When I started road cycling a few years back I bought a simple bike, just to see if this was the thing I wanted to do. After the first km’s it felt like I was built for it! When I met Elian, a dutch craftsman building some amazing bicycles, a year ago, I instantly wanted a bike from him as my ‘official’ road bike. We did a little tour together with The Village from Utrecht to Antwerp and back, supported by Rapha, joint by Ajanaku a.o. and I got infected with the custom bicycle virus… We sat down, talked about steel frames, details, colors, old vs new techniques and we drew the first outlines of my new bike. More then 6 months later it is here, and it was so much worth the wait!
The custom made steel frame, the fork tubes made out of deadstock Ishiwata Gallant 022 speed (check this old brochure and more on Ishiwata), found in an old factory somewhere in Europe, is finished in black and was left completely unbranded exempt for the original Ishiwata CrMo Tubing sticker. The handlebars are from Kiprim, an old French factory, found in the same factory as the tubes. The seatpost is from the Taiwanese company Kalloy (now known as Uno Kalloy) and is from the early 80’s. The saddle is something I really like. It is made by the Dutch company Lepper, but the production of this model was ended long time ago. Elian saw the old molds and asked if they wanted to make a special series for him only, and they agreed. It was made in a thicker leather as the original, with a newly developed ‘chassis’ and in a lovely black leather, specially made for me. At the end Elian assembled the bike with the components of my old bike which makes it a completely new old bike. I can’t wait to hit the road! (For more pictures go to Flickr > & you can follow my rides on Tumblr >)
If you are thinking about getting a custom bike, go talk to Elian Cycles, but make sure you have the time because it will only get better if you’re patient ;–)