Gallery: Kris’ Custom Bianchi Castro Valley

This is a project whose evolution has taken over a year of much trial and error, and some pain and injury. It began with me questioning if it could be viable for me to commute thirty miles each way to work. I have thus dubbed this the Long Distance Commuter (LDC) project. It was made with all commercially available parts and no fabrication, so anyone with a credit card can duplicate it. The LDC, in order to be successful, had to be fast, comfortable, and reliable under all conditions. These goals have been met.


Bits and pieces that make it work. Steel cyclocross frame, DLumotec and Schmidt lights with Shimano dynohub, Civia fenders, Zzipper fairing, Brooks Champion Flyer saddle, and super fat 37c tires.

It is as fast as my race bike under good conditions, and, of course, much faster in rain, cold, wind, or dark of night. It is not perfect, but it’s about as close as I can get without fabrication and a fairly radical departure from traditional bicycle design. That is a lifestyle choice I have yet to make.

Special thanks to PJ Ramstack of Civia Bikes and Karl Abbe of Zzipdesigns. Their work was key to this project working as well as it has. —Kris

5 Responses to “Gallery: Kris’ Custom Bianchi Castro Valley”

  • Kevin says:

    Hi. Interesting bike. I’m curious about the fairing. Do you find that your cruising speed is higher with the fairing or what other advantages does it impart?

    Regards,
    Kevin

  • Kris says:

    According to Karl, the designer and maker, all the evidence over the years indicates roughly a 12% reduction in drag and my testing bears this out. That does mean a pretty significant increase in cruising speed for the same effort.

    The other BIG advantage of a fairing this size is protection from wind chill. The first few times I rode with it the temps were 40ish with lots of wind, yet I survived without very substantial cold weather gear. From the feel of it, I figure it extends the low end of the riding range down about 10 degrees F compared to what you might be used to, though that’s a very nonscientific guess.

  • Logan says:

    Wow, I bet that windscreen makes a great sail for a good tail wind also! Fantastic idea! :)

    Cheers,
    Logan.

  • Kris says:

    It does do a bit of that, and Karl always seems to be pleased with that effect.

    I have also added a Bionix electric assist system to the bike, so now a fat man with no legs(me) can actually do a 31 mile commute each way and still be able to do an extremely physical job in between. Plus you leave a trail of car drivers saying, ‘What the hell was that?’

  • Runnels says:

    Very nice post!

 
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