Anybody who’s been in San Francisco for a little time, or closely studied a city map, knows that the streets can be extremely confusing–especially for a cyclist. That’s partly because of the hills (if I keep pedaling straight up this hill maybe it’s a shortcut??) but also because of the city’s rapid growth brought on by the Gold Rush. The city really grew like crazy. A quick Wikipedia query put some numbers on what I had already vaguely known: At the beginning of 1848 there were only 1,000 residents, but by 1870 it was a city of 150,000. Getting any type of overarching city plan together must have been nearly impossible. I guess the city is still trying to mitigate the effects of poor initial planning (e.g. the $ 1.5 billion Central Subway), but that’s another story.
The story for today, though, is a beautiful 56 cm road bike done up in the beautifully textured “Gold Vein” color (thank you Champion Powder Coating). The frame was a higher-end Shogun from the mid-80’s. You can tell its quality based on the fluted tips of the seatstays, the minimalist cable guides under the bottom bracket, and what I believe are investment-cast Suntour dropouts. Originally this bike came equipped with Suntour components as well, but after the frame got painted it was time to modernize the bike.
We’ve put some nice parts into this build. It’s got a SRAM Apex 10-speed drivetrain, Shimano Ultegra brakes (those are some very elegant stoppers, folks), and a nice wheelset with SUZUE sealed bearing hubs. A Sugino 50/34 crankset, MKS UB-Lite pedals, and a Brooks Professional saddle are some more great looking parts that’ll last a very long time. Considering the frame is already gold, we tried to keep other things a little understated.
The geometry of this frame was intended for road racing, but we’ve put the Soma Sutro stem and Highway One bar (in the 42 cm width) for a somewhat more upright riding position. It handles very nimbly and is a real pleasure to ride. If you’re around 5’10” or so, she’d be a pretty prime fit for you.