The waters of upstate New York’s Saratoga Springs must have a high creative content for custom frame builders: Ben Serotta’s band of brazers continue to forge ahead regardless of the mothership’s corporate bumps. Kelly Bedford is widely regarded as one of Serotta’s most prolific, assembling thousands of steel, carbon and ti frames in his twenty year-plus tenure. K. Bedford Customs is his primary concern these days and this Di2-equipped stainless angel is a fine example of his prowess.
It’s been well-documented that Kelly learnt his skill from the Proteus Frame Design Handbook, but more than twenty years of wielding the torch in Serotta’s shop have honed his skills, enabling him to accept the challenging brief for this frame, featured at this year’s Interbike show in Vegas: a lugged stainless road bike with integrated seat mast, lugged press-fit 30 bottom bracket, oversized head tube, all fitted with an internal Shimano Di2 system…
No, they aren’t mass-molded lugs. Rather, they’re of bi-lam construction, meaning a second frame was built and cut apart to create them, then carved into custom shapes. The BB shell underwent a similar process. The Di2 ‘brain’ was hacked and reworked into a sequential system, resulting in an ‘up’ button on one brake lever and a ‘down’ button on the other. The rear derailleur also recognises a shift on the front chainring and compensates with an extra shift in gear in the same direction.
The TRP brake levers were married with a CatEye remote button kit for the shifters, originally intended for their heart rate monitor computers. The ENVE handlebars were painted to match the lugs, along with the stem, which houses the modified Di2 computer. EE Cycle Works supplied both the crankset (also painted to match) and the brake callipers, which are actuated via compression resistant Bungarus housing and an internal cable that runs straight through the top tube.
Tucson’s Fairwheel Bikes worked with Kelly and their customer, Pez Cycling News reporter Charles Manantan, to finish the angel for the Interbike show. You can read the whole disertation on the Pez site, which breaks the build process and parts selection down into mind-blowing minutiae, and provides riveting arguments for and against each. Special thanks to Danny Pagano and Emilano Jordan for the photos.