View Full Version : Tom Byrnes Vanilla

02-22-2004, 08:35 PM

You can post pics of your Vanilla in this thread! I can't wait anymore! You said you'd try this weekend!

Perhaps, Sacha will have some pics of it on his website soon. I have been getting the "site under construction" message lately, so I presume that some new Vanilla bike porn is upcoming.


02-23-2004, 08:55 PM
this thing is so good looking it will make you stay up at night. This is the last thing I need and I want one, thats how nice it is.

02-23-2004, 09:04 PM
I'm getting upset over this so if Tom doesn't post a pic up by this Sat, I'm heading over on Saturday after my class with my own camera, and taking a few pics before heading home....From the way it sounds, I may end up taking his Vanilla home.....=)

Tom Byrnes
02-24-2004, 02:46 AM
I may need your help, Mavic. We're looking for our digital camera, but can't find it easily!

The Vanilla is stunning. Deserves to be seen by others. Sacha did an amazing job. I would like people to see the quality of his design and execution of a touring-randonneuring style bike.

Mavic - You, Douglas and Bob saw my 1979 Sachs frame. Well, last weekend, I got it built up with NOS Campy components (including Record downtube shifters) and would like to take a few pics of that, too. It is amazing how well this 25 year-old bike rides and handles.

I will try to find the camera tomorrow and get some shots of these bikes up on this site.


02-26-2004, 06:35 PM

Is your bike on Sacha's new site? Is it the new light green bike with SS lugs, Dynohub, and handlebar bag with the Vanilla logo?


Tom Byrnes
02-27-2004, 12:33 AM
Hi Jon,

Yeah, that's my Vanilla. Thanks for alerting me to Sacha's revised site. Although the pictures don't highlight it, the fork, rack and twin lights and front fender are all one intergrated unit. The wiring to the lights runs through the fork from the Schmidt hub generator, through the front rack to the two lights. Sacha also built another front wheel sans generator for use during daytime-only rides.

I also have a custom Vanilla stem, a custom-made smaller bag that attaches to the seatpost that matches the one shown, and stainless steel "Vanilla" rear dropouts that are not highlighted by the photographs. I will still try to locate my digital camera and post some additional photos.

I am very pleased with the fit of the bike. It has a 57.5 or 58 cm seat tube (I forget) with a 55 cm top tube - which is different from my custom-fitted Concours and Ottrott where the top tubes are longer than my seat tubes. I sit more upright on the Vanilla and it will be easier for me to ride for longer distances in that more upright position. I only need to work on the engine to fully realize the benefits of the Vanilla.

I hope you are enjoying Salinas. I lived in Salinas and in Monterey many years ago. John Steinbeck country. And it has to be better than spending the winter in Michigan.

Best regards,


02-27-2004, 08:30 AM
Let's see if this works !

02-27-2004, 08:30 AM
nice bike Tom !

02-27-2004, 08:32 AM

02-27-2004, 08:36 AM
try again !

Too Tall
02-27-2004, 08:59 AM
THAT is a proper rig for PBP. It would make the locals at controls cry. Really. No, really. Have to say I'm getting serious lust for one of these rigs with enough chainstay clearance to fit Nokians. I'm less and less enthused to ride my Mtn. bike for daily commuting.

Seeing Flyman's bike didn't help. Wiring thru the fork. How is that working for you? A dab of silicon to keep it dry?

What tattoo goes best with this bike?

PS - Is your garage locked?

Tom Byrnes
02-27-2004, 10:36 AM
Bob - Thanks a lot for posting the pics. We found the camera this morning, but I am digitally challenged and it would have taken a while to get those posted. You can ride it when we ride again from my house. I cannot get it into the back seat of my car because of the fixed front fender, rack and lights.

Too Tall - I am glad to hear that the Vanilla would be a hit at PBP. Once upon a time (a year and one-half ago) I envisioned attempting to qualify for the 2003 PBP. When I first began talking to Sacha, I told him that I wanted a bike for that purpose. We planned that I would have the bike for the 400 km and 600 km qualifying brevets in May and June. However, my workload increased dramatically after ordering the bike and I could not get in the necessary mileage and training. My PBP dream had to be postponed. Therefore, I told Sacha to take his time as he was getting busy with orders for other bikes. PBP is still a dream of mine. Hopefully, 2007.

I have only taken it out for ride one time with the generator hub and that was for a quick ride in my neighborhood on the night that Sacha built it up. (He came to Los Angeles to physically put the bike together. How's that for service?!) I can feel the drag of the generator, but the lighting works very well. The Vanilla rests in the living room each night; the garage is too cold. (It's being remodeled now).

Glad you like it. Sacha was very easy to work with. I thank dbrk for his input, advice and comments throughout the whole process.
:banana: :banana: :) :) :banana: :banana: :) :)


02-27-2004, 10:38 AM
That's spectacular! Ever detail is exquisite. Enjoy it!

Vanilla bikes are so beautiful they make my mouth water... I want one, I want one, I want one! If only Sacha wasn't 3,000 miles away - maybe he'll come to Boston, like he went to LA?

02-27-2004, 06:42 PM
A classic beauty.


02-27-2004, 11:30 PM

Now that I know the bike is yours... My compliments to you.

I had a sneaking suspicion that it was yours because I can see the Serottazation of the bike. I know, because I thought of doing it myself. However, Sacha and my chief fashion consultant talked me out of it. I actually like mine without the Serottazation. Although, I admit that it does look good.

I will post what the Serottazation is at the bottom of this post for those curious.

Anyway, I really dig that bike. I love the custom bag with the Vanilla logo on it. Way cool. Dynohub lights also very cool.

Tom, can you compare the light from the Dynohub powered lights to a battery powered light. I am going to do a new lighting system on my upcoming Vanilla fixie. I want to be as bright as possible for my am rides. My gut feeling is to go with HID battery powered lights, but the simplicity of a Dynohub powered system appeals to me.

The Serottazation is in the seat tube decals. I see that you put the Vanilla logo on the seat tube. I, too, wanted to do this, being used the Serotta decals on the seat tube. Sacha kind of balked and my wife was with him. I think it looks better on your bike that Sacha and my wife thought, however.

Anyway, congrats on your bike and I hope that work slows down (unless of course you like working too much) and you can ride more! I'm sure that she would love to go to PBP!

Salinas is way better than Michigan. Very busy now with new baby, new house, new job, new corporation. But, things are falling into place and I should get some more time to do some real rides vs the short tidbits that I've been getting.


PS To Davids. Add up the package of a new Vanilla and trip to Portland and compare to the price of a new CSi. Portland is a wonderful city to visit. It's like a mini San Fran without the headaches or prices. Sacha is a very gracious host. Be sure to stop by his local coffee joint, Stumptown, for a truly excellent cuppa.

Tom Byrnes
02-28-2004, 03:32 AM
To All - Thanks for the nice comments. They belong to Sacha. Being from that generation that liked baby moon hub caps and chrome and polished mag wheels on cars, I wanted stainless steel lugs and dropouts on my bike. However, the special "V" dropouts, faux lugged stem, custom bags and other choices were complete surprises to me. I left the colors, decals and their placement, design of the bags, lighting design, stem, headtube and many other details solely to Sacha. Those decisions were made by him alone. I decided several months ago that if dbrk can trust his favorite artists (Sachs, Barry and Peterson) to design and build their fine custom bikes for him, I should trust Sacha and his sense of asthetics. It obviously was a good decision to let Sacha make those calls and incorporate them into his design and concept of the complete bike.

Jon - I don't know the difference between the lighting systems you describe as I have no experience with HID battery powered lights. The twin lights with Dynohub put out a lot of light.

Davids - Although I did not have to travel to Portland to taste it, I concur with Jon's thoughts about Stumptown coffee. After sampling some (a kind gift from Sacha), I ordered an additional four pounds online and had it delivered to L.A. It's that good.


02-28-2004, 07:31 AM
I'd say that that Sacha White has a future in building bikes, no? Whoa. The _time_ it takes to build a bike like this is extraordinary because, well, the constructeur-model is nothing like building frames and adding a fork. Truly a labor of love and in this case, one of extraordinary beauty and function. I love the twin headlamps, the SON generator will work flawlessly, and there is enough room in that handlebar bag to ride from Paris to Moscow (a lot farther than the coast of Brest!).

Kudos to Sacha and to Thom who has the insight and the trust to let the master do his work.

I can't wait to see it in person, if Thom has time, in March. I'm in L.A. that weekend of the 20th to teach the usual yoga gig (but not at City, still with Sue and Naime formerly of City). LA ride? I would be content to sit in Thom's driveway and LOOK at this bike for a few hours.

I spoke with Sacha last weekend, btw, and we have a tentative Vanilla project now a'workin'...more to explain later.


02-28-2004, 08:51 AM
douglas! i thought you said you had too many things on your plate. did you get a larger plate? :p

sacha does look like a true artist. that blue + bronze one on his site, nice. who'd a thought those colors could go so well?

Ahneida Ride
02-28-2004, 10:09 AM

A Ten if I evey saw one. Can you mail me a big Pict ????

WOW !!!!

Tom Byrnes
02-28-2004, 10:59 AM
Douglas - The weekend of March 20th is fine for another So Cal Serottans Ride. I'm sure that the Usual Suspects (mavic1010, Blastin' Bob, Kurt) will be around and maybe we can draw some others. Just bring your pedals. Your ride for the day will be the Vanilla.

By the way, I tried to locate Sue and Naime's new yoga location, specifically requesting it, but the receptionist at City Yoga would not provide that information - only their email address. Sue and Naime should know that as there are probably others looking for them.

Ahneida - I will take some photos this weekend and get you some. I hope all is well with you and that you are able to sneak a few rides this winter.


02-28-2004, 04:04 PM
not with you, mind you, though you are rather handsome and a swell guy and all, but that BIKE!

Jonesing just doesn't put it in perspective, the lust I feel. May you two have a wonderful life together. Some day I hope to call on Sacha myself.

I've been missing out on the lastest and greatest, this forum offers and am busy doing catch-up. I rode with Mikemets today and he told me about your bike and that I needed to see it for myself. Mike has been hearing me lust over these bikes for nearly the whole year I've known him. I fear I'm going to be a broken record.

Anyway, I need to take a cold shower now...

02-28-2004, 05:28 PM
before kevan's post, i thought this was a PG-rated phorum. hey, i can't see my computer screen...kevan's fogging it all up! :p

terry b
02-28-2004, 10:22 PM
Don't post here often, but I love to peruse the photos. Here's my recently completed Vanilla, 90 days in the making. I love Tom's historic approach - striking bike. I alternately went with the nouveau-uber-tech style. In Sacha's words - Hagen Daz Vanilla colored. I wanted a "vanilla" bike, I got it. I love it.

02-28-2004, 10:34 PM

I'm surprised that Sacha put the seat tube decals on like that. He discouraged me from that placement. Very interesting. Did you let him choose the paint as well.? I'd love to do that, but I'm too much of a control freak. Ask Sacha!


Needs Help
03-22-2004, 02:17 PM
I don't generally like fancy lugged bikes, and I'm not an aficiando of the old styles--my tastes run towards the modern--but I think that may be the most beautiful bike I've ever seen. The picture of the bottom bracket is absolutely stunning. Hooooollly Cow!

03-22-2004, 10:08 PM
Tom, that is a beautiful bicycle....it really can't be called a bike. Well done! Wish I could ride it.

terry b, what are the dimensions of your frame? Very nicely balanced.

Tom Byrnes
03-22-2004, 11:58 PM
Thanks, guys, for the nice comments. As nice as the pictures are, the bike is much more impressive "live and in person". If any of you are ever in Los Angeles, give me a call and you can see it more closely and take it for a spin. Professor Brooks rode it yesterday.

Terry B. - Great bike. Well done. I am continually amazed by the wide variety of bikes that Sacha designs and builds.

Ahneida Ride
03-23-2004, 08:23 AM

Where are my Pictures ?

You must mail me at least 10.

Otherwise may the fleas of 10,000 Camels affect your
erogeneous zones.

03-23-2004, 12:13 PM
Terry, as Sacha would say that bike is DOPE. Would you provide some more details?

03-24-2004, 01:36 AM
Guys......I wouldn't mind seeing more of both these Vanillas....

"Gimmee, gimmee, gimmme! I need, I need, I need!" --Bill Murray, What About Bob?

Needs Help
03-25-2004, 05:04 AM
I know I'm going to regret this, but...what's the wait list for a Vanilla?

03-25-2004, 08:59 PM
I know I'm going to regret this, but...what's the wait list for a Vanilla?

I think Sacha quoted me about 6 months when I talked to him last October. Most likely it would be longer, now (beginning of the season).


04-23-2004, 11:33 PM

Do you plan to bring this bike to the TdFL? It is really COOL!



Tom Byrnes
04-25-2004, 01:58 PM

I will try to bring the Vanilla. I would love for you and others to see it in person. It is a little harder to pack because the front fender, rack and lights are attached to the fork. But, I will certainly try to find a way to get it there. I am going to bring my Ottrott if I am also going to go to the Serotta factory on that trip. So, I will need to send two bikes to New York. On the other hand, if I do not go to the factory in August, I will leave the Ottrott and bring only the Vanilla. I can beg a bike from Douglas if I do not ride the Vanilla every day.

I am looking forward to this event and meeting you and so many other Forumites that I know only in spirit and word.

:) :) :beer: :beer: :banana: :banana:

Ahneida Ride
04-25-2004, 03:41 PM

Ship the Vanilla to the Albany airport. I'll pick it up for you.

Hey, I did return Pete's M5, minus rear rubber. the syncro for
second, and a broken fog lamp.

Miss ya Tom, It will be great to see you again.

04-25-2004, 11:28 PM

...I will try to bring the Vanilla. I would love for you and others to see it in person...


Just "see" it in person??? Too bad it is too big for me to ride... :D

:banana: :beer:

Tom Byrnes
04-26-2004, 10:10 AM
Ahneida - Thanks for the offer. I will may ship the Vanilla directly to dbrk's friend to dbrk's friend at the Serotta dealer in Rochester, especially if I bring the Ottrott, also.

Johny - I certainly don't mind if a lot people do more than just "SEE" the Vanilla.

:) :) :)

Ken Robb
04-26-2004, 02:50 PM
so glad to see Tom on a proper adult bike----finally. :-) Ken