Llewellyn, Voyageur 2013 Randonneur Custom frame and forks by Darrell McCulloch of Llewellyn Custom Bicycles.
This year I've been watching Darrell McCulloch pour his heart and soul into every detail of his 2013 Voyageur - randonneur concept. Built in true constructeur style, meaning no cheap after market parts, and incorporating many bespoke components made in house, in the style of builders like Alex Singer and Rene Herse. Complimented with carefully selected high quality parts from various independent manufacturers. Darrell tooled up for the project by making many of the tools required for the job himself, tools that aid in building a precision built frame. Darrell designed and builds the racks himself. Dedication to perfection saw Darrell commissioning Jesse Geisler from the Bike Bar at Fitzroy Melbourne, to manufacture a custom tool just for bending the 316 stainless steel tubing used in the racks. Geisler's tool built under the name of Geisler Tool and Gauge.
Darrell says "The Voyageur is a reconstruction of a practical bike for weekday riding to work and weekend credit card touring, just throw your gear in the bags and off you go."
In 2005 Darrell attended Cirque custom vintage collectors bike show in the US and after meeting other bike builders at the show he was inspired to begin working on a Llewellyn randonneur project. He bought the Blackwell clocks at that show, they were stored away all that time until the first Voyageur rolled out of the workshop this month. In the last couple of years Darrell started building other randonneur bikes for customers, all the while planning the creation of a fully integrated machine with his own handmade racks. Two years ago Darrell got into designing and working on the concept, beginning with drawings. The bike was finally ready just a week before the 2012 Australian Custom Bicycle Show.
The green colour of the Voyageur is inspired by the green of the countryside. Black bags compliment the Campagnolo black components and the gold honey colour is addedto compliment the brown bags.
I was at Darrell's workshop at the end of September when he was nearing completion of the concept and almost ready to braze up the frame. There's a couple of images below of the Voyageur in the jig and the plans that Darrell used to meticulously create every detail. Talk to Darrell and you'll know why his bikes are flawless, yesterday when I shot the final images he pointed out the alignment of the fender and rear tyre, perfectly matching one another. Cables for the rear light are hidden inside the rolled edge of the mudguard. You'll see in the images the detailing under the bottom bracket for the light cable routing. These are just a couple of examples of the exhaustive nature of Darrell's attention to detail, suffice to say this is a fully integrated bike worthy of the title of being built in true constructeur style.
Drawing inserted into front bag by Frank Patterson - location shots inspired by the Frank Patterson drawings of early randonneur riders. If you're interested in early cycling drawings also check out Daniel Rebour.
COMPONENTS for the Llewellyn Voyageur - Randonneur - by Darrell McCulloch
Main features - Integrated racks and lights, inspiration going back to builders like Alex Singer, Rene Herse, built in house, no bolt on generic parts, making a more lightweight and adaptable machine.
Paint by Joe Cosgrove
Campagnolo Athena 11 speed triple ensemble 2013 first release
Paul cantilever brakes, neo retro front, touring model for back
Rear hub Campagnolo Record 2013
Chorus Carbon Seat Post
Deda Zero 100 Alloy Bars
Llewellyn Custom Stem, painted by Joe Cosgrove
Tyres 30mm Grand Bois
Honey coloured Brooks Swift Leather riveted saddle, with Titanium rails
CRM Clipless Road Pedal by KEYWIN
Blackwell Analogue time piece in a machined alloy housing fitted to head stem tensioning bolt
Biddon Cages King ti
Brooks Leather brown bar tape, tied off with waxed cotton twine
Schmidt Edelux K 607 6V / 2.4 W Headlight, with custom Llewellyn cable routing. Custom earth via fork tips, cleverly hidden and designed into dropouts. Connectorless front hub, due to being earthed live through the front axle
Schmidt front Hub SON Delux
Lllewellyn custom front and rear racks, designed and manufactured in house at Llewellyn from 316 stainless steel tubing, fully silver brazed.Tubing for racks bent using custom jig manufactured by Jesse Geisler, at Bike Bar Fitzroy Melbourne
Honjo alloy Fenders
Spare spoke holder braze on’s under left hand chain stay
Columbus spirit for lugs – tubing
Lugs Lllewellyn Custodian – designed and manufactured by Darrell McCulloch
Handbuilt wheels, Mavic Open Pro rims Dt Spokes, rear wheel tied and soldered
Front and Rear – French Bags handmade by Gilles Berthous
Brooks leather – under saddle – toolbag
Mudguards fitted using stainless steel studs, leather washers, nyloc nuts – will never vibrate loose
Racks custom fitted and designed, individually made to fit bike correctly
Tail light wire inside rolled edge of mudguard all lights double earthed
Seat stay attachment style inspired by the restoration of Brian MacLean’s Ron Cooper, inspired originally by Bianchi
Dzus 90 degree titanium motorcycle fairing clips for bags – world’s first deployment on a randonneur bike
All images by Robert Cobcroft - a big thanks to Darrell for letting me take his Voyageur for the photo shoot.