Kumo Cycles‘ Keith Marshall is fast developing a name for himself as a modern Australian builder of solid, unassuming frames — an essential Aussie quality. He’s located in the rural New South Wales town of Braidwood, but this roadie, built for Alex ‘Lorday’ Lord, now calls Sydney home.
One advantage of ordering a custom frame for yourself is the reward of a bike that fits you like a glove. Alex was measured to determine the exact geometry required for a perfect fit, but he also wanted the proportions to match visually: “I wanted a horizontal top tube, a single spacer under the stem and a perfect amount of seat post showing… which is why a custom is perfect.” A fillet-brazed frame removes the limitations that lugs place on geometry, so Alex got the look he was after.
The tubes were selected based on ride quality, so Keith used Columbus Life with custom-drawn Llewellyn chain stays. “The component choice was based on a number of things: Thomson was a no-brainer, they look sweet, start life as a solid bit of metal and are made by people who make stuff for space. I don’t know if you’ve seen the machining on a Masterpiece seat post, but it’s effing awesome.”
“11 Speed Campagnolo Chrous was pretty much chosen because functionally, it’s the same as the Record groups and looks much more ‘classic’ than the Shimano and SRAM group sets. The lack of branding was also important, as I didn’t want logos plastered everywhere. Tubular wheels on a steel frame with an ENVE carbon fork makes the bike feel amazing. Just full bloody stop AMAZING.”
“Color choice and the color scheme was the only thing I really mulled over. I knew what components I was going to run, but wanted to have a cohesive, slick looking unit. I set up a Photoshop template for color schemes and probably have close to 50 mock ups, with different components and colors, on my computer. Pink was always a color I wanted to include (frame was pretty close to being painted a pastel pink) but I’m glad I used it as an accent color.
“I haven’t even started on the amount of small details I put into the build, from bolts to valve stems to color matched bar ends. Overall, I think the bike is just amazing and I’m so stoked to see my vision in the flesh and being able to ride it just leaves a smile on my face.” It puts a smile on our face too. See more details on the Lorday flickr set and to see some of his engineering work, head to his blog, The Industrial Design. Contact Keith via the Kumo Cycles website.