This bike is destined for a fun and varied life, that much is for certain. This is one of only a very few singlespeed bikes I’ve ever made. There’s always something fun about a singlespeed, some sort of bare bones elemental bike archetype form that hits you straight away.
Harry wanted his bike to be classic, simple, versatile. He wanted it to fit big tyres, mudguards, and maybe even gears in the future. Harry wanted to be able chuck on a child seat to carry his kids, a bag on the front rack and powerful modern brakes.
We decided to use flat mount brakes in case Harry ever wants to use drop bars, and chose to make the bike with a classic 1″ quill stem so that the bar height can be easily adjusted. Quill stems are pretty time consuming to make: it’s all handmade right down to the wedge that’s hidden in the steerer tube. But making it meant we could use modern 31.8mm bars with the removable stem faceplate. The eccentric PF30 BB allows the chain to be tensioned, so we could use 12mm through axles for a super solid setup.
The choice parts are the Paul Comp Word rear hub laced to Velocity rims, the rad Nitto seatpost and super wide comfy Velo Orange bars, a Campagnolo Record headset, and those beautiful Middleburn cranks. The Carrier Bag up front made by my friends at Wizard Works rounds out the build just so.
When Harry told me the colour scheme he had in mind, I was a little sceptical at first that it’d look good. He showed me his colour palette via the medium of a photo of some Lego bricks, and said, “Kinda like a David Hockney painting!” As a child brought up on a diet of Lego and bicycles, it made me smile, and I’ll make sure to catch myself in future if I find myself being all grown up and boring with colour.
I think what I like so much with Harry’s bike is that it gets to the heart of what I love about bikes: the colours are playful (cos bikes are for fun!), the rack is as unique as it is practical (cos bikes are for doing stuff!), and it melds some lovely features and approaches of the past with some of the nicest technology of today (because bikes are timeless!). It’s a Clandestine through and through.