Andrzej’s FWB special

Andrzej’s FWB special

I’ve done a few builds in collaboration with Fairwheel Bikes in Tucson, including one that had custom paintwork by Geoff Mcfetridge, which was quite the head-turner! So I was excited when Jason from FWB suggested another partnership for his customer Andrzej, which would again involve Geoff for some artwork. Andrzej recently moved from Tucson to Portland, leading to some different bicycle requirements – the spec called for belt drive, Alfine Di2, hydraulic discs, and the ability to run ‘cross tires or road tires with fenders.

Jason suggested having an elevated chainstay, partially for the aesthetic, and partially as it removed the requirement for a split in the frame for installing the belt. With this as a starting point, we decided on a very curvy frame with fairly large tubes to give Geoff a decent canvas to work with. The only straight tubes on the frame are the headtube and bottom bracket shell. The curved seattube extends into the seatmast with a modified Thomson seatpost (it has an internal wedge for height adjustment) at the top. The toptube is curved and ovalised, it is pierced by the seattube before smoothly transitioning into the seatstays.

At the front there is a one-piece stem/steerer, which is secured into the fork crown with twin pinch bolts. This gives a very clean stem, and allows for running the front hydraulic hose fully internally from the stem to the caliper. With the 11spd Alfine hub being controlled by both shifters, an extra junction box is required – this is housed inside the stem with a port on the bottom for the wires to exit. The rear hose also runs internally, as do the other Di2 wires, with the battery inside the seatmast. The front dropouts are from Paragon Machine Works, allowing for a 15mm thru axle to be used for the front wheel. Belt tensioning is handled by the Niner eccentric BB. The complete bike with fenders weighs 24lbs.

Eric at Colorworks applied the base paint and clearcoat, whilst Tina Buescher worked her magic behind the camera.



  1. Love it! Love the elevated stays to avoid any frame break. Very cool!

  2. Really cool design, this bike is a piece of art.
    Do you have some feedback on how it rides ? Any issue with belt slippage or anything related to frame stiffness for the carbon belt ?

  3. That’s an unusual and attention grabbing design. May I ask:
    (a) do the elevated chainstays & their extension to the downtube provide sufficient bracing to hold the BB in place?
    (b) do the stays add much weight?

    I love the way the fork & steerer look but what I’m most curious about is (c) how the fork attaches, (d) what holds the headset bottom-bearing in place & (e) how the fork doesn’t flex when attached at what looks like such a critical point.

    Sorry, if that’s a lot!


    • thanks for your interest, answers below:
      a) yes
      b) there is a small weight penalty with this design
      c) the fork crown has twin pinch bolts that clamp onto the steerer – in effect it is just like a regular aheadset system, but ‘upside down’ so the clamping takes place at the fork crown instead of the stem.
      d) the crown race, as normal
      e) once the bolts are secured, the fork/steerer is effectively one-piece and thus behaves in the same way as a regular fork.


  4. Just fabulous!
    Since I first saw a belt drive I am wondering why no-one is using an elevated chain stay frame geometry with it? I was riding a NISHIKI Alien back in the days and just looked up if there is such a combination when I found your “Andrzej’s FWB special” … pure art, very smooth and perfect looking. 1. Do you sell it in Germany? 2. Where? 3. For how much? Congratulations for realizing what I think is a brilliant idea! BR, Martin

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