The Chequamegon peninsula in northern Wisconsin launches itself out into lake Superior from the South. It’s a giant hump of mixed up soils and some rock left over from the last glacier period and at its tip lies the archipelago of twenty-two islands known as the Apostles. Crossing it from East to West, connecting the towns Cornucopia and Bayfield runs Star Route. This is a twenty mile, twisty old stage coach road that rises and descends three or four times from lake level to about 400 feet, finally topping out at 1460 feet until it descends again to the lake. Most of it is now paved but Bayfield Township is low income and the road is not well maintained. It’s chunky and pitted and just plain rough. There is very little traffic and there are no houses along it . Thirteen miles of it make up my commute to town to work in the bike shop. I love the ride. It is fun but rigorous. I have designed and built the Star Route frame-set to handle the rigors of this ride.
This traditional designed road frame is tough and versatile. There is clearance for 32mm tires with fenders if the rider wants them. I try to keep the top tube as thin as possible to keep the bike lively and responsive. On my commute I carry a small handle bar bag and the Star Route would do well with a light, custom rack in front with support for a slightly bigger bag. I design it with center pull brakes in mind to save weight. The geometry and trail attempt to make easy road handling a priority. There are several sweeping, descending curves on the road and a twitchy, shimmying ride would be unsafe.
This frame-set can be easily modified with higher bottom bracket and shorter chain stays to make it stiffer. Less fork rake and more trail with a shorter wheel base and narrower clearances can make the Star Route more of a road racer.