Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Yes, that's a 1" threaded steerer

 This is not an older frame but one I just shipped out this week. The customer requested smaller diameter tubes and a threaded fork. I had to make some calls to get the gold headset but here's the result- a tig welded steel frame that is below 4 lbs. with a look that was popular about 25 years ago. The bike will have modern components and will be in Kansas by the end of the week.
 This fork crown is the same one I used on countless builds back in the late '90's. The brake bridge is also a popular one from that era. I had a nice time building this one, even if the sourcing for some of the bits got a little difficult. It all came together- the only thing I could not get was a gold top nut for the headset. I had to go with silver but the gold Jen Green headbadge makes up for that.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

SSCX for Boise, Idaho

 This steel frame will be going to a long established shop in Boise. The flat-mount is paired with an internal route on the down tube. This setup is getting to be a popular feature as it eliminates all guides from the top tube on a single speed frame. Di II frames look pretty much the same and I'll be displaying one in aluminum at the upcoming handbuilt bike show in Sacramento early next year.
 The team color paired with the red decals is identical to my own bike- I really like the combination of colors.

Re-make of a 1991 MTB frame

The fellow who owns this frame used to ride it frequently  in the Santa Cruz mountains. Somewhere along the line the bike got mothballed in the garage as the non-suspension design was not suited to a much older rider. This model was the 'team-issue fillet' with un-filed bronze fillet brazed joints.I probably made about 150-200 of these before I switched to tig welding. I have owned a few myself and bought back one from 1987, single speed # 1. This frame is one of the last examples of the style before I went fully into welding.
 The owner has a very strong sentimental attachment to the frame and wanted to continue riding it. Things are different now as he is a grandfather and wants to ride the bike with his grandchildren. The rigid fork and super aggressive handlebar position had to go. I told him that making the bike able to use a modern fork would require replacing the front end of the frame. He said " Go for it, otherwise I will probably not have a use for the bike." Mountain bike collectors might frown on doing this type of re-build and I'm not that keen on it myself but the sincerity of the customer won me over. He is not likely to ever sell the bike but would rather pass it on to a grandchild.
Now the frame is made to take a 140 MM fork- it still runs 26" wheels but will now accept disc brakes. It is still built with the same method, unfiled fillets. The whole job cost less than half of what a new frame would run so according to the customer it was the right path to take. This was one for the books- I'm glad a local who has been riding the trails around here nearly as long as I will keep riding his old bike again.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

CX frame in 7005 for Seattle area

 This frame has two firsts for me on an aluminum CX frame. # 1, dropper post port.# 2, fr. der. boss. With all the stuff going on in the lower part of the seat tube a clamp-on fr. der. would not really work.
 This frame also has fender eyelets on the dropouts and one under the seat stay bridge. It does rain where this frame is going. The stem and fork have been painted to match. It's a nice package- all in the team color.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Gravel frame in steel for Sausalito, Calif.

 This one is paired with the new Whiskey flat mount fork and a King headset. The rear hydraulic line goes inside the down tube- this is becoming a very popular feature on my steel frames, even if it is an additional $ 100. The routing of the rear der. cable under the tup tube is for general trail riding and not for CX racing as it is not a bike that will be shouldered. As of this month I have build 19 of these this year in steel, making it my most popular frame. I have done nearly that many in aluminum as well.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Old frame gets a new life

 This is Rock Lobster MTB frame # 0128. I think it is from 1991. It started its life as a fully rigid bike and has been in use for most of the last 27 years. Now it will have a new front end paired with a Fox fork and a disc brake on the rear. Bike collectors might be angry to see an older bike get re-purposed like this but the owner wants to keep riding it and these changes will make the bike much more useful to him.
While the bike will have a modern fork and brake set, the frame will retain the old look with bronze fillet brazed joints. The tubes are larger diameter but from a distance the frame will still look like it did before the work was done. This is an old customer and this kind of re-do is something I normally do not take on. You might be looking at the last one right here.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Partly traditional steel road frame and fork for Kansas

 This customer wanted something a bit off the beaten path-a frame with modern welded construction but with traditional diameter steel tubes and a 1" threaded fork. This frame looks very much like something I would have built about 25 years ago. I even put on the Bocama head tube collars from that time period- you can still buy them.
 The straight blade crowned fork was my go-to style in the early to mid '90's. The new aspects of the frame are the s-bend stays and the fact that the frame is only 3 lb. 13 oz. , quite a bit lighter than what I was building in the '90's.
Having a pump peg, a chain hanger and a front der. braze-on , this frame has most of the things I can put on a bike other that rack and/or fender mounts. I used to have a bike like this in about 1998 made from Reynolds 853. This frame is mostly Columbus with a NOS Tange head tube that I machined down to the same thickness as a Columbus SL head tube. The brake bridge is one I used a lot in the '90's- I called it the 'star wars' brake bridge as it kind of vaguely looked like one of the small spacecraft in the film.This was a real trip down memory lane, back to the time I was building frames in a metal shed on Gross rd. , about 6 miles from where I am now.