The Chainlink

Many of you have met me, or seen my bikes, but my name is Levi Borreson, and I am the owner and framebuilder at Legacy Frameworks in Bridgeport. I have decided to build a bicycle to honor and support Illinois Trail Corps, and its effort to empower Illinois communities to be trail builders again. My great grandfather was part of the Civilian Conservation Corp that partly inspired this effort, so this initiative is close to me.

The bicycle I'm developing is a fast cross-country machine sometimes called a Randonneur, the type of bike good for a quick 150-mile overnight tour, good for carrying a sandwich, sleeping bag and clean bike shorts or just a credit card...or maybe not stopping at all.
I'm calling it the Scout, being a fast moving and steadfast machine - and invoking the spirit of citizenship.
The first production bike will be a special edition, dedicated to Phillip T. Hodge. Honoring the crazed genius of the Illinois Prairie Path's Volunteer Bridge in Wheaton, who taught volunteers to weld trusses and pour concrete from a crane. It's his spirit that fuels Illinois Trail Corps, and and I want this bike to embody that.

It will be Trails for Illinois green—Pantone 577, thanks for asking—and while its heritage reaches back to the fast French light touring bikes of the 1950s, its components will be modern with brake lever shifting, disc brakes, and a 10-speed compact drive train. The front rack, appropriate for a sleeping bag and/or six pack, is included.
While I will use this effort to create a new line of fast touring bikes, there will only ever be one Phillip T. Hodge edition, and it will only be available as a premium for donating to Illinois Trail Corps, so stay tuned.

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Woah, I painted my place nearly the same color.  It looks a bit gray in this picture but it's got a little more green in it.

Thanks for pointing me to the site.  I picked up the Pro Campo bag.  I'll make a nice gift for someone I know.

Can't wait to see a production model. Other than that, I have the same questions as Jeff.
Good luck!

Very nice Levi

Thanks for your Support! The bag will certainly be appreciated. 

Tricolor said:

Woah, I painted my place nearly the same color.  It looks a bit gray in this picture but it's got a little more green in it.

Thanks for pointing me to the site.  I picked up the Pro Campo bag.  I'll make a nice gift for someone I know.

Hey Jeff and Duppie, 

Here are some of the details - we are currently starting on a prototype, so things may be adjusted.

Construction:

Double Butted Chromolly TrueTemper (made in USA) Main tubes - Road Oversized

1 1/8 Steerer on a brased lugged fork

TIG welded frame - with the geometry to allow the possibility of lugs

Geometry

Two sizes to begin with - 53 and 56 cm (c-c)

0 degree top tube, around 73 degree head tube, around 100cm wheelbase

Shooting for square geometry - so 53 seat tube and 53 top tube (c-c)

Low trail - its main take-away from the Historic French Bikes

Components

650b Wheels w/ 43 - 45mm tires - Best fit for these two frame sizes - it limits options, but they are getting much better.

Disc Brakes - Advantages in keeping away from sloppy trail conditions, higher performance on quicker rides and with a little added weight. They are also a little more convenient when (traditionally) you are loading most of your stuff right at your fork crown - it can get tight with rack, bag, fenders and light.

Lighting: Dynamo Hubs would come standard on these bikes. Bright Busch&Muller LED headlight and tail light with a rider supplied battery back-up. The Front light will be attached to the front rack and the rear to the fender.

Drivetrain: We wanted to have options - so this will be a deraileured drivetrain. 2 x 10 at the most and 1 x 8 or 9 at the least. Options for STI, bar end or down tube shifters. And definite possibilities for a internal 8 or 11 with belt drive.

Keep the Questions coming and we will update everyone on the progress. 

And please consider joining me in supporting the Illinois Trail Corps



Jeff Schneider said:

Any details about frame geometry and construction?  Provision for lighting on those 150 mile overnight tours?  Finally, what is the advantage of disc brakes for this purpose?

Nice idea, I hope you do well with it.

Neat looking concept! What ballpark will be the retail price for standard build with a 2x9 (bar end or downtube shifters), dynamo hub/lights, fenders, and front rack?  I'd personally rather have friction shifters on a bike like this hence the 9 speed. 

Just got me some Trails for Illinois socks! I've been riding a lot on some of the rail to trails these past couple years so it's good to give a little back even if not much. 

Nice :)

Thanks Rich, a basic package which would be with 2x9 down tube shifters. With front rack, dynamo and lights, fenders would be about $1700

Thanks for your support, every bit helps. 


Rich S said:

Neat looking concept! What ballpark will be the retail price for standard build with a 2x9 (bar end or downtube shifters), dynamo hub/lights, fenders, and front rack?  I'd personally rather have friction shifters on a bike like this hence the 9 speed. 

Just got me some Trails for Illinois socks! I've been riding a lot on some of the rail to trails these past couple years so it's good to give a little back even if not much. 

With the straight blade steel fork, oversized tubes and disk brakes, this sounds overbuilt for a credit card tourer. I don't think you'll find any of those features on traditional french randonneuring bike.

I mainly took inspiration from the traditional rando bikes in the steering geometry, tire and rack setup and overall utility.

It's a bit of a melting pot otherwise.



KevinM said:

With the straight blade steel fork, oversized tubes and disk brakes, this sounds overbuilt for a credit card tourer. I don't think you'll find any of those features on traditional french randonneuring bike.

Your bag's on its way!

Tricolor said:

Woah, I painted my place nearly the same color.  It looks a bit gray in this picture but it's got a little more green in it.

Thanks for pointing me to the site.  I picked up the Pro Campo bag.  I'll make a nice gift for someone I know.

Phil T. Hodge was pretty untraditional: you'd have to be to lead a crew who'd never built a bridge to build one out of steel, over active rail lines, two city streets, and a city park. Here's the pic of Phil from the video:I showed him the sketch, and Phil asked if it could instead be a recumbent tandem that folded into a suitcase. So Levi's bike embodies a little of that spirit.

Thanks for your interest in the bike and Levi's efforts.


KevinM said:

With the straight blade steel fork, oversized tubes and disk brakes, this sounds overbuilt for a credit card tourer. I don't think you'll find any of those features on traditional french randonneuring bike.

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