Lugged Frames, Part Deux: Tournesol

Lately, with our little off-shoot brand, Cycles Tournesol, I’ve been having what I like to call the Italian Sports Car Experience: I knew it would be time-consuming and fussy and expensive, maybe even unreliable, could leave me stranded – ok, that last part hasn’t happened, but still. When Douglas and I started Tournesol back in the last decade we really put few limits on what would be offered: welded or lugged steel, titanium, carbon, and aluminum frames were all available. Racks, lights, fenders, bags, old parts – pretty much anything was a go. And now…

Now I’m feeling the need to put some limits on what we want to do here and to revise my vision of what makes a Tournesol. I’ve been feeling for some time that the builds are getting too complicated, all the boxes are getting checked, and the number of hoops we’re jumping through keeps slowly expanding. (This isn’t directed at anyone in particular – really – and I do see it as part of the evolution here). With no further ado I offer the following design points for future Tournesol orders:

Frame and fork: lugged steel using standard OS Richard Sachs lugs.

Wheels, tires, fenders: choose one from 650B x 33, 650B x 38, 700c x 24-26mm, 700c x 27-29mm, 700c x 30-33mm. No 650B x 42mm with fenders. Fenders sized appropriately for tires.

Rack: front only, $300. We can build the frame to work with a non-custom rear rack.

Brakes: calipers fine, Paul Components centerpull and canti brakes also fine.

Parts: new, modern parts preferred but we can usually work with older parts if not too worn.

Lighting: battery lights preferred, dyno-hubs eschewed.

Flexibility: yeah, I can be flexible on some of this, maybe. If I can’t and you need to go elsewhere to get your inner Rene Herse on, Dan Boxer and Mitch Pryor are two guys that I would recommend off the top of my head.

2 replies
  1. dbrk
    dbrk says:

    Steve expresses my sentiments exactly. As we developed Tournesol we knew it would develop organically, that we would learn from the process of orders and building bikes. We’ve never been re-enactors of the past. We’ve had a vision that represents our DNA, our sense of who we are. I’m proud that Steve mentions me in this vision. But all the hard work belongs to Steve Hampsten. These are great evolutions and we hope the bikes speak to you as they do to us.

    Douglas Brooks
    Bristol, New York


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