#3 – The Casanova – Cyfac XCR Di2 Stainless Steel

Top-10 build #3 is The Casanova – a completely scorching Cyfac XCR stainless from the Loire Valley in France, coincidentally the home of the Tour de France ;)

Cyfac XCR

Evan’s Cyfac XCR custom
Frame hand-built in France
Columbus XCR stainless steel tubing
1+1/8″ headtube with BSA BB
Columbus full carbon fork
Chris King Headset
Custom brass welds with polished finish
Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9000 w/ SRM crank
Satellite and Sprint shifters for 5 shift locations (!)
3T ARX II stem + Ergonova bar
3T Paladio 27.2 carbon setback post
Selle Italia Super Flow 145 Ti saddle
Tune Carbon bottle cages
Zipp 202 tubular rims on Chris King hubs
Speedplay Zero Stainless Steel pedals


So, how many Benzes don’t we give a fuck about?
9.7/10 Benzes
Factors: Polished stainless steel with brass welds make us melt, tons of hidden technology, buttery ride quality, and a certain je ne sais quoi.
Mike’s take: The finest combination of artisanal and techie – hand-built in France by master craftsmen, and yet loaded with awesome gadgets and a perfect ride quality.








IMG_4437Cyfac are one of our favorite custom bike builders, capable of creating steel, aluminum, and full carbon race and touring bikes of all types. They produce ONLY custom framesets, and if you want more, please check Charles Manantan’s awesome Cyfac Absolu review from pezcyclingnews.com which links to some great video of the Cyfac build and paint design process.

ALSO…whoever stole Cyfac’s crown jewels last week are a bunch of jerks [note: heavily edited for language]. So help a brand out and get yourself a French dream ride today!

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#2 The Italianator – Carrera Erakle (Hercules) Jekyll Edition

Top-10 build #2 moves away from metal to feature a custom carbon build…


The Italianator - Carrera Erakle custom
Frame hand-built in Italy tube-to-tube
Custom selected carbon tubing + geometry
Tapered headtube and full carbon fork
FSA carbon integrated headset
Custom “Jekyll” 2-sided paint scheme
Campagnolo Record EPS
3T ARX II stem + Ergonova bar
Fizik Antares Carbon saddle
Xentis Squad 7.5 clincher wheels
Xentis Swisstop brake pads
Continental GP 4000 25 mm clinchers


So, how many Benzes don’t we give a fuck about?
9/10 Benzes
Factors: Brain-melting Jaguar-blue/Campy-red/Chrome double-sided paint job, smooth yet solid ride quality, custom race geometry, full internal electric cable routing. Check!
Mike’s take: Not all oversized carbon bikes need to ride like a brick shithouse. Get all the stiffness and raciness you need, then add comfort, panache and hand-built quality.IMG_0479




For more on Carrera check out www.carrera-podium.it/en/bike-catalogue or watch the beautifully shot Pillar’s of Italian Cycling from the 16:25 mark to see a custom built carbon bike in their Italian workshop BY HAND, if that means anything these days.

Oh, and this baby is still on sale due to some strange circumstances, so come learn about the magic of tube to tube carbon bikes by visiting or emailing us today.

After all, owning an Italian ride like this one is so choice.

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#1 Stunner – Baum Ristretto Steel “Rapha” Edition

Hey Gang, been too long!
To catch up, we will be posting detailed photos and specs for 10 phenomenal builds.
We are proud of our amazing Blacksmith customers and their awesome bikes, which caused us to come up with a new rating system that will have us ask:
How many Benzes don’t we give a fuck about?

What the hell are we really talking about? Well, “In an April 2014 interview with NPR’s Microphone Check, Future described the song [Benz Friendz] as a protest against “crash test dummies,” those that proudly drove certain cars or wore certain brands in an attempt to fit in.”

So we say congrats, big ups, and kudos to our customers who are proud and confident enough to build the bike of their dreams, not some big ass corporation’s.
We do our best to lend a hand, some expertise, and lots of experience, but ultimately it is our customers, our builders, and their collective imaginations that help create a Blacksmith bicycle.

In that spirit we start our 2014 Top 10 bike rundown with the first of a number of incredible steel bikes…because steel is actually real, man.


Anthony’s Baum Ristretto – #1 Stunner


Frame hand-built in Australia
Custom selected steel tubing
1+1/8″ headtube with BSA BB
ENVE 2.0 fork
Chris King Headset
“Rapha” black/pink paint scheme
Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9070
3T ARX II stem + Ergonova bar
Enve 27.2 carbon setback post
Selle Italia SLR Flow Ti saddle
Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate tubular wheels


So, how many Benzes don’t we give a fuck about?
9.5/10 Benzes
Factors: Killer paint scheme, incredible build quality, perfect tube selection, sexy electronic shifting, smart build kit, and the allure of Baum.
Mike’s take: A modern steel ride = stiff, smooth, durable and unique, equally capable of long lonely days or shorter friskier sprint sessions. Gorgeous to boot.







Darren Baum is a true master, as good as it gets with steel + titanium custom bikes. For more on Baum visit http://baumcycles.com/ or www.flickr.com/photos/baumcycles/ and for detailed shots of this Baum click here, or here.


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NAHBS 2014 – Our Mosaic GT-1 Gravel Grinder

The mission: Design the ultimate all-road year-round bike for Ontario

The builder: Mosaic Bespoke Cycles, our favourite titanium bike builder

The result: The all-new GT-1 Gravel Grinder – Ti meets Di2 meets disc brakes


The geometry and tubeset: aim was for a stable, comfortable ride: NAHBS DRAFT #2

The details: a cool blend of technology, premium materials, and outfitted by the world’s best component manufacturers. Read more about the project and our inspiration by clicking on our press release_process1 (2) PDF.

Yes this bike is available for demo rides and purchase!!

Thanks to Viktor Cahoj for the awesome photography.

Talk to us today about YOUR dream bike and stay tuned for some cool upcoming builds!

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Blacksmith Cycle – a James Lee pictorial

Our sincere thanks to James for taking a day with us a few weeks back…
Check out his amazing photography from that day on his website.


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The Best Time of Year?

I’m putting it out there – this is the best time of year to buy a bike! Why?
1. 2013 Closeout Bikes, including new bikes such as the Cyfac Absolu below
2. 2014 Early-releases such as the Parlee ESX and Scapin Etika RC are now available
3. Still time to create your own custom masterpiece from one of our 14 brands for this season!!

Cyfac Absolu V2 - Size Small (54 TT)

Cyfac Absolu V2 – Size Small (54 TT) – 50% off French Perfection 

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OK, we are not quite into Spring cleaning, to say the least, but let’s get moving on clearing out some winter stock! Check out our  DEMO BIKES or NEW + USED WHEELS page for incredible NEW prices now marked in RED including 50% savings off most models!

Yup, even this incredible Scapin Style steel/carbon hand-made beauty is priced to go at 50% off!!


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Mosaic Cycles RT-1 and new NAHBS collaboration

We are super proud to announce that we will be doing a special collaborative build with Mosaic Cycles that will be featured at the North American Handbuilt Bicycles Show!

MUCH more to come on that, but for now feel free stop by to see the customer T.N.’s gorgeous RT-1 hanging on our wall for the next few weeks.

Featuring fully butted Titanium tubing, custom geometry, cable routing for Di2, PFBB30, and a 44mm headtube with a tapered ENVE 2.0 fork, this should be a hot build:

photo (51)

Mosaic RT-1 road frame built custom for customer T.N. by hand in Boulder, CO




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Happy Holidays to all of our loyal customers and thanks for your amazing support.
We hope you all have a great 2014 and may the wind always be at your back…or may you at least have kick-ass aero wheels to overcome that head-wind!!
Please note that we are CLOSED from Wednesday Dec. 25th until Monday Jan. 6th.  
If you miss us and need your Blacksmith fix, check out our carbon bike round-up posted below, see some of our newest builds just added on our Pinterest Customer Bike Page, check in on Facebook or Twitter over the break, or email us.

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Best Carbon Bikes of 2014

We are often asked to advise customers as to which bikes are the finest for their needs.
Well, in an effort to provide more background for your thirst for knowledge, here is the list of our 
BEST CARBON BIKES of 2014 complete with links, photos, reviews and more:

Alchemy Bicycle Co. Xanthus, Helios or Arion

Cost: $3,750 for Xanthus road frameset
$4,250 for Helios semi-aero frameset
$4,750 for Arion aero frameset
Add $500 for custom geometry if needed

Description: The brand that started in Austin is now based out of Denver and still hand-building some of the stiffest, lightest and coolest carbon bikes around. Two-time winner of the NAHBS best carbon bike award.
Pro: 3 awesome models for traditionalists and tech heads alike, with amazing technology and in-house design, plus unlimited custom options, including disc brakes, BB standards, paint options and more.
Con: Relatively rough finishing standards but perfect for those who prefer the industrial look.


Calfee Manta Pro or Dragonfly

Cost: $4,800 for Manta Pro frame only
Add $500 for custom geometry if needed
Add $1200 for Module with Chris King Inset headset, Look Zed2 Crank, Praxis Chainrings, and choice of ENVE or Easton tapered fork
Add $250 to $1200 for paint jobs, depending on complexity
Add $750 for new 3D-printed custom bladder for maximum stiffness and lowest weight

Description: The carbon originators have stepped up their game for 2014 with an all-new design including some innovative concepts such as their new floating rear suspension and 3D-printed custom mould option.
Pro: Stiff, light, smooth, hand-built in the USA, and tons of technology.
Con: Manta Pro is Electric ONLY (Di2 or EPS) and a very unique oversized look, Dragonfly a bit old fashioned.
[Dragonfly model saves $800 / 150 grams + allows for mechanical cable routing but no fancy Module options]


Carrera Erakle TS, Phibra Evo, SL, or One-D and Pantani Nero custom

Phibra Evo = $3,995
Erakle TS = $4,295
SL = $5,499
One Disc = $3,899

Description: Carrera bikes are super smooth, feature wonderfully balanced geometries, and are all hand-made or hand-finished in Italy.  A brand with a great racing pedigree and stylish designs that are very obviously Italian.
Pro: Wonderful handling – somewhere between race and GranFondo – with great technologies, gorgeous paint schemes, and solid stiffness plus a comfortable ride quality.
Con: No custom geometry options, somewhat over-the-top design philosophy, must have Italian passport.
[Note: for full custom geometry bikes built by Carrera, check out the Pantani Nero at $5,499]



Cyfac Absolu V2

Cost: $6,750 for Absolu frameset stock geometry with choice of paint
Add $1200 for V2 build with custom geometry, tapered front end, internal cabling, and PressFitBB
Add up to $600 for custom paint schemes

Description: Hand-made in the Loire Valley, with a long history of custom fabrication and attention to detail.
Pro: Fantastic carbon quality, paint schemes, tube profiles, plus phenomenal finishing and ride quality.
Con: A touch heavier than some modern carbon, but the ride quality makes this investment a smart decision.


Fondriest TF-Zero or TF 1.4

Cost: $4,999 for frameset including seatpost
Add $400 custom geometry

Description: Racey Italian brand with a focus on stiffness, agility and high-quality carbon production.
Pro: Crazy stiff, incredibly light for a tube-to-tube bike, and very snappy in corners and accelerations.
Con: Similar in construction to other tube-to-tube brands like Sarto and Legend, no paint customization.

Reviews: http://road.cc/content/review/65876-fondriest-tfzero

Independent Fabrication TiFlW, Corvid or XS

Cost: $5,299 for Ti FlW
Add $200 for Corvid full carbon model
Add $800 for XS carbon with titanium lugs
Add $400 – $1,200 for custom paint and other options 

Description: Another legendary Boston brand, creators of high-end carbon, ti, and steel.
Pro: 3 different model choices, awesome build quality, over 20 years of custom experience, very fine details.
Con: Arguably not as cutting edge as some brands, but using ENVE carbon tubing is never a bad thing.


Parlee Z5, Z5SLi, SLi, ESXC, Z-1 or Z-Zero

Cost: $3,799 for Z5i frameset
$4,900 for Z5SLi frameset
$5,400 for ESX aero frameset
$6,900 for Z-1 with custom geometry
$7,900 for Z-Zero semi-stock geometry
$400 – $1400 for custom geometry and paint

Description: Builders of some of the lightest, smoothest and finest carbon bikes and Tour proven too.
Pro: Very low weight, incredible finishing quality, tunable stiffness to your liking, US built custom models.
Con: Technical features are subtle, the most “popular” brand on this list also means the most experienced.


Passoni Nero XL or XXTi

$6,999 for Nero XL in new “stock” sizes
$7,999 for Nero XL in custom geometry and paint
$8,499 for XXTi with custom geometry and paint
Add $600-800 for “kit” with matching saddle plus painted carbon stem, bar, and carbon cages

Description: Artisanal carbon+ti blends for incredible all-round performance and perhaps the finest attention to detail on the market. Before you question the price, ask what 30+ hours of hand-made expert labour is worth.
Pro: Stunningly gorgeous, stiff yet smooth ride quality, incredibly rare, and ultra-special to behold in person.
Con: Less technical than some, slightly heavier than full carbon, and arguably so pretty it might hurt to ride.




Scapin Etika RC or Ivor

www.scapin.com or stage-race.com
Cost: $4,499 for Etika RC frameset with seatpost
Add $500 for Ivor with optional custom geometry

Description: Etika is super light and stiff aero racer, while the Ivor blends monocoque parts with a hand-wrapped build process for the best of both worlds.
Pro: Very stiff in BB and headtube, aerodynamic shapes, and Ivor is also incredibly smooth in the rear with CFS stays and features a lifetime warranty.
Con: For the Ivor you must choose mechanical or electric cable routing, otherwise, not many to speak of.



Storck Fenomalist, Aernario or Fascenario series

Fenomalist G2 = $3,799
Aernario Basic = $3,999
Aernario Road G1 or G1 Disc = $4,699
Aernario Platinum = $6,699
Fascenario 0.7 = $5,699 with Stiletto 300 / $6,299 with Stiletto 260
Fascenario 0.6 = $9,599 for full fuselage

Description: Storck bikes are all very stiff, very light and very racey. Great design and technology across the price range.  Fenomalist offers racing pedigree, Aernario provides more aerodynamics, and Fascenarios are amongst the lightest bikes on the planet.
Pro: Size-specific tubing means that stiffness and ride-quality are identical regardless of what size you ride. Great carbon technology and quality of engineering make these guys the Cervelo of Germany.
Con: No custom geometry options, or even relaxed geometry options. These are race bikes, no bones about them, meaning they either fit you, or they don’t. If you like an aggressive ride, you will love Storck. If you prefer relaxed cruising, stay away.

Reviews: http://www.storck-bicycle.de/en/web0.asp?ID=7000&sub=7000&objekt=Awards


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