Todd Ingermanson of California’s Black Cat Bicycles describes himself as a one-man dance party, and with Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats playing in the background, it would definitely be a helluva do. Todd has been building a stack of mountain bike frames lately, but he’s well known for his equally individual road frames.
Like the Deadbeats, a Black Cat frame is a little psychedelic, with each getting a one-off paint job and design with details and tubing unique to each rider. Dain Zaffke is the Director of Marketing at Giro and has long been an enthusiastic proponent of Todd’s skill. Finally, Dain has picked up a Black Cat of his own.
Giro is also based in California, where there is plenty of good riding to be had, especially along the Big Sur coastline. Dain’s Black Cat is the perfect vehicle for coastal cruising. “The bike is steel and carbon”, he tells us, “with an Enve top tube and seat tube”. Todd created a frame with a mix of bi-laminate and fillet-brazing, accentuated with a custom set of handcrafted lugs.
“He made the seat mast topper, too. The stem / fork / handlebars / wheels are Easton and the rest is Shimano Dura Ace, laced with a King headset, Praxis BB and King cages. Todd is a really unique builder”, Dain says, “and I wanted his style to show through in on this bike. I gave him some basic guidelines about handling/fit and let him do the rest. And he nailed it.
“The bike is snappy and stiff and rides like a premium steel race bike with room for 28c tires and amazing downhill tracking / handling. As for the paint / graphics, the base paint was inspired by a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB that I saw down the street from our office at the Canepa Design car museum. The rest of the graphics were Todd’s interpretation of what I would want. I’m stoked!
“The pics don’t really do this bike justice. In my eyes this is the most beautiful bike I’ve ever seen.”
I’m inclined to agree. And I’m sure Dain will ride it like Todd intended it to be ridden.