Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

Bondi’s Skunkworks is a one-man operation that specialises in covert builds and maintenance of Sydney’s lightest and fastest bikes. Little wonder, then, that the shop bike should be built around a radar-invisible frame by English Cycles.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

As you’d expect, Skunkworks’ Zak knows his way around custom frames, whether they be carbon, steel or titanium. He’s seen the best (and worst) of them and knows what they look like, both inside and out.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

Zak scrutinises the lightest and most innovative components being produced today for structural integrity, so that he can pass that knowledge onto his customers’ bikes. If it’s the lightest — or classiest —bike in the bunch that you’re after, Zak’s your man.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

Working on the world’s best carbon bikes is all very well, but Zak has hankered after a custom steel frame of his own for the obvious reasons. The roads around Sydney’s eastern suburbs are no magic carpet ride, and he’s out with the pack every morning.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

With those criteria — a bike for long-term comfort and speed, high-quality steel is the only choice for frame material. Some may argue to the contrary, but it’s a futile case when you consider the engineering integrity of Oregon’s Rob English.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

As it turned out, Rob and Zak had a mutual appreciation of each other’s work, so a plan was initiated. They discussed what Zak had been riding, and what sort of riding he intended to do. Dimensions were sent through, and Rob returned with a drawing.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

Once again, Rob created a frame that seems to defy gravity and logic; those svelte signature seat stays and smoothly finished fillets. This time, a carbon head and seat tube was incorporated, with an ISP and a custom topper housing ENVE internals.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

Zak already had a clear vision of how he wanted it to perform so as soon as the frame landed, he began building it up. Naturally, he’s on good terms with Berk Composites, who manufactured a 76g saddle with a carbon weave that matched the seat tube.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

There’s not a single component here that isn’t Skunkworks-approved: EE brakes with Jagwire housing. 3T Ergonova and ARX 2 cockpit, wrapped in matte Busyman tape with silver perforations, and a Campagnolo Super Record/Quarq D0 drivetrain.

Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks

All of the bearings were replaced with Kogel units, and Zak built the Extralite Cyber hubs into a 35mm-deep pair of Curve tubbies. It’s a stealth build, but it’s not murdered out. More like a well-fitting tuxedo.

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Singing In The Dead Of Night: English Cycles x Skunkworks