Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

If clearance is the new black, then this custom adventure bike by Amsterdam’s Lester Cycles is ready for the runway. Or rather – Swedish gravel and snow. Measuring a petite 48cm, it’s the smallest frame yet built by Lester Jansen, the man behind Lester Cycles.

Commissioned by Lian van Leeuwen, this all-road machine runs up to 40mm of rubber to tackle events like Sweden’s Dalsland Runt where sticky mud, loose gravel, and wooden debris are par for the course.

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

When Lester launched his own frame building shop around six months ago, Lian was one of the first in with an order. The pair met on a 300km night-ride in the Netherlands and have since shared an affinity for the path less trodden.

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

Lian’s frame was built by Lester in his 19th-century harbor workshop on the water’s edge in Amsterdam. In a nod to Amsterdam’s maritime history, her bike is painted engine room green. And sports the Lester Cycles head badge complete with rope trim, anchors, and lifebuoy insignia.

Lester was trained by two local masters – Wim van Der Kaaij (deceased) of RIH and Peter Serier of Presto – and their influences can be seen in his building style which combines traditional lugs with more progressive tube diameters, geometry, and machining techniques.

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

In Lian’s case, this means a chunky, bi-lam head tube coupled with Columbus Life tubing and an ENVE CX fork. Life tubes are Lester’s favorite to work with because of their versatile diameters and compatibility with lugged construction.

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

Like the pragmatic builders that trained him, Lester builds his bikes to be more sharpened tools than overdressed art. In his words: “They need to work as well as a balanced hammer or a good milling machine. Their function is more important than their form.”

Judging by the elegant lines of Lian’s frame, it could be argued that Lester’s bikes are more artistic than he cares to admit. Alongside the badge and logo font – which were designed by Lester himself – Lian’s frame is adorned with Lester’s signature triple-drilled seat stays.

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder

On the day that Lian took delivery of her bike, she flew it from the watery lowlands of the Netherlands directly to the snowy forests of Sweden for its first ride. While the snow tracks have now melted, Lian is still grinning from ear to ear.

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Special thanks to Lian van Leeuwen for the photography.

Three Fiets High And Rising: Lester Cycles Grinder