About 10 years ago, whilst in Portland, Klaus more or less incidentally ran into the Oregon Handmade Bike Show. Charmed by the beauty of the craftsmanship he decided there and then that he wanted a custom made steel road bike. The bike we made for him is his 3rd custom and although difficult to compare he believes his Saffron is without doubt the most balanced of them all in regards to aesthetics, ride quality and weight. ‘To sum it up, I absolutely love it’. We like to describe it as a classic modern road bike.
When building a custom bike, fit and balance are possibly the two most fundamental areas we focus on. The biggest advantage here is that the bike fits you and not the other way around and the geometry of the frame is built around the 3 main contact points; the balls of your feet, the palms of your hands and your sit bones.
Balance is also key to a custom build and it’s essential that the riders weight is proportionally equal and distributed across the axel of the front and the rear wheel. This also dictates the geometry of the frame and the choice of material used. We built the front end with Columbus Spirit and the rear with Columbus XCR which offers a slightly stiffer ride whilst being able to capture the classic aesthetic of the exposed chain stays.
Klaus came all the way from Rotterdam to buy his Saffron and rode it all the way back but he has since taken it to the Alps and regularly visits the Pyrenees. With these roads in mind we built the bike with 25mm tyres but the Enve Road forks can take up to 28mm.
Further features to the build include a guided internal routing through the top tube and an integrated pinch bolt which is set into the seat stays clamping the seat post and keeping the design in line with modern frames. The combination of the these features as well as the paint, the drop outs and braze on’s makes this an understated yet beautiful bike.
For the paint we used a 2 part House of Kolor Silver base coat with a Tangerine dye.
We absolutely loved working with Klaus as much as he loves his bike.
I had a very nice ride on Sunday from London to Harwich, fortunately the weather was good and over the 130km I got a quite good idea on how the Saffron rides. I always find it difficult to describe, probably because English is not my mother language, so if I call it “smooth” it sounds to me too general. Anyway, it rides just great and compared to my Zullo steel bike it is much stiffer and racier but still very comfortable. And I also love the look of the bike! And I also noticed how spoiled we are in the Netherlands when it comes to road surface, bike paths and signage for cyclists, it was quite a challenge to figure out a nice and quiet route to Harwich.
Columbus XCR, Spirit
Silver fillet brazed
Campagnolo Record 12speed
Enve 2.o rim brake
Enve ses 2.3 / Chris King
Panaracer gravel 32