Petter Nilsson
Designer with 10+ yrs experienceAvailable as a freelancer

Single speed bike

One of the perks you get working at Tictail is a 2000 kr (about $250) allowance every month to use for buying products from shops on the platform. When my bike got stolen, I thought of using that money to get me a new one. The idea was to buy a few parts each month, and after a while I would have all needed.

It turned out Tictail had quite a big selection of shops selling biking gear. The hard part, however, was to find out if the parts fitted with each other. Knowing basically nothing about how to assembly bikes (or about bikes in general really), I was up for a lot of learning.

Apparently there are a lot of standards for bicycle parts: Italian, French, Japanese, Old English, American and more. One part wouldn't fit because it was 0.2mm off. Here's a list of what I did end up using:

Frame: Standert The Usual (Cr-Mo steel)
Handlebar: Cinelli 64 Giro d'Italia
Saddle: Charge Scoop
Stem: Cinelli 1A
Wheels: Bombtrack Drome
Pedals: BLB Classic City
Crankset: Charge Rotisserie
Bottom bracket: Tange Square Taper
Bar tape: Cinelli Cork Ribbon
Brakes: Miche Performance
Seat post: Paul Components Tall & Handsome
Tires: Michelin Dynamic Classic
Headset: BLB x Tange 1” Sealed Threaded
Brake levers: BLB BLevers Crosstop
Brake cables: Velo Orange Metallic Breaded
Freewheel: Shimano
Chain: YBN

When the bike was fully assembled I started tinkering with the idea of making it more personal by putting a metal badge on the head tube. I created a simple design with my initials, and searched online for companies that could produce it, but found no good options. So I decided to produce it, or rather etch it, myself.

I took inpiration from a technique used to create circuit boards, where you etch copper lamination. The badge is made from a copper sheet, with my design ironed on by using Press-n-Peel transfer film, and then etched for about an hour in Sodium persulfate. It was then cut, bent and glued onto the bike.