Velo City: Bicycle Culture and City Life

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom ‘The Boss’ Drop Bar 29er

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

If there was ever an Australian marathon MTB/gravel race you should add to your bucket list, it would be Western Australia’s Seven. Circle Custom’s Matthew Andrew was inspired to build the perfect vehicle for it, and this drop bar 29er is it.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

Seven is a breathtaking 125km race over some of WA’s most scenic terrain. Exceptionally-well organised, the number of participants rose from 237 in 2018 to 550 in 2019 and, although it has been postponed to September, there are expected to be over 800 in 2020.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

Matthew Andrew had already pioneered a couple of incredibly innovative bike brands in the past that focused on aspects ranging from high-end positive-moulded carbon fibre race bikes to 3D printed components and classic skinny-tubed steel frames.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

He seems to have hit his stride with Circle Custom, however, turning out bikes that are personally relevant, contemporary and adventurous. Read: rowdy and fun. This is Circle Custom #3, an evolution on #1 which Matt built and rode in last year’s Seven.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

Needless to say, when it comes to frame design, Matt is pretty proficient, designing this version from a personal bike fit and adding beefy chain stays for increased power transfer and skinny seat stays for extra comfort over rough terrain.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

The concealed socket dropouts are a proprietary 3D printed design. The process allows for one-off components to be conceptualised in CAD without a significant cost. The result requires little cleanup — the threads are printed in but still need tapping.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

The chain and seat stay yokes were also 3D printed, as was the fork crown. Matt built the wheels up first so accurate measurements could be brought into CAD for a snug and consistent fit. The socket-style pieces were silver brazed for a smooth finish.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

#3 was built up with Dajia Cycleworks Far Bars, Maxxis Ikon rubber and a slew of pink parts from White Industries. He claims “not to be a brand freak but freaking loves White Industries” for the quality of manufacturing and value for money.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er

Matt also has a degree in Fine Art and Design under his belt and not only created the artwork that matches the frame but applied the multi-layered paintwork himself using latex masking. An experiment, he states, but one we reckon was a total success.

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Big thanks to Derren Hall for the photos.

Devils And Dust: Circle Custom 'The Boss' Drop Bar 29er