Monday, August 22, 2016

Jerry's new rig

 This is what I do for a big tire CX bike in aluminum these days-lots of tire room for the 700x43 Bruce Gordon tires and thru-axles front and rear. This one is set up with the big 11-42  XT cassette and a Praxis works 1X  front chainring. The low gear is less than one-to-one.
 This bike will see duty around Boulder, Colorado and maybe in the Santa Cruz mountains. The wheels are the new Mavic Ksyrium "All road". They offer stiffness and light weight at about half of what carbon wheels cost.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tig class at UBI Ashland 2016

Well, another one is in the books. Five students have completed the class at  UBI that I have been teaching for the last nine summers. I really like the experience and try to present a rational and practical approach to building frames-maybe a bit of humor and history thrown in. The instructor I have been sharing this class with more years than not is Rich Bernoulli , someone who cares very much about the students and the legacy of the school. It is always a great time teaching with Rich-he's the best.
 This class was a bit smaller than most with a few cancellations but the mostly retired military bunch kept us working hard-they had very high expectations of themselves and really went full-bore on the challenges in the class. It is not an easy thing to learn in two weeks but these folks pulled it off.
 I want to thank my hosts, the De Salvo family, the UBI staff and Ron Sutphin the boss and of course the students for making my experience at UBI good as it has always been. I don't leave my shop to work elsewhere hardly ever except for two weeks in mid summer to teach at UBI. I am honored to do so.







Monday, August 8, 2016

Home away from home

 Yes, it's that time of year again-teaching my annual class at U.B.I. in Ashland, Oregon. The shop will be closed while I am gone and I will return on the 22nd. This job at U.B.I. is challenging and rewarding. The seven hour drive to get here isn't much fun but the experience once I am here is more than worth it.
I'm staying in a little cabin in the back yard of Mike De Salvo's house-behind the garage that used to be his shop. He since moved to a commercial location a few years ago just a few blocks away. -It is great to be here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

650 steel gravel bike for Houston

 A lot of thought went into this bike- not that I don't think about everything I do in the shop but this one was complex. The result is a robust bike with a really smooth ride and some versatility built in.
 The bike is pictured with 650x43 Bruce Gordon tires but it would also work just as well with any 700x28 tire/wheel combo. The radius of the two types of wheels is nearly the same so BB height would not change noticeably. This is also helped by the fact that the bike does not have a long wheelbase-about the same as a CX race bike. In other words, it might feel pretty snappy as a road bike with the 28's and not feel like a longer bike would with the same tires. The generator hub is a Shutter Precision with a 15 mm thru-axle. The gen. wire is inside the fork blade-I was able to do this without drilling holes in the blade-something I don't do as a safety consideration, not to mention the possibility of a rust portal into the fork. The bike will have a different saddle/post and pedals when the owner builds it up .

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Steel CX frame for Portland

 The customer asked for something a little different on the paint job. I think that it is pretty effective in giving this bike a unique look that still has the flavor of a Rock Lobster. The sterling head badge is from Jen Green .
 The dropouts are good for a single speed setup but there's an integral der. hanger just in case. Nice to have the option. Also nice to see someone using rim brakes- they still work !

Jerry's last bike ?

 Well, that might be the case. He rides a lot so I hope he doesn't wear it out prematurely !  This is an aluminum CX disc brake bike for a 1x11 gear setup and mechanical disc brakes. It will see duty in Boulder, Colorado and in Santa Cruz as well. I build a lot of bikes like this lately-probably more of this kind than all the others combined. Must be a trend.......
 The unusual mix of the new and old style decals were a request- one more way to make your bike unique.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

New steel road bike for the boss


The last time I built myself a steel road bike was 1999. It was Reynolds 853 and it had 9 speed Dura Ace on it and a 1" threadless carbon Kestrel fork. This bike will replace one of many aluminum road bikes I have ridden for the last 17 years. I have enjoyed riding the aluminum bikes but I felt that it was time for me to go back to steel, especially as I teach a steel tig welding class once a year at UBI. For the last 9 years my students have seen me show up on an aluminum bike and I have had to answer a lot of questions about it. Now there will be no need for that and the focus can be entirely on the subject of steel.
 The main tubes on the frame are as follows: Down tube is True Temper S-3. The top tube is True temper OX platinum. The seat tube and rear stays are columbus 'Life'. I chose these tubes so that the frame would wind up well under 4 lbs. but still be durable and feel stiff when pedaled hard, or at least as hard as I can pedal a bike. The whole thing weighs about 17 lbs. 8 oz, not bad for a steel bike without a super light set of wheels.
 Jen Green made me this Brass head badge awhile ago and I saved it for this particular bike. Nearly all the components came off of my previous bike as they were only about two years old and still were in excellent shape. Also, I can't afford to buy a new set of parts right now.........much as I have been very productive this year I am not in a very lucrative business. At least I get a new frame now and then !