Editor’s note: This post was written by Paul Skilbeck and Alan Davis. Photos are courtesy Brad Quartuccio/Philly Bike Expo.
Here is the next installment of five best bike selections for singletrack from the Philly Bike Expo. This time it’s the Oddity Single Speed Racer.
The first thing you notice about Oddity Cycles is that their bikes steer well wide of the straight-tube look. The first-time Philly Bike Expo exhibitor from Ft. Collins, Colorado, builds exclusively from steel and titanium tubes. In addition to full-custom steel and titanium frames, Oddity produces forks, handlebars, and stems from steel and Ti, and has recently added a titanium seatpost to that menu.
Sean Burns (a.k.a. Burnsey) is the owner and chief builder at Oddity, working in a space he shares with James Blakely’s award-winning crew Black Sheep Bikes. Burnsey is an architect turned frame builder, so aesthetics are never far from his mind. But neither are fun and enjoyment, the key characteristics he values in bicycles.
His bikes have a distinctly tight rear end, which he calls tucked. “It makes the bike more fun to ride, the front wheel comes off the ground a lot easier which gives a more playful feel to rides. For me the bike is for fun and enjoyment, rather than a tool for exercise,” says Burnsey. Having set up shop in 2012, he points to the flowing lines of Curtis Inglis’s designs at Retrotec as being a key early influence in his career.
“We try to stray from the normal straight tube look. They’re curvy, sexy, functional pieces of art. But just bikes though, really,” Burns says.
Just bikes that deserve to be ridden hard. Burns came up through the singlespeed-rigid school of cycling, and as anybody who has ridden a rigid fork offroad knows, a bike without suspension benefits greatly from a light front end.
A standout in his booth at the Philly Bike Expo is a rigid singlespeed made for a customer who was looking for an ultra-short rear end. “I wanted to prove a point too,” said Burns. “You can fit a 29×3.0 tire into a frame with sub-17” stays. The stays on the bike are a concise 419mm, about 16.5” and the Maxxis Chronicle squeezes in without much daylight showing.”
The Ti fork and Razor bars come from the Oddity workshop, and the bike sports a dropper seatpost. A T47 bottom bracket houses the Race Face carbon crankset, which is fitted with an Absolute Black oval chainring. Hubs are by Onyx. Burns chose these for the super quiet freewheel and instant engagement. Tubing is 4130 CroMoly and the bike, as is, sells for $5000.
The tucked rear end helps make the front end light. The owner weighs 145 pounds and races XC. He wants something that’s going to be fast over baby heads in a rock garden setting. “This bike will float over that kind of terrain,” says Burns.
For more information, visit www.odditycycles.com, and be sure to check out the expansive photo gallery below.