We're so into Cyclocross that we made this special page for it. Also publish a Tumblr about Suffer Faces.

D-Plus: First Ride and Run

D-Plus Gully

Spotting locations for the photos – Photo: Dan Holtz Photography

After posting the latest D-Plus photos, reader Brian Fung asked

Diggin’ your new ride. Curious – besides, being a custom project, were you looking for certain ride qualities when you approached Davidson? You planning to rock it come this fall for CX season?

Yes, rock it! Also, now that I’ve got more time to write about the topic, the D-Plus is a pursuit of passion. It’s the result of a decade of thinking about modal/cross bikes by Mark V, with the work of a Bill Davidson and his crew.

Like the music a band plays, the influences are many and when you combine the talent of a master builder with someone who’s obsessed with the bike, good things happen. As another trusted source on the project said

Master Builder and OCD types were made for each other. Like Internet dating in 1989. If you were there, it was a guaranteed a match.

And the D-Plus is one hot date, in materials, and build. Check the annotated photo below with a full-rez version and more notes on Flickr.

D-Plus Gully

Annoted with notes – click through for full size.

If you’ve followed us for a while, the D-Plus is a progression from the Modal and Hotspur. The Modal is an S&S coupled Ti bike with Paragon dropouts that toggles from fixed, single, geared, and internal. The Hotspur is a Ti racing bike made with Feathertec tubing and a Reynolds carbon rear. Both bikes were intended to prove Ti is a relevant material, in a market flooded with carbon.

We’ve been discussing a Cross version of the Hotspur with modes like the Modal since I got back into Cross 3 years ago. The D-Plus has even larger diameter Feathertec tubes and Paragon track tips with a derailleur hanger.

In an earlier post, I said the bike is built to fight.

It’s also has soul. It’s made here in Seattle, a city of makers and those that believe in what they do.

D-Plus Gully

Front end

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Pull to Refresh

Upon learning that Twitter was attempting to patent “pull to refresh” in iOS apps, I thought, “what do I pull to refresh?” Well, these brakes on the D-Plus for a start and then a tap at a brewpub; before that a shot from the espresso machine.


Our New Velocity Collection

Sublimated logo

While working on this copy for our new Velocity collection

Deep into the race scene we went, lurking around the showers at Paris-Roubiax to capture the essence of Pro; a drop of embro’d Euro sweat was condensed in a lab and ultimately spun into our new fabrics. This kit will make you fast, sure, but being PRO is what it’s about.

a colleague who had just seen the jersey said, “now that’s a commitment to green!” And it is! This new kit from us is a commitment to the brand and what we do here. Our unabashed enthusiasm for the bike drives us to make the best gear we can and share it with you.

Full zip with racer fit

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D-Plus: This Bike Is Built to Fight

Bottom bracket

Spent a few more intimate moments with the D-Plus before it’s machined, polished, and painted. While I’m riding, talking, and hosting Built at SXSW this custom, handbuilt Davidson Cross bike will debut at the Seattle Bike Expo. It’s called the D-Plus because of all the +1s the build has.


In the background is the Elliott Bay Bicycles Machine shop where this one-of-a-kind bike was made. It represents the work of a master builder, bike stylist, machinist, welder, and creative direction from me.

When my mind wanders during a lull in the Austin action, it’s to this bike and riding it.

I don’t know how they’re going to paint it. They’ll just hand it to me. I’ll say thank and proceed to beat a patina into it. Expect no art paint or for this to hang on a studio wall. No Fondos or Sunday afternoon bike path rides either.

This bike is built to fight. Check how muscular it is…

Seat stays

See more photos of the D-Plus and how it’s being made in the lightbox view on G+. Also on Flickr.

D-Plus Welded

Damn Holmes! That’s a big head tube

The #makebikes D-Plus is welded and in the machine shop for prep before the paint shop. Took a few quick iPhone photos and put it on the triple beams: 1499 grams. That’s expected an respectable weight. All the pluses on the frame add weight and with a light build kit, the complete bike should weigh in at just over 16 lbs. the carbon Parlee I raced last season weighed just over 15.


To recap, the D-Plus is a custom Ti CX bike built by Davidson at EBB and features BB30, 44m inset 7 headset, butted tubing and track dropouts with a derailer hanger. It switches from single to geared and is stiff as fsck. It’s another version of the Modal concept developed by Mark V.

Fixed, Single, or Geared

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