A Bike for Suzie

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  • This story starts 22 years ago with my Auntie getting a custom made bike from Paul Hewitt. She’s a life long cyclist and triathlete and still going hard....last year for to celebrate her 59th birthday we rode 400km around the borders in one hit!

    She loves the Hewitt bike but finds the handling a bit too nervous...it’s a race bike, enjoyable and great most of the time but she said when she’s deep in a ride, tired and descending around the Lakes, where she lives, it demands a bit too much concentration. Because of this and because she didn’t want to keep putting so many miles on such a well ridden bike that she wants to keep she bought a new bike, saving the Hewitt for Sunday best.

    The new bike, a carbon Dolan....she hates. In her words “it’s a lemon.” She’s been back to Hewitt to get him to try to match the fit to her old bike but simply doesn’t get on with it.

    While I was working at Shand she talking about putting an order in for a Skinny Malinky but we didn’t get around to it.

    Me and her riding Arran:

    I’ve decided to surprise her with a new bike for upcoming 60th birthday. I have to, I’m a framebuilder and she’s been a big inspiration to me and my cycling and I can’t stand her riding so much on a bike that doesn’t inspire her.

    I got in touch with Paul Hewitt to see if by any chance he had the original geometry...he knew exactly who and the bike I was talking about and had kept the original order sheets, geo, contact points...everything I need.

    So stoked to get these through!

  • The new build will be a homage to the original. Exact same contact points with slightly more relaxed steering geometry. Still a proper road bike, simple, no guards.

    I’ve spoken with the painter here in Berlin and we’ll base the new paint on the old too, I just want it to be a rich metallic purple with silver graphics but beyond that he’s got artistic license to do whatever.

    I’m going on holiday in 3 weeks and at least the metalwork need to be done before then so should be quite a quick turnaround.

    Stay tuned, pics incoming

  • Cracking on...

    Tubeset - all Columbus, what I had to hand but a top shelf tubeset nonetheless

    • 36mm headtube for 1 1/8 external headset
    • 35mm Life Downtube
    • 28.6/29.8 externally butted Life Seattube
    • 31.8>28.6 taper HSS Toptube (28.6 end formed to 31x26mm oval)
    • Short taper Zona Chainstays
    • Long taper 17mm Seatstays
    • 39mm BB shell
    • In house dropouts

  • Work! Removing mudguard/rack mounts, reshaping and prepping dropouts

  • Mapping out the rear triangle, clearances and dimpling accordingly

  • Cutting HT to length

  • Subbed

  • Front triangle fit-up

  • What a good idea!
    Looking forward to seeing this unfold.

  • Sub’d

  • Internal routing for rear brake

  • Rear triangle

    Mapping seatstays


  • Tubes punched for blow and boss drillings

  • Was full speed framebuilding, got all the above done today

  • nice work...subbed

  • Yes!

  • Also sub'd. Nice gesture. Cool auntie!

  • Awesome, subbed! Really looking forward to seeing this. The projects for loved ones full of consideration and care are the most rewarding ones of all. I often dream of doing this for my uncle who was of similar cycling inspiration to me... I just need to learn to build frames first!

    Are you sticking with rim brakes? I wonder if discs might come in handy on those tired Lakeland descents?

  • Amazing work, proper inspiring stuff

  • Nice!

  • Glad you guys approve! these personal projects really do rekindle the love for the craft, I should take more time to build bikes for myself and loved ones

    More progress today

    Final prep before brazing

    All clean and ready to rock!


  • Headtube cleaned up and reamed

  • Aye a true labor of love!

    Yep sticking true to the original with rim brakes. She has a trek hybrid with discs she rides if the weather is bad. This should be getting built with DA brakes won’t be short of stopping power

  • Fantastic thread so far, keep us posted!

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A Bike for Suzie

Posted by Avatar for Skant @Skant