Johnny Coast

Brooklyn builder of bespoke frames in classic style to modern specs. The customer in this case wanted a bike in the style of a French randonneur (Alex Singer or Rene Herse).

The general idea was a classic post-war French 650B randonneur with first-rate components from the 1970s, wide red Hetre tires, and a single concession to the 21st Century: lighting. Or more specifically, German lighting. Which is to say a Schmidt SON hub [ooooh, aaaaah, Editor's choice], an Edelux front lamp, and an LED taillight. The problem was to disguise this within a pair of original Luxor 65 shells and both figure out a way to mount the headlight securely to the front fender (with enough clearance for a traditional French handlebar bag on an equally traditional rack), and keep the Edelux intact.

Specs: frame: Johnny Coast 55cm; stem: Johnny Coast/Jamie Swan; headset: Stronglight A9; handle bar: Philippe Randonneur; bell: Atomico; bar tape: Toshi Cotton; bar end plugs: Philippe; brakes: Mafac Criterion cantilevers; levers: Mafac Competition Drilled; front headset brake hanger: Peter Weigle replaced the stock Mafac one; Toei Herse style brake Rollers; front derailleur: Simplex Super LJ 5500; rear derailleur: Simplex Super LJ; 5500 (2nd Generation); shifters: Simplex friction; freewheel: Suntour 14-30 (6 speed); chain: Regina Extra Record S-Super Star; bb: Phil Wood stainless steel; crankset: Stronglight 49D Duralumin; pedals: TA Specialites Alloy Road Ref. 4690 [ooooh, aaaaah, Editor's choice]; clips: Cinelli alloy drillium (by Jeffrey Rumbold), straps: Binda; front hub: Schmidt Dynamo SON-28 (36h); rear hub: Maxi-Car (small flange 36h); rims: Super Champion M58 650B; Pino Morroni titanium skewers; tires: Grand Bois Hetre 650B; seatpost: Simplex (badged); saddle: Ideale 88 Rebours (large rivet) [ooooh, aaaaah, Editor's choice]; seat post binder bolt: T.A. Specialites; fenders: Lefol "Martelé"; headlamp: Luxor 65 "Martelé" containing concealed Edelux LED; taillight: Luxor "Martelé" containing disassembled Busch&Muller Seculite LED; reflector: Luxor "Martelé; front rack: Johnny Coast; rear rack: Johnny Coast; handlebar bag and pannier set: Berthold 1940 RH model; bottle: TA Specialites Ref. 220, bottle cage: TA Specialites Ref. 218; pump: Ad Hoc steel (very early Model) "EFCG" 30cm.

Paint and lug lining by Peter Weigle, who also provided advice during the design stage. The nifty brake hanger (last foto below) was also made by Weigle.

The frame itself is made of Columbus OS [OverSize] Spirit for lugs PegoRichie tube set, Kirk Pacenti Paris-Brest double plate fork crown. The Editor particularly likes the Singerish head lugs, the spoon topeyes and elegant seat cluster.

Visit the frame builder's web site: and don't miss the interview on the 'blog' page.

Fotos below courtesy of the owner.