Every year at NAHBS there are a number of different types of bikes. There are beautifully crafted traditional bikes. Cutting edge carbon bikes. Every manner of folding, cargo, tandem, and people carrying bikes. But then there are also bikes that stop you in your tracks with equal parts puzzlement, wonder, and awe. I think it would be safe to assume that this creation by Cykelmageren would fall into that latter category.
Based out of Norrebro, Copenhagen, Cykelmageren was founded by Rasmus Gjesing in 1994 and typically produces breathtaking-ly simple city bikes designed to get you from point A to point B. Just because they are simple doesn’t mean they are boring however as the company manages to create stunning works of art that are functional as they are beautiful. Certainly a departure from their usual builds, their prize winning show bike had more going on than just the radical frame design…
Walking away with the award for the Best Artisan Bike, it isn’t hard to see why. Other than possessing pedals, wheels, a seat, and something that vaguely resembles a handlebar, the build re-imagines many of the components and hangs them on a frame that is equal parts futuristic and somehow a bit steam punk at the same time. Apparently the design was always something that Rasmus had in his head and he decided to turn the vision into metal for the NAHBS Show.
To go along with the wild frame design, the handlebars (which look like they’d be equally at home piloting a space ship) are fitted with a custom set of thumb shifters. Originally, Rasmus wanted the shifters to be friction, but they turned out to be too hard to pull. Instead, he completely repurposed the internals of a 9 speed shifter to work with two separate levers and only 5 gears. One side of the bar shifts up; the other side shifts down, with both levers actuating the shift mechanism via chains riding on pulleys under the handlebar.
Rasmus topped off the design with their own brake levers, only this time mounted vertically instead of horizontally. Rather than the traditional lever style of most brake levers, the Cykelmageren levers use the actual brake cable routed through stacked nuts or washers, or pieces of housing to create a comfortable way to just grab onto the cable itself. Pulling the cable back towards the bar pulls on the side pull brakes (which are also their own design), and brings you to a stop. The brake levers are sold separately, though Cykelmageren points out that they need a fairly thick bar to mount to so they typically sell the handlebar with the brakes as a set.
This bike is more representative of some of the bikes they usually build, but even it has subtle touches that set it apart. The sculpted top tube almost goes unnoticed, but brings the frame to the next level of design. Cykelmageren also produces a number of their own components to accompany the brakes like these impressive hubs with wood inlays and a unique way of attaching a j-bend spoke.