Paul asked us to build him a fast, strong singlespeed to commute around 18km each way every day. A singlespeed seemed ideal for a London commute: no gears means fewer components, so there’s less to maintain and less weight on the bike.
A Marin Stinson was a great donor bike to start from, a second-hand bike with the frame and forks in superb condition but mostly worn-out wheels and components. These bikes are well-built from lightweight chromoly steel, and built to last. The paint and lacquer was in superb condition and I like its simple, clean lines.
32-hole high-flange track hubs laced with Sapim Race spokes to Rigida deep V rims made for strong wheels with good aerodynamics, and Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres are our long-standing favourites for near-indestructible puncture-proof reliability.
A Sturmey chainset pulls a Shimano freewheel in a classic 48:16 ratio and a Surly Singleator keeps the chain tension right. This was the first time I’d fitted SRAM 500 brake levers, and I’ll certainly be speccing them again. They’re great quality, light, comfortable and inexpensive. A short stem brought the reach on the drop bars into just the right position for Paul – look out for him flying around North London on this one!