Artist Jeremiah Kille is a Santa Cruz local, just like his neighbour, framebuilder John Caletti. Both share a deep respect for the ocean, a worldview expressed through their individual crafts. Late last year, they teamed up on a project that combined their skills, and it won the Best Finish award at the 2016 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
We’ve been seeing a lot of incredibly well-painted frames lately, and it’s no bad thing. It just reinforces the position of the bicycle as a canvas for creativity, occasionally for an artist, but always for us as riders.
Jeremiah may have been the artist in the case of the Caletti x Kille collaboration, and although he does ride, the rider that will go on to create real art with this bike is Sean, a common friend to both John Caletti and Jeremiah Kille.
The bike was built for Sean to his geometry. Sean rides a lot and is passionate about cycling in general. He’s another mate of the Caletti workshop and was very enthusiastic about the project.
John built the frame out of soon-to-be rare True Temper tubes, mixed in with some tubi from Columbus. A lightweight OX Platinum head tube is up front, followed by an S3 tear drop top tube and a 38mm bi-oval down tube.
The seat tube is triple butted oversized Columbus Life, and the chain stays are Life too. The S-bends were formed in-house by John from True Temper pieces, finished with compact dropouts and a threaded bottom bracket shell from Paragon Machine Works.
The lightweight ENVE 2.0 fork was specified, along with a Chris King headset, before it was sent to Spectrum Powder Works for a coat of white paint. Jeremiah then took the frame and forks in hand to apply his artwork.
The original estimate of 20 hours to apply the artwork was exceeded by about 40 hours. Jeremiah took to his steel canvas with a traditional brush and a pot of black One Shot paint to illustrate a whale, squid, a pelican, crabs and a starfish amongst his patterns.
Not only did Jeremiah decorate the frame and forks, he also painted a Giro Synthe helmet and Empire shoes — and a custom Caletti slingshot. That bar tape? A short run for Caletti Cycles was manufactured and it’s available to purchase from the web shop.
Big thanks to Peter Thomsen for the photos.