’s gone oversize everywhere he can. He’s still working on the frame, in his down time but this thing would rip the boards off a velodrome underneath the right racer…
When the team at Budnitz Bicycles emailed me, asking if I wanted to try out one of their single speed, belt-drive bikes, I respectfully declined, prompting them to offer up their titanium bars and seatpost instead. I’ll be honest, I was pretty amped on how my Icarus looked with those Ritchey drops and there was absolutely nothing wrong with my Thomson post but I decided to give them a try anyway. It’s been a few weeks of riding them, so what’s my consensus?
Honestly, the feel of the bars is distinguishable from an aluminum bar’s stiffness but it’s not blatantly obvious. It takes a few rides to feel it. What makes these most appealing is the shape, perfect for a bike like this: not too racy but not upright like many cruiser or porteur bars. The finish is nice and the bend is elegant. I never was a fan of straight, flat bars. As for the post? I can’t really feel any difference. The clamp is a bit cumbersome but once you set it up, makes a lot of sense. And I really like the simplicity of the design.
Overall, a $170 Ti bar and $150 seat post is out of most of our price ranges but when compared to high-end carbon bars and posts, it’s not that bad, especially if you prefer the feel over carbon. Or in my case, the low-lustre finish. The Budnitz Bicycles Ti Bars and Seatpost definitely changed the look and feel of my Icarus. Only time will tell for how long. Check out some photos in the Gallery.
Today I swung through to see Ian at Icarus about a few things. One of which was to photograph a new frame that just returned from Fresh Frame, his painter. This frame in particular is headed over to Germany tomorrow and it’s stunning. The client wanted a blue and white track frame, inspired by Jeremy’s Classic Track. The subtle pearl coat’s blue reflection really pops in the sunlight and I can’t wait to see how this beauty builds up. Until Ian and I can figure out a way to display these frames, I just asked to hold it in front of his new shop. It’s gonna be a busy winter for Icarus.
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Prolly is not Probably started in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. For over 6 years it has thrived as John Watson, the sole author, documents multiple facets of cycling. With the boom of urban cycling, Prolly is Not Probably has grown to be the number one blog for the culture surrounding it. In recent years, a large push for original content has spawned a steady flow of photosets, profiles and portraits.
Known for his A Day in 10 Photos, Merckx Mondays, Recent Roll, Shop Visits, and Beautiful Bicycles features, John continues to document bicycles of all kinds and his daily life through photos. Over the years, Prolly is Not Probably has been cited in the New York Times, COG Magazine, Urban Velo and other notable publications. In March of 2011, John moved to Austin, Texas where he continues to cover a cross section of cultural influences.