Rakish 003

My latest build, which like all of them has evolved over many months, has now reached what feels like completion. Of all my bikes this one has one of the most interesting histories. Although I lost the written details when I deleted my Facebook account I can recount most of it from memory and a few internet searches.

I purchased this bike a few years ago from Jeff Frane, who is the the product manager at All City Cycles. The story he told me was that this bike was built during the period when Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly were still working with Tom Ritchey. Ritchey would braze up the frames and ship them to Gary and Charlie who would build up the finished bikes.

This bike appears to have been sold through Now Sports in Minnesota, probably around 1985 or so. It was all original when I got it and has now been reconfigured to my tastes and needs as an all around bike for use here in Amsterdam.

The main change was to swap the original Bullmoose handlebar for a Rivendel Chocomoose bar with a similar aesthetic but a much more swept back design. Additional mods for comfort, convenience and functionality are the Brooks B17 Carved saddle with Carradice Barley Meadow Tweed Saddlebag, Wald front basket and Rene Herse Rat Pass Trap tires.

One might notice that I do not customise bikes with a close eye on the budget, I buy the best of what is available to suit my needs and prioritise quality and longevity. I expect that I could ride this bike for 20-30 years without any concerns about the already 35 year old frame or any of the parts wearing out.

You might notice I also have a cheap plastic clip on rear fender, because it rains a lot in Amsterdam and I also have a Linka bluetooth rear wheel lock, which was really just an experiment on my part. I’ve tried two of these bluetooth type locks now so far and basically I am underwhelmed. The Linka at least works pretty much as advertised but seems to be one of those solutions to a problem that did not really exist. Key’s are a simple and proven technology.

It it’s current configuration this bike is comfortable enough for touring, functional enough for daily commuting and shopping and rugged enough for the occasional trail ride. At some point I might add a proper set of full coverage fenders, which should just about fit with the 2.3″ tires. As it sits it is a near perfect example of what I call a Rakish Ride and others might call the perfect vintage Hillibike.

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