Saffron Frameworks Dream Bike

Posted on
of 18
  • I think there are loads of us who are guilty of this.

    Yep, I've had my fair share of short term bike purchases.

  • if you're Ronnie Pickering


  • Ronnie Pickering!

  • Ha ha!

    Yeah, Matthew and Billy are like a pair of bike generating wizards atm.
    But I am (literally) a painter for work so I find it difficult not to get carried away with this stuff.

  • I'm okay with that.
    Not in a club or seeking approval (at least not for bike things).
    I don't really know too many people who are at all interested in cycling. Other than on here, obviously.

    I'd be gutted if Matthew and Billy were ashamed of it, though!

  • +1

    I thought I'd keep my matching Roberts forever but hey ho, projects are fun.

  • your design, reminds me of flying saucers

  • Sure - I totally get that too. I’m also a painter by trade. When I had my Talbot made back in 2014 I had the same problem, so got Matt to just supply the frame unpainted, and took care of the paint myself, as was conscious of being ‘that’ annoying customer!

    My comment was more aimed at the frame building side of things.... You’ve obviously gone to Saffron cos you like the style they’re known for.

    At the end of the day tho, the whole point of getting a custom frame is it’s exactly what you want, not what other people think you should get, so my opinion is pretty irrelevant!.... I just know from experience that the more involved a customer gets with the fine details, the more stressful for both builder and customer the whole process can become!

  • Didn't realise you meant the frame building side of things.
    I have spoken to Matthew about the bilam thing and he was going to give me some tubes to wrap paper around and draw on.... but then third lockdown happened bla bla.

    I really like the bilam on the black gilco frame they made a few years ago so was kind of thinking about doing something like that (I already posted it earlier in the thread but here it is again)... but then wondered if it was possible to do it with the tongue idea. If that turns out to be impossible I'll happily revert to the black one and let them have fun with it.

    Forgot you were a painter - seem to remember seeing some of your work in the custom paint thread? I'm more of an art world / oil paint sort of painter so I'm awful with masking tape and air brushes. I'd love to have a go though.

    1 Attachment

    • 11-1200x800.jpg
  • Also, just for reference, I like this where the lugs don't go all the way round the front of the head tube. Top one's a bit fussy with the extra cut-out, but bottom one is pretty satisfying.

    I think it's made by 'Icarus'... don't know much about them:

    1 Attachment

    • IMG_32111.jpg
  • OT but I think the EPS unit really spoils the lines on that bike.

  • Yeah, although to be fair a custom stem with an integral mount is pretty much as good as it's going to get with EPS.

  • Was thinking about that gold supercar and the speedvagan this morning.

    I don't like either... but not because they're too lairy; I think the car is trying to look like it's literally made of gold, and the bike seems be saying it's made by Ferarri, who make expensive cars that are in many ways the antithesis of everything I like about cycling. Both are equating wealth and status with desirability, which irks me... whereas I think the rainbow paint reminds me more of holograms and space ships, which makes it more fun and playful, and so (imo) less offensively ostentatious. Slapping the semiotics of bullion and supercars onto a bicycle is a very different story to being reminded of flying saucers.

    I'm interested in owning something that is lovingly hand-crafted by someone who gets a creative buzz out of their work, and I chose Saffron specifically (as opposed to Talbot / Brian Rourke / Steve Goff / Dave Yates / etc) because they specialise in stainless, were up for making a bilam heatube, and have insane attention to detail. I also wanted the frame to be made locally and they're just a short ride down the south circular from me, so win win.

    I am aware that owning a Saffron with a flashy paint job (and / or build) is not a million miles away from buying a gold supercar, but I hope it's understood that I'm after a beautiful, handmade bicycle, and not a status symbol.

    If it happens to look like a magic sparkly rainbow on wheels, so much the better : )

  • I'm sure it'll be all kind of sparkly rainbow flying saucer lovely, and not gold supercar, judging by your previous projects, reference images, etc.

    Now less talk and more Photoshop, until you can post the first picture of the tube set!

  • just get it repainted when you are bored of it. Life is too short to consider what you'll be happy with in 20 years time


    +1 sparkly rainbows

  • What BareNecessities said. The only thing I regret about my Pelago is getting it in the grey instead of the bright yellow colourway.

  • I think it’s pretty clear from your attention to the detail, and the choice of lugged steel, that what you’re looking for is superb craftsmanship. Only those who really know their bikes will have any idea of the likely cost. It doesn’t shout ‘look at me’ or ‘£££’ like a full on aero bike with a gold paint job, say. Not that it should matter in any way, but it sounds to me as if you’re making a very thought through choice for good reasons. Other people may have different aesthetic tastes, but the world would be very boring if we all liked the same things.

    Ps - I would have a Stelbel Antenore tomorrow if they were taking orders (and if in some magic world could actually afford it!)

  • I have magic sparkly. The amount of time you'd notice it is neglible as it needs bright sun to set it off and as steel tubing is more or less round, certainly not large flat areas like the Trek above, it just doesn't have the same in your face bling. Most of the time it looks metallic grey. I think the paint used was spektracoat - there are a few versions of the prismatic paint so you can probably get one that has a more intense effect. When I chose the paint, I had in mind the effect of oil on water - you only see the rainbow effect from the right viewing angle, I didn't think I'd find somthing that could do that. But, it exists, I love it, and when I've chipped my frame enough for it to need repainting, I'll have it painted the same (partly because I'm not very creative). My bike is still running the original post-mount Ultegra groupset, so it predates the Trek ;)

  • Thanks all : )

    @Crumbs Good info, hadn't thought about the fact it'll look like a boring grey most of the time... that might sway things in a more Fruit Salad / yellow and pink direction.

    @veLLo Here's some more photoshop!

    Kind of difficult making it look like prismatic paint but you get the idea... this but more sparkly:
    EDIT: adding in the Fruit Salad one for comparison:

    2 Attachments

    • this copy.png
    • spaceship.png
  • Still not sure about ISP / toppers but it always seems to look better than painted stem / black SP, especially when the rear triangle is polished. Maybe because it balances out the paint on the forks...?

  • Fruit salad version looks really good to me, although I do really like the lairy brakes on the second photoshop.

  • cool project. not sure i am following the paint conversation, but i have encountered 2 saffrons in the Wild.­dannys-classic-bi-laminate/ ages ago, distinctively "retro" that i didn't like too much, bar that seat-cluster which is a nice trademark and stands out in real life
    and more recently this one, an absolute modern "banger" with painfully perfect set-up

  • Love that second one... Think someone posted it in the nearly-porn thread a while back. Either way, I've been staring at it every other day since it appeared on their website!

    It has exactly the kind of paint job that sounds awful on paper but looks superb in real life.

    1 Attachment

    • NickTempleman_perfectcrop.jpg
  • Heard back from Billy this morning and it seems my idea for the bilam head tube is probably not a goer. The tongue part ('licking' the underside of the top tube) has to fit over an already-brazed top tube / head tube fillet, and so would be extremely tricky to make the right shape.

    The other problem is having the bottom 'lug' start halfway round the head tube. I didn't realise that the lower part of the 'lug' also functions as a reinforcement to the bottom edge of the head tube as it wraps all the way around. Without it you either have to add a reinforcing ring (not aesthetically great with this particular bilam design), or risk a failure in that area (presumably what the Icarus is doing). The reinforcing ring would ruin the design so that's a no go.

    So... looks like it's heading more in the direction of the black Gilco frame above, which is no bad thing
    : )

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Saffron Frameworks Dream Bike

Posted by Avatar for .gaz. @.gaz.