A Classics season in full swing is a vibrant reminder of how cycling is a big part of European sporting life. Well, after football. Having said that, who can name a Dutch custom framebuilder? Not many will come to mind. But here’s one: Herman Braun — who has been supplying frames for professional racers, riders, and daily commuters in The Netherlands since 1983.
Herman travelled a similar path to many framebuilders of his ilk and era, having started out as a mechanic for various professional teams before he was enlisted with the Gazelle brand, supplying the now infamous TVM team… TVM squad members included Robert Millar and Phil Anderson. Herman quit the circuit life in 1985 to concentrate on his own business.
Apparently, the Gazelle frames weren’t up to much, and some riders asked Herman for a custom frame. Of course, Gazelle found out and served him with a cease-and-desist notice. The legal team was informed that Herman was an ex-employee and let off, after after a severe talking-to. Herman’s technical prowess has since been his best advertisement.
Braun Cycling now produces the best and most modern custom frames in The Netherlands, supplied with steel and titanium tubes by Dedaccai. Herman has instilled his skills and respect for quality construction within his son, Dave, who is now the primary fabricator of Braun Cycling. The Braun ‘Beauty’ is their proprietary race frame.
The Beauty is constructed from Dedacciai EOM 16.5 tubes, according to the customer’s geometry. The tapered headtube features machined races and expands to a width of 52mm. The frame is available in electronic and mechanical configurations, with internal cabling. Careful examination reveals that it’s not just the Italians that can produce a quality handmade steel race frame.
Head to the Braun Cycling website for more information. The site is in Dutch, but they will gladly handle any enquiry. Special thanks to Simon Tan for the photography.