bloggy business

Black Bike Black Friday Sale


Capitalism at its best!

We’ll be running a one day sale on Black Friday, November 23rd, this year. For any deposit put down that day on a new frameset you will receive a 15% discount off of the normal frameset price.

Here’s the caveat. (There’s always a catch, right?). It’s Black Bike Black Friday. So you can get your new bike any color you want as it’s black (a la Henry Ford). Don’t want your bike to be painted black? Not a problem, but not part of the sale. All BBBF Sale bikes are gonna be black. Probably a nice matte finish. Nothing fancy. But it’ll look good, don’t worry. Single color decals, with a head tube decal instead of a headbadge. Keeping it simple.

Any type of bike. TIG, fillet, or lugged. You would be put into the queue as normal (about 7-8 months out currently). Full builds always available, but sale does not apply to components.

So gives us a shout, an email, or a phone call on Black Friday. Or before, if you want to discuss details before putting a deposit down. We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.

-Just not on Turkey Day, please. I’ll be too busy stuffing my face full of food to answer the phone.

Sunburst yellow disc rando

Fully equipped disc rando ready to roll. This one’s got all the bells and whistles (although no actual bells nor whistles...). TIG welded frame with lugged crown fork. Thru-axles front and rear. Schmidt connectorless hub and drops on the fork, keeping things nice and clean. Honjo fenders, Compass rubber set up tubeless, polished Stan’s rims, White Industries rear hub. Brooks saddle on a Nitto post. White cranks with a BB from SKF and VP pedals. Simworks handlebars, shifty bits from Shimano, and stoppy bits from Paul. Beautiful bike that rides as nice as it looks:

Dark green Allroad

Wrapped up this on a little while ago, but haven’t had time to post anything about it yet. The customer is an avid randonneur, and we designed the bike around being a comfortable and durable for all day cycling. It’s got low trail geometry, lightweight tubing, tubeless 650x48b tires, fenders, disc brakes, thru-axles, generator lighting, and Ultegra 11spd shifty bits make for a reliable, dependable, ultra comfortable brevet crushing ride. 

A few weeks went by and I got this:

Hey Bob, 
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I'm enjoying the bike- I really couldn't be happier with it. So far I've put about a thousand miles on it, including a 600k brevet last month, which is my longest to date. Looking forward to many many thousands of more miles on it. 

Ever so happy to know that the bikes I make are out there being ridden. Also got some pics of the final build (click on the image to see more pics):

Pastel Pink Allroad

Got sent some sweet pics of a build from the last Bantam Allroad batch. A pink pastel painted frame done up right with lots of high quality components. Looking so go. Click on the photo to see more...

Thank you!

Got the from a customer just the other day:


I love this bike. After a couple hundred miles over the last two weeks through early spring weather, muddy forest park rides, commutes on snowy weather I can tell you that this is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. It's really unbelievable to me; this bike has met any expectations I had about a custom bike. Additionally, I've gotten quite a few comments about how beautiful the bike is, which I respond 'thank you, I think so too' in as humble a voice as I can muster. Guys at my LBS were poring over the details and it was great showing it off. 

I just wanted to drop you a note expressing my appreciation for your work. This bike just makes me happy. Definitely worth the wait. Thank you!

It's great to feel appreciated by my customers. I work very hard to make sure that they get absolute best bike that I can make for them. And know that my efforts are well received mean a lot to me. 

And I would like to say that I appreciate my customers as well. None of this could happen without the people who what to invest in getting a custom bike from me. It's great to work with other people to make their vision of a perfect bike come into physical reality. So, a big Thank You! to all my customers, past, present, and future. You are appreciated.


700c Commuter / Light Tourer


Got to build up a super nice bike for a customer recently. While I most do trade in frames and custom racks, I do like to build up full bikes for my customers as well. Having a good idea of what parts will be going on a particular bike informs the design in ways which make the whole bike seem more harmonious. In my desire to make the best and most beautiful bike possible for each and every one of my customers I would have to say that I prefer it to delivering a frame only. 

This particular bike was outfitted with a lot of nice US made components from the likes of Paul (brakes), White Industries (cranks, rear hub, headset), VelocityUSA (rims), Compass Cycles (taillight), Thomson (seat post), Wheelsmith (spokes), Wheels Manufacturing (spacers), and Paragon Machine Works (skewers). I love that even with the juggernaut of Asian manufacturing dominating the bike parts world you can still get quality bits made domestically. And I am happy to support the people that do it. (Not to mention that their stuff looks and works like awesomesauce). Thanks, people. I appreciate what you do.

Specs on the bike:

700x44c tires with fenders (can fit a little bit larger if needed), disc brakes, thru-axle hubs, generator lighting with integrated taillight, custom front rack with removable lowriders, stem and fender stripes painted to match the decal color, and a custom head badge of a seashell in the style of a badge from the Camino Real. Paint, of course, by Colorworks.

Green Allroad


Another green Allroad frameset headed off to the East coast. This one is fillet brazed, will take up to 650x48b tires, cantilever brakes, custom Demi-porteur rack and decaleur, and a custom stem. Also fitting in a Compass Cycles taillight mounted on the seat tube where it'll be nicely protected and visible to traffic. This one will be rolling the NYC area. Stop and say hello if you run into it.

Yellow gold allroad in VT


Sorry for the lag in postings folks. We had a little bit of a computer flub a month or so ago and lost all of the everything that was on it. Including all the photos of the lovely bicycles I've been making over the last few months. But I've finished up a couple of bikes in the last few weeks, and it's about time to start posting things again.


Just sent off this beautiful lugged, yellow gold metallic allroad bike to Vermont. It's got 650x48b tires to tackle the gravel roads of rural VT, front bag support with detachable pannier mounts, Schmidt connectorless dropouts up front (and internal wiring for the headlight and Compass taillight), MAP drops on the rear, and of course a fantastic paint job from Colorworks. Super sharp looking and reportedly rides just as nice as it looks:


Your bike was a great hit this weekend among a crowd of New Englanders...

It road solidly without a hitch over the weekend of about 230 miles. No shimmy up to 50mph on descents with ~20 lbs up front. And super comfy. Thanks again! 


Here's to hoping it will see lots  and lots of miles in the Vermont sunshine!

Olive drab Allroad

Matte finish olive drab Allroad bike built up and ready for delivery. Super nice paint in a matte olive drab from Colorworks. And lots of well chosen parts from the likes of Compass Cycles, Chris King, Velocity, White Industries, Paul Components, Shimano, and SimWorks. Rolling out on 650x48b tires, and a tried and true 9spd drivetrain.

It also has a custom front platform rack with removable pannier mounts and hard mounts for a Wald basket (no zipties here!). You can also see the connectorless Schmidt SL generator hub. Wheel pops in and out without the need to reconnect any wires, the juice flows thru the axle ends (you do need a specially made fork for this option, we are happy to do that on any custom fork we make).

I'm sure this one will be getting lots of miles commuting, touring, and exploring the Pacific NW.


GDMBR ready Rohloff Adventurebike

The last of the Adventurebikes heading out of the shop this year is all built up. This one features a super clean Rohloff drivetrain, brakes and levers from Paul Comp, Velocity Dually rims, Schwalbe tires, a White Industries crankset, King Cage cages all around, and a set of Jones Loop bars to top it off. Pretty much a perfect long distance bikepacking setup. GDMBR anyone?


Lemon meringue, pt. 2

All built up and ready for Adventurebiking! 

With beautiful lemon meringue paint from Colorworks, custom front rack, 27.5+ plus sized goodness. Reliable parts build with Jones loop bars, White Industries rear hub and SP front hub laced up to Velocity Dually rims, a black Brooks Cambium saddle, good ol' Avid BB7 brakes, Thomson post, and a super dependable Shimano SLX drivetrain. All set for late summer explorations of the PNW.

The tongue sez it all...

The tongue sez it all...

Strong like a kitten, soft like a whale....

Or is that the other way around?

TIG welded traditional 700c road touring/commuting bike, done up in teal with orange accents. Kitted out with tried and true parts: Mavic rims, Shimano cantis, SP dynamo-hub, B&M lights, Sugino cranks, Panaracer tires, Shimano STI shifting on a 9spd drivetrain, Tubus racks powder coated to match the decals, and fenders color matched to the frame. 

I'm really loving the color scheme on this one. And I'm especially fond of the custom cut headbadge. Probably one of my favorites so far.


Adventurebike review

Another video about Bantam Bicycle Works up on the Path Less Pedaled YouTube channel. This one is a review of one of our Adventurebikes. Nice little piece, with some (semi)unbiased* thoughts about the bike. Check it out here:

*Full disclosure: I would say semi-unbiased because the PLP peeps are friends of mine, I've know them for a while. But Russ really did love the bike. Just maybe not the part about getting sting on the lip by a bee while riding it. But I'm not taking any responsibility for that part of it, pretty sure I didn't have anything to do with it.

Shop tour video

Had a great visit from the folks at The Path Less Pedaled yesterday. They did up a nice little interview/shop tour video with yours truly. If you've ever wondered what the inside of Bantam Bicycle Works World Headquarters looks like, or what Bob's favorite tool is, give it a looksee:

Kinn Bikes (or why people who aren't bicycle designers shouldn't design bicycles)

So, I normally do not like to criticize other bicycle maker's (designer's, fabricator's, framebuilder's) work. But every once in a while I run into something so appalling that I feel it's part of my civic duty to the bicycling community to speak up about it. 

I took in a Kinn bike the other day for a repair. Kinn was a small production brand out of Portland, OR (now out of business). They designed a bike meant as a 'midtail' cargo bike/family transportation. Not a terrible idea for a bike. Somewhere between a regular bike and a long tail cargo bike (hence the midtail monicker).

The bike originally came in because the kickstand plate had had experienced a lot of rust and eventually torn off. The owner thought the problem originated from the fact that there wasn't any drain holes in the BB shell and the seat tube had filled with water. While this is a huge problem on it's own (I'll do a write up on drain hole theory later...), the seat tube didn't even have a hole into the BB shell. The corrosion problems around the kickstand plate were all external, due to water pooling up on top of the plate and getting in under the powder coat where the joint wasn't welded all the way around. Not a particularly great design feature in itself, but also by far not the most concerning thing going on with the bike.

As I was stripping the bike down to do the work on it, I noticed something going on with the fork. There was a 1/8" deep groove worn into the back of the steerer tube about an inch above the crown race. This is pretty much exactly at the most stressed point of the entire bike frame (the top of the fork crown where it meets the steering column). Any damage to the fork there can easily cause catastrophic failure. As in you hit a pothole, the fork separates into two pieces, and the rider hitting the ground face first. If you're really into seeing pictures of people's faces that had their noses ground off by the pavement, do a Google search for what happens when your fork breaks on you... And this is even more concerning because the Kinn bikes were meant to also carry children as well. I don't even want to think about what happens to the kid in this situation.

So it immediately occurred to me to figure out what had caused the fork damage. Had to have been something inside the headtube rubbing on the steerer. CORRECTION: According to Todd from Clever Cycles (the shop that sold the bike) the pointy thing inside the headtube was meant to be part of a fork locking system, see Todd's comment down below. (The good folks at Clever are in the process of contacting all owners of the Kinn bikes they sold, to have their bikes checked out. Thanks for your effort in keeping people safe!). [MY ORIGINAL TEXT: A quick inspection revealed that there was an attempt at using a carbon brush as an electrical grounding contact for a taillight between the frame and fork up in the HT at just the spot where the groove is. This ill conceived design feature is similar to something they used to do on high end French rando bikes back in the day. However on the old French bikes they would braze a contact plate to the steerer for the carbon brush to rub onto, and they would use a wide, flat brush to spread the contact point out. This was all to prevent damage to the fork. On the Kinn frame the brush is small and pointy and rubs directly onto the steerer.] Over the two years the owner of the bike has had it (it was bought new), there developed significant damage to the steering column. Enough to where I would say without a doubt that it could cause the fork to fail and the rider(s) to be injured, possibly fatally. I was so concerned that I filed a Consumer Product Safety Commission report about it. Hopefully that will have some traction and word will get out to bike shops and Kinn owners, and they will have their bikes checked out. This definitely deserves a recall IMO.

Now what does this have to do with bike design and why people who aren't bicycle designers shouldn't design bicycles? 

I would say that the guy who designed the KInn bikes had a decent idea. Mid-sized cargo bike. Smaller and lighter than a typical cargo bike. You could even throw it on the front rack of a bus to expand your biking range with public transit. Pretty good idea. Now, the part where it all fails IHMO is that he didn't have anything resembling adequate experience to safely design the bike himself. Would you trust someone without any experience in designing buildings to safely design you an apartment complex? Would you trust someone without experience to design you a car? A bridge? I wouldn't think so. You would want someone with years of experience. Someone who knows intricately everything that goes into the design process. 

What makes bicycles different? (Especially bicycles meant to have children as passengers). There are plenty of fly-by-night bike makers out there that throw their name up on a website and BOOM! people assume that they are knowledgable and capable to design and build them a good and safe bicycle. Definitely not true, see case in point. In the current age, ideas and marketing seem to speak more to people than experience and knowhow. In the bicycle world it's hard to not be swayed by a smart idea, a sexy website, and fancy paint schemes.

But really, what people should be looking at is how many years experience does the framebuilder or designer have? What is their track record of failed products?  Can they actually do what they say they can do? Should you place your trust in them or not? At least in the case of Kinn Bikes, I would think not.

*Please note that the fabrication of the Kinn Bikes frame was done by Zen Fabrications in Portland, OR. The fork is a Surly Disc Trucker fork that has been repainted to match the frame. To all appearances the actual fabrication of the frame and fork was done well. The failure here is in the design of the bike. 

Kinn Cascade Flyer

Kinn Cascade Flyer

The original problem. Kickstand plate broke off due to a combination of design and the powder coat holding water in next to the steel. 

The original problem. Kickstand plate broke off due to a combination of design and the powder coat holding water in next to the steel. 

The groove in the steerer tube.

The groove in the steerer tube.

You can kind of see the  pointy business    [not a     carbon brush]   inside the head tube here.

You can kind of see the pointy business [not a carbon brush] inside the head tube here.

SoCal bound Adventurebike

The first of five Adventurebikes that are getting a full build from Bantam Bicycle Works World Headquarters (BBWWHQ?) is ready to roll out the door. With a bunch of high quality and reliable parts from Paul Comp, White Ind, Cane Creek, DT Swiss, and more. Amazing paint by Colorworks in a sandy yellow and black decals with a matte finish. Topped off with a custom stem and custom front rack built here at BBWWHQ. It's not hard to imagine the adventures that will be had with this bike...

Adventurebikes out in the wild

A recent Bantam Adventurebike customer sent me this the other day. Always great to know that the bikes I make are actually out there getting used to do the things they were designed to do. (Great video too, totally worth a looksee) :

I'm not trying to brag about my video production skills, and don't expect you to spend 10 minutes of your life watching this.  I just wanted you to understand a little more completely, how much I am enjoying this bike.  You don't make bicycle frames, you make joy.


Lemon Meringue

Adventurebikes are rolling out the door just as soon as they come back from the painter's. Already one down in TX. One headed up to SEA next week. This guy however is destined to not leave it's hometown (except on adventures, of course...). It's all done up in lemon meringue, with a semi-custom front adventurerack and a handcut headbadge inspired by the iconic Knorr chicken bouillon packaging. 650b plus (or 27.5+ if you will) tires to roll over just about anything that'll get in the way of searching out that perfect backcountry campsite. Super stoked to see these things headed off to their homes. Can't wait to see where they will go...

Prices going up soon

(insert sad emoji face here)

Yup, it's about that time of the year again. Reassessing our expenditures and income. And, as per usual, things have gotten more expensive than they were a year ago.  Shipping costs, rent on the workshop space, utilities, materials, tooling, etc... So we will be increasing our prices in a couple of weeks. A bit more than we did last year. But we are confident that what we will be charging is well worth it. You're looking at better paint options and better material selection, with the same great customer service and attention to detail that people have come to expect from Bantam Bicycle Works. 

But, we'd like to give y'all fair warning. If anyone out there is on the fence about buying a new frameset and would like to get in before things get more expensive, you have until the end of February to put down a deposit. Give us a call. Shoot us an email. We'd be happy to talk with you.