To help launch a new collaboration between Liberty of London, the city’s oldest department store, and premium cycling brand Rapha, Donhou was asked to create two very special frames. The result of this collaboration is a collection of technical cycling clothing, featuring pieces for both road and more casual city use. We wanted to build a pair of bikes that reflected that split.
The town bike we built draws on a lot of classic elements of city cycling, the step-through frame being the most immediately obvious. A custom-built bar and stem setup gives a lot of stability and a comfortable, upright riding position.
The eye-catching paint job is inspired by a design found deep in the Liberty archive. The store is world-famous for its fabric prints, so it was very cool to be involved in bringing that heritage to bear on one of our frames. It’s the same print you’ll find throughout the Rapha + Liberty collection.
While the colour is prominent on the custom-made front forks, it fades out towards the back of the frame to create the impression of dynamism and movement. The scheme itself, with precise black dots on top of a pearly grey/green is all about invoking ideas of fluidity, beauty and speed.
We used a Gates carbon drive belt instead of the traditional chain – which makes for a hassle-free, clean drivetrain. Chris King hubs and headset add a flash of pink that mirrors the Rapha + Liberty highlights on both the clothing and frame.
Rear and back mudguards, plus super-responsive disc brakes, make this city cruiser more than equal to the task of riding in bad weather.