Right now, the South Australian capital of Adelaide is broiling with excitement as thousands of cycling fans converge upon it for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under. This will be the biggest TDU yet and continues to attract a huge amount of interest from both the public and corporate sectors, as Australia embraces its own pro race.
Keith Marshall of Kumo Cycles is heading there, just as much for the social pleasure of riding the Adelaide Hills with mates as for the spectacle, and he built himself this simple, single speed 650b traveller specifically for the trip.
This is not, obviously, a fully dressed traveling tourer. Rather, it’s a simplified machine that can be thrown into an S&S Coupler-specific bike case, chucked on a plane and, upon arrival, can be re-assembled rapidly.
The inspiration for Keith’s travel buddy came while he was riding through Rome last year on his travel road bike. “I had woken up at sparrow’s fart to get in a ride before my girlfriend woke up and had spent twenty-two minutes putting the roadie together to head out and smash some Roman cobbled streets.
“I thought, when I’m on holidays or visiting bike mates around the world, I want something simple and rad that I can get up and running in less than five minutes and be out riding and exploring.”
The 650b wheel size makes for a much easier fit into a case and 42mm wheels are an extra bonus for exploring the path less travelled. The Columbus Spirit frame is a tall one: Keith stands around 6’4″ — a lack of decent tall frames was one of the reasons he started building frames in the first place.
Keith used Darrell Llewellyn McCulloch’s XL Crescendo lugs which allows a sloping top tube which, in turn, affords more packability. The stem is a Kumo custom with internal cable routing that forms a hanger for the Paul Racer brakes.
A legendary Australian frame detailer provided the coat of paint — Joe Cosgrove of Queensland’s Cycle Design — a custom mixed slate grey with a metal flake gold pearl. A White Industries crankset keeps the wheels rolling. Wheelworks NZ built them from a mix of Chris King, Pacenti and 42mm Grand Bois Hetre tyres. Keith machined a pair of titanium bar ends and a matching top cap on his 1952 Colchester lathe to set the ensemble off.
The Kumo Cycles 650b Travel Bike will be on display at Adelaide’s Treadly Bike Shop on Sunday 26th January, along with another of his highly polished creations, so if you’re in town for the Tour Down Under (considering the weather, why wouldn’t you be), drop in and have a look. Special thanks to Keith for the photos.