It is interesting that the most commonly asked question, once people hear about my bike, is ‘why?’.
And to be honest there is not a single answer on why I built my bike exclusively from European parts.
I went ahead and started building it encouraged by a number of simple factors like having the time. But now, reflecting back, I probably could point to three main reasons for my motivation:
and what’s behind the brand that is selling it. As a manager in a bike repair shop, I come across a lot of brands that come in prices and levels of quality. But there is also a story about the company, the inventor and their relation to cycling. I think we appreciate things more when we know where they come from.
Like most of my friends, I am becoming more conscious of our impact on local communities, the country and even the environment. As someone who interacts with cyclists daily, I appreciate the relationships I have with the customers from my and surrounding towns. And I would not have the job without them coming to the shop. Hence it is a great feeling for me to buy something from the locals too.
And in this instance, although the distances are longer than when I buy my favourite cheese, but the feeling is the same. And, of course, there is a growing consciousness about the air miles the things we buy travel, and how much that affects the environment when all things are accumulated.
A way to support independent innovators. I feel that this project has opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of small passionate people, who innovate and make things better for cyclings. Most of the time they start doing it because of their passion and following their heart. If all cyclists support small innovators before the brands that have marketing budgets, then innovation will continue to benefit us.
My biggest discovery was Noble Cycles from Habay, Wallonia – it is a highly specialised frame welder who made my frame from scratch. It was made to my measurements and we spent a lot of time discussing my riding style. More about Noble Cycle workshop here.
I also wanna share my joy about mullet setup (29"wheel front and 27,5″ rear) this way the larger front wheel takes on all the battering, while the smaller wheel at the back allows for more flexible maneuverability. It is a great option for cross country and funbikes.
My advice for people who want to build their own bike from European made parts would be to utilise the list of manufacturers and components that I am including here. Tomas has also made a list of parts in "European Road Bike – Parts List".
This will save you a lot of time and frustrations. Also, do not forget to enjoy the journey. I almost regret now that my project is coming to an end and I no longer get the buzz on finding a new part or hearing from the maker.
Things not going right is part of the process, but if you focus on the positives you will have much more fun.Sometimes the road to it is just as nice as reaching the destination.
Frame and bars: Noble Cycles
Headset: Hope Technology
Seatpost: Darimo / Ergotec
Saddle: Brooks / Prologo / Selle San Marco
Brakes: Hope Technology
Suspensions hubs: Erase Components
Spokes: DT / Sapim
Nipples: DT / Sapim
Tim tape: Tesa
Tires: Continental Cross King Protection 2.2 / 2.3
Antiflat latex fluid: Vittoria / Schwalbe Doc Blue
Bottom bracket: Hope Technology
Crankset: Ingrid / Hope Technology
Derailleur: Ingrid / Rotor / Acros / Rohloff
Pedals: Time Atac or Look
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