Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Very small steel road frame

It was late and dark outside so i had to shoot the photos in the shop. This frame is pretty tiny but it has a fairly long top tube for its size to accomodate the riders proportions.
I did some bending on the seat stays to make them a little more roomy for the tire, the brake bridge and to space the rack bosses properly when I put them on tomorrow, along with all of the other braze ons. This is the last frame of 2009.

The headtube extention puts the bars in the right place without sacrificing important standover room. Here's a view of the seatstays from the rear. I did all the bending with an elderly mandrel from my prehistoric Bontrager fork raking fixture. While it is possible to do some nice bends with the setup, it is also possible to ruin some perfectly good tubing. Fortunately I didn't ruin any today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

853 'cross frame

It has been a while since I have built an 853 frame. I must say, these tubes feel different just pulling them out of the box. There's a perceptable 'solid' feel.....maybe I'm crazy , but the high surface hardness of these tubes seems to be something I can feel just picking them up. O.K., I am crazy......nobody can feel that-jsut the same, the tubes are really round, ultra finely finished and just reek of quality. I now have a renewed enthusiasm for using these tubes, even if the price is a little steep. Maybe my next hardtail MTB will have a set. This frame is going to a local rider who will probably be riding trails more than racing. I built it solid so that it will hopefully last a long time.

I can put a few extra bends in the seatstays on a larger frame such as this. It's a nice look and makes for a more interesting appearance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Al Carbon for Santa Barbara

This frame is one of my more popular styles. The 7005 aluminum provides a very quick response to the pedals while the carbon seatstay keeps the ride from being too rough. My newest personal road bike is very similar to this one. The long head tube is to accomodate a higher handlebar position in accordance with the customer's instructions. I feel that most cycling related body ailments can be traced to the handlebars being too low, too close or both.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rita gets a bike

Only two of the photos I took of this frame were in focus. It's too bad because the welds on this frame were about as good as I can do. The tubeset is mostly Columbus Life....I don't use it much as it is a little light for riders about 150 lbs. but this rider is well shy of that. The result is a steel 'cross frame that is 3 lb.s, 11 oz. , not much more than the weight of an aluminum frame. The difference will be a bit more compliance in the ride and a little more shouldering room as the tubing is much smaller diameter. This is one of the few frames I have left to finish before 2010.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Accessorizing....white is the new black.

I'm so embarassed-Iv'e fallen prey to superficiality assembling this bike. Yes, it's really light, 15 lb.s , 15 oz. Yes, it's all the new stuff for the most part. And yes, I did pick out much of the components based on a color scheme. I'm still waiting for the white Easton stem. I had the shoes first ( Mavic ) and had to wait six months until the bike was built before I wore them. Today I'll debut the whole mess on the lunch ride. If I get dropped, I'll at least look fast all by myself on this white rolling fashion statement.

Friday, November 20, 2009

26" single speed for 140 mm shock

I was fortunate back in 2002 to get a huge stash of USA made Easton Elite 7005 aluminum tubing for MTB frames. When I got it I thought that it was unlikely that I would ever use it all. Now I'm finding that I am starting to go thrugh it rapidly as the hardtail revival has really come to my shop in a big way. of the last nine frames I have built four of them are 7005 hardtails, two 29ers and two for 26". This one has the full ADG kit. To explain for those who don't know, Mike Ahrens in San Jose designs the yokes and slider dropouts in this frame. He also designs all sorts of frames as well. Without Mike's frame hardware, this kind of frame would not be possible for me to build in any solid repeatable way. Mike's yokes and dropouts are US made ,complimenting the rest of the materials.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

7005 Easton 29er

The welder was not fighting me today so I thought I would put some photos of this nearly completed frame up. This frame is #7 out of 12 that I am attempting to build this month before going back to steel for the remainder of the year. Being a framebuilder means that I get to see everybody's frame when its in its shiny birthday suite. I haven't a clue what color this one will be but right now I like looking at it just the way it is. Too bad about corrosion......

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's a new model......really !

Here it is, fall and all the big bike companies have already shown the world all of their new stuff at the big trade shows. I'm too broke and too busy to go to any of these shows but that won't stop me from coming up with a new 2010 road frame with features not seen on my bikes until now. This frame is scandium with a carbon seatstay...something I have done for years but this time there's an integrated headset and a BB-30 shell. I'm hoping to get it built and rideable in the next week or so. The frame weighs a scant 2 lbs. 11 oz. so the whole bike has a good chance of being down in the 15 lb. range with the components I have to put on it, mostly 7900 Dura Ace. I had to modify my Paragon dropouts to take the carbon wishbone but it came out pretty clean.Reynolds does not make this seatstay wishbone any more so I'll have to source something else, possibly Dedaccai or Columbus. I'm hoping that this combo makes for a smooth ride without sacrificing the front end rigidity that I like so much.In case you are wondering , yes-I did put the frame on the floor to photograph it. Don't worry, it's my frame and it didn't get scratched....yet !

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This frame and fork are bound for the east coast. The tubing is that Tange NOS prestige extrastrong that I am quickly running out of. No discs on this one, it's all done in the classic style, save for the longer fork. If you look carefully at the chainstay photo you'll see a chain hanger a-la Columbine. I made sure it was out of the way of the spokes and should work-it's a first for me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Big steel 29er S/S in use

The tires ar big, the rotors are big, the bike is big and the rider is big.......the world in harmony. The slider dropouts make this the geared/single speed double-life bike.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Commuter bike with a southwest theme

I don't use the services of Spectrum powdercoats in Colorado often but with the quality of this paint job I might be re-thinking that. Pictures really don't do it justice. The details are spot on and the customer was really impressed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Big tire road frame for upstate New York

Seems like the frame that is right between a road racing bike and a cyclocross bike is gaining popularity all over the country. It's nice to have a bike that will take the big tires but still be pretty light and quick. This one is built of scandium for the most part and will have a steel fork. It may look like a cyclocross frame but it isn't......but if you had some 700x28 tires on it you could easily ride some dirt shortcuts on your way to wherever.

Frame for Chris King.......

Well, not that Chris King , but the one you might not know in Fresno. This steel Mountain bike frame will probably see a lot of the Sierra foothills. This detail of the aluminum dropouts is this weeks big brainstorm. Now I can offer a carbon seatstay with my Paragon hooded dropouts which unlike many aluminum dropouts should never be obsolete and hard to get replacement derailleur hangers for. I'm always happy when I figure out something.....

Here.s the discmount with the tubular brace that will keep the frame from bending from the force of the brake over time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September batch # 1

Most of this month has been devoted to building steel frames but the last two weeks will see the completion of the nine scandium frames on order. These five are all cyclocross frames, the last remaining late-order team bikes and one for a rival team. The next batch is also small like this one, only four frames and all of them are road frames. After that it will be 7005 for two weeks and back to steel for the remainder of the year. Anyone wanting a road frame for the 2010 racing season should see me soon......I'm booked up until mid January already.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Failing batteries have kept me from putting up photos as of late but here's this weeks finished frame-a single-speed cross bike in scandium. I made it for a racer on a rival team.....I guess I don't play favorites when it comes to building stuff that people want. The rear dropouts are from Ahrens bicycles and are the only ones made in 7005 in the U.S.A. . Mike Ahrens makes a lot of cool stuff for builders of aluminum frames...there aren't very many of us , so we really appreciate the thought that goes into the stuff that Mike makes for this small market.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something old and something new

Turn the clock back to 1988......this is Angelo's single speed , the third one I had built. It is almost all stock except for the SPD pedals....they are about 4 years newer than the bike. If the rear wheel appears to be smaller, it is. The 24" rear wheel was my attempt to make the bike accelerate with ease, yet have the ability to roll over obstacles with a 26" wheel up front.

Fast forward to 2009. This bike below is less than a week old and also has a smaller rear wheel. The 26" rear and 29" front setup makes a bike that can accelerate but still have the ability to roll over logs and washboard terrain with authority, or so the owner tells me. The owner rode the bike in the dirt for a distance before he realized that he had the front fork locked out.....the big wheel must really feel plush. The added tread on the ground makes for a noticable increase in hard cornering traction-a good thing when conditions are loose and dry, which they are now up here in Nor-Cal.

This bike will be now given the model designation "WTF" in reference to what folks will say when it goes speeding past..... If I remember right, that's what people said when I and a few folks went riding by on single speeds a little over 20 years ago.