Nob's tribute to the late great Roger Queen ... Part 2 ... the 'special' part!
Hopefully you’ve read the ‘teaser’ wot I wrote (!!!) about my latest and, possibly, most ambitious bike build ever HERE. Well it’s now time to move on to the special part of the project … the part which will give it the uniqueness it deserves bearing in mind we are talking about an icon from the sport of Time Trialling.
I had this conceptualized (that’s a Nob term of phrase if you’ll excuse the expression … is it a real word?) in my head for quite some time but it was quite a challenge finding the required expertise to see it through to a successful conclusion.
This first part of the challenge involved the seat-post (acquired in pt 1) and a Cinelli 1A Stem which in this case was a new old stock 130mm I’d managed to hunt down in Bulgaria. I invested more of my hard earned cash in copious volumes of Mr Sheen and highly polished it in preparation for its transformation.
The other item not mentioned earlier was the set of handlebars I’d located in the UK. These were Cinelli Champion De Monde 66-42 bars from the early 80’s and were also prepped with my own fair hands ready for the transformation.
The transformation itself involved a very special treatment of custom engraving. I had to locate a true custom engraver … one who worked by hand and used hand-held tools. He had to be a truly skilled artist. Having contacted a few potential ‘possibles’ in the UK, a recommendation led me to a man who exemplifies what true engraving is all about. He was based in Abilene, Texas and went by the name of Otto Carter. His website and especially his gallery of work were truly amazing. I immediately knew in my own mind that this man was indeed the perfect choice for my project … but would he be willing to get involved in bicycle type projects?
Initial contact was made and I explained about the special significance of the project. He was very direct but polite in saying he would be glad to help. So bars, stem and seat-post were shipped over to Texas for him and we had to conceptualize the concept on paper prior to transferring this to metal.
H. Giger would again be my inspiration, and in particular the creature he’d created for the Alien movies. This creature represented power, determination and a ‘being’ that got results through sheer perseverance which I think Roger had to get his Championship win.
From the initial design sketch you can see what was going on in my mind and it didn’t take much more input from me before Otto set about transferring this to metal. This was initially done with a permanent marker pen to serve as a guide for the various engraving tools Otto would use.
From the above you can see more clearly how skillfully Otto transferred the design to each of the cycle components. This was not an easy or quick process and these items alone took near to 4 months to complete. Many artists do their best work when inspired and Otto was no exception. He prides himself in getting things done right through skill and patience so the customer is truly happy at the end of the day.
You will have to take out a small mortgage for this skilled type of engraving work as it’s a true work of art. The cost of just these three items was well into four figures which was more than a current Specialized Shiv frame.
The next few amazing pictures show the detailing of Otto’s work.
The seat post is first and the four photos (above) show you the true picture.
Next, the handlebars. The numbers represent the 30 mile record time 1.2.7 and the 50 mile championship winning time of 1.53.46.
Those of you who are familiar with H. Giger’s work will recognise the designs and Otto has inserted one of his skulls which is his (kind of) trademark.
The last item is the stem where once again the photo’s speak for themselves.
Here is a little insight into the man who helped me on this project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA_4Ntnf69U
And so endeth part 2 of my own personal tribute to the legend that is … Roger Queen. That just leaves the final build to take care of and, believe me, it’s well in hand and will be well worth waiting for. Go HERE to see the final result where everything has been installed and the completed bike is fully unveiled.