La Suprema Submariner Electronic

La Suprema Submariner Electronic

Matthew Crawford, in his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft points out the difference between artists, craftspeople and tradepersons. He also explains that there are aspects of each in all three. Most custom frame builders would align themselves with the latter two of those categories, but one who is proud of his artistry is Ed Foster of Tucson’s La Suprema.

The Submariner Electronic is perhaps the least distinctive of Ed’s style, until it’s seen in the context of his portfolio. Equipped with Shimano’s Di2 technology, it’s just far more subtle than his, say, 650Bee — which incorporates oil rubbed steel, Mesquite dyed rawhide, and honeycomb brass. Ed’s bikes are fantastic, functional and along with his metal art and photography, are an expression of his creativity.

Ed and Mr. Tang, the owner of Submariner Electronic, first encountered the Di2 range at Interbike in 2008. It was 2010 before it was sketched out and a tubeset from KVA Stainless was ordered. Mr. Tang is a technophile, buying the groupset as soon as it was available, but Ed is more of a “Luddite” who first thought the main advantage of Di2 was “the cool robot noises it makes while shifting”.

Ed continues: “Mr. Tang is also the proprietor of the Ordinary Bike Shop here in Tucson. He’s as big a bike nut as the rest of us, so this project is a collaboration between his ideas and my own. I took my sweet time with it to let his and my ideas evolve. In the end, the geometry is classic, details are simple, and the lines are clean.”

Have a look at more of Ed’s bikes on the La Suprema website, along with the custom head badges he creates and his photography.

La Suprema Submariner Electronic
La Suprema Submariner Electronic
La Suprema Submariner Electronic
La Suprema Submariner Electronic
La Suprema Submariner Electronic
La Suprema Submariner Electronic
La Suprema Submariner Electronic

  • KVA Stainless and lugs, what’s not to love?

  • itsmefool

    Superb, enough said.

    Question: you can hear the thing shifting over wind noise, barking dogs, 18-wheelers, etc.?

  • That last photo, amazing!

  • Spiny Norman

    No portion of a bicycle’s drivetrain should ever require a battery for its operation. That is antithetical to the concept of human-powered transport. In addition, electronic shifting should be banned from all sanctioned races. There are builders who I admire building bikes for these systems, but I admire them incrementally less for having done so. Classic example of a complex solution looking for a simple problem to solve.

    • The Belieber.

      To admire a builder incrementally less for building a bike to a customer’s request seems a bit, ummm.. what’s the word… oblivious,idiotic, stubborn, ignorant, pretentious, arrogant, I could go on but if someone wanted to use the Di2, you can’t blame the builder for satisfying the customer. It’s not like a production line for the Di2. Plus it’s fun to use, sounds cool, and has great ergonomics.
      And also who care’s what you think should or shouldn’t be banned.

      • Spiny Norman

        The point is that a bicycle and its essential systems — especially the drivetrain — should be human-powered. There is not a compelling technical reason to shift gears with a battery, except that it might be fractionally faster in competition. However, many things that might make a bicycle faster are in fact banned from competition. The inclusion of devices that detract from the very essence of the sport — the total requirement for a human engine — is antithetical to the sport. Thus, these devices should be banned form competition. And if there is not a competition, these devices are superfluous. they are antithetical to the principle that anything that does not add, detracts.

        Di2 might be allowable for the same reason that a battery-powered vibrating seatpost might be allowable.

        • two of the main advantages of electronic gear shifting are precision+reliability (avoids untimely chain jumps for instance) & , most important , set-up easyness (avoids all the fine-tuning issues we all have with derailleurs.
          as for the sport, electronic shifting doesn’t take away the man-powered aspect of it, unless you think the gear-shift finger-effort in classical/mechanical systems is the essence of it :-s or find it to be of tremendous importance… what you talk about would be correct if battery powered transmissions are allowed… for the moment electronics are only used in activating & controlling the system ; not powering it…

        • & not every cyclist is an athlete. in fact sporty riders we are a minority… :-s …

        • last ; i for one would sure like to get over the gear problems i had all the time over the years as a bike in-town-commuter.!. if electronics is the answer… i take it thumbs up.!.

  • Now&Zen

    The craft aspect I certainly get . Tradesman ? Well thats a bit of an understatement . But where on this entire mighty fine bicycle is one solitary aspect of the build that’s deserving of the word Art ? Certainly not the welds . Not the design either ( fine enough but again not art ) No . I’d say this bike is a very fine bit of craftsmanship : but describing it as Art is in fact an extremely generous overstatement

    • I simply invite you to look at the rest of Ed’s bikes on his website, to put this example of his art in context. Each bike is a flourish of a brazer’s brush! http://www.edsbikes.us/bikes.htm

    • The Belieber.

      Because you don’t see something as art, does not mean it is not. It just means you can’t comprehend it. You shouldn’t call your words fact either, it’s an opinion.

  • Adrian Salter

    I don’t know anything about Art.
    But we al know carbon is the only thing we should be riding.
    Get out of the stone age !

  • stainless.?. i’d have gone for Titanium. or @ least put some color on it…

  • geoff Duke

    As a tradesman (toolmake) of 30years and a framebuilder (gdukehandmadebicycles) I loved Matthew Crawfords book. At a time when working with your hands seems to be making some kind of comeback it said more, to me anyway, about the mindset and attitude of the maker and the cost to society of ignoring these things than it did about the products being made. A handmade item can never compete on a cost basis with a mass produced one but it can be so much better on every other level. Both for the consumer and the maker. Well worth a read