The Romanceur Frame
Notes about the Romanceur frame geometry
- All sizes have level top tubes
- This frame has a standard 1″ threaded steerer meant for quill stems
- Bottom bracket height, standover clearance, and trail are all calculated with a 340mm (13.4″) radius tire
- This frame was designed to have generous clearance for fenders around 26 x 2.3″ tires. 650b x 48 tires with fenders should fit equally well, and even larger tires will fit fine without fenders.
The ROMANCEÜR is a swashbuckling tender heart of a fantasy warrior, who not only seduces its rider, but acts as a psychedelic aphrodisiac on the psyche. Together you become thee Romanceür, a sacred, lustful partnership rendering all riding surfaces swooned out and speechless, pining for an intimate evening including a tray of rosé Jell-O shots.
SOOO, this is my take on the perfect bike. It is all my opinion, and not the popular industry opinion. It is an opinion shaped and molded over my 21 years on this planet. A lifetime of cycling that spans recumbents-PRO cat 5 road racing. There is no other bike like it, and I don’t really think it’s gonna catch on until 2020; the Romanceür is that advanced! If you EVER find another bike out there with a combination of LUGS, DISC, 1″ THREADED, and 26″ WHEELS, and WIZARD HEAD BADGE, I’ll get the big S to send me a Shiv and enter a triathlon.
So if you’ve read this far into my sales pitch you are likely brimming with amorous curiosity and wondering why you have read this far into a sales pitch… the answer is seduction.. you’ve been seduced, and you will continue to be seduced as you move ever closer to becoming a Romanceür avatar yourself, as the
seduced becomes the seduceür. That’s you!
So you deeply desire a bike that you can pack some snacks, a hammock, a full sized water bong and perhaps a tablet with all 4 seasons of Felicity on hulu + and head out for a day or 2 with the option to go just about anywhere in style, performance, and comfort? Until the inception of the entity that you are currently being seduced by, certain sacrifices in performance were necessary, as these “all rounder” bikes tend to be able to do anything, but not anything necessarily very well… with the Romanceür, you will find that compromise is an excuse used before you met your true love. This isn’t Craigslist or Tinder… this is E-HARMONY. you are here because you are perpetually divorced, 50-65, live in a small town, and are sick of picking up deadbeats at a fried seafood bar next to a shitty Sea-Doo dealership.
Below i have scrolled a comprehensive list of your deepest desires. you might not even know that you have these desires, but that’s seduction for ya!
-26″ wheels. remember when everyone thought skinny tyres were fast, aero, and #cool??? that was a compromise. A bike built for 1 purpose, and 1 purpose alone… to go for land speed records on a flat, featureless roads made of fine marble whilst wrapped in plastic, with a sewn in ass pad to protect yer taint if you were to accidentally get a little rowdy and hit a pebble. Thankfully we now have seemingly endless tyre and rim combinations that have proven high volume tyres are not only exceedingly more comfortable, but also fast, if not faster. One thing the 700c X 20-23 legacy got right was an ideal effective outside diameter (EOD). This, the light weight of a 20cm high thread count tyre, along with cold war UCI regs is why 700c is still relevant. buttttttt…. are you a PRO racer? do you get surprise pee tested? Do you train 30-40 hours a week on rollers staring at a brick wall? Do you sleep in a hyperbaric chamber set at 20k ft???? (ok, i do that). If you answered “no” to at least 3 of those questions, then why are you adhering to UCI regs ya square?? 650b x 38-42 high thread count tyres have the same EOD as the PROs, but are vastly more comfortable and versatile than any bike they ever get to ride, yet have been shown to give up little in terms of performance when riding on real life surfaces.
Shrinking the wheel and adding more rubber just makes sense. smaller wheels are stronger and lighter, big rubber is tunable and makes the bike corner better on pavement and do everything better when the road turns to trail and beyond. The Romanceür takes these performance and comfort characteristics yet another step using 26″ wheels with 2.3″ tyres. turns out 26×2.3 fits into that magic EOD of 700×23 and 650bx42. I’ve been into hacking old 26″ mountain bikes into drop bar mixed tourers for some years now, and found them to be the most versatile and capable bikes i was ever able to create. the limiting factor was always the unfortunate lack of tyre selection. when you are running a tyre with such high volume, knobs are of little use and end up just adding unneeded weight and rolling resistance off the trail. if you wanted a fat 26″ slick, the wire bead industrial schwalbe big ben or fat frank were the only options. then compass delivered a bouquet of roses to my heart with the 26″x2.3 rat trap pass. A true masterpiece of rubber, set up tubeless on 35-45mm rims, this tyre offers the most decadent ride quality i have ever indulged in. You would be hard pressed to find a scenario where this tyre and wheel isn’t ideal. It rolls on pavement turning even the most pocked chip and seal into the fine marble surface you may have tried to set a land speed record on whilst on one of your Tinder dates. You will notice that the big fat tyres and rims make yer bike look like its ready for pedal assist motoGP. this is more than just a look, lean hard on a fat rimed fat tyred high thread count slick and you will find that you have the best knee dragging bike on the market. One mountain decent and you will be ready to deactivate your EHARMONY profile and settle down with your new true love in a nice suburban neighborhood with high speed internet and a dish washing machine.
-Lugged steel. if you’ve made it this far, then you don’t need any convincing that steel is the only material for a bicycle. you should know that the Romanceür is constructed of air hardened Reynolds 853, the finest your desires can desire. these tubes are joined together with brass and a tastefully elaborate lug-set, we use lugs because lugs are timeless. Romance is timeless.
-disc brakes. i don’t care how retro grouchy you are, even poorly operating disc brakes are better than anything else on their best days. You can use hydraulic brakes if you want, although i personally don’t see the appeal.
-3 sizes. This bike is a neo traditional design and does not feature a sloping top tube. Stand over is not much of a consideration, what we are looking for here is nothing more than the olde Italian bike fit protocol of “a fist full of post” and nothing more. this will ensure your handlebars are close to level with your saddle, how any classic randoné bike should fit. So size up. sizes offered c-c are 55, 58, and 62. I’m 6’3″ and am on the up end of the 62cm, while if you are 5’4″ you could ride a 55cm quite comfortably. consult the NASA calculated geometry chart for more beta data.
– 3 water bottle mounts. This is so you can load this bike up with enough rosé to supply an intimate picnic in the countryside and assure you are hydrated enough to get back to your suburban house with high speed internet and dish washing machine. The Romanceür has a reinforced 3 bolt mounts to accommodate full sized bottles of just about anything. Bottles of molten lead? No problem. Three $5 foot long subs? Yes, but that’s gross, and yer better than that.
– Lowish trail geo. This is not a touring bike, if yer looking to tour with yer whole life strapped to yer bike, get a Evasion. This is a bike designed for a modest front load of just about anything you’d need to stay out all day, or for a lightweight tour. I wanted to make it light and springy, not as dëd as Nancy Reagan. I hope that when you pedal this bike, it begs to be pedaled harder. Comfort, style and versatility meets performance. That might seem a bit ambitious, but the prototype i’ve been riding for the past 6 months is just that. I can only imagine how good its gonna be with the few changes that have been made.
-Multiple wheel and tyre size options. The quickest and easiest way to change a bike for multiple purposes is to simply swap the wheels out. This bike will fit 26″ x 2.3 with fenders – 26″ x 2.4 knobbies with clearance for mud – 650b x 48 with fenders – and 27.5 x 2.2 knobbies. All sizes measured on velocity dually 45mm rims. if you only have a 700c or 29er wheelset, you can use that too with 42mm tyres and fenders. If you only have a 20″ wheelset, you can swap out for 100mm crank arms and ride that too. Maybe put sum pegs on it. Sweet!
-aaaaaaaand finally for all the haters 1″ threaded: Long live 1″ threaded. Oversized head tubes are a gimmick. If you want a wicked stiff bike that you are gonna set yer land speed records on, then perhaps tapered threadless is for you. Or if you are into park rat suspension bikes, hucking yer nuts off down a mountain at 40-50 mph. Then 1” threaded may not be for you.
Bikes should flex, they should absorb high frequency vibration and offer a compliant ride over rough terrain. If yer riding unsuspended, the best way to do this is to allow the frame to flex and offer simple built-in shock absorption. making the front end of your bike stiffer is doing yourself a disservice. Are your bike rides a bunch of track sprints? are you looking to wear the green jersey on the champs elysees?? then you don’t need a stiff front end on yer rando bike. Why threaded? because I believe it looks better, classics never go out of style. want to know whats not classic? The 75mm of stack washers yer running on your threadless set up, that you need to get yer bars high enough to be comfortable. ( But I guess the L.D stem helps with that.) The elegance of a 1″ nitto quill stem is unrivaled, and offers an ease of adjustment that you might remember, or have never known. plus it adds yet another element of high frequency shock absorption to the package.