Track bikes represent the ultimate in clean lines and no fuss speed. With no superfluous bosses, cables or brakes, we can achieve a strong design aesthetic without distraction. We find ourselves doing more of them in recent months.
This one is for Richard, co-owner of the popular Camden store Three Amigos Skate Shop.
This is Richard’s second Saffron, he already has a winter road bike from us for knocking out winter base miles.
What we created for Richard was an all out race bike for the boards and the street in equal measure. The fork is drilled for a brake and with a clamp on cross top lever, it quickly converts into a street worthy weapon that turns right as well as left!
Richard’s track frame is Columbus Spirit for the most part however before the carbon seat tube is inserted, the frame is first built entirely with a steel seat tube which comes especially for this purpose from Reynolds. The middle portion is then cut out from the otherwise finished frame and one of our own carbon tubes is bonded in its place.
On the rear of the bike since there would be no rear brake on this fixed gear, we were able to incorporate a stainless steel Saffron logo in place of a brake bridge on the seat stays, orientated to follow the curve profile of the top of the tyre. This is echoed at the other end of the bike with our stainless head tube badge as seen on every frame that leaves our shop.
The dropouts or “track ends” on Richard’s bike are stainless steel on an otherwise carbon steel frame. This is because they experience more wear than the other parts of the frame. The nuts on track wheel axles bite into the frame more than a typical QR and in multiple points on the track ends accounting for chain tension and different gear ratios so it makes sense to make these from stainless since paint won’t last long on the outside faces and these can be left unpainted without corroding.
The top tube on Richard’s frame is oval shaped rather than round. This tube had to come from Reynolds and is part of their 853 lineup. On paper this provides the vertical flex characteristics of a narrower diameter tube, one equal to the vertical diameter of the oval, whilst providing the stiffness in the horizontal plane of a much larger diameter tube. This provides the bike with an extremely direct and precise handling feel. It also makes it more comfortable to sit on outside your favourite coffee shop.
The oval top tube is wider than the seat tube that it is joined to. To take up the extra width we set the seat stays a little wider and using fillet brazing, managed to create a seamless transition from the top tube through to the stays
The paint design for Richard’s track frame is simple yet detailed. The majority of the frame and fork are painted a rich Jet Black with a high shine gloss while the statement is made by the carbon ISP.
For this design we took inspiration from some of Richard’s tattoos which use the lighter negative space for linework on a blacked out background. We chose to use a Mercedes blue to contrast against the black frame with a pale grey for the highlighted line work which is echoed in the downtube logo
Chris King Inset 8
Columbus Futura SLX
PRO PLT stem, Cinelli Pista
Miche Pistard Air
Venn 50mm carbon rims laced with Sapim CX Ray spokes to Paul USA hubs with Condor cog & lockring. All wrapped in Continental GP5000TL
Fizik Arione R3