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Shaun and Jacinta Sonja run Vanguard Designs, a studio in Singapore who create one-off bicycles assembled from a vast array of genres and styles. The latest machine borne from their workshop is a copper-plated frame that has taken the ‘Less is More’ maxim to heart.
‘Yura‘, which means ‘Dream’ is Japanese, began life as a 10-speed Panasonic frame that was stripped and simplified by removing all brake bosses, shifter guides and derailleur hangers. Originally designed for 27″ wheels, the entire frame was modified to accommodate a 700c diameter wheel. The dropouts were replaced with laser-cut track ends and, while the grinder was out, the seat tube disappeared completely. Structural inspiration was drawn from K-truss bridges, adding struts to restore rigidity. The frame was then copper-plated, kitted out with a Milano stem and bars, a vintage MX lever and a Brooks Swift saddle.
The final result certainly assures us the custom scene is alive and well in Singapore. Yura is for sale, and Vanguard ship internationally. The last of their bikes featured on Cycle EXIF, Biscotti, proved to be extremely popular, and there’s more of Shaun and Jacinta’s designs on their website, including a shaft-driven all-terrain bike named Béton, that I’d like to see in my own garage.
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