Friday, January 17, 2014

January Sale: Special Frame Offers

We have a number of unique, special edition Bilenky frames for sale, including several new frames not previously listed. These are either ex-demo bikes, were built for customers who later changed their mind (it happens), or are other special productions for various reasons...

For our 2014 January Sale, we're offering the demo frames at discounted prices for the next few weeks only - jump on them now as prices will go back up in February. This is a rare opportunity to get a handmade custom Bilenky frame at a significantly discounted price.

• Customised Build Kits (whole or partial) are available for all of these frames - just give us a call to discuss what you have in mind. Headset and BB? Full build? No problem.

• Individual Payment Plans (at 0% interest) or layaway instalments can also be offered for these frames - again, call us to work something out.

The following one-off frames are available at one-off sale prices:

White 46cm Expedition Tourer with Titanium Fork (NEW)

• super versatile 26" wheelset frame, with clearance for up to 26x1.95 tires with fenders
• lightweight tubeset in unground fillet-brazing, with ovalized downtube for added strength
• curved toptube to allow extra standover for off-road riding
• Paragon dropouts with removable derailleur tab and Rohloff OEM2 axle-plate mount
• fender and rear-rack mounts, cantilever brakes, lovely white pearl powdercoat
• rare Kona P2 titanium fork or buy it without the fork
An ideal frame for the smaller 5'2"-5'6" rider for bikepacking - just load it up and hit the gravel trails...
$1750 frame only
$1950 frame and ti fork

Light green 62cm Track Frame & Fork
• large 700c lightweight track frame
• beautiful two-tone custom paint with Sachs lugs and painted cut-outs
• chromed drops and tips of stays on fork
• rare Reynolds curved seat-tube
More pictures of this frame at the BCW webstore.
$2500 > $2250

Black 60cm Single-Speed/Internal Gear cruiser (NEW)

• 700c frame only (no fork included; we can build you one as an extra...)
• custom 'Helenic' seat-stay cluster, with elegant curved seat-stays
• satin black powdercoat finish with red decals
• mounts for a chain-guard and long-reach sidepull brakes
Would build up to an awesome and unusual roadster or city bike.
$1000 > $775

54cm (Medium) Adventure Touring Frame with S&S couplers for global travel
• price includes a single-color powdercoat of your choice
• frame is fully finished and can be delivered with paint within 3 weeks
• frame has rack and fender braze-ons and S&S couplers already installed
• includes a stock fork to match
• clearance for 26x1.5 tires with fenders
Based on our time-proven Midlands geometry - this will build up into a versatile off-road adventure touring machine. Choose the color and you're ready to go!
$1900 > $1750   Update 1/22 - FRAME SOLD.

46cm Green Roadster / Light Touring Bike
• Lightweight Columbus Zona tubing
• Pacenti fork crown with pin-striping
• custom green paint with handpainted Bilenky graphics
• horizontal drop-outs with derailleur tab
• clearance for 26x1.5 tires with fenders
• pump-peg, braze-ons for racks and fenders, takes long-reach sidepull brakes
$2250 > $1750

Call us for more details or pictures of these frames.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

New prices for 2014

It's the time of year when - like everyone else - we review our prices and plan for the forthcoming season.

We're going to keep any changes as minimal as possible, but there will be some price rise for most BCW products and services. Some things won't go up. Most things will.

All new 2014 prices will go into effect on Febuary 1st.

 So, if you're thinking of getting your bike retrofitted with S&S couplers in order to travel with it; if you're thinking of getting any repairs or restoration done on that old classic in the garage; and particularly if you're planning to order a custom frame or complete new bicycle from us this year, now is the time to do it.

Place your order and put down a deposit, and that way your custom build is locked into 2013 prices. Call or email us to discuss this.



Friday, January 10, 2014

Bina's Africa Bike

Bina is taking some time away from the shop for a few months to undertake a pretty awesome journey - she's working as part of the support crew for the 2014 Tour d'Afrique overland ride that goes all the way from Khartoum to Cape Town, a 12,000km journey through some of the most amazing places in the world.

She'll be riding for much of the time and a special trip demands a special bike - so here's a rundown on the custom bike that Bina ordered and is now riding in Africa. A cross between an agile mountain bike and a traditional touring bike. Already officially named Le Petit Graveleur. Of course, it's a Signature Bilenky - literally:

Built from lightweight steel to a very special design:

- True Temper heat-treated downtube with an ovalized profile - stronger, lighter and with a small-radius curve behind the headtube, to be more resistant to buckle-failure. A rigid bike takes a lot of front-impact - so rather than a heavy tube we used a different shape to get the same strength.

- Undersized thin-wall toptube - a 7/8 diameter tube, smaller than most production bikes, increasing the lightness and comfort of the bike to match the weight of the rider. Not every mountain bike has to have oversized tubing. We build bikes that match the uniqueness of every rider. That means we choose tubing that matches the rider and where and how they're going to ride.

Check out those curves. Custom top-tube kept low to allow an easy standover clearance. Large tire capacity to allow 2" of rubber to tackle any kind of terrain. Wide curved stays and a special bi-plane fork crown. Fork blades are lightweight - again tuned to match the rider and absorb bumps.

Comfortable geometry to allow for all day riding.

The custom cable-run on the toptube allows us to go between the seatstays (a benefit for smaller bikes) and visually follows the curve of the toptubes and compliments the lines of the frame. Attention to detail. Intelligent design.

The finished bike all built up and ready to ride. Components as follows:

  • Cantilever bikes allow mud-clearance with simplicity of repair in a touring situation. We thought about disc brakes but they just weren't necessary.
  • Brooks B17 Narrow Imperial, a comfortable saddle for many women riders.
  • A hand-picked groupset that combines high-end road parts for lightness with a 2x10 mountain range - simple front-shifting but lightweight and practical. Remember that three-quarters of the weight of most bikes is components. Here we're able to balance durability and quality and weight - it's possible.
  • White Industries hubs - light, durable, made in the USA. We love'em. Free spinning, we've been putting them on Bilenky custom bikes for 20 years and will probably continue to do so for another 20. Laced to DT Rims, our rim of choice.
  • Panaracer Protek tires to protect against thorns and rocks. A lightweight version of a big tire for a suspension-like ride.
  • Chris King headset - the industry standard.
  • Cross levers for extra comfort and variety of riding position.

And here it is on location in another continent, complete with a Berthoud saddlebag ideal for a supported tour or credit-card touring:

All of these options that go into making this bike unique and appropriate for Bina's journey are available to build into all of our custom bikes. But of course, you'll have all your own requirements. For us that is one the pleasures of being a custom builder. You can change any component on a production bike, but with custom everything about the frame is changeable. You're unique and your bike should be too.

You can follow Bina's trip at the Tour D'Afrique blog. We'll be asking her again later on how she's getting on with the bike.

Check out the Philadelphia Inquirer article on Bina's trip.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Falling Timber

So happy new year folks and we don't know about you, but here at BCW 2014 began with a crash...

Or more precisely, the sound of falling timber as one of the undoubtedly ancient trees that surround the workshop and - at certain more summery times of the year (honestly) - suggest the atmosphere of a scenic rural idyll, a green tranquillity, even right in the heart of post-industrial Olney - anyway, to get to the point, when the storms hit the tree fell. On us.

Seriously, right onto the workshop. Luckily no one was inside at the time, though according to Ferdinand it made quite a noise and seriously disrupted that day's maneourvres in his ongoing campaign against the ever rising rodent armies of Northern Philadelphia. Never mind, big guy.

And even luckier - perhaps using up so much luck that we're worried how much we have left for the rest of the year - the building was not damaged either. No bikes got flattened.

The electricity company arrived on scene and cut part of it away from the wires. Then it snowed, and thawed, and froze, in quick succession. Meaning we still haven't quite got round to clearing the entrance. (If we had a good old wood-burning stove this would be helping tremendously with our heating bill - but we don't.)

Advisory warning to visitors: be prepared to hack your way through the undergrowth to get in the door. Machete optional.

And if that wasn't all enough, the power went off, and then we get a once-in-20-years record temperature low - the Arctic Vortex in media-event-speak - as recorded here on the PECO tower in Center City Philly:

Yep, that's 4 fahrenheit - or -15.5 for those of you who work in centigrade. First time most of us here have seen single digit temps on this thing. Does it even have a minus figure capacity? (Can anyone tell us?) Thankfully we didn't find out this time... We feel for everyone in the Midwest and Canada shivering in even colder climes.

Luckily there's always a brazing torch or two running inside to keep us warm, as the work goes on:

So here's to a good 2014 for everyone. Now it's back to building all those custom dream bikes...