Dorset’s Darron Coppin of Sven Cycles is somewhat of an anomaly in the custom framebuilding scene. Eschewing the current trend of making steel bikes that compete aesthetically with their modern counterparts, the focus is on classically-styled machines that are somehow more approachable.
Today’s Classic Single Speed is one of a pair that hearken back to pre-derailleur days, when changing gears required a changing of sprockets. Nevertheless, both will be soon heading for a ride over the Italian Alps this summer, in the spirit of our harder-riding forebears.
The Sven Cycles catalog consists mainly of beautifully crafted roadsters but does, however, include some extremely modern rides: their ‘Angry Commuter‘ collaboration with Panyagua is more Aston Martin Vanquish than DB5, but these two unlikely tourers are akin to a Le Mans.
This one is called El Loco and the other El Enojado — Crazy and Mad — adjectives that some of us might call the two owners for riding inappropriately-geared bikes over those vast mountains. But that’s how it used to be done, so it’s possible and should make for worthwhile stories to tell their grandkids.
Darron tells us the owners are both hopeless bike nuts, one being a serious collector of vintage velocipedes and has ridden a penny farthing from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The two new Sven Cycles will make compatible stablemates, then.
The new bikes will come supplied with multiple sprockets to provide some relief. They’ll be attached to custom Royce hubs with a smaller free hub body to accept the standard Shimano spline. Darron had to beef the sprockets up to prevent them from eating the titanium bodies.
That magnificent chainring is Australian Made, produced by Bespoke Chainrings (Jewellery For Your Bike!) in Collingwood, Victoria. That’s some serious metal for a crazy bike.