I see a lot of bikes in this line of work, and honestly, it can take a lot to really blow me away these days. One builder has done just that this year at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Mr. Joseph Ahearne has assembled nothing short of a masterpiece. In fact, it was on display at the Portland Art Museum as part of a rotating exhibit during the Cyclepedia show they had.
The bike pictured above is a 26″ wheeled, breakaway touring rig constructed of polished stainless steel tubing from KVA. Why not XCR or Reynolds 953? Those tubesets are great for a race bike, but they are only offered in thin walled tubes that would not be well suited to a utilitarian build such as this one. KVA however, offers a thicker walled tubeset that is perfect for a long haul rig.
The frame is fillet brazed, and it’s one of the best examples of brazing I have laid eyes on. The fact that the is polished is really impressive, because now everyone can see the amazing workmanship that goes into each tube joint. The front and rear racks were custom made specifically for this bike. The front rack is convertible as well, allowing you to run just the upper, lower, or both sections depending on what you will be carrying. They are produced from cro-moly, as is the stem, and then the parts were chromed to match the rest of the bike.
The logo panel on the downtube is a laser cut piece if stainless that was left unpolished to stand out from the rest of the frame. Polished stainless fenders, a custom Black Star frame bag, vintage XTR parts kit, and retroshift round out the bike. The build took six weeks, working 10 – 12 hour days, seven days a week to completed. Want one for your very own? Well, it would take somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000. Not bad for a piece of art you can use.
Head past the break for a full gallery of this bike, plus a look at his latest cycle truck in size huge.
Ahearne himself has a strong belief in the utilitarian bicycle. Thus, he has been producing his famous cycle truck for a while now. At the show this year was a scaled up version for a customer who is 6′ 6″ tall. The standard 26″ and 20″ wheels were replaced with 29″ and 24″ versions. The bike is a little less heavy duty than the standard cycle truck, as this one is meant to be taken off road occasionally. It’s also suited to more of a daily commuter, as the front basket is removable. This complete build totals $9000.