Gary’s Project Right (#5)

Gary’s Project Right (#5)

The Project Right series has been going for a while now. The concept kicked off with inspiration from Fairwheel Bikes which resulted in the first one back in 2012. I then created a mountain bike version in 2015, followed by two more road bikes in 2016. These all used the same custom machined rear hub design, with a flipped over Lefty hub in the front. A couple of years ago I had a long discussion with someone who ended up not following through with an order, but that left me continuing to think about the concept of making the wheels have a quick-remove feature. This rider’s idea was to pop the wheels off to make a compact package that would fit between the seats on Italian trains – leaving the rotors and drivetrain in place for a no-fuss, no-mess solution.

When I had time, I worked on this concept, which resulted in a new, modular hub design that would mean the front and rear wheels would be the same. Then when Gary asked me to build him a Project Right bike, it gave me the opportunity to actually have this new design machined and to build a bike around the hubs. This is the first version of the bike to have a fixed gear, rather than a single freewheel, which meant that I didn’t need to include a rear brake. Gary requested two wheelsets (700×32 and 650×38), with fenders. To allow the design to work whilst providing this tire clearance and fitting a standard road crank, I needed an eccentric BB with an 86mm shell width. Not something I could find available on the market. So I took a Co-motion BB30 EBB, and modified it to the wider width, then machined a custom, externally butted shell to fit it into.

The rear hub design is similar to what I have done before, in that there are two bearings pressed into the rear barrel, with the hub body extended over the barrel to push the bearing spacing as far apart as possible. But now that hub body does not include the spoke flanges – instead these are part of a piece that slides onto the body and locks via two chamfers and a tri-lobe spline. Huge thanks to Devin at Lichen Precision for machining all these parts for me; his understanding of what I was trying to do meant we had great results first time around!

The front design has a body to accept the same wheel, but this time with a mount for the rotor and spinning on bearings on a custom cromoly axle that is brazed to the fork leg. With that rotor being on the right, I used the same modified Shimano caliper that I created for the mountain bike, with special mounts, to get everything to fit and work. Gary likes to just run dropbars with the brake lever on the tops, so I modified the Shimano mountain lever to clamp the 31.8mm bar.

To fit the fenders, I created custom oversized fender stays, that have a two bolt fixing to the frame/fork, so that the fenders will be solidly supported despite it only being from one side.

The paint is by Colorworks, and the final weight came in between 16.9 and 18.2lbs depending on wheel/fender configuration.


  1. what a beauty… what a work… pfff… always happy to see your creations

  2. hey mr english bike maker!
    gary, who you made think bike for, is a regular in my bike shop in birmingham uk. he has impeccable taste in bikes and came to the shop on this machine today. it’s a total technical and visual feast… congratulations! we appreciate your work – we are builders of our own more straightedge bikes. see

    • Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for the kind words, glad you like the bike! And nice to see other quality steel bikes being crafted, thanks for sharing.


  3. I saw the blue bike you had at NAHBS and thought it was among the most visually appealing bikes I’d seen in a while — and that was before I saw the photos revealing the 1-sided fork and stays. Wow. My question though: how does the bike’s balance feel for the rider? And how well can it withstand the usually forces?


  4. Hey just by curiosity, how do you tune the tension of the belt? I know they usually need quite a lot of tension and I don’t see any tension system on the photos. The bike look great though, I would probably by one from you if I had the money.

    • Hi Matt – there is an eccentric BB for tensioning the belt.

  5. Hi Rob! I’m interested, why are you not building lefty forks and rear ends? Is there any particular reason? I mean, you wouldn’t need to modify brake calipers to fit. Or is it because you are using some sort of readily available clockwise engaging ratcheting mechanism in the rear? Thanks, Martin

    • Hi Martin,

      Right on the rear is the most straightforward – can use a regular RH freewheel, and with the way I mount the disc rotor, the caliper mounts in a standard way. It would be simpler to build a left side fork, but modifying the caliper isn’t too difficult, and visually having it be ‘all right’ makes sense.


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