At Eurobike

Yesterday we shared some of the goings-on this week at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, Germany.  Part of our booth this year is a new frame program that will begin in 2013.  Many of our friends and fans have asked for our folding frames to be made available in addition to the complete bikes we have been producing for the past 25 years.  We’re very excited about all the possibilities and we’ll be sharing more news at Interbike in Los Vegas next month, so stay tuned…

But what does it really mean to customize your Montague?  To start with a folding frame as an open canvas and build up a bike as unique as you want it to be?  How do you fold your style into your bike?  I put together one here at Montague HQ, which began with the bottom bracket removal and install that we’ve already talked about.

Building up a bike is a reflection of one person’s creativity and sense of expression. A bicycle can be indicative of a community and it helps to have a community to complete.   From Montague’s founding as a father and son team, onward through the MIT community, and onto the world stage – there has always been, and will always continue to be a community around these folding bikes.

Nearer At Hand

Always ready to embark onto next step, we’re putting this to the test.  The cycling community in the Boston area where Montague HQ resides has inspired and supported a custom build meant to celebrate and push the envelope in folding bikes.  Most of the time folding bike tends to mean origami-level folding, small wheels, and parts that cannot be easily changed out without hunting them down.  Since the beginning we’ve taken folding on from a different perspective – you can have the entire bicycle, and fold it too.

We’re talking about full-size folding bikes with industry standard components.  ‘Standard components’ means that all of the variety that exists in the cycling market is open to choose from.  You can select each part to suit your fancy.  So here in Massachusetts I began with the frame named after the city, the Boston…

the Boston

… and proceeded to choose components that not only reflected the kind of riding I do the most, but also aesthetically what I wanted to see for this bicycle.  For this Montague Boston, for the kind of riding I’d be doing, a fixed gear set-up began to emerge.  Primarily an urban cyclist, in a city without too many hills, and already a fixed gear rider, this was the kind of bicycle I’d always wanted to build.

Every component manufacturer offers a selection in their product lines, some offer a veritable smorgasbord.  Many parts, such as wheels, can be built up with as many subtle choices as you could possibly want, such as unique hub, spokes, spoke nipples, and rim colors for a wheel.  For this bicycle I had a rear wheel custom build by hand by our friendly neighbors at Hub Bicycle Co., a pro service shop.

A thriving bicycle community supports many kinds of cyclists and cycling, many forms of expression;  from the personality of  the local bike shop, to artists creating beautiful things to outfit your bicycle with.  My Montague Boston will soon be sporting this custom head badge, which I designed, but was beautifully improved and implemented by the talented FutureCrash.

badge

Building up a bike provides the builder, and this was my first time doing a custom build – with a superb opportunity to expand their skill set.  When the going gets tough having support from a knowledgeable community is priceless.  But when you’re done, and it works – looking at your beautiful creation is priceless, even if the learning curve was steep.  My Montague Boston custom build:

And after some bar tape:

Inspired by a local community, and completed with the help of that community, this Montague Boston is not, however, just a creature of Boston.  Bicycles are a worldwide community, from Facebook comments and suggestions from fans all over the world, to advice from across the street – each part of the community is priceless.

As we put the idea of “custom build folding bikes” to the test, we’d like to say thank you to those around the world who have undertaken this feat of creativity  and inspired us with their gorgeous bicycles.  Thank you to those who helped us build and troubleshoot.  As we continue to challenge ourselves to make innovative products to make cycling even better, many thanks to those who come along for the journey.

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