12.23.11 -- Maryanne's bike is a custom sport tourer made for a very special lady, Marie's Mom. Maryanne wanted the bike to ride smoothly, similar to the Marsupial, and to fit her perfectly. Other than that, Maryanne left the creative liberties to us. Since we knew the client quite well, we knew a design that was beautiful, feminine, and unique would suit her style. The color palette of an oyster shell speaks to her love of the ocean and the outdoors. And, having her last name Mecca on the top tube would set her bike apart in a group ride. The only compromises we made were on components, to keep it within the budget. But, hey, you can always upgrade.
Frame features include:
- Columbus Life .8/.5/.8 chromoly steel tubing
- Llewelyn head lugs and bottom bracket
- Bi-laminated seat cluster with machined "MECCA" cut-out and hand filed New Jersey cut-out
- Inset binder boss with seatstay sockets
- Llewelyn socket-style drop-outs
- Water bottle reinforcements
- Longshen fork crown
- Threaded steerer tube
- Pearlescant white powder coat with sea foam green lug lining and hot pink accents
Component features include:
- Pink Fizik bar wrap
- Terry woman-specific gel saddle
- Kalloy seat post
- Shimano Tiagra/Sora drivetrain
- MKS pedals
- Velo Orange stem, headset, and bar-end shifters
- Dimension drop bars
- Tektro brakes
- Alex wheels
- Panaracer Pasela 700x28c tires
- Velo Orange Moderniste water bottle cage and classic brass bell
- Black and white cable housing
View more pics of Maryanne's Bike in FE's Flickr set.
09.26.11 -- The Stitched Bike was finished in the Spring, but deserves some credit on our website. It's what we do for fun.
It’s a commuter that’s perfect for city streets, a quiet suburban neighborhood, and errands around town. We were inspired by VO’s elk hide barwrap, and wanted to make the frame look like it was stitched together. We played with bi-laminated sleeves and the illusion of lugged construction. We wanted the bike to appeal to a wide audience, so when picking components and figuring out geometry, we kept a 65-year old grandma, who probably knits, in mind. We made the following choices for the following reasons:
• A no-fuss 8-speed internal Sturmey Archer hub with drum brakes. It will not likely have issues because of the weather or terrain.
• A Shimano Alfine chain tensioner so that we could use vertical dropouts, making it easy to take the wheel on and off.
• An upright riding position that appeals to the non-aggressive rider.
• An easy to access and see front VO Constructor rack.
• Fenders to keep the weather off your clothes.
• Comfy leather elk hide bar wrap and VO leather saddle with springs.
• A clean and simple Jtek bar-end friction shifter. This simple design was made by a machine shop in Minnesota that happens to have lots of bike-happy employees.
• Easy to use brake levers that wrap for more than one hand position.
• A bell, of course.
09.26.11 -- We flew out to Portland and competed in the Oregon Manifest Design Challenge on September 23-34. Our entry was designed with 4th-8th grade students from the Discovery Charter School as part of their Kids in Business program. The outcome of the collaboration was a utility bike reminiscent of an old butcher bike, with a small front wheel and removable front rack that fits a milk crate. Its kickstand is one of the most stable in the competition. Features include:
- Student-designed seat post pump (hose and valve are stored in saddle bag)
- Student-made cell phone charger / front headlight powered by the bike via a Dynamo generator
- iPhone mount
- Bamboo fenders, rack platforms, and grips
- Integrated rear rack with pannier rail
- 4 places to store a U-lock
- Dual kickstands, a custom kickstand on the front rack and a standard double kickstand on the chainstays (the bike can be completely off the ground for maintenance)
- Compact frame geometry, making the bike one size fits most by adjusting the saddle and stem
- Blinking magnetic lights powered by the rotation of the wheel, so other people can see you
- Bright orange paint, also to be seen
- Anti-theft locking skewers for the wheels and seat post
- Disc brakes
- 2 water bottle mounts
- Brass bell
1972 Motobecane Le Champion (old vs new)
08.05.11 -- It has been said that history repeats itself. Drew and Fred are brothers. Drew got his 1971 Raleigh International one year before Fred got his 1972 Motebecane Le Champion. 39 years later, Drew decided he wanted to get his bike restored, and Fred followed suit. Thus, we were given the task of restoring two brothers bikes at the same time.
The framesets were stripped and re-painted with original colors and decal reproductions. Salvageable components were thoroughly cleaned and polished. Each bike got new cables, housing, chain, freewheel, bar tape, brake hoods, and Brooks Professional saddle. Both bikes sport wheels re-built with original hubs and modern clincher rims. Please note that these are not archival, museum-quality restorations. These bikes are restored to the set-up that the owner rode (for example, Drew didn't have the original Weinmann brakes) and for the purpose of riding again (for example, switching to clincher tires for functionality). Drew and Fred originally used their bikes around town, for long rides, and on tour. Now, they get to re-live it all.
05.04.11 -- Jeremy wanted a bike for NYC that was clean, reliable, and as theft-proof as possible. He also wanted to be able to grab some gear and go for a weekend getaway.
- Body-specific sizing
- Handmade dropouts for disc brake and rack
- Black powder coat
- Brown lug lining
- Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal hub with Shimano Alfine chain tensioner
- Sugino 3 speed cranks
- Avid disc brakes
- Nitto Dynamic quill stem
- Nitto mustache bar
- JTek bar end shifters (US made)
- Brooks B17 leather saddle
- Brooks leather bar wrap
- Modified PDW platform rack to fit a Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U lock (yeah, that hunker has up to $4,500 of theft protection)
- Pitlock theft-proof bolts for front and rear wheels, disc brakes, and seat post
- Theft-deterrent Torx bolts for everything not Pitlock
Jeremy saw his bike for the first time at the New Amsterdam Bike Show. Soon after, he went on a looong test ride. The report back is that it rocks. He's already accessorizing with moss-colored Brooks roll-up panniers, a leather frame bag, and a Jambox to put in the frame bag, which makes his bike a wireless mobile boombox. Sweet.
For those of you in the Boston area, Jeremy is graciously letting us show off his bike at the New England Bike Expo this weekend.
04.17.11 -- We've been invited to compete in the bi-annual Oregon Manifest. FE has teamed up with the Discovery Charter School in Newark. Working with groups of 4th-8th graders in an educational environment, we'll design a bike with the Discovery community. Then, Folk Engineered will construct the frame and fork over the summer. In September, students will assemble it with components. Then, it will be sent to Oregon to compete. The criteria is as follows:
Design the ultimate utility bike with the following mandatory features:
* Anti-Theft System
* Fender System
* Lighting System (seeing and being seen)
* Load-Carrying System
* Freestanding Under Load (while parked) System
Entries will be judged in the following groups:
1. Innovation: Function, Material, Technology, and Adaptability
2. Design and Execution: Seamless integration, quality of craftsmanship, and aesthetics and curb appeal
3. The Field Test: Including urban scenes, dirt, gravel, asphalt, and stairs