Orange Messenger Tribute

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  • When I saw the orange messenger in the Embacher Cyclepedia book I fell in love with the retro seventies all-metal no-plastic kind of look. I want to actually build the frame in steel and am learning the brazing and skills needed to do that but in the meantime also wanted to try riding a frame of that style even just to see what the right fit/size would be.
    Here is the original inspiration from the Embacher Collection:

    I talked to my LBS [Fixerati] and came to the conclusion after considering Affinity Lo-Pro and Brother and a few others that the BLB Lo-Pro was what I wanted as it was the only one with a 1inch headtube and I really want to go quill stem. I ordered the frame and had it powered coated here in the harbour (not a well done job).

    I'll post my build progress here.

  • Hehe I like that Messenger bike, but to complete it like that you'll need a Dura Ace 10 pitch group, which is really hard to come by.

  • Yeah that messenger bike is pretty cool. Less tt slope than the affinity I think? I hope you can get a nice steel stem like that as well;)

  • whats the seat on that?

  • kashimax

  • Yep is a Kashimax Five Gold FG-8P/E ($179 on track supermarket). This initial build will be just a budget type build though using easy-to-come-by bits.

  • Wouldn't go for new parts.. look for second hand, you can find some quite easily.

  • Have built it up.
    The wheels I had built up a while ago for the project before i had any of the other parts. They are Araya Aero ADX-1 tubulars, laced to Gipiemme high flange track hubs in 36h/32h, yes I used blue araya nipples, so what. The tyres are Schwalbe Lugano T tubulars, they are tough enough for city use but not bombproof.
    Seatpost is a DuraAce sp7410, ancient Brooks B15 S.SR saddle.
    Crankset is a Sugino Mighty road with a 42t road chainring, crappy half link chain and a blue velosolo 14t cog. MKS track pedals.
    The adjustable stem is a BLB one I bought from LFGSS for €30, nitto B263AA mini bullhorn wrapped with Gropes.

    Planning to change the chainring/cog and chain only, maybe just a silver Sugino classic track chainring and a brown/copper chain.

  • you need the saddle for sure.

  • +1 build is close to being ultra rad but the saddle and bars need to go. At least level the ones you have!
    I'm not a big fan of the stem but if you dig it then fair enough. All the shimano 10mm pitch bits are on eBay at the mo to complete the look, nice but pricey....

  • This build is really just to see if I like riding this kind of Geo. I will level out the bars/seat and see if it rides better, so far i have clocked up 200KM on this one and it feels great, the steering is super twitchy.

  • I have to say I'm a bit dissapointed. The saddle, bars and leather grips are anti imo.
    I think risers would look cool with that stem. Must try harder.

  • i'm of a different opinion. i think the steam and bars look awesome. who else is going to have that set up. i'm massively convinced about the bar grip. brooks bar tape would seal it for me.

  • Im with kjlem.

    Saddle is all wrong for me. I know your trying to match the OM but the stem just isnt quite right. Though it might be better once risers are on. Risers are 100% needed in my mind.

  • Hello Gereonb,

    Fantastic bike. I want to buy the frame Lo Pro BLB too, but I'm not sure what's the right frame size I have to buy. Can you tell me which size is your frame and what's your Body size. I'm from Germany and I don't have a chance to try a frame here in a Shop.



  • BB to TT is 55 and TT length is 57, all measured from centres.
    The stand over height with 700c wheels is about 84 by the seat tube.
    I am about 185 tall and my crotch height is about 85. I have longish arms though from my english father.
    There is hardly any toe-over lap due to the relaxed fork angles but you'll find that you do need to have your bars or at least the contact points quite far forward, the steering is fine but can be a little erratic if you are out of the saddle and really pushing.

    For the BMXers above I tried out risers and it ruined the lo-pro position, It felt like i was riding a FGFS bike and was sitting up straight.
    I built this bike like the messenger bike because it gives a nice low aero position, it is really fast for city sprints just what a messenger would need, great for distances up to 15-20KM or so but gets a bit painful on the arms once you go further.

  • Many thanks for your detailed information. I bought another frame, the S2 Tokio fixed in blue. I hope it fits :-)

  • I levelled the saddle and bars to horizontal position and swapped the chainring for a bigger Dura-Ace one which matches the SP-7410 saddle post.
    Been riding with crankbrothers candy pedals (which work great) but probably will go back to the clips with MKS just to keep with the classic theme.

  • I didn't see the blue nipples at first

  • haha, you didn't see the blue velosolo 17t cog then either ?

  • It's good, but the slack geo compared to the original would annoy me. Blue nipples don't annoy but the brown leather bits.... guess it keeps the 70's feel. I think it'd be cool with a black velosolo chainring and a normal quill stem + black saddle and grips.
    the chainring:

    If your having arm issues you might actually need some bars that angle up at the end to give yourself more positions.

    Main thing, do you like riding it?

  • I love riding it.
    I put clips/cages back on for now, the crankbros are great but I prefer the classic look of the cages, and of course the ability to wear regular vans/chucks.
    Next I'll be rebuilding the wheels with silver nipples, different hubs and equal spoke counts front/back (pictured is 32R and 36F), planning either 32 or 28.

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Orange Messenger Tribute

Posted by Avatar for gereonb @gereonb