Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Single speed disc-only 'cross bike

This frame is bound for Chicago and will get an MTB disc fork in carbon. The customer told me that Ritchey makes one in a 409 mm axle to crown length, not much longer than a standard cyclocross fork. This will allow the bike to take a really big tire up front if needed and makes the bike a little more versatile.The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.
I put the ususal curves in the stays but since they are all bent by hand, they are unique to each bike. I had a little more poetic license with the seat stays as there was no brake boss placement issue.
I didn't wiegh this frame but it felt pretty light for a slider equipped 'cross frame in steel. The light weight is due to the OX True Temper tubes. The head tube is a bit short as the extra 14 mm of fork make it necessary , almost like a 29er for a shorter rider.
The chain stays are Reynolds 725, my favorite for 'cross and road frames , mainly for the tire room and stiffness of the material.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fixed gear tourer ready for racks and the road

This bike is going to see some miles......lots of miles.....crossing the USA miles. On a fixed gear , you ask ? -Yes, that is how this man rolls. There are some really nice bits on the bike, Phil Wood, White Industries, Nitto , Brooks to name a few. I'm waiting on custom racks from none other than Bruce Gordon. The only thing missing besides the racks would be the headlamp which I'm still researching.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big tire road bike dressed up for the show

This is the final incarnation of the big tire road bike I built last year. I have finally installed the correct parts-all 5700 group, Honjo fenders and yes, that is a blue Brooks saddle. There's a brand new pair of Challenge Parigi-Roubaix tires and some blue Fizik handlebar tape. The bike will be on display at a show in San Fransisco at Una Pizza Napoleatana on Sunday 3/20 from 1-7 p.m. Admittance to the show is $ 10 and there will be 15 builders, a band and lots of great pizza.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Single speed 29er for S.F. Pizza man.

The owner of this frame is pretty darn good with a wood burning be frank, I think he's the best I have run into in my years of sampling pizza in a few countries.
There's a matching fork for the frame but I didn't get a chance to photograph it before leaving the shop. I'll do that tomorrow. I have built many forks so far this year and I am on course to maybe have a record year in that regard. It seems like the old steel fork is making a comeback.
No disc brakes or shock for this customer, just pure single speed simplicity. The welding on this frame is about the best I have ever done. I have figured out that I needed to get a little closer to the work with the torch....something I tell my U.B.I. students-it's about time that I heeded my own words !

Parade of steel

The last few weeks have been filled with building steel frames. Here are a few recent ones almost ready to be picked up or shipped out , depending on destination. This one is just going to the east bay so there is a chance the customer might be able to drop by and pick it up personally.
This is a typical Team Euro meant for racing in Nor-Cal.
This pink one is also a bay area customer and a member of the racing team. He is not getting the team color but has decided to go rogue in a way. The tubeset is really light and the frames is well under 4 lbs.

This is the most recent path racer almost ready for assembly. The owner wanted no decals and a flat clearcoat. It actually looks very nice in person-the photos don't really convey the look very well.

This customer is also a bay area resident and will pick this up as a complete bike ready for fixed gear touring....that's right, I'm not kidding-trans continental fixed gear touring to be more precise. He's a mightier man than I.

This frame will not be picked up by the owner as it is bound for Taipei, Taiwan. The black came out glassy smooth. This is a Team euro that will accept fenders and a braze -on front derailleur.
The wishbone seatstay was a request from the customer. I tried to bring in the seat stays a little to make it a little sleeker than the mountain bike version.
The headtube will have a sterling silver head badge instead of the usual decal, a nice upgrade to the overall look.
This rack represents about 5 weeks of work. It's like a rainbow right now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Track frame and fork for a ten year old girl

This is right after lunch-the front triangle is getting checked for squareness. If it looks like there is a little clutter near the granite slab , you are just seeing the tip of the garbage iceberg. A woman emailed me wishing to set up a time to visit my "studio". I assured her that it was not a studio but was more correctly referred to as a "s*** hole". It just so happens that really fast bikes come out of this space, whatever I might call it and this pee-wee racer is no exception.
I donated the materials for this project as I was informed that the family was not rolling in cash but had an extremely motivated ten year old daughter who rode the velodrome in Encino, California. This will be the fourth frame I have built for a child less than twelve years old. I built the fork with a crown that had been sitting in a box for over ten years.
The rear dropouts were some samples I got from Tange. I think I have had them for around four years.
The chainstays were Reynolds 725 that I had cut too short for an adult bike. In the end, I used about 90% old stock for this frame and it is all very high quality with only the top tube being 4130 straight guage aircraft tubing. This frame may be small ( it was built for 24" wheels and a 4'4 1/2" rider ) but it is as serious a steel track frame as I build. I'm sure it will get some hard racing on the bank track in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Riding in Nisene Marks

if you have never ridden in the Santa Cruz mountains than you are definitely missing something great. These trails and roads go on for a good number of miles and you can climb to great vistas of the Monterey Bay.
Here's the bay and the cold front coming in. We did wind up getting rained on lightly for the last 1/2 hour of the ride.
Taking a call at the top of the climb......I wouldn't know about such things as I don't have a cell phone. I do borrow them on occasion, though. This was the top of the incline but it is actually about 6 miles short of the summit. This was far enough for us to get to the top of what would be almost 1 hour of single track back to the coast.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Steel road frame bound for Seattle

There's nothing dainty about this one. it will be a workhorse in road races in the pacific northwest . The frame should hold a nice line in the corners with the oversize 35 mm down tube and 31.8 mm top tube. I'm gravitating toward this combo for a lot of my steel road and 'cross frames that will see hard use.
The down tube gusset is there to help prevent buckling in a crash. The main tubes are very stout without going overboard.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Disc brake single speed 'cross frame

If I told you all about this frame and where it is going I would have to kill you. Seriously, this is literally and industry prototype and I'm pretty excited about the stir it could create when it is built up. The frame is not really the remarkable thing in the project. I'll just leave it at that. You'll soon see the write-ups if and when they happen.

7005 aluminum batch

After completing this batch of four 7005 frames I now have a clean sheet, at least as far as non-steel orders go. I still have a pretty good amount of steel bikes on the list but it is a little strange not to have the usual 50/50 mix on order. This batch contains two 29ers, a 'cross single speed and the frame pictured above-it is modern materials with a traditional look. I had a request for a level top-tube road racing frame out of Easton Ultralite and this is the result.
Most of the tubing is NOS U.S. made Easton 7005 , probably the most durable aluminum tubeset I can build with. There is a finite supply of this great tubing that was originally designed by Chuck Texiera who still works at Easton-Bell . These tubes are butted and tapered in such a way that they really have an improved ride and durability over the aluminum tubing that was used in most bikes back in the late '80's and early '90's. Some of the boxes I have of this tubing are labled 1997......hard to imagine that a material such as this would have to wait nearly 14 years to be used !
Here's the side view, clearly shoing that this is not a crit frame but a road racer designed to give comfort for hours of hard riding and long, hilly races.
Here's the batch right before I put the frames in boxes and shipped them to the heat treater. This represents about 7-8 work days.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Al Carbon in the garden

Yeah, its just another photo of my bike but it is clean and there are some new parts on it. I wanted all to see it in its glory before I go out and make a mess of it riding in the rain tomorrow. This is the current edition of the Al Carbon SC , all 16 lb. 6 oz. of it. The wheels are the budget Shimano RS-80's , definitely the fastest wheels in that price range although not the lightest.

Here come ol' flat top

Fashion takes many turns in the world of frame building and eventually, stuff that was hip around 30 years ago comes back. In this case, it is the semi-sloping fork crown. This particular edition is a modern casting from Long Shen so it is quite a bit easier to work with but a bit more chunky than the original Cinelli unit. With a little belt sanding and filing the crown can be made to look like this.....more to my liking, anyway. With a crown such as this, the silver solder is coiled up and placed inside the fork. External heat causes the silver to flow out and completely fill the joint from the inside. I guess this is why forks I built 25-30 years ago are still in use....or at least, not broken !

Friday, March 4, 2011

Father and son 29er

This build was an unusual request. The father and son are almost the same height, just about 6'4".The issue is that the son is 14 years old and could wind up 6'7" in a few years. I did the best I could to 'split the difference' , so to speak. At least for now, both will be able to enjoy the bike.
All the tubes in this frame are NOS Easton Elite, most from 1997-98. I'm still in posession of quite a bit of this great material but I know that I'll be really sad when I run out.
Both the upper and lower yokes are Ahrens units made of 7005 billet. I had to cut the lower one down to get the room for the big 29er tire. This bike will hold 2.3's with room to spare.