It’s hard to describe all that goes into a custom bike. There’s a reason it takes months to get one. The bike is not even conceived of yet and we need to take the time to figure out what it will look and feel like on the road and trail. Some have a pretty good vision of what it’ll look like in the end, others have no idea and want help to figure it out. I think Ilsina had a pretty good idea of what she wanted in her new bike but the frame and fork were only part of that picture. She sewed up a few amazing bags for the bike and it wouldn’t be the same without her contribution.
I think the ‘open-ended’ nature of what Meriwether Cycles offers scares some away. We don’t have a “look” or stock model. Each frame has its own unique traits made for the person buying the frame. It may make it harder to resell the bike, but they’re meant to be lifetime bikes for the person it’s designed around. There is a lot of email and phone discussion to hash out the details and designs can go back and forth many times. Each person has a say in how the bike looks and rides and i’ll offer my opinion on how to make it all work. I can’t do anything but I will try to do many things if it’s possible with my tooling, knowledge, and ability.
The tubeset on this frame is a mix of brands, like most my steel frames (and many custom frames in general). I choose what’s best for the frame size, rider weight, and riding style. I used a 3D printed yoke to maximize tire clearance (fits 27.5×2.8’s) with short chainstays (410mm) and provide chainring clearance up to a 34t. This is a pretty light MTB frame at about 4lbs but sturdy enough for loaded touring. Once a 120mm suspension fork is thrown on it slackens the angles less than a half degree and makes it a wholly different ride. Bikepacking rig with full bags and a portage handle, commuter with full fenders and dynamo light, townie for coffee outside rides, you name it and it’ll do that. Change the tire size and have another type of bike. All fun! The color is called Golden Peach and it has an intense golden sparkle in the sun. It reminds me of a new version of Nicholas’ antique pink bikepacking rig from 2015 with the first portage handle I put on a frame.