Saturday, March 29, 2014

30th anniversary bike built up

Other than the grips, this is the full and final build o this bike. Why not fillet brazed and fully rigid like the original 1984 edition ? All you would need to do is to take a one minute spin on either bike and figure out why I went with a more current formula. Hey-I would like to think that I have improved on what I built 30 years ago !
 The only nods to the original on this bike are the 26" wheels and the Tange Presige tubeset-now being re-issued after not being available to U.S. builders for over a decade. My opinion ? I'm really glad to have it back and if this set is typical of the quality , I will no doubt be using this tubing in the future. Not all the tubes are Tange-the seat tube and wishbone seatstays are the Nova brand and the head tube is from Paragon. All the other tubes are a sample set of Prestige-light stuff but not too light......just right for cross country Nor-Cal bikes.
 Why all the room above the tire ? This frame will also take 650 wheels-with a different fork I'll be able to check out 650's on the local trails. I have been building 650 bikes for nearly 10 years but have never had one myself.
The other reason for this bike to exist are all the parts.....they have been gathering dust on the shelves of my shop: Sid XX fork, Shimano MT 65 tubeless wheelset, Saint rear der. and shifter, Zee crankset.......the only things I had to buy were the brakes and the bar and stem and the flat pedals. This is my first bike with a 1x9 setup and flat pedals and I really like both a lot. The super tight spring in the Saint der. keeps the chain from slapping and the flat pedals allow me to ride the trails with any shoes.....this week-Vans-they really stick to the pedals like glue. Verdict : 26" is not dead ! The bike feels super quick and the steering is..... lets say......exciting ! I found myself nearly hitting all sorts of trees and stuff , just missing at the last second. Ahh.....memories of 1984 coming back.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aluminum road frame with a nod to tradition

 This rider has been on level top tube frames pretty much forever so when he ordered a frame from me he requested the same for this newest edition to his stable. The standard head tube and BB shell also don't veer from the pattern set many years ago , giving this frame a less bulky look than a lot of my current crop.
The wheelbase is a little longer than a standard racing frame  so it should be a bit steadier on bad roads and maybe a taste more compliant.
I really like what this customer requested and think that it is not purely nostalgic but a really functional and practical design.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Small 650 Mtn. frame for Ma.

 This frame will take a Fox 100 mm shock-it is my hope that it has enough standover for this 5'3" rider.
Smaller frames like this are a challenge to build, much more so than larger frames -this one really made me work. The customer requested a Columbus Zona tubeset, hence the absence of my familiar wishbone seat stays.
The result is something a hair under 4 lbs. and hopefully a fun ride on the rooty , twisty east coast trails.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tig S.L. big tire travel rame with S&S couplers

 The paint was not exactly the blue either I or the customer invisioned but it came out so nice that I think it will stay this color.
This sturdy little frame has a  Jen Green headbadge and a crowned fork. There are ender mounts where needed and rack fittings as well. It's built for the long trips.

Friday, March 21, 2014

29er single speed MTB rame and fork

It does not get much simpler than this: Fully rigid, not made for a shock fork, rim brakes-not even any bottle bosses. Even with this simplicity a frame and fork like this can take some time to build, especially if you want this clean of a look. 
The time spent yielded a classic single speed  that will be ridden on the trails in South Carolina.....a place I have never been but I imagine has a lot of great open space and twisty-rooty single track.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Single speed CX bike for local

This bike has it all......except for gears !  Belt drive, tubeless tires , Hydraulic disc brakes , PF-30 BB , Paragon slider dropouts, The new Easton ECX disc CX fork.
 Before the pedals went on the bike weighed in at 17.1 lbs.  This is pretty light for a steel bike with clincher tires. Looks like a fun rig that will be a popular build in the future.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

S-3 Columbus Life mix steel frame and fork for S.F.

Even the steerer and blades of the fork are light -the crown is hollow. My hope is that this frame builds up light and gives a really compliant but efficient ride. The owner of this frame rides quite a bit as he writes, photographs and produces films involving cycling. He opted for the Jen Green badge-normally I use about 4-5 of these badges annually. This month alone I have used 4......looks like a trend is starting.
This is pretty much a straight ahead road bike for up to 700x28 tires. No fenders, no racks ....probably a little dirt riding though. I suspect that this bike will be used on some 'Grasshopper rides in the bay area in the coming months. 
The pumm peg, chain hanger and fr. der. mount are classic steel frame features that are no-cost options .

Single speed 29er for Idaho

I like the panel/stripe motif that the customer requested on this frame. Most notable extras are the Paragon post-mount slider dropouts , 44 mm ID head tube and Jen Green sterling/copper headbadge. All USA stuff and the best I can get from folks I trust.
 That's what frame building in the Nor-Cal is all about.....trying to use as much local and/or small USA suppliers as possible. This is the way we keep our community alive and give our customers the best available materials. All I have to do is to honor both the customer and these great suppliers with my best effort in turning what I have on hand into frames that make people want to ride.
This is a pretty frame that is going to see some ugly days in the dirt !

Monday, March 3, 2014

7005 CX frame for Bishop, Calif.

 If you want to see what the team rides on these days look no further. This is a pretty traditional race rig-rim brakes , threaded BB and 1 1/8" straight steerer setup. There's nothing wrong with a basic solid setup that has worked well for at least 14 years on the race courses.
 I found some new downtubes from Nova cycles supply that are pretty bomber. They weigh a little more but that's a good thing. This frame is only 3 lb. 3 oz for a 5' 9" rider-plenty light for competition without being too fragile.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

30th anniversary Rock Lobster MTB frame

 Back in the spring of 1984 I built my first mountain bike frame for a friend. This friend was o.k. being the test pilot for my first effort at building a fat tire bike after building road and a few 'cross frames for the past six years. I was mainly doing framebuiling as a hobby at that point, selling about three to six frames per year.
This frame has only a tiny resemblance to the original 1984 edition and I'm sure that it will be a better riding bike when all assembled. I got the idea to build this one when I was handed a tubeset at the beginning of a framebuilder's ride/gathering a few weeks ago. The tubes are a re-issue of Tange Prestige, the best tubing of the '80s and '90's. When production o these tubes ceased about 12 years ago I was very sad at the prospect of having to use something else to build with. Since then many other companies have made some great tubes in steel with which to build custom frames but nobody really has produced a tube like the old Prestige...that is until now. On this frame the top, down tube and chainstays are the new Prestige, much the same quality and finish but with some updated features like linger tubes to make 29ers, s-bend chainstays with tighter bends to fit larger tires. I'm hoping to get more of these tubes soon. This frame will be for 26" wheels and will be a complete built bike soon. I will put up photos when it is rolling.