The overriding philosophy that guides my work is “Form Follows Function”. I find the most beautiful objects, bikes or otherwise, are the ones that perform their function the best and with the least adornment. To me simple is beautiful – whether it’s the way a lug line is curved to best distribute the load over the tube, the shape of a dropout that allows for the least material to be used while being strong and tough, or the way the perfect curve of a fillet joins the tubes in such a functional, organic and beautiful way. You’ll never find dropouts that sacrifice weight, strength, and stiffness in order to be big enough for the company logo machined into them, curved tubes just to be different or extra bits attached to the frame just to there is something to making shiny. Simple is functional and functional is beautiful.
What is the warrantee on a Kirk Frameworks frameset?
All Kirk frames are warranted against defects in materials or workmanship for life to the original owner.
How long does it take from the time I place a deposit to the time I take delivery of my new Kirk?
Delivery lead times vary with the season. If you contact me I can give you an accurate lead-time. Typically the wait ranges from 7 – 12 months. If you are interested in a longer lead time please see my Flexible Delivery Program
I live a long way from Montana. How can I be sure that I have the proper fit of my new bike without visiting Bozeman?
While I always welcome a visit for a fitting it’s not at all necessary to get a proper fit. More Info
Does Kirk offer complete ready-to-ride bicycles as well as frame and fork sets?
Yes, I can offer either a frameset or a complete and ready to ride bike. I will be happy to help you select the proper mix of parts to work with you and your new frameset. Since the different combinations of parts are nearly endless and parts are constantly changing it’s best to get in touch with me directly and I can work up a price quote for you. I personally build and test ride each and every complete bike that goes out the door to assure that when you pull it from the box it’s ready to ride long and hard.
What is the Terraplane seat stay option and why would I want to consider it on my new bike?
The Terraplane seat stay design is a result of many years of testing and refinement. They act as a short travel suspension that helps keep the rear tire in firm contact with the road to give a wonderfully solid, hunkered down and quiet feeling. It is not in any way a mountain bike suspension system shortened up for road use but instead was designed first and foremost for high performance use on the road. The Terraplane stays really come into their own on fast descents and high-speed corners, on less than perfect pavement. The tubing used for the Terraplane stays is made specifically for me by Reynolds of England and I hand bend each set of stays to match the weight of the rider and the size of the frame to give the optimum performance. While the Terraplane stays do offer a bit of a comfort advantage they are primarily designed to make the bike quicker and more sure-footed. Terraplane stays are an option on most of the frames I build – we should talk about how you intend to use the bike to see if they would be a good choice for you.
Does Kirk offer break-down travel bikes so I can take the bike with me when I travel by air?
Yes, I am happy to offer the S&S Coupler system. These stainless steel ‘couplers’ are built into the frame and allow it to be broken down and fit into an airline compliant 26” x 26” x 10” travel case. The S&S system will allow you to take your ‘good’ bike on trips and ride with no compromise. Please contact me for details on the S&S system.
How wide a tire can I expect to fit into my Kirk road frameset?
A typical Kirk road bike will fit up to a 28 mm tire. If you are interested in being able to run a wider tire I can certainly make that happen. Give me a call and we can go over the details.
Can I get a Kirk frame set up for electronic derailleurs and internal wiring?
Yes, in most cases a frame can be built to work with an internal wire system. One thing that I can’t do is build a frame to work with both electric and traditional cable pull systems.
Should I consider disc brakes for my new road bike?
Maybe. Disc brakes can be a great addition to a road bike depending on how and where the bike will be used. Like anything disc brakes have their up and down sides and they may or may not be the best choice for you and your needs. This is something I could write 2000 words on so it would be best if you contact me to talk about discs if that is something you are interested in.
What is the difference between lugged construction and fillet brazing and will the two ride differently?
Lugged frame construction uses cast lugs that the tubes slip into where they meet each other in the middle. I use low temperature silver to braze the tubes into the lugs and this makes for a beautiful joint that will last a lifetime. When fillet brazing I forgo the use of lugs and use brass to attach the tubes to one another – with great care the brass is shaped into an organically shaped and round fillet that is completely seamless and it looks like one tube just flows into the other. The big difference between lugs and fillets is one of aesthetics and there is no difference between in strength or ride of the two joining methods. In some cases fillets might be preferable to lugs if the design calls for tube sizes or joint angles not easily accommodated with lugs and not all types of tube should be fillet brazed. If interested in more info on this please contact me
After many years of riding bikes made from other materials I’m thinking of coming back to a steel bike. How does a Kirk steel bike built today differ from the bikes I rode years ago?
I, like many of you, grew up riding steel bikes built in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and while I loved them at the time the new steels give a much different ride as compared to the bikes of our youth. The biggest difference between now and then is that the steels used today to make bike tubing are so much stronger that much less of the material needs to be used … this means that the tubes can be thinner and lighter while at the same time being stronger. Couple this with the fact that most of the steel bikes I build today use a larger diameter tube than was used back in the day. The end result is a bike that is lighter, smoother riding, stronger, and stiffer while still giving the ride steel has such a well earned reputation for. If, unlike me, you didn’t grow up on old steel but instead spent your time on aluminum, titanium or carbon you will be in for a very pleasant surprise the first time you ride a modern steel bike. They have a wonderful road feel and life to them and yet still loved to be hammered on … it’s a ‘have your cake and eat it too’ situation if ever there was one.
Can I have my bike painted three different colors with a fade in between each, have the lugs pinstriped and sprayed a fourth color and have my name put on the bike in sparkles?
No you can’t. You do however have a lot of choice when it comes to color and paint schemes. Joe Bell and I will be happy to hear your wishes and to guide you toward paint that will look as sharp ten years from now as it does today.
I’ve seen photos of Kirks after construction and before they are painted and they are very pretty. Can I get my Kirk unpainted, or painted with a clear coat, so that I can see the metal work?
As much as it seems like a good idea to take your shiny raw frame and spray clear on it it never works out well. Because clear coat provides very little protection from corrosion the frame takes on a dark gray and mottled look that is far from the clear shiny look desired. If you are interested in having me build you a frame that will look great without paint please contact me to talk about having a completely stainless steel frame built for you.
What size seatpost, headset and bottom bracket will my Kirk frameset need?
Most road frames will require a standard English threaded 68 mm bottom bracket, a 130 mm rear hub, a 27.2 mm seatpost and a 1” threadless headset. Some frames, like the JKS X will use a 30.6 seatpost (provided with the frameset) and a 1 1/8” headset. To be 100% sure it’s best that you contact me to check the fitment.
I often ride in the rain. Will I need to worry about my Kirk rusting over time?
Joe Bell and I go to great lengths to be sure your bike will last a lifetime and look great for the duration. JB uses a special primer system that is extremely chip resistant that virtually seals the frame from moisture. I treat all internal surfaces of the frame with a corrosion resistant product that keeps any moisture or condensation in the frame from causing corrosion issues and there are drain and vent holes strategically placed in the frame to allow any water to escape and for good air exchange. This means that with basic care a Kirk will last a lifetime.
I like the old school look of threaded stem systems. Can I get my new Kirk with a threaded fork to work with a quill style stem?
Yes, I am happy to build your fork to work with a quill style stem if you wish. I will say that threadless systems are superior in most ways but if you are looking for that classic look we can make that happen.