Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two coupler frames

Coupler bike # 1 is a fairly large road frame bound for Salt Lake city. It has a straight blade crowned fork and some heat tube collars. The panels are the same as the last frame I built for a bike show last year.

Coupler bike # 2 is bound for Flagstaff, Az. and will have a nice dark British racing green paint. I'm still figuring out what decal color....the customer gave me a little leeway , the only requirement is that that the decal color doesn't clash with the base color. That would be pretty easy as I don't have any outlandish decal colors in stock currently.
This is another big-tire road bike , probably my most popular build aside from cyclocross bikes this year. I have one now being ridden by a magazine contributor. I hope he sees the value of this type of bike and the almost limitless types of riding one can do .
On the fork I used another Pacenti 'Artisan' crown . It is looking like these might be available again-something I am very enthusiastic about. I am building many more steel forks this year and really like having a variety of good quality hardware available to build them with.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Frame builder's vinyard

Yes, 16 vines about 7 years old. I'm trying to make my own estate bottled Pinot Noir from my back yard. Maybe it is too small to be considered a proper vinyard and a 680 square foot house is hardly and estate, but this is what I have and I'm going to try to make the most of it. Having had success in the shop with bikes does not help one at all when it comes to taming the finicky grape. By late September I'll know if I have a solid harvest. I'll probably only get around six gallons but if it is good, it will be worth the effort.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steel 26" wheel MTB frame for So-Cal.

Yes, people do still ride 28" wheels, me being one of them. This disc-only frame weighs in at about 4 lbs. 9 oz. , not bad for something that can be beaten up for many years.
There are the usual features :Machined head tube , wavy gussets , wishbone seatstays and disc brake re-enforcemement between the stays. I don't like flimsy stuff .
Here's a detail of the disc brake area of the frame and the many welds that make up the structure. I have been welding steel exclusively for about a month now but in two weeks I'll have a bunch of aluminum and scandium to weld up. Variety keeps me happy to come to work, among other things.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

O.X. Platinum road bike built up

This frame is amazingly stiff in the BB and rear triangle , even for a small frame. Tubing made in the U.S.A. is maybe the best choice right now, not to cut down stuff from off shore-it's just that this True Temper O.X. platinum offers really light weight and superior stiffness for a price lower than the imported top-end tubing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Steel road frame for Seattle

Maybe it isn't the lightest, maybe it isn't the newest.....perhaps it lacking a bit of snob appeal but frames like this will still be on the road many years after the latest rolling carbon fashion statement has been buried in the landfill. Don't get me wrong, I like and build some uber-light racing bikes but in the back of my mind I always think about durability and reliability and try to squeeze as much of that out of whatever material I am working with. It just happens to be the case that steel is enduring.
Team colors, team decals....this guy could live in the bay area no problem.

Fork and stem for Australia

It isn't very often that I get to send my good to Australia but here are two items that are to be sent soon. The fork is a unicrown fork for one of my import frames for the U.K. market. The stem is for an old style 22 m.m. handlebar , maybe a Salsa.
I only build about two to three stems annually. The materials for these are quickly becoming extinct. Fear not, there are new stem kits that are available-not as unique but very serviceable and modern, good for carbon steerers and 31.8 m.m. bars. The customer requested and got clear powdercoat on the pair.....shades of 1994 all over again. I think that I might have a frame in the same finish if I ever get the notion to exhibit at a custom bike show again........

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Big tire road frame for guitar builder

In the world of steel string guitars the name Jeff Traugott carries some clout. Jeff builds guitars for some of the better players in the U.S. and has a waiting list of years, not months for his instruments. Jeff just happens to be somebody I have gone riding with nearly every Sunday for the last 30 years and he is my neighbor in the building where my shop is located.
Even though Jeff is someone I see nearly every day, I do fully realize that his level of craftsmanship is insanely high so this effort from me really had to be a showpiece. It is pretty hard to see in the photos but I did spend quite a bit of time putting this frame and fork together so that it would ride and look the way Jeff wanted it to.
Sure, it is a welded frame but it still took about twice as long to build as the last welded frame I built. The few extras like the internal brake cable and the chainstay crossmember are things I only do once in awhile.

This is a Pacenti Artisan crown with a little modification. It really amazes me how the crown was transformed by about 20 minutes of filing. Shorten a pint here , change a profile there and bingo-you have a new look. The crown definitely has a more compact appearance than before.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Team ride in April ?

Here's the before look.
Here's the after look, after 65 miles and 5,100 ft. climbing on 'cross bikes. Even though there were some no-shows it was still a pretty good sized group. The weather was good and the tailwind on the coast for the last 25 miles was merciful. I'm really torched after this one......but I'm happy for having done it. Scott 'Buckethead' Chapin was the co-ordinator of todays route , signs of things to come from the new elite team director.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Little frame finds its owner

Every once in awhile I get to build something that challenges me to really depart from the norm.
My hope is that the calculations I made to build this frame will yield a miniature version of a world-cup mass start type of track bike .
The fork is really tiny so I went for light blades so it isn't too rough over the track. The Encino velodrome where the bike will be ridden is concrete and probably has a few seams hear and there.
This is Eve and she will be starting her second year of competition this weekend at the track. All other 10 year olds, beware.......she is a training dynamo.