Kumo Cycles Gus’s Road

Kumo Cycles Gus's Road

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.

Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road
Kumo Cycles Gus's Road

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  • http://spinynorman.tumblr.com Spiny Norman

    The only way the component choices (fork very much included) could have been more cookie-cutter is to use Di2. And the lumber yard backdrop, because… why? Boring.

    • FameandSpear

      Why? Because I prefer to set up my bike shoots in a location where the bike is going to stand out as it’s the main focus of the shoot. Also the lighting and space available were ideal here. You’ll find that the shoot was in the Blueprint factory where they make their handcrafted wooden furniture (a little similarity tie-in to Keith’s craft) in this beautiful old factory space.

  • http://twitter.com/WesternRapid Western Rapid

    Boring, how? Would it have been more interesting if it’d been dressed in Tiagra and fitted with a cheap Taiwanese carbon fork? Keith’s bikes are always an interesting take on ‘classic’ and this is no exception – awesome build…

    • http://spinynorman.tumblr.com Spiny Norman

      Oh, look. Another bike with ENVE carbon bits and CNC brakes and a King headset and Nokon housing. Quality stuff but dully predictable. The only mildly rebellious choice is the Gatorskins, when a bike luke this would more typically have Mich ProRaces or GP’s. The pairing of practical tires with absurd rims is amusing. And I do applaud the builder for not using a derailleur that need not be plugged in to a mains outlet to function. Nevertheless, if we’re going to go with a steel frame, why bother bolting on all that carbon? Why not just get a Madone and be done with?

      • sugarkane

        if your gona bitch about the product of some one else hard work and hard earned cash then at least get your facts straight.. nokon cables have not whats been used on this bike…

  • Mclennan Cycles

    WTF? The Chris King headset is one of the best engineered pieces of kit available. What is the problem with using that. Please enlighten me Norman on what would have been more appropriate.

  • the mechanic

    yeah its a nice-ish bike ,but, it is all getting a bit stale, the choice of components is of course a personal thing and as it stands some may get really excited about it , to me its horrid and just another bling bike, the lug work is dull and unfinished looking and there is obvious blobbing of the filler rod at the junctions , the fork and tube selection obviates the point of the steel built frame
    if you are gonna build something special then do ‘special’ , not just a flash paint job and posh bits , i have flying scot’s from the 50′s that were mass produced in the thousands each year by drunken scotsmen in a filthy workshop without any frame jig that are better built than the bike featured here , i would rather have a really nice frame with cheap components than the other way about but, hey,each to their own.

    • Droz

      Which bikes have you built lately?

  • Kumo Cycles

    Cookie cutter? Whatever. This is a bike to be used, and was kitted out by the customer. He is happy so I really couldn’t be fussed with what you guys think.
    Also “The Mechanic” obvious blobbing eh? if you are talking about the fastback attachment, that is where the stays have rounded so that they have more contact area with the lug.

    • AdamEldridge

      To each his own Kumo. Get used to the pointless comments. Do what you do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gustopher.m Gus Marshall

    I agree, each to their own. This is my bike, and I love it. It’s a custom build and every aspect has been considered to serve a purpose. From the tubing choice, fork choice, components. Everything. I wanted this bike built as something to ride, and to ride a lot. I wanted a light, responsive steel Frame and that’s what this is. Sure I could have gone for an off the shelf carbon job, but I like the ride quality of steel. Columbus life is an excellent tubeset, a great balance between strength and weight. I am incredibly happy with the build quality and fail to see how you can make such harse judgments without seeing the frame in person. Or more importantly riding it! It rides brilliantly and to me this is the most valuable aspect of buying a custom frame.
    Components wise I fail to see the issue. ENVE components are of excellent quality, they are seen on many other high quality frames because they are simply high quality.
    And the most important point is this is a CUSTOM frame! It is a discourse between the builder and the customer, me.
    If this isn’t your cup of tea, then put your money where your mouth is. Buy a custom frame made to YOUR specifications and support the industry instead of criticizing those who are trying to break away from the modern, mass produced, close enough is good enough, one size fits all, mentality. Those who further a skill that I believe we all think of as worth while.

  • http://www.cycleexif.com/ Adam Leddin

    I knew I should have posted a troll warning.

  • some1s_lucky

    I’d have it in a heartbeat just give me some fluoro pink like my Ciocc and Tommasini on here. With so many quality frame builders here in Australia, we are spoilt with amazing choice but needless to say my next bike will be a local. n+1 rule applies :)