Monday, March 23, 2020

Not shut down quite yet

Here it is, the middle of a pandemic and I'm still trying to build frames. I work alone, have the door shut during business hours and go home for lunch to avoid contact with random people. I'm hoping that I don't contribute to the spreading of this terrible disease while keeping things rolling as long as I can. I currently still have one painter who is at work. Some suppliers and the powder coat shop I use are shut down until at least April 7th. If your frame has been powder coated it will get prepped and shipped. I have about 10-12 in this state that should be ready at the end of the week. I also have about 7-8 frames that will have to wait until after the 7th or longer. In the mean time I'm still building and literally running out of hooks to hang all the frames.
This is a challenging time for all of us but staying out of social situations and staying home as much as we can will slow the progress of this virus. You won't be seeing me on the group rides or in the stores- I'll either be at home, the shop or on a solo ride. I'm not open to the public until the authorities tell me that I can be. I'll still be answering emails and at times the phone.
Stay well, everyone.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Steel SSCX

 This one might be almost a "Path racer" as it is a single speed that has eyelets for fenders. It is not likely to ever have fenders but they are there just the same. This one also has room for 700x45 tires and will probably spend most of its life with Bruce Gordon 700x43 'Rock n' road" mixed terrain treads.
 I had to stop in the middle of a large aluminum batch to build this one as the customer has an upcoming bike tour- imagine, a single speed bike tour.....conjures up images of goggles and a tubular tire over the shoulders.
This crowned fork has the Pacenti Mitsugi OS crown. I have lots of these crowns in stock as they are the best to work with and one of the more attractive patterns out there.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Gravel frame in steel with a retro style

 I found a source for my favorite tig filler rod and started using it again. It has been a few years since I have been able to get Harris 'super missle weld' and I have been using some pretty good stuff in its place. That said, the best stuff does make a difference to me- I really like how this rod flows out and I think a keen eye can see the difference, even if it won't be visible after the paint is applied.
 This frame has the wishbone seat stay like the MTB frames I have built over the years. The tubing diameter is a little smaller than the current style and the top tube is nearly level- this all contributes to the retro look of the frame. The rider was very specific about what he wanted and I hope that I built what he was after. It is probably the cleanest frame I have built so far in 2020.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Steel CX/Gravel frame for Sierra Foothills

 I'm building a lot of frames like this so far this winter. This one is a little different as it has a 44 mm ID head tube, the lighter version. The frame is all Columbus tubing- a mixture of Spirit, Life and Zona. I wanted it to be light but not too light so that it might last the ages.
 The Di II shifting makes for a very clean setup- no cables at all. The hydraulic line for the rear brake is inside the down tube and is only visible on the chain stay for the most part.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

New bike for the wife

 I'm proud of my wife for many things. She has not been doing much road riding as of late - maybe it's the state of her 18 year old road bike. I thought that perhaps a new up to date road bike would re-kindle an interest in doing some rides together. Also, a bike builder's wife should not have a really old clapped-out road bike.
 This steel frame is paired with a NOS Easton carbon fork and a Shimano 9100 group. The whole bike weighs 17 lb. 12 oz. -Not bad for a steel bike that has normal clincher tires and no super exotic stuff. Sure, Dura Ace is light and not cheap but she deserves no less- also, I did get a real once-in-a-lifetime deal on the components so here was a great place for them to land.
 Eventually the bike will get a read seat collar and some bigger tires, maybe 700x28's for the bad roads around here . The bike feels pretty smooth, even with these 23 Michelin tires. I hope that she likes it- it is a late X-Mas present.

One of three gravel frames for Fremont, Ca.

 There is a company that has bike shops that service the campuses of some of the larger tech companies in the Bay Area and three of the mechanics at one of these shops have formed a small gravel racing team. I was chosen to build the frames and the material of choice was steel.
 This is the last of the three and all will be at the painter next week. I'll try to get them together for a group photo before they are delivered.
The formula for the frames is pretty familiar for me- tapered head tube, internal brake routing, flat mount. Two of the frames are Di II, one has mechanical shifting. They will all be painted white with some serious metal flake in the clear coat.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Time capsule MTB # 16

 Not sure if I have put photos of this one up lately but here it is in all its primitive glory- team issue fillet brazed MTB # 16 from 1986. It has had a repair and a repaint but that was many years ago. It is still owned by the second owner who has had it since he was a teenager.
 As you can see the bike is fitted with an early Bontrager fork and some Cooks bros. cranks. The Suntour XC shifters still work and the XT short cage rear der. is a rare item.
I built the stem as I was doing back then- it was common to get a frame , fork and matching stem. I think I sold frames like this in 1986 for around $ 495 unpainted. This one has the old vinyl decals that I had to cut out with scissors from a sheet. Things were a bit different then but there are some similarities- I still build the frames one at a time .