Feed on

I have waited nearly a year to build this bike: I first ordered the frame from Alien Bikes as part of a group buy last October, receiving it last May.  Despite the ridiculous wait, the frame is gorgeous and well-made, especially considering the low $350 pricetag for a hand-made lugged steel frame.  I used wire brushes to remove most of the phosphate coating from the tubes, exposing the raw steel and bright gold flux around the lugs.   The inspiration for this build is a classic Italian racer, something that looks like a throwback to the 1940’s or 50’s, but built from a mix of affordable modern and vintage parts.

For more pictures, click here to see this bike’s photo set on Flickr.com.

The wheelset is Velocity Deep-V with “silver-spangle” rims that match the frame color beautifully.  The crankset and seatpost are 70’s-vintage Campagnolo Nuovo Record, with a Dura-Ace chainring and Surly cog (49/18 gearing).  The vintage Brooks B-17 saddle and crazy adjustable stem give it a lot of flavor – the stem is truly 1940’s vintage and hand-made, a lucky eBay find.

Keeping with theme, I added a pair of Soma Major Taylor bars, but the Salsa cross lever and Shimano RSX brake are a bit anachronistic.  I’m probably going to switch the bars soon, and I’m hoping to find a vintage brake lever that matches better.

This is the steepest track bike I’ve ever ridden, and it’s taking some practice and learning to get comfortable on.  However, I am already enjoying the way the steel soaks up road vibrations, much better than my aluminum Fuji Track Pro.  This bike is still a “work in progress” but I’m very proud of it, and it represents my best custom build yet.

3 Responses to “Alien 53cm fixed-gear custom build”

  1. […] finished this build at the end of September, showcasing  it in this post.  However, I very quickly ran into a bunch of problems when I started riding it.  The Major […]

  2. Seth says:

    I love the bike. I have a work in progress bike, which is an old lugged Peugeot which has a raw frame. I am thinking of painting just the lugs and then having the entire frame powder coated with a clear powder coat. Any thoughts? Are you planning on clear coating your frame, let it patina, or just keep it from getting to wet and too rusty?


  3. naptrax says:

    I’ve never seen a bike with painted lugs and a raw frame, but it might look very cool. Regarding the powder coat, I’ve learned that you can’t do a clear powder coat on a raw bike; you can, but it won’t properly adhere to the steel without a primer coat first, which defeats the purpose. without a primer coat, it will last about a year or so before it starts to rust under the clear coat.

    I am planning on letting my bike patina slowly; I wipe it down after rides and go over any rust spots lightly with some steel wool. I like how it’s going so far, but I do admit it’s been hard to relax and just let it patina, LOL. it was supposed to be my “beater” bike but I avoid riding it in bad weather.

Leave a Reply