Saturday, October 19, 2019

Steel Ultimundo road frame for a local

 I have enough tubes to make only three more of these so they will never be quite the same when I run out of the True Temper S-3 downtubes. That said, I'll still make the model but it might be a tad different in terms of frame weight and ride characteristics.
 The rest of the tubing in this frame seems to be still in production-being Columbus 'Spirit" and Life.....both are currently produced and in decent supply. It amazes me that there are manufacturers that make such specialized and esoteric materials for building custom steel frames. My thought is that nobody, not the builders, distributors or tubing manufacturers are making much money. I gues that we are all in it because it is what we care about. I am thankful that in my 41 years since I have built my very first frame that there has always been good steel available.
This frame is made from the very best steel I can get: Top tube is my last round S-3. Down tube is one of the last four S-3 bi-oval tubes. Seat tube is Columbus Life. Rear chain stays are Life and the seat stays are Spirit. The head tube is a tapered superlight from Nova. This frame weighs 3 lb. 15 oz.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Step through townie for a local

 This might be the sixth one of these that I have built in the last decade. I really like building a simple bike like this and try slightly different things on each one. This one will get the full Alfine-11 build with Hydraulic disc brakes.
 The frame has the Jen Green copper headbadge and will get a Brooks saddle with some Nitto All-rounder bars, kind of like a cafe racer. The rider wanted a town bike with a slightly more efficient position than the typical upright style with swept-back handlebars.
Even though the bike really screams for them, there will be no fenders on the final build but there will be a rear rack and a kickstand. A townie without a kickstand is a townie in name only.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Gravel frame for Monterey

 For twenty years I have been on start lines of CX and other races to hear right before the whistle the words :" Ride safe- have fun !". The person who has been saying these words at the start of over two decades of bicycle races is getting this frame.
 It has been a good many years since this person has competed in bike races as he's been one of a small crew who run the CCCX series of road, MTB and CX races in the Monterey bay area. Without these races there would be hardly any events like this within an hour's drive from my home city of Santa Cruz. Myself and hundreds of other like-minded cyclists value what the CCCX crew has been doing to keep bicycle racing alive in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.
So, it is a real honor to build this frame- it will be for gravel riding and racing for the most part so it does not have the flattened top tube for shouldering and it has three bottle mounts. The bike will be fitted with Shimano GRX Di II group. The frame weighs 3 lb. 8 oz.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Frame # 4 from 1979 returns

 When I had just barely gotten my feet wet in frame building I planned an ambitious project- I would try to create something like a semi-fancy Hetchins style frame but build it with a serious nod to Bruce Gordon. I had not met Bruce at the time but I saw his work and was immediately inspired by it,along with frames from Hetchins and Art Stump. I also wanted to make the stiffest steepest road frame in Santa Cruz- maybe not the smartest plan but here it is, 40 years later and it still rolls.
 This frame pre-dates the Rock Lobster brand by about 5 years, hence the hand painted 'Sadoff" logo on the seat and head tubes. Yes, I painted it on myself-I used to know how to do that.
 I managed to get a set of Art Stump's investment cast dropouts-there are not many of these on the planet . As attractive as they are, they did not really catch on. I had to shorten the derailleur hanger to get the shifting to work properly.
 I tried to do the Bruce Gordon seatpost through-the-stays binder. This one works really well, even if it isn't nearly as cleanly pulled off as what Bruce did. The seat lug is definitely a not to Bruce as well.
The tubing id Columbus PS, the heavy track set with oversize chain stays and 24 mm round fork blades. One can really feel the road when riding this bike-that is to say that it isn't the smoothest riding bike in town. It is not unpleasant, though. When I was 24 I did ride it 135 miles in a day and survived without breaking my back. My plan is to overhaul it , throw a larger freewheel on it and ride the Eroica California in April. Seems fitting to take this bike in particular to that event-the two-wheel nostalgia parade. I'll leave the paint pretty much as you see it, rust and all. Bike and rider will look a bit worse for wear but that , in my mind is how it should be.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

7005 CX race frame going to Il.

 This is the newest version of the team CX frame- one of many I have built in the last few months. This one has a painted to match Enve fork and the new King 'dropset' integrated headset.
 The frame will also do some miles in gravel events which are becoming very popular all over the country. It seems that the midwest has a wealth of dirt and gravel roads making it a good area for bikes like this.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Small steel gravel/endurance frame and fork

 Built in a classic style with the straight steerer fork, threaded BB shell and rim brakes, this small frame has tubing diameters that suit the smaller rider. My goal was to make a frame that was not going to have a rough ride for the long miles it will be putting in. The smaller diameter top and down tube should help.
 The color is "Cascade blue", the powdercoat equivalent of what I have on my own touring bike that I displayed and the NAHBS last March in Sacramento.
The stainless Salsa dropouts have been a staple on my frames for nearly 20 years.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Team CX bike for a local

 Just got this one built up in time for the Old Growth classic, the local gravel event. Not sure where she finished up but I'm sure that the owner of this bike was in the action at the front.
 The bike is fitted with Easton cranks, wheels, post ,stem and bars- We are really happy with the support that Easton has continued to give the team since its beginning in 2004.

The drive train is Ultegra 8000 hydraulic with flat mount calipers. Other nice bits are the Chris King BB and headset in Turquoise- King has also been a steadfast sponsor of the team and this season is no exception.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Gravel/CX aluminum frame for Florida

 Here's the latest incarnation of the team issue frame- but there are some extras:
 For one, it is not in the team color. Also, the stem, seat post and a pump barrel were painted to match along with the Enve CX fork.

The other feature is the internal top tube rear der. housing ports. I think that this is the second frame I have done this on- not something I intend to have as a stock feature but it does lend to the uncluttered look of this frame- minimal guides of any kind for a non- Di II setup.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

An old project comes back to the shop

 Yes, this is indeed a full suspension frame that I built nearly 20 years ago. It was in collaboration with Mike Ahrens who to this day produces many of the aluminum parts that I and other builders use for frame construction. Little did I know when I built this and other bikes with Mike that it would lead to an association that would last more than two decades.
 For a time while Mike was in college he worked for Risse racing. For a senior project Mike got the idea to build a full suspension mountain bike-this was around 1997. Mike approached me about making the frame and I agreed to do it. After the initial frame we went on to make about another 10-15 frames together of this design , more or less. I also built some hard tails and other frames for Mike as did Jason Grove.

This particular bike wound up at MOMBAT at First Flight bicycles in Statesville, NC. When the MOMBAT collection was to be sold off one of the employees of Santa Cruz bikes bought this bike and it is now back in Santa Cruz. For most of its life this bike was a display item. Now it looks like it will finally do some time on the trails in the redwoods where the inspiration for many mountain bikes happened back in the early '80's.
2019 has been the year were old projects such as this have re-surfaced and come back to my shop . So far I have seen bikes from the very early years of my history and ones like this-while not the oldest, represent a time when I was willing to take on more adventurous work-a time when mountain bikes were in the middle of an was an evolution that I mostly stayed out of with this exception and maybe one other. The good thing about building this and other bikes with Mike is that I wound up with a very important ally for building aluminum frames and a good friend in Mike Ahrens. He has evolved into a behind the scenes person who drives the forward progress of frame building supplies for aluminum builders everywhere.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Two crowned build

 This steel big-tire CX frame and fork has a unique feature of having a fork crown to make the seatstay wishbone. I have never done one like before. This design was a request from the customer, right down to the paint accents. The frame has an older look but set up for modern components.

This really isn't a pure retro frame but something with a retro look that will have thru-axles and disc brakes. I'm interested to hear how it performs out on the trails.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

small steel gravel frame for Texas

 This one is going to a 5'3" rider and will be doing the long mixed-terrain miles in events all over the central part of the USA.
 The crown was my last Pacenti PBP model- that was until Steve Garro graciously sent me a whole stock of new ones. I guess they are available again from a supplier in Portland, Oregon.
The owner opted for post mount brakes , a little easier to set up and still very plentiful. The frame wound up very light, even though it is made for abusive conditions.

Monday, July 15, 2019

A trip down memory lane

 Here's a pair of MTB's from 1993 still owned by the original couple and from what I can tell , mostly original. These are early examples of the Tig Team SL Mtn. frame that I started building in the Gross rd. shop I occupied from 1992-1996. This was pretty much a 440 square foot metal shed divided onto three rooms. I built a few hundred frames there and started my serious work on batches of CX frames.
 Before I built many CX frames these MTB's and some lugged road frames were my stock and trade. I built a great number of these bikes back before full suspension took over the market. Around this time I also imported frames from Taiwan for the 'Expert' model. I needed a lower priced frame of my design to sell in the UK and Germany. There was no way I could keep up with the demand working in my tiny shop.
 These bikes will be back in use again - they will be transformed with rigid forks and some more upright bars. Better to make them into townies than have them hanging unused or try to flog them on craigslist.
 Both of these bikes have some extra details on the head tube and cable routing that were not stock on the model. They have the wavy gussetts that were on my bikes from 1995-2001. The bikes pictured here represent a style that was a product of the kind of riding in Santa Cruz-twisty narrow single track in the redwood forest.
 It was nice to see these bikes again and I'll be getting to work on the updates soon.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Its that time again- team CX frames

 Half of the month of June has been dedicated to building team CX aluminum frames. I would have done a larger batch but I only had enough rear dropouts and flat mounts for six frames.
 Not all of these frames are for the team but most of them are built in the current team style. For the next year or so this is how they will appear- flat mount rear disc , thru-axle dropouts, flattened top tube and internal rear brake routing.