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braze-ons, or no braze-ons????

Here’s something I’m struggling with a little bit…. In the past I’ve always pretty much agreed with Grant Peterson of Rivendell when he talks about the madness of bikes not having rack-mounts or clearance or eyes for mudguards. It seemed to make sense to me. For the additional cost/weight/whatever, why not just bung ’em on. It’ll make the bike waaaaay more useful throughout its lifetime. Maybe not to begin with if we’re talking about a spanking new superlightweight race bike, but surely in a few years, that top of the range Tour De France replica will be just an old bike. Ideal to stick a rack and mudguards on and use it for commuting or winter training or going to the shops on.

But here’s the thing….
I’m in the middle of building a lightweight, fast steel frame. I know this bike’s only going out a couple of times a month on nice sunny days and almost definitely only for 3-4 hours at a time at most. So I’m thinking I’m not going to put mudguard eyes or rack bosses on it. And I really think it makes a difference when I look at it. It just looks better without them. I’m now thinking that I might not even put bottle bosses on it. The cable routing’s internal and I’m really digging the clean lines. Am I mad? What’s happened to me?

I think that the thing that’s bugging me is this. If I put all the braze-ons on, just in case they might be needed/wanted later, and make sure there’s enough clearance for wide-ish tyres and mudguards, why don’t I just slacken the angles a little bit. Just in case it might want to do some light touring at some point in the future. And come to think about it, maybe I should add a kick-stand mount and a dynamo fitting as well!! You never know…

And so before I know it, every bike I ever build for anyone will be exactly the same but in a different size. In fact, I’ll just make them all the same size. Quite small but you can always put on a long seat post and a big old bonzo stem.

posted by steven - July 12th, 2006

Site update and new blog url

I’ve moved the site over to use a new backend so things will probably look a bit different. This is also the last post that will appear on the old blog rss-feed url ( If you’re seeing this page through a browser you can subscribe to the new feed using the ‘rss’ link above. If you’re reading this post via reader of some sort you need to update your subscription url to That’s all for now.

posted by steven - July 11th, 2006