Friday, February 26, 2010

Five-hundered dollar fork ?

Ever hear of the $ 10 burger ?O.K, so why is this fork going to cost $ 500 when most forks I build are half that price ? Look at the crown.....look closely. If you know anything about MTN bike history you will recognize it as the crown that Ritchey designed many years ago. This crown was featured on pre-shock Bridgestone MB-1 and MB-2 mountian bikes. I bought a box of these crowns about 12 years ago and they were old when I got them. I have four left so when those four are gone I'll be done building these forks forever......I really doubt there are more of these sitting in a box somewhere-I really think I got the last box. If you want a piece of genuine MTB history it will be $ 500....only available with a 1" steerer-yes, the crowns were made before the steerers changed, before threadless , before clipless MTB pedals , before the pyramids........well, not quite.

Team Hybrid Energy hits the road

These four road frames will be seen around the Nor-Cal scene very soon. They just left the shop today and will most likely be assembled this weekend. One frame has the BB-30......they are getting popular.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

more steel for feb.

People might ask me : " Why don't you use a wishbone seatstay on your 'cross frames ?" Well, to those folks I'll say that it is rare that a wishbone winds up on one of my cross frames but here's an example that has not only an wishbone seatstay but a headtube extention...also a rare feature on my bikes. these features are on the frame because the customer requested them and I feel that they pose no structural problem at's more a sylistic thing , the wishbone being used to stiffen up the rear triangle on an MTB frame might be a little stiff for a 'cross bike -not when the rider is 200 lbs. The stiffer stays are welcome additions for limiting flex during hard pedaling and braking. It's old school and it was fun to build. My own single speed 'cross bike is much the same.This frame inspite of its robust construction is only 4 lbs. 3 oz. , lighter than I thought it would be by at least 1/4 lb.

Friday, February 19, 2010

...And now for something completely...err...not that different

Here's the last one for the week, another tig steel road frame but this one is made from the NOS Tange Ultimate from about 1995. The frame still came out one ounce lighter than four lbs. inspite of the robust tubeset. I'll bet this bike would be fine riding down a long flight of stairs and knowing this particular rider, that could happen.

A month in steel.

This blog might be getting a little repetetive.....a bunch of tig welded steel road frames all looking pretty much the same-at least that's how it appears. If you look closely you'll notice a few small distinctions. For one thing, none of the four road frames I have built in the last week and a half share the same tubeset. One is mostly True Temper, one is Columbus nivacrome, one is Reynolds 853/725 and the one I finished today was built from a mixture of Tange ultimate extrastrong and Dedaccai. This one pictured is bound for Santa Barbara and is the 853 frame. I'm talking everyone who is getting a steel road frame into a braze-on front der. as the big manufacturers have decided that 28.6 diameter seat tubes no longer exist . I beg to differ, they do in fact exist and about 90% of custom steel frames have them. I think it is a shame to have to use shims on a custom bike just to fit a front der. End of rant !

Thursday, February 11, 2010

sorry , Santa......this isn't your sled.

This frame is not's a sled with a bit of a downhill slant. The 29er chassis is fitted with genuine Paragon Machine works sliding dropouts and BB shell. The tube set is all True Temper-a mix of OX and Verus tubes. This makes the frame have the distinction of being made entirely with USA materials, with the exception of the cable guides and bottle bosses. I figured that a close up of the wavy gussets would be good as I rarely put up photos that highlight this nautical feature.

This fellow wasn't needing room for the largest tires but with the sliders back I think the big meats will fit , nevertheless. It's always best to give people the option to go larger on tires......back in the late '80's it wasn't the style but nowadays with the variety of tires growing all the time its the thing to do.

Light steel road frame for the east bay

This month will be an intensive steel clinic at the shop. They may all be steel frames but they run the gamut of types that I build. This one is a road frame built to take 700x28 tires, pretty large for a road bike but not large enough to make major geometry changes. The welder is working nicely right now.....I guess it might be a little paranoid as the new machine is wired up and ready to try. It is doubtful that my old machine will ever be retired, though. I have used the same welder here for 18 years-we have become pretty close.

Heres a weld detail.......honestly, I don't think I could do better than this. I have an old machine with none of the bells and whistles of the new units so I feel like a hero when the product looks this nice.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Montana bound 7005 hardtail

Yes, the hardtail lives, even in the 21st century. When the snow melts up there in Montana , this bike will see some miles.

Tall bike for a tall man

I didn't have to cut the steerer for this fork. I actually asked if I could get a custom longer steerer but that wasn't available. I believe we will switch to riser bars and that will pretty mych get everything at the proper altitude.Inspite of being such a big bike , it is comaratively light due to the 7005 aluminum frame and the XT component group.