8ballbikes’ Author range of bikes are made from cromoly 4130 steel and ‘are more reminiscent in geometry of a 1930’s path racer rather than a modern day road bike’.
Although named for authors from all around the world, 8ballbikes has favoured old school and once-British brand Sturmey Archer for moving components including bottom bracket, crankset and hubs, with a finish that includes a full leather trim inc handlebar tape, saddle and toe straps. Finishing touches include colour-matched cable sheaths, brass bells and a gold chain on one model.
Founder James Middleton drew inspiration for the range whilst living next door to the Bayswater Road house once inhabited by playwright and novelist JM Barrie.
The models are (in the words of the brand):
- Stoker: For the dead travel fast and so should you.
- Capote: Be a free spirit, a wild thing, don’t get stuck in a cage. Jump on the bicycle and go get breakfast at Tiffany’s.
- Ferlinghetti: Perfect for cruising out in the shadows, under streetlight imagination. Take a ride out to Coney Island…
- Wollstonecraft: In cool white and tan leather Wollstonecraft is an ideal match for Shelley. With swept back handlebars for an upright ride, she’s certainly no Frankenstein.
- Fitzgerald: It’s always a good time to jump on the bicycle old sport, even at 3am, during the long dark night of the soul. Racing through the streets chasing street cars and desires…
- Shelley: Look upon my bicycle ye mighty and do not despair!
- Byron: Byron was once described as “mad, bad and dangerous to know.” We’re not sure this bicycle will make you any of those but one thing’s for sure though, it certainly does walk, er, ride in beauty.
- Plath: Decked out in a livery of London phone box red (or is it tulip red?), the Plath certainly cuts a dash as it whisks you through the British autumn streets and lanes. What a thrill!
The basic makeup of each bicycle is as follows (also in the words of the brand):
- Frame: 8ball single speed frame made from CrMo 4130 steel, available in three colours and three sizes.
- Wheels: Super stiff 700c wheels built around Sturmey Archer hubs. Supplied with a freewheel and setup for single speed use but can also be used as a fixed gear.
- Tyres: Schwalbe Delta Cruisers in either cream, brown or black. Pretty chunky at 35mm diameter to soak up the bumps and all featuring kevlar layer puncture protection and reflective safety line.
- Crankset: Sturmey Archer 48t crankset in either chrome or black.
- Bottom bracket: Sturmey Archer single speed with sealed cartridge bearings
- Pedals: Either urban flat pedals or quill style pedals with steel clips and leather toe straps.
- Brakes: Acor caliper brakes in shiny silver or solid black.
- Handlebars: Several styles of bar from sporty bullhorns and racing drops, through to more relaxed moustache style, all finished with saddle matching leather bar tape or cork grips.
- Saddle: A selection of 8ballbikes’ own saddles: the Quill, Bark or Vellum; all made from Australian cowhide in either tan, honey, ivory or black.
- Extras: A variety of finishing extras such as the silver or brass Temple bell; steel toe clips and leather straps; the Barrel all leather saddle bag; bullet style head and tail lights; or hand made wooden mud guards.