I try to make Black Cats stand out visually with an aesthetic that’s both functional and easily identifiable. The people in black turtlenecks call it “design language.”
Here's a list some of the more obvious details that help define a Black Cat.
Whether it’s the Swinger dropouts or the light and solid Art School dropouts, these are a culmination of years of thought, design, and testing, both born from a desire to improve function, while keeping an eye on style. One of the shared elements is keeping the brake caliper out of the way of your heel, tucked behind the frame as the rider moves forward. Another is the arc shape that keeps the eye moving smoothly from one tube to the next. They all have replaceable hangers to keep your bike rolling, no matter what you throw at it.
Perfect reliability, nothing else.
Sometimes the curves are all function, to make way for a rear wheel, or perhaps to create a bit of comfort. Sometimes, they’re there to look cool. Is that ok? I think it’s ok. I use butted tubing to give you the ride quality you expect and the strength you demand, along with the weight savings we all want.
Handmade lugs are built to solve problems posed by building a frame with carbon tubes, or a lugged bike using unusual angles, odd tubing diameters, or a unique aesthetic not offered by anything off the shelf.
They are labor intensive, but the results speak for themselves.
Fillet brazing is the most beautiful, reliable, and flexible way to build steel bike frames. The way one tube flows seamlessly into the next creates a visual cohesion unmatched by other construction methods.
It takes considerably more effort, but is well worth it.