It’s easy to admire custom bicycles at face value, unaware of the hours it takes to create them, or the logic, maths and engineering that joins those tubes of steel together. A ‘Kustom Klunker’ by Colorado’s Gallus Cycles should provide a reminder.
The frame builder’s work increases with the complexity of the bike being created, and Gallus Cycles’ Jeremy Shlachter must have watched the hours tick up as the plans for Stuart’s Klunker was conceived.
This isn’t the first retro-styled mountain bike Jeremy has created. The first was a Ritchey-esque 650b that was presented at the 2013 NAHBS. Perhaps it was this bike that inspired Stuart to commission his own bike by Gallus Cycles.
Stuart had met Jeremy at the 2009 San Diego Custom Bicycle Show. Although Stuart can put together frames of his own, he had been admiring Jeremy’s work and asked him to build him a bike to hit the trails with in his hometown of Flagstaff, AZ.
One of the prerequisites was that it pay homage to bikes of the klunker era, and had to have an injection of funk… With that brief, Jeremy crafted lugs from scratch with a wild design that was in keeping with the Arizona landscape and Stuart’s personality.
There’s two separate lugs at the head tube, and one combined lug at the seat tube cluster, which is met by the two top tubes. The second top tube is fillet brazed to the down tube, while the first features a bend that was formed by Sean at Oddity Cycles in Fort Collins.
The nickel-plated fork truss was fabricated by Stuart himself, as were the handlebars and the hammered brass head badge. As per most ‘old school’ bikes, it can accommodate racks and is ready for some light touring, bike packing or grocery-getting.
Portland’s Black Magic Paint applied the colour, and it all came together with a 27.5+ WTB Scraper and Trail Blazer wheelset. Stuart can also run 700c/29er wheels and Scwhalbe Big Apple tires when need be.
Stuart should be over the moon with his Gallus, and that will have made it the hours building it all worthwhile. Time to get dusty.