POSTED ON NOVEMBER 8, 2013 BY BRAD
It’s safe to say that Bilenky Cycle Works knows their way around a bicycle — they’ve been building them since 1983. One of my perennial favorites at the custom bike shows, Bilenky has a hard to define style that goes beyond a given look or riding style. Taking a quick look through their shop you’re going to see tandems, recumbents, hundred year old restorations, modern track bikes, titanium recumbents and any number of bike configurations in between.
Bina Bilenky is namesake Stephen Bilenky’s daughter, head of the Philly Bike Expoand assistant tour director for next years Tour d’Afrique bicycle expedition across Africa and this is her custom bike built just for that purpose. The curvy lines of the tubes just keep my eye bounding from tube junction to junction with ample clearance all around for 26″ touring tires, fenders and out of true rims. Check out the custom hollowed out crown and direct (rather than slotted) chainstay to dropout weld for strength. While I wouldn’t spec such high end parts on a rugged touring bike, the Tour d’Afrique is months long and fully supported with trucks carrying your own proscribed stash of spare parts, so concerns about busting a 10-speed chain or carbon brake lever in the middle of Africa aren’t much of a concern. The custom front rack isn’t done yet, but along with fenders will be in place for the actual tour. I just love seeing beautiful, purpose built bikes like this.