Sneak Peek

I have been keeping my cards to my chest on this project, but am at the point where I might pop if I do not share this one.  I have been working really hard on this project as of late, a dream come true with persistence and hard work.

Engineering is underway, prototype starting soon with production to follow.  I want this bike, and am confident that more of you out there do too.  This is a bike for riding fast as your legs will take you, or a toodle on a country road.  It will help you eat up the miles on the pave or gravel in comfort and style.

Basics: Frame and fork set with low trail front end geometry for front biased loading, sporty yet stout enough to get the groceries home, room for 42mm tires with 52mm fenders, 700c in the larger sizes and 650b in the smaller, no toe overlap in any size, even sizes from 50-62 cm measured center to center along the seat tube.

Details: Tig welded double butted steel with tube spec balanced to size, standard gauge tubing, investment cast fork crown,  brazeon option for Paul Racer brakes, everything in the right place for easy mounting and good fender line, brazeons for racks and fenders, possible offering custom tube spec for an up-charge, and a Brooks saddle friendly seat tube angle.


There has finally been a convergence of my plans and a contractor to fulfill them, and things are charging ahead.  the initial run will have tubing from a mix of suppliers, but my long-term dream is to deliver a production sport touring bike made in the USA out of steel made in the USA at a price that is competitive in the open market.

The name??? My first impulse was “Rambler”.  I just like the sound of that.  The second one, sticking with an ocean theme, “Mullet”, it is a fish, not a glamorous fish but the dual meaning – Business up front and party in the rear!!!!  Since I am captain, cook and bottle washer on this ship I still need to get through my trademark search on the name though.

Timeline? I am doing my best to fast track this without cutting corners on things like destructive testing and confirmation of design.  The pre-sale should be ready to go in the next two months with projected delivery in the spring of the coming year.  Those who are keen of eye and have been riding a while may notice I am not re-inventing the wheel here, just bringing something to market that has been gone for quite a while.

Subscribe here, like me on Facebook, do what ever works for you to stay tuned.  I do not think this is something you are going to want to miss out on.

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11 Responses to Sneak Peek

  1. mike says:

    nice concept, will it have down tube shifter bosses? will it plane? will it be sturdy enough for groceries AND plane without groceries? nice to read you are considering capcity for large tires, perhaps bump it out to 45 mm or even more? But I am sure that is a consideration for the bb shell and chainstay tubing spec. Perhaps 1 -2 reiforce eyelets under the downtube for an internal wiring lead back to a rear tail light mount. Similarly, enlarged holes on the right fork blade for hidden wiring from a dyno hub to the fork crown, exit to be tastefully placed.

    • Rob says:

      All of your comments are being factored in, yes on the DT shifters, yes on some sort of light wire routing. WRT the tire clearance spec, I think you might be able to run some of the 45mm options without fenders, it will be close for knobbies like the firecross. It should easily clear the current 37-38 mm tire offerings in the 700c size with room for a 52mm metal fender. the chain stays are the real pinch pint, more room for tires equates into a wider crank tread. I am exploring options like custom s bend stays, but custom bends drive labor cost up, I really want to do this without grossly huge dimples in the stays or too much custom work. One design goal is keeping it affordable..

  2. Excellent idea! Had I not just built up an rSogn, you could put me in the “most likely” column. I’m not fond of the fistful of spacers required for the fenders with 38 or 42mm tires, but I get around that by telling myself I don’t have to look at it while riding. Had your bike been available it would have been a serious consideration. FWIW.

    Rambler is a really good, fitting name. If you ever do a city bike, call it the Metropolitan. 😉

    • Rob says:

      I tried really hard to beat them to market, but was stuck finding a contractor to work with that could to batches under 100 units but bigger than 1 here in the US. Timing is everything, the rawland will likely serve you well, and who knows, depending on your size you may be able to move the build over to one of these if the timing or budget works out next year for you. IMO the sogn is a good bike but I do not prefer 650b for my larger, 62cm sized frames. Likewise for a road bike, dirt or paved, room for a 60mm tire is overkill IMO

  3. Joe Broach says:

    I like the plan, even though I ride a 64. Maybe consider further differentiating the Rambler by including fitted front rack options (porteur or rando?). Box Dog Bikes has the US-made Pelican, VO and Rawland have their Taiwan-made Polyvalent & Sogn. All of those are front loaders, but none of them have a fitted front rack option. The aftermarket alternatives are either compromised (adjustable racks) or a hassle/expensive (custom made). With all the makeshift front-loaders I see on the road every day, it’s amazing to me that a person still can’t buy a production porteur bike. A lightweight front-loader with integrated rack would really stand out to me.

    Good luck with the project!

    • Rob says:

      Joe, I have a 64cm worked out, and if there is sufficient interest I can add it to the matrix.

      My preference for front loading is a small rack or bag up top and lowriders for the bigger hauls. I think Bruce Gordon has perfected the lowrider. For the upper rack I have some sketches, of a demi porter, but not a complete design yet. The hard part I have discovered is finding contractors willing and able to make things to spec. They exist overseas, but challenges with QC and logistics put that a bit out of my reach at the moment. Also, my preference in front bags tends toward the Hobo or bags that hang. I think this stems from my larger bike size as well, and not wanting to reach too far down to get into a traditional bag. I have a design completed for a rack that is similar to a nitto F-15, but places the load below the bars the way I have carried my Hobo the last couple of years, and am planning to sew up a couple of sample bags later this week.

  4. Joe Broach says:

    One other quick detail to consider: side of fork crown rack mounts. These are nice and unobtrusive, work great with centerpulls, and really stiffen up a front rack. My old Miyata city bike came with these as did some old Frenchies (e.g. Seems like they would work great with your Bruce Gordon style highrider rack, too.

    • Rob says:

      I will have eyelets either in the top of the crown or the top vertical sides of the fork legs. I am detailing out a demi-porteur rack in the 18x18cm range and looking for a contractor who can take on the work. I like the demi-porteur design as it is big enough to protect a light and support a bag or basket without the bulk of a full porteur rack.

  5. Joe Broach says:

    This is going to be a unique bike. Thanks for sharing the info. I’m excited to see it in the steel!

  6. doug peterson says:

    Rob: This is a wonderful idea! I kinda like the name “Ocean Air” since it brings to mind the smell of salt air, sea breezes, etc., things with positive associations. Using fish names gets a bit trickier since they are often regionally recognized but may have other connotations (e.g., mullett).

    • Rob says:

      The biggest problem with fish names I can see is overlap with what Fisher has done in the last 20 years. Even things that are common names and words can be subject to grief. An example of this is Eric over at relevate, used to be Epic until he was contacted by specialized. Not that a line of bikes vs. a guy in Alaska stitching bags should have name and brand confusion, but that is how the world works. Fun stuff being owner, chief designer, photo department, head stitcher, web and IT guy, engineer and now legal department.

      If it were not for the “ocean air” I probably would have had a break down by now

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