Bit of overlap with the aesthetic only accessory thread, but for frames. Saw some interesting detailing at bespoked a few years ago. Sadly didn’t take photos but a couple that stood out:
A mini stained glass window in the triangle above the rear brake bridge. Not sure how it would hold up to frame flex whilst riding but was pretty special.
Laser etched tubing. Frame was clear coated and had some swallows etched in the top tube.
Custom rear brake bridges. Now that discs are increasingly prevalent, I’ve seen some nice custom designs.
Anything you’ve seen bordering on form over function you’ve liked?
Ok, I'll bite!
Dave Bohm used to do ridiculously elaborate frames, with embedded gemstones, super elaborate lugs and paint. He's now transitioned into frame building classes and as a result you don't see so many of his frames online, as any search for him is saturated with photos from his classes. He was one of the first builders I encountered where a frame could easily cost you $10,000 and the wait times were in years.
Sacha White from Vanilla cycles is another builder whose frames are total works of art, with custom dropouts, beautifully constructed details and the sorts of aesthetics that have influenced a huge number of the current class of "constructeur" frame builders. Again, years long waiting lists and five figure price range for a frame. Then he launched Speedvagen and his own bikes sort of disappeared from the internet, although he's still active.
Daryll McCulloch of Llewellyn cycles in Australia again builds beautiful frames. He and Richard Sachs can be credited with launching a whole range of newly designed investment cast lugs that you'll see everywhere.
In the UK, the only equivalent I can think of is Karen Hartley, who definitely puts her background in jewelry design into the aesthetics of her frames.
There are a lot of builders building very nice frames now, but these four stand out to me.
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