Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Introducing "The Honeman Flyer"

The Honeman Flyer by King Fabrication. (Image courtesy of Li King)
  Okay, I kind of kept this under wraps until I was sure that it was going to be a reality. Now that it is, I can tell you that I own this frame and fork and it is currently on its way to me now. 

If you've been around the blog from late last year you already have a clue as to what this is, but for those that may not know, this is a single speed specific bike based upon a 1930's track bike design by a Mr. Brennan and was a design I came across from a Facebook post. 

That post showed an advertisement from a page from a Popular Mechanics issue from the 1940's. Willie Honeman's frame building business was advertising his talents in that magazine and in the ad he showed his 1930's track bike which he won a championship on. The ad was very detailed so frame measurements and angles and such were all there. 

This prompted me to consider if track bikes, which were ridden by their owners at times over the roads to track events or for training, was a precursor to modern day gravel geometry. I wondered if such a beast, modernized, would actually work today. 

Image courtesy of Erik Mathy

Briefly, the design borrows from the geometry of the Honeman/Brennan bike right down to the super-slack seat tube, but extended to fit my 6'1" frame. (The original was long, a top tube that would work for me, but had a short seat tube) The numbers will be double-checked when it arrives and I will divulge what we have here at that point. 

The modern bits are flat mount brakes, a carbon Salsa Waxwing fork, and Paragon Machine Works sliding drop outs for through axles. The head tube is a straight 44mm one so I will be using a modern, threadless head set. But the bottom bracket is still a standard, threaded BSA version, just like the old Honeman had.

The frame features King Fab's signature double brake bridge and through-to-bare metal logo on the downtube and top tube. That rectangular patch on the non-drive chainstay is where the serial number is stamped into the frame. The paint I left up to Li to choose other than that I told him that I liked King Fab's crackle-paint jobs and that my favorite colors were purple, green, and that I liked pink. What you see here is what Li decided on for me. I quite like it.

The parts are almost all figured out for this rig and I do have to get to building it right quick as this is going to Mid-South with me. 

Yes, I also hadn't said anything about that, but it is all part of "The Plan" and no- I was not 100% in charge of "The Plan".  This will all be explained in due time. Stay tuned....


Stud Beefpile said...

That is a beautiful paint job, and I think we're excited to see and hear more as you're able to share!

Guitar Ted said...

@Stud Beefpile - Thank you! Once the frame/fork, and other parts, hit the door there will be more to say.

MG said...

I’m so stoked for you, Brother!! Congrats!!

FarleyBob said...

Oh My!! That is quite the looker!!

shiggy person said...

This is going to be interesting. I looked up your original post (I did remember reading it). You mention the long TT/short stem, but the bars look to be long reach, being nearly to the front axle.
Did you keep the 70STA?

Guitar Ted said...

@shiggy person - Yeas, at least that was the plan. I did give Li license to change anything that was looking like it was a bad idea from his viewpoint, but it looks as thought he stuck to the plan.

Again I will check the angles when it comes in against the drawing I was sent.

Incidentally, and you may already know this, but those long-reach bars were a necessity in the day due to the lack of technical abilities to bend tighter radii or constantly varying ones. This also was why when top tubes were shortened to accommodate some riders that "rando geometry" came to be prevalent. They had to offset the fork enough to clear the toe overlap issues that otherwise would have resulted from having the shorter top tubes.