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.

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