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Nice Lugs!

Chris Bishop starts Sunday at NAHBS with three well-deserved award ribbons decorating his booth.

Indeed, his orange randonneur bike, which won Best Lugged Steel Frame, stands out from the sea of steel with its gorgeous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Closer inspection, though, reveals an entirely new level of wow.

The bike was built for a customer who demanded all the bells and whistles of a rando bike such as fenders, hand-soldered racks, and built-in lights, but at a minimal weight toll. This challenge made Bishop source a variety of vintage and new parts alike to find the right mix of light and functional.

TA Cranks (classic in their French design, and also the lightest touring cranks available) are paired with a titanium bottom bracket and a Suntour front derailleur. In back is a Suzue high flange hub chosen for its quality and its gram count, and an 8-speed rear cassette with a silver disk where another cog should fit.

Photo: Sophie Ballo

The answer to this mystery cassette?

“It’s a Porta Catena chain holder system,” Bishop explains. “When you have to change your tire and remove your rear wheel, pushing the right shifter all the way forward drops your chain onto the disk rest, which both protects the stay and keeps your hands clean.”

Retrofitting this piece to be compatible with a modern cassette system also required a Dura Ace rear derailleur with a custom long cage hanger.

All of the above, paired with minute gold accented lugs, handcrafted fenders, and color matched orange shellacked handlebar tape create a package that any customer would crave.

Thanks to Bishop’s dedication to detail and design, this particular customer also gets to go home with a NAHBS award winner.