- all main frame tubes are 28.6mm diameter, which is normal around here for the seat and top tubes, but in Frank’s case, the down tube is that diameter, too. Put a pin in this math: 3 x 28.6mm = 85.8mm. That makes the frame less stiff, but before you get it into your head that it won’t be stiff enough for you, consider that thru the mid-’80s, all professional cyclists on steel frames rode bikes with two 28.6mm tubes and one 25.4 tube, for a total of 82.6mm. Frank is 3.2 percent fatter, and the tubes aren’t as wimpy, so it’s got to be stiff enough for anybody under about 200 pounds. Eric Heiden, remember him? He rode a bike less stiff than this, so you could be as buff as him and still fine on it.
- it’s for single-speed freewheels, not fixed gear bikes. But if you ride a 33mm tire or bigger, your pedal clearance will be about the same as on a pure fixie bike. And this one, with more drop, will feel and ride better.
- brake reach is about 59-60mm. It requires brakes with that much reach. The same sidepulls as the Sam and Homer use will be fine. There’s no Shimano-Campy-MARS option, but there’s Paul, Dia-Compe…
- if you ride with a freewheel, you can go with a skinny tire, but it would be like buying a Westfalia and never sleeping in it.
- it’s fenderable up to about a 35mm tire. And there are rack-mounts on the seat stays and fork blade, and two-eyelets on all the dropouts. It’s not a camping bike, but you can rack it out and carry stuff. It's a useful single-speed.
- the bottom bracket is fillet-brazed. We asked for and paid for and got a deluxe job of it.
- the top tubes for the 48.5, 51.5 53, 55, 57, and 59 are 53.5, 54.4, 56.2, 57.5, and 58.1 respectively. I don’t like listing top tube lengths because doing so suggest that I think they’re important isolated from other dimensions, and that I assume they’ll be meaningful to you, and that they should be meaningful to you. But some will ask, so there they are.
- two bottle mounts! no pump peg! it’s so easy to carry a pump without a peg.
- fork crown is the same as on Sams: RC-03, our own.
48.5cm Frank Jones - Web Special
this is the last Frank. Mark built it up with a Homer fork which is a near match, geometry-wise, to the original Frank forks. It's 7mm longer (more clearance) and we had to cut down the threads a bit, but basically, it's perfect. Locknuts still thread on smoothly.
About the Frank Jones:
The Frank is a Rivendell, designed the way all our bikes are designed--same values as they all have, same priorities, same process. Numbers are fascinating, but can be mesmerizing, too. A 56cm horizontal top tube on a frame with a 74-degree seat tube and a standard lug with no build up and a fork with no extra, and a Cinelli stem, and on a bike sides the traditional too-small way, will feel LONGER than a 58cm top tube on one of our bikes. "Reach" isn't the key, either, because reach doesn't account for the headtube and fork and longer quill build up on our bikes.
The top tubes on these bikes account for all of that, and are shorter than I'd do on a more Sammish/Homerish single-speed. But they are in the normal range for American and Italian road bikes--as are the front center measurements.
Frame size TTcm SADDLE HEIGHT PBH range
48.5 53.5 64.5-67 75.5 - 78