Rich Roat isn’t Richard Sachs. The former designs fonts for a living for an outfit called House Industries. The latter is a godfather of custom bikes in the United States, with a waiting list that often stretches to three years. Roat, however, has been deeply involved helping Sachs reboot his visual presentation and design, especially the R.S. lettering that appears as a continuous filigree on Sachs bikes. The result is a tweaked use of a font called Neutraface No. 2 Titling, and the debut appears on Richard Sachs’ latest beauty, one of ten House industries Richard Sachs Cyclocross frames made specifically for Sachs’ pro cyclocross team.
The new logo graces the head tube and is repeated in a wrap of the seat tube, and that’s Neutraface No. 2 Tilting on the top tube as well, and then is more subtly deployed at the dropouts. Roat says you’ll find the font all over the place in the graphic world, too. “It hides in plain sight quite a bit. The New Yorker uses it liberally. It’s on the covers of Adele’s albums; the Skyfall movie logo and the environmental signage of the Ibis hotel I stayed in last week in Paris. Neutraface sort of finds us these days.”
Should you care about something other than the font, the bike comes with a very cool crank setup from SRAM, designed to work with a built-in Stages Powermeter, and team members can choose from either carbon or alloy tubulars wheels from Cole, with sew-ups from Challenge. You’ll note that Sachs is a traditionalist — no disc rotors on this beauty, with cleaner looking Cane Creek cantilever rim brakes doing stopping duty. Not that you’d expect anything else from a bike with Sachs’ personally drawn Columbus tubing and, naturally, a squared off fork crown — nope, not even a carbon fork.
Even though that’s what cross bikes do, it seems a shame to get it dirty. Hope the pit crew responsible for keeping these rigs clean at least tries not to scratch the sweet Joe Bell paintwork. And yes, if you’re willing to wait, you can buy one, too.