The process of acquiring a custom bicycle may seem like a very personal thing, but in fact it’s a collaborative process. There’s the relationship between the customer and the builder, not to mention the painter; but in this case the customer had a long-term relationship with the builder. Keith Marshall of Australia’s Kumo Cycles built this frame especially for his bother, Gus.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Gus and Keith at the Australian Custom Bicycle Show, where Gus was happy to chat with the visitors swarming around Keith’s stand. Keith was keen to dispel the assumption that a lugged steel frame had to be ‘classically’ styled, assembling a Columbus Life tube set with rare Columbus Ego seat stays, shaped into long points for a sweeping, modern look.
Keith tells us, “This was the first bike built to a weight goal; we wanted 7.5kg, and when it’s in its final configuration with ENVE 25s instead of the show 65s it will be at 7.4kg!” While Gus studied gold-and-silver smithing at ANU, he created some jewellery pieces with a circuit board motif, which Steve from Sun Graphics in Melbourne incorporated into the the final paint.
Under sunlight, the frame truly pops, reminding me of Darrell McCulloch‘s words, “The paint is one of the most crucial components of a custom bike”. No less important are the body’s contact points, so Mick Peel, from Melbourne’s Busyman Bicycles, was contracted to create a matching saddle and bar tape. No doubt Gus will be happy to act as a spokesperson for Kumo Cycles at any future display.
Special thanks to Andy Rogers for the fine photography. See more on his blog, Fame and Spear.