It’s encouraging to witness the growing interest in the handmade bicycle. Especially when you come across a first-time builder, someone like you or me, picking up a torch and creating a perfectly functioning bike. Tom Arbisi is a Californian industrial designer who, although he has access to a well-equipped machine shop, possesses a great deal of the most essential ingredient: passion.
Technical knowledge is important too, but with forums like Velocipede Salon, that’s always accessible. Tom assembled his porteur frame from True Temper tubes, joined with cast Henry James lugs. Utilizing his experience, Tom designed his own dropouts and bridges and manufactured them himself. Transmission is via an Alfine 11-speed rear hub, turned by Sugino cranks.
“Using cues from classic road bikes for the frame geometry,” Tom tells us, “I built the bike as a speedy round-towner, for picking-up groceries, commuting, and just zipping around for the sheer pleasure of it.” The frame and forks are finished with gun bluing, allowing Tom’s craftsmanship to show through. I’ll wager there’s few pleasures greater than zipping around on a bike you’ve built yourself.