The South Australian capital of Adelaide was named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV. It’s a proud, progressive and bike-friendly city, and the location of the Tour Down Under, the first leg of the UCI World Tour.
There, you’ll be able to track down James Alderson, frame builder at Rogers Bespoke. He’s been working hard since we first profiled his first track frame at the 2014 Tour Down Under, ‘Proto’, and this is his latest, appropriately titled ‘Redux’.
Proto was a slender, matte black track bike and one of James’ first builds. It wasn’t just a ‘fixie’, built for street riding, as James is a regular rider on the boards at the velodrome. After building a few more frames, including a tourer, numerous road frames and a mind-blowing CX bike, it was time to build another frame strictly for the boards.
Redux is a milestone for James. While Proto was a satisfying accomplishment, what he really wanted to create was a dialled, fillet brazed contender. A lugged frame seemed like an achievable goal, but James’ hard work has paid off. He confides: “(Proto) was lugged, because I figured it was easier and safer. I always thought fillet brazing was way beyond my realm and steered clear of it for Proto.
“It wasn’t till my second bike, a black road bike, that I realised it wasn’t beyond my skills. It was always in my head. I just needed the opportunity to build it again, the way that I wanted. So when the Melbourne Custom Bicycle Show was announced, I said to myself; I’m building me a new track bike!”
Setting up a new frame building business isn’t cheap, after the expenditure of tools and materials, so once the frame was completed Proto was stripped of its parts, including the chain, wheels, and cranks. Most were recycled, but a new fork and seat post was ordered. Custom upholstery was the only way to top this new bike, so James sourced some leather and resorted to delegating the task.
A local saddler stitched the bar tape while a wallet maker helped out with the perforation. James reassembled the old fi’zi:k saddle himself, and the results were more than satisfactory. “The frame itself is the exact opposite to Proto,” James says.
“White, yes, but stiffer, stronger, faster and more simple. Made with all double OS Columbus HSS tubing, keeping the wishbone stays (like Proto) with hooded drops, as it’s all super clean fillet brazing. The Deda pista stem was painted to match the frame and Cinelli bars.”
Redux was unveiled at the Melbourne Custom Bicycle Show in June, along with a few other Rogers Bespoke bikes. It seems the Australian custom frame building scene has a bright future.
Special thanks to Sam Roberts for the photos.