Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

Syracuse’s Joe Roggenbuck completed Doug Fattic’s Framebuilding Class in 2010 and after a two-and-a-half year remission, has been hard at it since in his “Three Phase Liberty Bunker”. This is the second ride he’s built for himself.

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

We featured Joe’s Fat Tyre Road Bike here a year ago and this is it’s next emendation; featuring even more tyre clearances, a 44mm head tube so a modern carbon fork can be used, the canti brakes have been replaced by discs and the paint is a wild root beer fade.

Behind Cobra Frames lies a stringent raison d’être. Joe is also a photographer with a real respect for the camera: “Pardon the non-bike analogy, but I want the finished product to be as satisfying and effective to ride as my Nikon F100 Film SLR is to shoot.

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

“That camera has a really nice heft to it in your hands, it has a big, crisp viewfinder, and a terrific shutter sound. It has the controls I need, where I need them, and it’s not laden with all the amateur preset mode crap.

“It’s not for everyone and it doesn’t fit the bill for every type of shooting (It’s a film camera for starters), but for those of us who like it, it’s a very satisfying tool. That’s what I’m trying to do with bikes.”

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

Joe tries to avoid the trappings of making bikes for pro racers, when the customer is not a professional racer, but an everyday cyclist. “When bikes are designed to win races they necessarily have to de-prioritize the riding considerations of the rest of us,” Joe says.

This frame is mainly built from True Temper Ox Platinum tubing, but Joe does not restrict himself to the one tube set, instead blending steel from different brands depending on the rider’s requirements.

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

He describes the frame as “lively and responsive, but not harsh”, with slightly slack 72.5º parallel head tube and seat tube angles, relatively long 444mm chainstays, and a relatively low bottom bracket with 85mm of drop.

“I made considerations for how I ride and basically I wanted a stable road bike with big tires,” Joe says. “I don’t need to get super aggressive with short chainstays or a higher BB to help clear trail obstacles. Those would detract from performance in other situations.”

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

The perfectly even paint fade was applied by Ben and Rudi at Black Magic Paint in Portland, Oregon. Joe worked with them to develop the orange and brown gradient into a most effective combination.

This is the first Cobra we’ve seen with Joe’s new head badge: “I think it does a good job of conveying the spirit of what I’m trying to do,” he says, “which is to take the product seriously, but not to lose sight of the fun and carefree joy of riding your damn bike.”

Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy

“If I run my business with that carefree attitude and you don’t get their bike on time, or I get important details wrong, that’s not good, but if while trying to run a serious business I forget why people love cycling in the first place, I’ll end up with some boring bikes.

“So it’s all a reminder to me about what matters in the finished product. I’m trying to keep it real without keeping it too real. It’s kind of a big idea to put into a logo, but I think this head badge is at least congruent with that philosophy.”

‘Strike Excellence’ — a motto that Joe lives by and applies to his work, and it’s evidenced by the results.

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Strike Excellence: Cobra Frames Deepest Gravy