A few weeks ago a giant crate loaded with the first run of Signal Crusade bikes left the shop and headed for Osaka, Japan. Frames, forks, jerseys, kits, and t-shirts, all destined for the cross scene in Japan.
The Crusade was a production bike idea Matt and I had been talking about for a few years. Our first production offering, created 3 years ago, was originally going to be a cross bike but after discussions and brainstorming a fendered road bike named the Saltzman was launched. We always wanted to return to the production cross bike.
For the last 3 years many Signals have made their way to Japan, both custom builds and Saltzmans, primarily through our friend Kentaro at Hutte8to8. It made sense for us to consult with him in designing the Crusade, knowing many would be sold in Japan. We met with Kentaro at the 2012 NAHBS to discuss the project and our goals. We decided on a bike with 44mm headtubes, Enve forks, a mix of Columbus Zona and Life tubing, and options for disc or cantilever brakes.
What followed was a summer of selecting tubing, finishing the CAD drawings for our Japanese customers and for US sizing, building frames, lots of braze-ons, paint designing, and shipping duties. It was awesome!
There were some speed bumps along the way and moments of stress in learning how to manage a larger production run, all of which will help the next project, which is currently in the works. Signal will be introducing it's third model this winter and it will be one of many ideas we are tinkering with. Race road, MTB, city bike, or......? Have a preference on what you would like to see? Feel free to let us know!
Below are a few photos from the Crusade project as it moved along this summer. I will be posting more photos from Japan as the cross season progresses. Thanks for visiting and I hope to hear from you!