The Cheval Noir is a nickname from a 2003 two-week Stephen Roche Tour de France bike ride. As the stages wore on our customer earned the nickname “The Black Horse.” When it came time to paint the bike, the customer wanted a tribute to those days. The bike is clear coat carbon with pin striped logos shot in metallic silver, covered in candy red. Beautifully done with a simple and dark theme. This is the Cheval Noir.
This customer wanted something sedate. An anti-cycling team bike. Team Backlash if it existed. While the bike was to be understated, we still wanted small amounts of color to contrast the carbon. The geometry of the bike is the result of a fit session from Bike Effect in Santa Monica, CA. To reduce toe overlap we adjusted the geometry to work with a 50mm offset fork and a Zero Stack series head tube. All in all a very fun bike to build.
How do you build the perfect road bike for a triathlete? Contact KirkLee of course. The build started with a custom fit from Tad Hughes to help us dial in a geometry great for riding all day long. We did our regular magic and built a frame with our in-house molded tubes and custom layups. A SRAM Red group with Quarq power meter complete the build. Nordy Design’s paint job came out wonderfully. Subtlety was the key. Light purple accents of henna and butterflies adorn the purple bike and really shine in the sun. This bike might be a wall hanger, but rest assured it’s a bike that can take on many miles.
So what do you do when a six time national cyclocross champion asks for a KirkLee? You use his expertise to design a cyclocross bike that is ready for the World Cup. Features such as a PF30 BB, internal Di2 wiring, stand alone rear brake adjuster and the front brake cable hanger mounted to the fork make this bike ride as nice as it photographs. It was a pleasure to build this bike. Over the years Christian has become a great friend of KirkLee.
We have built two “green machines,” so now let us introduce the dream machine. This is one of the most detailed KirkLee’s ever built. Our goal was to show off our tube molding and build a beautiful 29er.
This is KirkLee’s new cyclocross frame; designed with input from 6x Swiss National Cross Champion Christian Heule. In this frame we wanted a cyclocross bike that rides extremely well and minimizes front brake chatter, which is why this frame has a cable hanger mounted on the fork. From input we have learned what makes a good cyclocross frame great. We molded an adjustable rear brake cable hanger out of carbon and Ti that is part of the frame. While we have a Di2 version, this frame has 9 of KirkLee’s handmade cable stops which mount on multiple diameter tubes.
Simplicity, clean lines, translucent carbon work and the trademark KirkLee ride were the goals on this custom frame which is a tribute to the Ayn Rand novel. This art deco design includes straight lines and powerful figures that took a lot of work to portray on round tubes. The end result is beautiful. The bike was built with a PF-30 BB, tapered head tube, a few lightweight tubes thrown in for good measure and all the other tricks that make a KirkLee special.