Last year, Jason at Fairwheel bikes in Tucson approached me about building a frame for a customer who wanted a singlespeed road bike to have custom paint by artist Geoff McFetridge. Seemed simple enough. But then Jason had an idea about doing a single-sided frame…. Generally always being up for a design challenge, I said sure, and set about figuring out how I would do it.
I decided I wanted to keep the single chainstay as close to the center line of the bike as possible, which would also enable me to put the drive cog on the outside of the frame. And being a belt drive bike, this makes belt installation very easy (no frame split required!). The rear hub is custom designed – the shell and axle are one piece, which I machined myself, had anodised and then built the wheel. The bearings are press-fitted into the tube at the end of the chainstay – the axle slides through this, then the freewheel carrier is splined onto the end of the axle with a cap bolts in place to hold everything together. An eccentric bottom bracket allows for tensioning the belt.
I modelled the whole rear end in 3D CAD to enable me to check for wheel center-line, tire clearance and belt line.
The front ‘fork’ was comparatively straight forward – I machined a Lefty style aluminium axle, which press fits into a socket at the base of the leg. The fork crown has a clamp to accept a one-piece stem/steerer, which also allows the front brake cable to run through the stem, steerer and fork leg to the caliper. Which was a problem itself – to mount it on the right meant that it was upside down. But some modifications of the caliper – removing the outer cable stop and repositioning the leverage arm to pull upwards – plus adding an internal cable stop to the leg, allowed it to work correctly in this unconventional location.
Once I had brazed everything together and test ridden the bike, it went off to Co-Motion for the striking green base paint, and then onto Geoff for the custom artwork. And it all came together in time to show at NAHBS. There are a bunch of construction shots in my news pages if you’d like to see the project in progress.