Long-term readers of Cycle EXIF should recognise the work of Eric Baumann. He has photographed some of our favourite bikes, many by Boston’s Royal H Cycles, and one from Eric’s own stable, a Landshark Roadshark, was the April bike in the 2014 Cycle EXIF Custom Bicycle Calendar.
Not only is Eric a sharp shooter, he’s also been learning the craft of frame building on the side. His keen eye and profound passion for well-crafted steel frames has culminated in this show-stopping Di2-equipped road bike.
While Eric has been doing stellar job of documenting each new frame by Royal H Cycles, it becomes obvious that there was bit of a contraband deal going on. For the past year, Eric has been learning how to wield a brazing torch under the tutelage of Bryan Hollingsworth — frame builder at Royal H.
Eric already had a jig at home, so was able to complete all of the filing and lug carving in his own space before bringing it into Bryan’s workshop to braze. The lugwork on a Royal H is a fine thing to behold so Eric was assured of an experienced teacher.
At the same time, Eric was learning fillet brazed fabrication with his good friend, Mr. Nao Tomii of Tomii Cycles, who produces some very fine fillet brazed frames. Between these two teachers, Eric accrued enough technical knowledge to strike forth. He just needed the experience.
Early this year, Eric booked a return trip to the French Alps with his girlfriend, and he wanted to bring a bike that was light enough to “fly up some Alps”. He was also occupied with building frames for friends, so he dedicated enough time to a frame of his own. By mid-June, the frame was finished.
Now for paint. Eric had been following an up-and-coming Boston painter, Rudi Jung, on Instagram, and when Rudi posted a picture of a ‘lava’ paint effect on a Parlee logo he had done, Eric asked “if he could pull that off on an entire frame over a fade.” Rudi said “sure can!” and this artwork is the result.
As pictured, the bike weighs around 7.8kg, lighter with climbing wheels. It looks as striking as any Landshark and, with Di2, is capably modern. Eric says the carbon components neutralise the small amount of road buzz that makes it through the frame, “yielding a ride quality that is (in my completely and utterly biased opinion) easily among the best I have ever experienced. Mission accomplished.”
So where does the ‘IMSHI’ name come from? Originally, it’s an Arabic word from the phrase Imshi Yalla, which crudely translates to ‘Go Away’. More specifically, it’s the name of a sailboat that has been in Eric’s family for around 60 years. It represents his memories of being onboard and the sense of freedom it implied, the same feelings that he gets from riding a bike.
Columbus Life Double Oversize Tubeset
Llewellyn Cadenzia Lugs/Dropouts
Pacenti Artisan BB Shell
Enve 1.0 Fork
Clearance for 30c Challenge P-R
Full parts list:
DA9070 Groupset w/ Stages PM
Reynolds Assault Wheels w/ 25c Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX Tires
Campagnolo Record Cassette
KMC X11SL chain
Chris King headset/bottom bracket
Deda Superleggero RS post
Deda 35 Carbon bars
Deda 35 Stem
Aican Bungarus Housing
Concor Carbon FX Saddle