Words by Cody Toth (@hardboiledtofu)
Hi, my name is Cody, and I moved to Berlin about four years ago for absolutely no reason at all. I’m still here somehow, enjoying the many forests and lakes.
Cycling has always been a big part of my life, but it only crossed paths with camping and coffee in the last few years. It has allowed me to detach a bit from myself and the busy life we tend to push ourselves into, helping me focus on contemplation and self-reflection. In my mind, there’s nothing comparable to the feeling of going out for a day ride, an overnighter, or even a week-long trip with some friends, some nature, and a few wobbly pops.
I dreamed up this bike last summer, after a long time of wanting to own a bike that could do many things well. After spending an absurd amount of time staring at Rivendell’s geometry charts, I got in touch with a frame builder named Jacek Orlowski, who is based near Szczecin, Poland. We chatted over every tiny detail, such as the bend and rake of the fork, what materials would be used, how long the chainstays would be, and the most important touch to me, the Pacenti MTB fork crown.
In January, I had the pleasure of unboxing the inconspicuous box in my living room, a feeling I think most of us look forward to. The frame is Columbus Zona with a Reynolds 631 fork; it is rather simple but has adequate mounts for the important things like a bottle of rosé. The big tires and modest angles paired with the long geometry definitely provide that all-day comfort, sitting in the sweet spot that commands you to visit three to four wineries per day. No more, no less.
- Frame/Fork Orlowski Custom
- Rims WTB KOM i25, de-annodized in my kitchen
- Hubs DT / Shutter Precision
- Tires Schwalbe Thunder Burt 27.5 x 2.1″
- Handlebars Crust Towel Rack 660mm
- Headset Tange Seiko
- Crankset Shimano m730 with 44/33 TA rings
- Pedals Blue Lug MKS Lambda
- Cassette Shimano HG-400 11-32
- Derailleur Shimano STX
- Brakes Shimano CX77
- Shifter(s) Shimano Friction
- Saddle Brooks B17
- Seatpost Nitto 65
- Stem Nitto Technomic 70mm
- Front bags Fabios Waxed Chest, large
- Rear bags Fabios Waxed Chest, medium
- Other accessories Blue Lug reflector out back (for the good wibes)
I suggest that everyone should at some point get a custom frame built, as it makes you think about what you really need, and it’s wonderful to own something unique and artisanal. My bike was obviously put together by someone who likes looking at friction shifters and twill rope in his spare time, but I think the true beauty of bikepacking is going with what you have. Even if that’s only a Decathlon panniers and a backpack, just go out and giv’er, and get you some of that essential emotional hygiene.
You can find Cody on Instagram @hardboiledtofu.
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