Thursday, March 07, 2013

New Bike - progress

My new bike is hopefully in production.  I thought it would be fun to share the process of getting a completely hand-made custom bike.  This is probably the only time I get to do such a thing and I'm really enjoying the process.

Fit: As you can see from the before-after photo, I am much more forward (steeper down tube angle).

not to self: do not wear a fully zippered jersey or it will buckle and make you look like you have rolls.... ugh
Geometry:  This is the schematic of what my bike will look like.  I have no idea what the numbers mean, but I feel confident that this bike will be a perfect fit.
it would be nice if my name was spelled correctly....
I got to pick out my paint colors and design.  I asked them what my limits were.  They replied "its custom, you can do whatever you want!".  Translation "we'll do whatever you want - it will just cost you!"  I had some general colors and layouts in mind, so I made an appointment to meet with Pete (Alchemy's graphics and social media guru) to design my paint scheme. 
The carbon work they do is all by hand and it is amazing.  They hand-wrap all the joints.  The result is this very funky, geometric pattern which looks like art but is actually functional:

close up of some carbon work

Alchemy and Shama Cycle build which won Best in Carbon at NAHBS 2 weeks ago.  this is all carbon - no paint
The carbon work is really unique and really speaks to how special the frame is.  The guys at the shop basically begged me to keep the carbon work exposed.  I agree, it would be a shame to cover it up, especially since that's the thing I gravitate to when I look at one of their bikes.

I spent a week thinking on the colors.  I liked how bright Buzz was and with his yellow paint and bar wrap I always knew, without question, which bike was mine in transition.  I wanted something similar, but with colors that are more "me".  I didn't want to pick anything too trendy, but I probably did.  That pretty and intense dark fuscia / bright purple has been a color obsession of mine for the past year or so.  I love that color.  Its trendy right now.  But it speaks to me.  And I'm adding some bright green (more spring green than neon green) accents, to make the bike pop.  I'm guessing that my cables and bar wrap will also be green.  And I may get some purple metal accents.

Pete and I sat down for nearly 2 hours and went through the process of selecting the graphics, building color blocks, adding logos, and placing pinstripes. 

The "free" graphic option consisted of base carbon and vinyl logo stickers.  For a $4500 frame, the base option is freaking stickers?  That made me a bit cranky.  Looks like this build was going to increase in price.  We settled on the design and I asked to get a cost estimate, just to make sure I didn't go too crazy.  Turns out, my paint job is one step shy of full custom - its a Level 3 paint effort, mainly because of the work that the green color block/purple Alchemy logo will need.  It turns out that if I did one color, it would only be $300 cheaper.  I'm already way deep into this bike, in terms of money and budget, but I also know that I'd be crabby if I didn't go ahead and spend the extra $300 (not even 5% of this bike) to get a graphic that really pops.

So, this will be my bike:  purple and green, with exposed carbon, and clear pearl top coat.

I can't wait to ride it.

No comments: