Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Retrogrouch Approves: Chris Bishop's Ride

Over on BikeRumor they've been highlighting some of the personal bikes used by some of the well-known framebuilders who were part of the Baller's Ride in Virgina a couple of weekends ago. The ride was invitation-only, and BikeRumor's Tyler Benedict got to go. My invitation must have gotten lost -- I mean, who wouldn't want a Retrogrouch along for the ride to criticize everybody's bikes?

Chris Bishop's personal ride - as seen on BikeRumor.
Though I'm sure none of the "Ballers" would describe themselves as Retrogrouches, or their bikes as being in any way "retro-grouchy," I did see one bike highlighted (well, more than one, really) that really got my attention, as well as the attention of most of the other participants. Not to take away from some of the other nice bikes on the ride (or their builders), but Chris Bishop's personal bike was said to be one of the favorites of the weekend.

Flick on over to the site to see some close-up shots of this really gorgeous bike (you'll have to look beyond a bit of dirt -- it's not a show bike -- they were riding some unpaved rough stuff, after all). Bishop has a real eye for details, and everything on this bike is tasteful and stunning. The bike is mostly Campagnolo Record-equipped, with some Chris King parts here and there for good measure. Is it retro-grouchy? Well, it is a lugged steel beauty. And it has a traditional-looking quill stem (!). At the very least, I'd call it classic-inspired. I can't tell for sure, but I'm guessing the tires are probably 28 mm -- probably the minimum that I'd consider suitable for rougher roads -- larger would be better in my opinion, then again, everyone's got opinions. Anyhow -- it's clearly more of a "road" than "rough road" kind of bike, though it does look like it has a bit of versatility built into it, including attachment points for fenders, as well as for a front rack.

If you like what you see of Bishop's bike on BikeRumor, flick over to Chris Bishop's website to see some more of his really excellent work. Bishop has won multiple awards at such shows as the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) and the Cirque du Cyclisme. He hasn't been building all that long (he started his business in 2007) but he's quickly made a name for himself with his framebuilding skills. Definitely worth a look.


  1. Another retro-grouchy point in that bike's favor: Skin/gumwall tires!


  2. Stem is a NOS Cinelli 1R, and the seat post is Super Record.

  3. Bikees like that are called KOF (Keeper of the Flame) for builders who make traditional lugged classic bikes.

    1. Yes -- that's how they are referred to in the Classic Rendezvous group. And Bishop definitely fits the description.