• This idea has been gnawing at my imagination for ages and I think it's finally time to finally get it done. Atm I have three bikes: matching Roberts road and track, and a Galaxy tourer / commuter. I don't ride track any more and there are one or two things about my road bike that I'd like to change. So the plan is to sell both Roberts bikes to help fund The Dream Bike.

    The frame will probably be made by Varonha Frameworks. I live round the corner from them and there is a good chance Winston built both the Roberts frames I'm replacing, so that seems to make sense. Having said that, I am also toying with the idea of doing a framebuilding course and making it myself. Obviously this would be more fun, and I'd get the opportunity to design my own decals : )

    This is where I'm at so far with the frame:

    • A mixture between 90s Italian and a 60s British.
    • I have a set of Nervex lugs I'd like to use, so 1"steerer, probably unthreaded.
    • Notched and fluted top-eyes, based on my old, sadly departed WP Newton frame.
    • Straight forks.
    • Chromed lugs, forks and rear triangle.
    • Enough space for at least 25mm tyres (possibly 28mm) and slim mudguards.
    • Internal cable routing wherever possible.
    • Possibly disc brakes??? Apparently they are better, and I like that you never have to change rims.

    Opinions welcome.

    Build-wise, I'll be investing in a brand new groupset and wheels. All the finishing kit will be modern, light but durable, and stealthy black. I'm not a massive fan of either the current Campag or Shimano cranksets so I'm still dithering about that.

    To ensure it all works together, I won't order the frame until everything else has been decided upon and delivered, so this might be a slow thread until then.

  • Here are some inspiring photos... first the top-eyes from my old WP Newton:


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  • paint job inspiration... imagine the chrome and straight forks of the Colnago but with the yellow, grey and pink paint effect from the Cilo:


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    • 2015-01-02 02a Cilo SLX-Rahmen 2.jpg
  • And finally this for the build:


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  • Opinions welcome.

    I have a British 60's frame with Nervex lugs, and an Italian-made one from the 90's (with straight fork blades), so I get the inspiration. It's not an obvious pairing (same goes for the disc brakes with 1" steerer) but if you don't go too cray-cray it could work.
    Don't go for chromed-only forks, they were introduced as a cost-saving measure (it reduces inventory) and once you know that it just looks cheap. If you paint the fork crown and the top of the blades then it's all good ;-)

  • Interesting sounding project but quite a lot going on at the same time IMO.

    Re. discs from the little i know that could be a lot of stopping power for a 1" steerer and internal routing may be an issue on skinny tubes. I'm sure someone else can give give you better advice on this though.

    Out of interest what would you change about the Roberts frame? Have you considered selling the track to by the road finishing kit to see how it builds up with a new groupset? Not trying to be negative but I guess I always prefer to see old frames being used (especially on neo retro builds) and it seems like a lot of peoples "dream bikes" get sold quite quickly after completion!

    If you made it yourself however...

  • Out of interest what would you change about the Roberts frame?

    Mainly the clearances and the rear dropouts.
    I like to run guards in the winter and there's only enough room for 23's when I do.
    The rear dropouts are horizontal and I would prefer vertical.

  • Re. discs from the little i know that could be a lot of stopping power for a 1" steerer and internal routing may be an issue on skinny tubes

    Didn't think of that - does anyone know about these things?

  • Have you seen the Crust Romanceur?
    It's 1" threaded steerer and has disc brakes and people seem to be thrashing those about without issue.

    Hadn't heard of them before, cheers : )
    I think basically it'll be up to the framebuilder to advise what's possible and what's not... It would be great to have better brakes but it's not the end of the world if I can't.

  • Have you seen the Crust Romanceur?
    It's 1" threaded steerer and has disc brakes and people seem to be thrashing those about without issue.

  • Love a bit of nervex. Subbed.

  • FYI Stems are tricky when you have 1" threadless

  • He should be fine, either custom stem or shim adapter.

  • Shimmed stems look terrible and custom is spendy.

    Back to my point baout it being tricky.

  • Didn't know about them, thanks : )

    I think basically it'll be up to the framebuilder to advise about what's possible and what's not. I'm hoping it's doable but it's not the end of the world if it's not.

  • Shimmed stems look terrible and custom is spendy.

    Too true. I've been looking out for decent options for months and they are few and far between... Apparently the stem on the Tommasini above is a shimmed Extralite Hyperstem, which is winnimg so far (although fucking expensive). It's also partly to do with the headset.

  • Better photo:

  • You're welcome. I'm looking forward to see how this turns out!

  • Love a Nervex build . I didn't have the money to do a good paint years back and did a can job it was shame because it had some lovely nervex lugs.


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  • Top-eyes

  • picture not working btw

  • cheers man, yeah saw that on Varonha's instagram (or somewhere). It's a lovely bike but hopefully mine will be a bit less gentlemanly : )

    Anyway, this whole thing has been put on ice for the foreseeable; I'm self-employed so I need to see how things are looking after the shitstorm before I start committing loads of cash to fun things like this.

    But I did get a chance to visit Winston before everything kicked off, and as a result decided that if this project happens at all it will be happening with him. I love how enthusiastic he is about frame building, and how disinterested he is in marketing.

    We discussed a few things - he persuaded me that internal routing makes the frame more susceptible to corrosion so should probably be avoided.

    He showed me the difference between a fork blade that can take disc brakes and one that can't; the former being a bit chunkier and (if I remember correctly) only comes with a rake as opposed to as a straight blade. So I have to think again about aesthetics vs function, which is my least favourite thing to think about.

    He also showed me how he modernises the Nervex seat lug to take a modern bolt, and that he already has the correct topeyes.

    So, good to meet the man himself, and felt like good progress... but then the apocalypse happened.

  • Only discovered your thread now! Sounds great and promising, perfect scope for Winston, you're going to have fun!

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About

Custom Nervex slightly Italian slightly British neo retro dream bike.

Posted by Avatar for .gaz. @.gaz.

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