Johnny Coast can improvise, and in this he possesses a quality that is essential for most successful frame builders.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, it might seem less than obvious that Coast’s niche is the randonnee bicycle, which is more often seen on countryside lanes rather than in a dense concrete jungle, but when the rando opportunity presented itself several years ago, he took it and here he is. The point of all this is that randonnee bikes often have retro features and require parts that are out of the mainstream.
For example, centerpull brakes. Coast has produced a neat cable hanger mounted below the headset assembly, since the old Mafac hangers were getting harder and harder to find.
More recently, Johnny has come up with a neat front derailleur clip. “I built a frame with a drive-train in mind. Then halfway through, when the frame came back from the painter, I changed my mind. I saw a Suntour XCD derailleur, and I want those. But they’re only available with braze-on fittings. I didn’t have a braze-on tab on the bike, I hadn’t thought of that, I’d been thinking of something else. So, there’s an adapter you can buy with a clamp-on, but they don’t match my style and mostly they’re made for oversize tubes, I don’t have those, so you need a plastic shim, which if you’re not careful can kink your seat tube. So I made my own. I made a little hinge out of stainless steel, took some Columbus XCR stainless tubing and modified it a little. I like how the Campy clamp-on has a little delta shape, so I kind of copied that in a nod to the old Campy clamp-ons.
It fits well, it’s stainless steel… It’s not an invention of mine, it’s something I’ve modified and gave it my spin.”
The XCD front derailleur, with the Coast clip also features on a lightweight randonnee bike he is showing at the Philly Bike Expo.