Thursday, June 27, 2013

'cross frame for Wisconsin

 Other than the downtube cable routing this is pretty much a typical 7005 'cross frame. There's a small headtube extension and the chainstays are a few mm's longer than stock . The frame will have a variety of uses besides racing- gravel grinders and the like. The heat tube will accommodate a tapered steerer fork.
 This is the first frame fully built in the new jig. I'm getting used to the new order of tasks.....really reminds me of the method used where I teach. There's nothing wrong with the way I used to do things but the new jig is opening up possibilities of  refinement in time management.
Oh, other feature on this frame that is unusual-the seat slot is on the front of the seat tube, a blast from the MTB past.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Single speed 'cross frame for Kansas

 Inspite of the disc tab on the dropout slider that you see in the photo, this is not a disc brake frame. The inserts are installed for building purposes. The final inserts will look a little different-simpler and no disc tab.
 This is a dedicated single speed 'cross frame for a tapered steerer fork and it is going to Leawood, Kansas-the middle of the country. There have been a few National CX races in Kansas City over the years so there is a bit of a scene out there- It can get really cold.
My hope is that the owner of this frame will find it suitable for the type of terrain and climate of the area. I'm not sure how the bike will handle a tornado.....might be a bit light for that.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"cross frame for so-Cal does double duty

 This frame is pretty much a normal 7005 aluminum race model with a 44 mm i.d. head tube and a PF-30 bottom bracket.
The thing that will make this one do the job of two frames is an adaptor eccentric that fits into the PF-30 shell. This allows the frame to be run as a single speed without a chain tensioner. The owner of this frame requested the setup. I'm curious to see how it will perform.
This frame has one of my last 7005 NOS US  made Easton 40 mm downtubes. By next week I will have used the last one. Time to source something else after all these years. I still have about 70 top tubes. I will not stop building aluminum frames no matter how much the industry markets carbon fiber.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tig S.L. 'cross bike built up with 700x43 tires

This bike even has a handbuilt stem. The tires are Bruce Gordon Rock'n road tires, big and cushy.
 This bike will be seeing a lot of miles in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Neon steel 29er built up.

The bike is all XT and I built the wheels with Mavic 717 rims. The fork is a Fox 100 mm. The 2x10 drive train is pretty much the stock setup on all 29ers I build.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lugged road frame ready to go to the painter

 After waiting a week for the last two braze ons, I'm at last done filing on this frame. Since it was June of 1978 when I completed my very first frame ( which I still have and ride occasionally ) I will call this the unofficial 35th anniversary frame. The owner does not know that I'm doing this but I don't think he will have a problem with the title of his new ride.
 I used some double oversize lugs from Nova cycles supply and found them really nice to work with. I feel lucky that stuff like these lugs are available so that I can take an idea from a customer and make it happen.
 I grafted diamond footings onto the 'V' shaped brake bridge......this was a first for me with this style of brake bridge......the parts are not supposed to fit together-hah !
The braze ons that delayed completion of this frame are visible on the underside of the dwontube. Yes, those are the Llewellyn stainless STI adjusters for a 35 mm downtube, also ordered from Nova. Every piece of hardware on this frame is top notch, right down to the Henry James stainless dropouts. Yes, I do say that I hate stainless but there are some stainless bits of frame hardware that don't fight me too fiercely in the building process.

HD 29er for local rider

 Here's the least the downtube. This frame has a bi-oval NOS Easton 'Rad" downtube. I think I still have about three boxes of these monsters. The wall is so thick I don't think you could dent it with a hammer unless you were really swinging it.
 That said, this frame still comes in at less than 5 lbs. There are the two Ahrens yokes and rectangular stays.Other than the chainstays and headtube, this is all NOS Easton Elite. I seem to have lots of this MTB stuff still around. I'm getting really lean on road frame tubes and will now have to source some other stuff after this 11 frame batch.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

29er for Los Gatos, Calif.

 This summer seems to be all about bringing back the '80's so I guess it wouldn't be complete without a neon blast from the past. This finish used to be really popular 1988-89. It is rarely done on my frames these days but maybe it is coming back.
 This is a steel 29er frame that will get an XT build with a Fox 100 mm fork and shop built wheels.
The frame has the fittings for a rear rack as this rider might do some wilderness camping.

Aluminum road frame , extra small

 This frame is for the guy who has been my book keeper for about 28 years. He's really good at what he does and I appreciate his good work over the years. I hope he appreciates the bike I am constructing for him.
 It might look like a dirt jumper but it is a 13 1/2" road frame. The top tube is 54.4 cm as this guy has an inseam of 26 1/2 inches so he is mr. torso extreme at 5'4 1/2".  The frame weighs 2 lb. 11 oz and will be built up with the new Ultegra 6800 group. I'll probably build the wheels as well.
The bike will see most of its duty in Carmel Valley and on the Big Sur coast......pretty incredible riding all around.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tall 'cross frame for L.A.

 This rider is about 6'4" if I remember right. He opted for the S.L. version that will take big tires.
 This will be a versatile bike and good on the trails. The frame will also take front and rear racks and fenders.
An unusual request was for a steel custom stem. I only build a few of these each year and this one will take a 31.8 mm handlebar.

Homage to the Bridgestone MB-1

 This customer has been riding a Bridgestone MB-1 for nearly 30 years. He decided that it was time to replace it with a 29er but he didn't feel the need for a new look-rather a more sentimental look. I had nothing to do with the paint scheme but I think it might be a stroke of genius-more people heve been talking about this bike than anything I have built in quite some time.
 This is a steel 29er with all XT equipment , shop built wheels, Fox fork and Easton post,stem and bar.

'cross frame for Florida with all the trimmings

 There's a lot of options on this frame. For one, there's the ability to use two different brake systems. Also, the bike will be happy geared or single speed. Racks and/or fenders can be mounted.
 The pearl white panels are another option. In sort, this is kind of a do-anything bike. The cantilever brake bosses can be removed when the bike is set up with disc brakes.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More photos of the lugged frame in process

 I used my nicest hardware on this one. I'm nearly done but I was short a couple of braze-ons for the gear cables. I had to order them and it will delay completion of the frame until Monday.
 I bronze brazed the seat lug and seat stays. I always do this as I want everything to hold together for many many years. It is a challenge to braze this cleanly , especially for a guy who has not built a lugged frame for a few years.
I'm pretty sure that this is the most refined frame of its kind that I have built. It is simple and clean but there was a ton of filing on the lugs prior to brazing . I really am enjoying the process of putting this one together.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lugged frame......continued.

 Today was 'complete the front triangle' day. I normally can put together a tig welded front end in a couple of hours. This was an all day job and really, I had started it yesterday !
Fitting does not take that much time......that is until you add the lugs. The angles are seldom correct so some persuasion is needed-a bit of blacksmithing to get the lugs to cooperate. 
 The other part of the equation is all the filing to make the lugs thin and elegant. This is not something needed for structural purposes but if someone is paying me to make a lugged frame, I owe them some elbow grease as part of the deal.
 I got a nice cut on my right hand from this little bastard......all part of the experience.
Here's the final fit up. Now it is a bit of prep and then light the torch.

Lugged frame started

 Every micron of the surface of these lugs will be sculpted. I'm not looking to change the look of the lugs, only to refine it. These lugs actually have a pretty nice look out of the box but if someone is paying me to build a frame like this I feel duty bound to really spend the time to make it as nice as I can. this frame will take about 3-4 times the labor of a welded frame and I will devote most of this week to getting it together.
 This is the final fit up before brazing. I'm using some silver on this lug but will use bronze on the seat lug and some of the other attachments. The fit of the tubes in the lug is pretty nice-just right for silver solder. I burnt a bit of the has been a few years since I have brazed lugs. Removal of the flux will reveal how good a job I did.

First batch of summer aluminum ready to ship

This is what a few weeks in the shop looks like in a pile. I boxed them all up to send to the heat treater yesterday. These frames are mostly 'cross but there are a few road frames as well. I'll start another batch in a week.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

CX frame for a new addition to the team

 I used to race against this rider years ago. More accurately, when I started CX racing, this particular rider used to lap me nearly every weekend. I was always impressed with how natural he looked in an event where most people were visibly uncomfortable and struggling. He's one of those racers who makes it look easy.
 He never raced on anything but steel bikes. Now he will have this frame, a 7005 Eaton ultralite 2 lb. 15 oz. version. I really hope it feels like something that he can return to racing on after a several year layoff . Most likely this will have a single chainring with double guards, hence the extra crimp on the drive side chain stay.
This frame is made with the lightest tube set I currently offer and is only a few ounces heavier than the scandium version of years past. No I get to ride in a supportive role for this rider......I hope I can just stay out of his way !