Gallery: Cassidy’s Kogswell Model D

Kogswell Model D
Kogswell Model D

[Cassidy sent us these photos of his Kogswell Model D. —Alan]

This is my Kogswell Model D. It’s in its third variant since I bought the frame used a few years back. It’s the bike I ride most of the time, and most often it carries me back and forth from my home to my bike shop, Bespoke Bicycles, two miles away in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Kogswell Model D

I used to ride road bikes with narrow tires exclusively. One day, I realized that this frame would fit 700x42mm tires, and I built it up that way almost as a joke. Rarely has a joke affected anything in my life so deeply. Wide tires were such a revelation! Now all of my bikes have tires 32mm and wider. This bike has Panaracer Paselas, which are my favorite tires these days.

Kogswell Model D

It’s currently built up with a Shimano Nexus 4-speed hub, Sturmey-Archer dynamo front hub, Honjo fenders and a Velo Orange Porteur Rack. I drilled the rack and frame for internal wiring to the Spanninga lights. Wiring dynamo lights has become one of my favorite things to do, the more elaborate and hidden the better. The bike is a joy to ride! It’s supremely comfortable, fast enough, carries lots of weighty and bulky items on the front rack.


11 Responses to “Gallery: Cassidy’s Kogswell Model D”

  • Mel Hughes says:

    That is a lovely bike! What is the large, blue cage designed for?

  • Duane says:

    Beautiful bike. The fenders are a nice touch.

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    That is a very nice looking bike! The colour, the construction, the accessories – beautiful! It’s really too bad that these are no longer available.

  • Daniel M says:

    What a nice bike. The perfect townie.

    I had the exact same experience with tire size. When I got my first cyclocross bike, it came with knobby 32s, which I soon replaced with slick 35s. To this day, I can’t see any reason I would ever want something smaller. All that added comfort and rim protection, with only the slightest friction trade-off on perfectly smooth surfaces.

    Enter the next bike, which originally came with 35mm Paselas like yours. I upgraded to 40mm Schwalbes before a tour, thinking I’d switch back when I got home. Now I’m back and… why was I thinking that again?

    Most of my friends who bike are running 35s and 38s. Below 32, the disadvantages seem to pile up pretty quickly, unless you’re racing the clock.

  • Ted says:

    I love looking at a bike that appears both capable and NOT over-done!
    Beautiful balance here- love it! ( O.K., I’m almost jealous. I need to go look at something else.)

  • doug in seattle says:

    Swap the internal drive with a cheap and easy derailleur gearing, and add rim brakes, and this would be my dream bike. Oh, also swap in some Nitto Promenades when I’m at it.

    Excellent commuting bike. I love, love, love the dual dynamo lights. Are those mounts custom? If not, I would love to hear where y’all got them.

    Also, Mel: that bottle looks perfect for either a 750ml wine bottle or a 25.4oz ale bottle.

  • Mel Hughes says:

    I could go for either the wine or the ale!

  • Cassidy Vare says:

    Thanks for the compliments, everyone.

    A couple of folks have brought up Schwalbe Marathons. I like Panaracers better because they’re far lighter and more supple. Brooklyn has terrible pavement, and riding on super-supple tires at low pressure (I inflate to 40-45 psi) takes the edge off. I’ve had no punctures in a year and a half.
    The blue bottle cage is, I think, made for a plastic soda bottle, but yes, it fits a wine bottle quite well.
    I’m a total convert to internal-gear hubs for city bikes. There’s next to no maintenance, little extra weight, and it’s prettier.
    As far as braking goes, the front Sturmey drum is great. The rear Shimano roller brake leaves something to be desired, but it’s still just as good as (if not better than) a rim brake in icy weather, as I’ve discovered this last couple of weeks.
    The light mounts are custom-shaped from bits of rack hardware.

    Thanks again.

  • Philippe M says:

    Nice job on your ride, Cassidy !

    I was compelled to reply after realizing that your bike seemed somewhat so familiar to me…as we practically have the same set-up !
    I was able to salvage my dad’s old 80’s steel touring frame for which I mounted pretty much the same stuff as you: Nexus 8-speed with coaster brake, Sturmey-Archer X-FDD powering Busch & Muller Lumotec Retro mounted directly on Honjo-type Stainless Steel fenders. Together with the Brooks spring saddle, the Pletscher kickstand and similar handlebar type…and your Kogswell suddenly have a lost cousin from the north !

    Needless to say that I’m in agreement with the internal gear’s lower maintenance advantage and wider tires superior comfort & puncture resistance.

    I commute everyday to work on North America’s worst roads (Montreal, Qc) and with the all the salt and small rocks they lay on them during wintertime (especially during yesterday’s minus22degF), a derailleur set-up would have a much harsher life. In fact, every exterior cycling mechanics under these circumstance would need weekly check-ups & adjustments. But not the internal gears with coaster/drum brakes set-up: they switch accurately at balls-freezing temperatures and stops in slush without a single scream ! But most importantly, is that I don’t do anything particular to prepare for that rougher portion of the year due to this set-up: Everyday, I just hop on the bike…and go (T-shirt+shorts or Winter Space-suit). Once in a while, I tip-off the tires inflation and oil the chain…but that’s about it.

    Enjoy the snowy, worry-free riding down there !

  • Graham says:

    This is a gorgeous machine and I must say that I’ve got Headlight Envy in a major way. Why on earth don’t more bikes come sensibly built with lights built into the frame of the bike?

    I just had another clip-on light hit the pavement and shatter into pieces recently, so perhaps I’m a bit bitter that saving up for a dynamo is going to take me a while!

    Oh and I’ve LOVE to see a good discussion about the efficacy of roller/coaster brakes on adult bicycles. I’m also a huge fan of IGH’s and simplicity and I’m wondering what the latest and greatest of these devices have to offer.

  • neighbourtease says:

    I think I have admired this bike in front of Blue Bottle Coffee? If so, I wanted to compliment you but I am shy. Very nice! My husband and I were freaking out about your headlights.

    I agree about Brooklyn pavement and low psi’s.

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