Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

S & S Machine are an unsung hero of the custom framebuilding industry. To count the number of bikes on Cycle EXIF that have been fitted with their couplings, technically known as Bicycle Torque Couplings™, would be an outstanding feat. Here is yet another, an all-roader by Elian Cycles of The Netherlands.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Located in Roseville, California, S & S Machine is an industrial machine shop founded by Steve Smilanick. Steve has been supplying cyclists with his couplings since 1992, when he wanted to take his Bianchi road bike on a cruise and couldn’t unless it could fit into the same 62″ combined length + width + thickness required by commercial airlines.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Steve is obviously endowed with a brilliant technical mind: he devised a device that would enable a bike frame to be split in half, dismantled and stowed into the designated space. The designs were a success and Steve enjoyed taking his bike onshore at each port and riding through exotic locations. Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Twenty-four years later, there’re thousands of bikes riding around the world that have the potential to travel as luggage over air and sea, and S & S Machine employs about twenty-five employees. The couplers are a major side of his business, alongside cigar shop Indians, but that’s another story.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

A few years ago, we featured a couple of bikes by Elian Cycles, Elian Veltman’s framebuilding shop based in Maurik, a town in the Dutch province of Gelderland. One of them was built for Joachim Baan, the curator of a blog called Another Something, an online collection of fine art, fashion and design.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Joachim’s cycling evolved to require a bike that was more focused on touring and traveling, so he again contacted. The result was the Escape, an adventure tourer equipped with S & S Couplers. “For this second one, Joachim says, “I wanted a bike to ride every possible road, anywhere in the world. The all-road Escape is the result.”

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Elian fillet brazed the frame using a mix of Columbus and Deda tubes — the seat tube, down tube, chain, and seat stays are Columbus Zona, and the top tube is Deda — because splitting the tubes require longer butted ends. The frame design should’ve utilized​ a triple triangle layout, but the aim was to be able to fit it into the​ smallest case possible.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Joachim selected an eclectic list of parts for the build, including shifters, brake levers and dérailleurs from Gevenalle, Klampers by Paul Components, a Stronglight headset, Contec handlebars, a Ritchey fork, and one of the most bizarre saddles we’ve seen: the injection-molded nylon N-Series Seat by Infinity. Sure looks comfortable.

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape

Once completed, the frame was coated in industrial-strength spraypaint from Spies Hecker, so it will be able to withstand the inevitable wear that will come from international globetrotting — and still look as stylish as the stylish owner requires it to be. Special thanks to Joachim for the photos.

Elian Cycles Website | Instagram

Passport, Check, Bikecheck: Elian Cycles Escape