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.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

what got in the way of your frame this week

I do like to stay diligent in the shop and get the work done on time but when the grapes are ripe everything stops for the harvest. Fortunate for me, I only have 16 vines so harvesting and the crush can be all done in a 24 hour period. The fruit was so sweet from the heat wave of the last week that it had to be harvested quickly before we wound up with a crop of raisins. These are Pinot Noir grapes and this is our second successful harvest after two years of mildew-infested unusable fruit we now have about 6 gallons of magnificent juice happily fermenting away in the cellar. If all goes well , March of 2010 will be the bottling date of the second vintage of Clos Trescony ( our street name) and perhaps 3 years of waiting will yield about 16 bottles of home made plonk.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

18 1/2 lbs. and it's steel !

This bike may be light but it isn't flimsy and it wasn't $ 5,000 either. I got a chance to build up my first Shimano 6700 Ultegra group on this bike and I am impressed with the shifting and braking on the new set. The hidden cables are new for 2010, something people have been wanting Shimano to do for years . Even without feather-wieght wheels this bike is about 18 lbs. 9 oz. , very good for a steel bike under $ 4,000. This one is going to the Monterey peninsula to be ridden on some of the most dramatic coastal roads in the western world.

Paragon slider mtb frame

There's framebuilding hardware and then there is really good framebuilding hardware. Paragon Machine works is definitely the latter with quality that cannot be matched by imitators from the pacific rim. This frame will be going to a local bay area rider who is rebelling from the dual-suspension thing and going back to a singletrack-oriented bike for the narrow trails and tight switchback turns of the Santa Cruz mountains.