(For those who like reading about cancer and poop and dying and stuff, this will be a post about bicycles)

Yesterday I finally got all the parts together to build up a bike that I’ve been working on for the last several weeks.  It’s sort of a special one.  It was purchased as an anniversary present for the customer by his wife.  Very sweet, I thought.  She gave me carte blanche to do whatever it was that her husband wanted.  When I emailed him to find out what that was exactly, he sent me this picture..

So I got to work.

I’m being a little coy.  There was more of a conversation than that..  but not too much more.  The customer made it pretty clear that he was up for letting me explore.  There were a few criteria.  Front disk brake.. single speed.. he liked the raw steel.

I sent him back a picture at some point and said, “I’d like to build you the bike that goes with these bars”.

He was game and Thunderfucker 5 emerged!

The seat clamp and top cap were particularly fun little details to make.  I got a lathe in the late summer, and it has opened up a whole world of possibilities.  The threaded side of the seat clamp is sleeved with steel so that it’ll be less likely to strip if someone really GRONKS on it.

The bars are quite comfortable, and not spongy like the Billsam bars proved to be.  It’s a little scary to make an integrated bar stem combo since you are loosing the ability to adjust. The bar angle is set, and if you don’t like it, well, start over!  If the stem length is wrong, you can’t just run out and get a new stem.  There’s a reason that we tend to use separate parts!  BUT if you get it right, it’s pretty sweet.  (the verdict is still out, of course, but the unnamed client is the same size as me, and I find it all very comfy!)

I used the singlespeed dropouts that I designed for sliding interior mount sliding disk brakes.  I used two drive side drops since a rear brake was not requested and I removed the fender and rack tabs.  I like the feel of these guys..   little monsters.  (a movie about putting on the faces over here).

A fun project.  I will be sad to see it go (particularly since I am looking for a bike with a saddle for myself at the moment!  Hmm…)

28 Responses to “TF5”

  1. Cyclin' Missy

    Beautiful bike! I love it.

  2. Michael


  3. DeAnne

    strikingly handsome, very well done!

  4. ashley

    swear to god, it looks like that photo. How…. 🙂

  5. labrossephotography

    This bike is beautiful. I was just going over the shopping list for my dream bike. After seeing this, it might need to be reviewed 🙂

  6. myers

    i’d love to borrow that for a day!

  7. Eric

    Papo, te guillaste bien bestial. En serio.

  8. MisterDangerPants

    To quote Mike Doughty, “Yes and also yes”!

  9. holly

    What a gorgeous bike. It totally goes with the picture its new owner sent.
    So thrilled to hear how well you’re doing and can’t wait to see the new bike you buil for yourself.

  10. TheAndy

    Im so very happy to know this kind of bike, and this exact bike, exist. It’s just perfect.

  11. Erinne


    Congrats on the port removal. E

  12. Marian

    Wow Ez, its beautiful!

  13. Kate B

    superb bike, brilliant name.
    congrats on both accounts.

  14. Teagan

    Ah it looks fantastic!!! I hope he loves it (:

  15. Mike Avina

    So slick–want one of these!!!

  16. Alex

    Nice bike Ezra.
    I’m fascinated by the dark colour of the steel. Is that a painted colour or just some treatment of the metal. I burnish a lot of vintage steel furniture parts but can never get such an elegantly dark finish on new steel.
    Lovely work as ever.
    Glad you’re well at the moment (along those lines, I met Dario Pegoretti this weekend at Bespoked Bristol – an inspiring man.)
    Kind Regards

  17. Stephen

    This is a thing of beauty. Well done, Ezra.

  18. Ray

    NAHBS worthy. Seriously, would you think about it?

  19. Jessie

    This bike, along with a few of your others were on the Fancy app if you didn’t know already. 🙂

  20. Mark

    One of the Coolest Bikes I’ve ever seen! And, I’ve seen a LOT of bikes.

    I like the raw frame. Reminds me of my Felt V12 but yours is much nicer for sure.

    You should make more…..I’m just sayin’ is all.

  21. Ben S.

    Absolutely astonishing bike! I’m in total awe and at a loss for words.

  22. Jwmurrah

    This bike is absolutely perfect. I love everything about it. Wow

  23. Robson Correa Araujo Araujo

    Quanto fica deste mesmo jeito, sem o freio à disco, só com freio contra-pedal?

  24. sega

    Shut up and take my money!

  25. rmee

    Stunning. This bike is distilled to just the essential elements. Love the simplicity. Nice work man!

  26. Max

    I congratulate you for the bike, beautiful!
    I’m Sorry for my English.
    Have You weld the frame tubes?
    What kind of protection against rust did you use? You have painted with a transparent varnish?



  27. Our Top 10 Single-Speed Bicycles for Commuting | GBlog

    […] The TF5 Bike was custom built by the late Ezra Caldwell of Fast Boy Cycles. The romantic design drew inspiration from a dark photograph of a rainy street and was made as a gift for a client’s husband. Outfitted with a fillet-brazed frame, wooden handlebars, and a silver heart on the head tube, the bike looks just as sweet as a weekend in Paris. The charm of the design makes its full name (Tf5 is a polite abbreviation) all the more amusing. Read more about the name and the story on Caldwell’s blog, Teaching Cancer to Cry. […]

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