As a birthday present to my near and dear brother, I offered him the opportunity for a custom frame at no charge. (except paint) As with most projects the cost grew and my promise of a free frame eventually became an untrue offer since he decided he also wanted a custom fork and some additional frame features that I had not anticipated. Nonetheless, the concept of a custom frame at a nearly free cost is still a good deal and I was pleased to create a trusty steed for my bro.
As a side note, it’s important to note that my brother is not an on the couch kinda guy. He has been a successful Cat 3 racer and commutes to work year round based on path access. He was a fullback in college, squatted over 500 lbs and, although he is lighter than me now, he can still put out the power. He currently owns a cadre of bikes that include an old Schwinn mountain bike, a new carbon Cannondale road bike, a Felt Aluminum cross bike and a tandem. So adding another ride to the garage space was a bit of a challenge. He decided that he wanted an internal hub commuter bike that was lugged. So we ordered up all the bits and got to work.
Since bro is a power guy, we went with over sized Columbus Life tubing and found some Nova lugs that fit the oversized tubing. We also chose horizontal dropouts for the tensioning of the chain with the internal geared hub. He wanted to be able to mount a rack, so we went with dropouts that integrate rack eyelets and I put some rack braze-ons on the seat stays.
We ended up going just straight single speed and all chromed out look. My understanding is that he is riding this most days to work and even chose this over the carbon road bike for 160 miles of RABRAI