I decided I needed a sporty bike with wider tires than will fit on the Early, so I built a new one. I equipped it with a few new parts, but mostly items scrounged from the Early and the brown bike.
It is pretty much full Heine Kool-Aid. Toptube is .7/.4/.7, downtube is .8/.5/.8 (True Temper Oxplatinum), and it uses the Kaisei fork blades and Grand Bois fork crown (and braze-on centerpull brakes) sold by Compass. I couldn’t find a True Temper chainstay with a curve I liked, so I went for Columbus Life cyclocross units. The frame design is conventional sport/touring 73° parallel with 17 inch chainstays. But the wide fork crown and curved chainstays, along with appropriate blade length and bridge locations, means that it will fit 42 mm 650b tires and fenders. It has a low bottom bracket and low trail.
The best analogy for its ride is a like a candy that is soft on the outside with a firm caramel center. The initial ride impression is cushiness, but it feels fast, handles very well, inspires confidence on descents, and there is no feeling of excessive flex, even under as much power as I can muster.
I will continue tweaking the components. The Turbo saddle in the picture is already gone, since it causes significant pain after 40 miles or so, and I borrowed the Early’s B17, which is much more comfortable on an extended ride. It now has a front rack and a new Berthoud bag.