Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Handmade bike show preview

For those of you not going to the show, here's some of what I will be bringing. This is a bike I built for doing double centuries back in 1991. It has a remarkable paint job done by Mark Bunten, alias "Dr. Deltron". You don't see work like this much any more.
Yes, this is a real randonneur bike and I rode Paris-Brest -Paris on it equipped pretty much as you see it here. It was built specifically for the event in 1995 .The rack and light have long since been sold or given away.I don't do this kind of riding any more......I don't regret doing the rides, though.
Here's a few views of Rock Lobster MTB # 2 from 1984. I lost track of this frame for over 20 years but just got it back and restored it to pretty close to its original state with some help from First Flight Bikes in Statesville, N.C.
I'm really happy to be able to display my very first frame all the way up to something I just built a few weeks ago-essentially 1978 to 2021. I never knew I would be devoting my life to this craft but it sure has been fun. I hope the exhibit is interesting to the folks at the show. If not, I had some fun putting it all together !

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Single speed CX race frame for So-Cal.

This one has some pre-production Ahrens dropouts with Bronze faces. I like the look and also the promise of durability.
Most of this frame is NOS Easton Elite 7005 and it feels pretty light, probably a little less than 3 lbs. I didn't get a chance to put it on the scale before boxing it up to ship tomorrow morning.
The color is unusual, probably a first for's kind of a 'dirty' gray. It will be really distinctive out there with all the bright colors that are so popular these days.
I gave the customer one of the team issue gold seat collars......not many of those exist.

This one is going to the show *

* But it will be in another booth. The brand of fork,bars and seatpost will have their own booth and lucky for me they requested one of my bikes.
This bike is equipped with Whiskey brand bar, seatpost and a pretty nice disc-cross fork with a post mount setup and a tapered steerer. The brakes have a hydraulic conversion from Timmy Cannard.
The bike also has some Ahrens hardware in the form of a chainstay yoke and some sliding dropouts. It's a solid setup and it is similar to the bike that won the national chapionship last month.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

WTF mk. II

I have been riding this bike to work and back. Second childhood in the making. Embrocation Journal online just put up a piece about my shop by Jeremy Jo with some of the best photos of my shop ever taken. He created art out of my bicycle garbage dump/workshop! Check it out.

Friday, February 24, 2012


A long time ago....about 1979 I was working in a bike shop where the owner had a Stella folding bike. it was the most unstable scary bike to ride-naturally I wanted to buy it. Of course, the owner wouldn't sell it so I had to fashion my own. I got a bunch of scrap tubing and in one day put together this frame and fork. True to it's predecessor , this thing is really scary to ride. It has recently been restored by the third owner. I took it for a short spin and immediately remembered the flexy, unstable magic of this odd machine. It was called the 'Stella-matic" and I think it was about the 9th frame I had built. This photo is of the Stellamatic as of 2012 with a fresh rattle-can paint job.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Busting ass

This 29er is for one of our team riders who lives locally in Scott's Valley, Calif. He's been a strong rider for about 30 plus years so hopefully this sturdy chassis won't let him down. It will be very stiff .

this road frame is going to the east coast. It has some of the last Scandium tubes I have in stock and I'm likely to run out by the mid-summer. This frame weighs 2 lbs. 11 oz. It should rip up hills.

This 29er is maybe the smallest one I have built so far. It is built for an 80 mm fork like mine and will be ridden in the dry hills near Bakersfield, Calif. I had fun putting this one together and I'm really interested in hearing how it rides.

This stout little frame should have room for a 2 .35 " tire in the rear....larger than I would use but then, I live in redwood forest country and it isn't too rocky.
Here's the batch ready to box up and send to the heat treater.....this was about six business days work.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Locked and loaded

This is the result of my very first geared mountain bike race.....I guess I'll cat up to the next group so I can get pummeled. Today I did the pummeling on the cat 3 race.....the CX experience really paid off.
The bike and gear are in the kitchen ready for the drive to the race about 50 minutes away..that is one of the things I don't like about bike racing-the irony of starting your day in a car. There's just not many races you can ride to around here

29er for Oregon

I came in to work on a Sunday to finish this one up. I want this and the three other frames in the current batch to be done by this coming Friday so I can concentrate on getting my NAHMBS act together, which currently it is not.
I'm really happy with this frame and I think my days of leaving the owner of this frame on the long steep climbs out of Ashland are over for good- I no longer have an advantage.
You are looking at the very last pair of NOS Easton US made rectangular chainstays in my stash.......see ya !

Nick's bike

Nick has bought frames from me for about twenty years now, probably about five in all.This is what he calls his 'last' mountain bike. I hardtail 29er might be my last MTB as well.
The parts on this bike are pretty much the best in my opinion-XTR, Mavic handbuilt wheels and a Fox Talus 100. I think the rough roads of Montana are going to feel a bit smoother from now on.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why there have been no photos

I'm in the middle of a batch of aluminum frames so the pictures of the completed frames are still a few days off. Right now I'm building three 29ers and one road frame. I have the 29ers started, all the front triangles built but the road frame will wait until next week.
The 29ers are going to a local, someone in Bakersfield and another in Eugene, Oregon.
This is the one for Eugene. I think it will be done on Monday. I hope all four will be done on Friday and I can get to making my NAHMBS display a reality. As of now it is only a pipe dream.

Monday, February 13, 2012

1982 Sadoff frame

Yes, before Rock Lobster I built a number of bikes under my own name. I think this one is # 14 but I'll have to check my records. I built it in the spring of 1982 while I was working at the Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz. I had no jigs and only a handful of tools in those days so it took a lot of hours to build this one. It is all Columbus s.l. with some Henry James lugs and a Cinelli BB and fork crown. The seat lug is a Tange....really rare item.

Before S.T.I. I saw a shifter innovation on a bike at a shop in L.A. I liked it so much that when I started building I made a point of trying it out for myself. It really works well.

I just got interviewed on a cycling specific talk show on a station in Ohio. Here's the link to listen to the broadcast. I'm featured in the last 30 minutes or so. check it out.

Columbus road frame fully built

I weighed this bike and as is it is 19 lbs. 15 oz. , pretty good for a steel frame with mid-grade Campagnolo. I rode it a bit and it felt nice and quick, both in the front end and in acceleration.
The oversize tubes make for a nice stable feeling front end, not really 'twisty' like smaller diameter tubed frames can be if they are under built.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Single speed # 1, early 1987

Old #1 is back in the shop-I bought it back from owner # 4. I guess I'm just sentimental as this archaic old bike isn't much use to me-that said I jumped at the opportunity to get it back.
The original fork is long gone-the pedals have been changed, but all the rest of the components are original .
The first 5-6 of these that I built had 26" front wheels and 24" rear, most of the rims being rolled down Mavics or Super Champion 58's courtesey of Bontrager. This bike had one of the first Bontrager forks-one with raked blades, no less. The point of the 24" rear wheel was to make the bike accelerate a little easier-it did just that and the added plus was that the 24" rims were virtually indestructable. This original rear wheel is almost 25 years old and still nice and round. How many 25 year old wheels do you have that are still rideable ?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Product launch

Come to the handbuilt show and see this thing as a built up's wild.

Steel big-tire road bike

There's a lot of steel here-frame fork and stem. I only make about 3-4 stems a year so it is a rare item. The rider of this frame races MTB and cyclocross at a high level....quite literally as he can get several feet of air off even a modest jump. This bike will be mostly staying on the ground. .
The head tube collars are a real throwback to the mid 80's when I was putting them on almost every fillet brazed bike. Now I use them only a couple times a year.
This tall frame makes for some different lines in the seat stays with a long , almost parallel section.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pearl white road Columbus frame

I wish I were able to really show the pearl in this paint but my good camera broke and my cheap camera is all I have me, it's really nice !