Keith Marshall of Kumo Cycles has, for the last couple of weeks, been cruising around his spiritual homeland of Japan. Kumo means ‘cloud’ in Japanese — the flowing quality of water and critical aspects of air are qualities that are infused within his frames. The last of his that was delivered before he left was a perfect summation of both.
The custom frame building scene in Australia is of a smaller scale than the US or the UK, but is forging its own niche, unconstrained by tradition or social incubus. There are peers, and an old school, just as there is anywhere, and there is a new wave of builders who welcome a challenge to their skill. At the front is Keith, and his latest order, an Alfine Di2 all-roader.
Keith’s customer gave up on the idea of sourcing an off-the-shelf frame that could marry the clean looks of a single speed with the versatility of gears, and concluded that a locally built custom frame was the answer. Keith replied with a fillet-brazed Columbus XL steel frame with a straight 44mm HT to run 1.5″ tapered forks. Paragon Rocker dropouts allow an Alfine Di2 drivetrain and disc brakes.
Rotor 3D compact cranks were paired with a Race Face 42t front chainring, following an ENVE cockpit and forks. The Di2 cables are internally routed, connecting to a seat post mounted battery. If you’re feeling romantically inclined towards these photos, that’s understandable: they were taken by one of Sydney’s most sought-after wedding photographers, Matthew Mead.