One of the most significant events in the custom bike world this year was surely the Speedvagen FitTour, when The Vanilla Workshop team cruised down the West Coast of America and the East Coast of Australia, fitting customers for a new frame — as well as a bit of riding, partying and surfing.
The Sydney leg left a few beautiful bikes in its wake, as Sacha White brought some completed frames with him, which were built up by Zak at Bondi’s Skunkworks Bikes, then subsequently photographed by Speedvagen ambassador, Jeff Curtes — this Matte Army Ghost road bike was one of them.
The Matte Army paint option is a subdued avenue for Speedvagen customers compared to the ‘Hollatext’ graphics, which splays a vivid gradient of colour underneath a contrasting shade. Mated with the three-dimensional Ghost effect, the result is at once both subtle and striking.
As it turns out, the FitTour was not only a showcase of Sacha’s work, but also that of Mick Peel, the craftsman behind Busyman Bicycles. If there was a guild of bicycle leatherworkers, Mick would be the master. His upholstery work graces some of the world’s best bikes and this one was no exception.
The Busyman saddle and matching bar tape provides a burst of colour against the Matte Army paint, underneath a different shade of green, and Mick even supplied a custom strap to further secure the Silca Impero Ultimate frame pump against the frame. The devil certainly is in the details.
Speedvagen is the production line of Sacha White’s Vanilla Bicycles, but that doesn’t mean they’re any lower in quality. Each frame is handmade in Portland, Oregon, by masters of the the torch, with remarkable design features like the S-bend seat stays and internal seat post.
Zak at Skunkworks Bikes performed the final assembly, which consisted of a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, a set of King Cages, a matching 3T ARX 2 stem and Ergonova handlebars. Melbourne’s Curve Cycling supplied the 50mm clincher wheelset with DT Swiss 240s hubs.
The ISP hides the Shimano Di2 battery, and if you look under the saddle, you’ll find a machined and painted battery cover. The wire ports are stainless steel, as are the ‘Berzerker’ dropouts. Maybe, if you’re up early, you’ll spot this green unicorn on a bunch ride around the Sydney beaches.