We’re now 20 days away from the North American Handmade Bike Show – NAHBS – and we’ve decided we should probably start gluing the frame together for our wood gravel bike we’re featuring! We’ve actually been working frantically for the last few weeks on some of the features we’re introducing on this new frame and it’s been slowly coming together right on schedule. We’re running cables inside the frame, replacing aluminum inserts with carbon fiber, and trying out some new types of hardwood.
Our current models are all built on the Urban Scout platform, a road bike inspired hard maple and carbon fiber composite frame that’s strong, lightweight, and a blast to ride. While this may sound strange at first, it’s the perfect balance between a road bike, city bike, and adventure bike. You’ll know what we mean when you try it. We’re also bringing an Urban Scout Eleven to NAHBS this year that will have a couple upgrades like the Paul Component Engineering brakes, Thomson seatpost, and a couple little extras from Wolf Tooth Components.
For our NAHBS show bike we started with all the great features of the Urban Scout frame and added a couple new details.
The lugs are made using curly hard maple, with thin layers of black walnut for pin striping. You can see the layers of walnut in each individual lug below, and then as a complete frame it will all connect together to form perfectly placed pinstripes.
We took on the extra challenge of doing walnut inlay on the tubes, a giant undertaking that gave an amazing looking result. We’ve actually pinstriped frames in the past, which leaves a raised line that you can feel when you run your hand over it. With this inlay it’s all one smooth continuous surface. You can also really see the curly maple in this shot!
For our last trick we put internal routing in our stays. Since the Urban Scout has solid maple stays, this took a bit of magic to make happen for this prototype. The result is actually a lighter and stronger stay in the end, so this feature is a definite keeper.
This past week the frame really took shape, and the individual lugs, tubes, and stays were joined together. The walnut inlay really ties the whole thing together!
We’re running a 700 x 43 Panaracer Gravelking SK tire on this bike, although there’s room if you rock the dropouts backward to fit much larger! I’m looking forward to using a 27.5″ mountain bike wheel & tire setup on here at some point in the future.
I held my breath as I cut the tire opening freehand with my router. It turned out great, with plenty of clearance for this Panaracer once it’s packed with mud!
We’re in the final stretch now, so check back soon for the completed build photos. Give us a shout if you’re in the Buffalo area and would like to stop by the shop, and of course if you’re in the Sacramento area in a couple weeks come check it out in person! Here’s our Facebook Event with all the show details.