Bending steel with bare hands is a talent not exclusive to a superman — many frame builders also do so on a regular basis. The inspiration for this conceptual road bike stemmed from Cinelli’s curvaceous Integraltor cockpit, and really tested the pipe-bending powers of Saffron Frameworks’ Matthew Sowter.
Matthew’s customer, Daniel, had been seriously contemplating what it meant to order a custom frame and had recently procured a NOS example of the famous Integraltor combination stem and handlebar by Cinelli. The curved lines of the stem set the tone for the rest of the silhouette.
More design cues came from the short-and-sharp traditional steel Keirin race bikes and GT’s Triple Triangle layout. Matthew worked with True Temper, Columbus, and 4130 tubing to create the frame, using a mix of fillet brazing and bi-laminate lugs — each of which takes Euclidean geometry and tosses it out of the Parthenon’s window.
It’s very much built for a fast pace, including a very stealthy Di2 installation that uses extra junction ports to hide as much of the cabling as possible. Trying to figure out how it all works makes for a good afternoon brain teaser. If you can figure out the wiring loom, leave a message in the comments.
Matthew Sowter is a details man and somewhat of a perfectionist — even going to the lengths of having a custom top cap made for the Chris King headset and direct-mounting the rear brake under the chain stays to create a visual line with as little interruptions as possible.
A Fabric ALM saddle sits atop the internal seat post that Matthew made especially for Daniel’s bike, utilising ENVE internals. The Saffron logo is proudly brazed onto the rear, top and front of the frame — like there’ll be any mistaking the origins of this outstanding machine.
Big thanks to Matthew Townsend for the photos.