JAKE RUSBY

RUSBY CY­CLES’ FOUNDER HAS JUST HEADED WEST FROM LON­DON TO BRIS­TOL. HIS HOME HAS CHANGED BUT THE TAL­ENT’S RE­MAINED

Urban Cyclist - - Con­tents - In­ter­view: James Witts Pho­tog­ra­phy: Ol­lie Ham­mick

A PLAS­TIC BAG GOT STUCK IN MY REAR DE­RAILLEUR

and bent just about every­thing on the back of my bike. I was pretty pissed off and searched for some­one to re­pair the dam­age. I vis­ited Oak Cy­cles work­shop in Lon­don, which in­spired me to do the re­pair my­self and com­bine two things I loved – cy­cling and ‘mak­ing’. That in­spired me fur­ther to be­come a frame builder. I still haven’t fixed that dropout.

BE­FORE THAT I STUD­IED SCULP­TURE AT ART COL­LEGE,

had a few jobs, and then in­stalled art­work in gal­leries and grand houses in Lon­don. Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this side of the art world killed my love of sculpt­ing.

THERE WEREN’T MANY FRAME BUILD­ING COURSES AROUND

and I had lit­tle money, so I was mostly self-taught, us­ing a few ba­sic books, crappy YouTube videos and lots of ex­per­i­ment­ing. This was okay to a point but I learnt a lot more when I shared a work­shop with Ryan [Mc­Caig] at Oak Cy­cles and Matthew [Sowter] from Saf­fron Frame­works.

THE QUAL­ITY OF WORK­MAN­SHIP BY THE BEST-KNOWN FRAME BUILDERS IN THE UK IS IN­CRED­I­BLY HIGH

and ev­ery­one has their own style, which marks them out. I use a paired-down aes­thetic, pre­fer­ring clean lines and sub­tle met­al­work de­tail­ing that you would never find on a mass-pro­duced frame. I of­ten put in sculp­tural, asym­met­ric bridges and loads of pin­stripes.

I LOVE THE CRE­ATIVE PART OF BIKE DE­SIGN,

carv­ing un­usual brake bridges and all the things that make the bike look amaz­ing, but prob­a­bly my favourite part is braz­ing in the bot­tle bosses. It only takes a few sec­onds but is so sat­is­fy­ing to watch the molten sil­ver wick around the boss when it’s all at ex­actly the right tem­per­a­ture.

I’M PROUD OF ALL MY BIKES

but Pete’s All Road Bike on my web­site (www.rus­by­cy­cles.co.uk) is a re­cent favourite, as it fea­tures just the right mix of de­tail, sim­plic­ity and func­tion­al­ity. I man­aged to route the hy­draulics through the whole frame, hide away the Di2 junc­tion box be­neath the sad­dle and cus­tom-make the seat­post for a su­per-clean ap­pear­ance.

I’VE HAD A FEW SMALL DIS­AS­TERS DUR­ING MY FRAME BUILD­ING LIFE

but one of the most heart­break­ing oc­curred when I painted a par­tic­u­larly com­pli­cated bike. It took me three at­tempts to paint the masked ar­eas nice and crisp, and I lac­quered it beau­ti­fully us­ing a new lac­quer. But when I looked the next morn­ing it was suf­fer­ing from some­thing called ‘sol­vent trap’, which causes the paint to cloud over and wrin­kle up. It took me about 16hrs to redo it.

A FRAME BUILDER RE­QUIRES PA­TIENCE,

an eye for de­tail and, if you forge fil­let-brazed frames, the abil­ity to en­joy sand­ing. For­tu­nately, I love sand­ing down fil­lets. I’m un­sure what that says about me.

I NEVER PROP­ERLY FIN­ISHED MY FIRST FRAME

and it’s re­ally not much to look at, so it just hangs rust­ing in my work­shop. My sec­ond frame, how­ever, took around four months to build and, re­as­sur­ingly, it still looks and rides great. It’s a belt-drive sin­gle­speed, I use it ev­ery­day and I still get asked about it.

I’VE JUST MOVED TO BRIS­TOL.

I headed west for many rea­sons but pri­mar­ily I wanted to be nearer the coun­try­side. I like the pace of life; I was never a nat­u­ral Lon­doner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.