Bike Check: A ’90s Nike Airmax Inspired Steel Full Suss

by | July 23, 2021

In recent weeks we’ve seen paint jobs inspired by heavy metal, hornets and even search and rescue planes but there haven’t been many as striking as this Project12 Cycleworks Vertigo that was inspired by a Nike Airmax trainer from the ’90s.

We’ve previously covered Project 12 for its Dutch Downcountry Victor but this is the much bigger sibling, the Vertigo. Rather than the 95mm travel the Victor frame had, the Vertigo is 153mm of travel with 27.5″ wheels and is designed to tackle the bikeparks outside of its native country. This particular one belongs to a retro bike collector who was attracted to the straight steel tubes with fillet brazed joins from the builder Michiel Burgerhout, but to make it even more retro he added this wild paint job.

It apparently took 6 months of sourcing and de-anodizing and polishing parts for the build to come together and then it was finished off with a paint job from Even Michiel himself chipped in by swapping out his normal brass headtube badge for a custom machined aluminum one. Let’s get into all the details.

bigquotes I’ve been a retro bike collector for about 10 years. I sold everything a few years back except for 3 bikes, but the retro vibe was still alive. I had the silver wheelset made for my Nomad as an extra set but never used it so that started the idea of a complete silver build like in the old days. The color inspiration came from an icon from 1990, the Air Max 90. I loved them back then, but couldn’t afford them, especially the pink and blue color scheme. So I chose those colors and it came out as I envisioned.

Michiel works loads of cool details into his frames

The pink to blue fade is done by

A mix and match of Ingrid, SRAM and Garbaruk parts make up the drivetrain.

The silver details include a custom machined aluminum head tube badge.