Saturday, July 30, 2016

New steel road bike for the boss

The last time I built myself a steel road bike was 1999. It was Reynolds 853 and it had 9 speed Dura Ace on it and a 1" threadless carbon Kestrel fork. This bike will replace one of many aluminum road bikes I have ridden for the last 17 years. I have enjoyed riding the aluminum bikes but I felt that it was time for me to go back to steel, especially as I teach a steel tig welding class once a year at UBI. For the last 9 years my students have seen me show up on an aluminum bike and I have had to answer a lot of questions about it. Now there will be no need for that and the focus can be entirely on the subject of steel.
 The main tubes on the frame are as follows: Down tube is True Temper S-3. The top tube is True temper OX platinum. The seat tube and rear stays are columbus 'Life'. I chose these tubes so that the frame would wind up well under 4 lbs. but still be durable and feel stiff when pedaled hard, or at least as hard as I can pedal a bike. The whole thing weighs about 17 lbs. 8 oz, not bad for a steel bike without a super light set of wheels.
 Jen Green made me this Brass head badge awhile ago and I saved it for this particular bike. Nearly all the components came off of my previous bike as they were only about two years old and still were in excellent shape. Also, I can't afford to buy a new set of parts right now.........much as I have been very productive this year I am not in a very lucrative business. At least I get a new frame now and then !

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We have lost someone irreplaceable

There's a bike shop in North Carolina unlike any other in the world. There's a collection of old bicycles, in particular mountain bikes unequalled anywhere I have been. The man behind this convergence of mountain bike history was Jeff archer-he was just struck down by a drunk driver while he was crossing the street. His business partner Wes Davidson will have the monumental task of manning the helm at the immense shop that is literally the temple to all things bicycle. Jeff will be missed by the bicycle community greatly.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

disc brake road bike fully built

 This bike will be hitting the steep hills in Santa Cruz Co.  as this bike is for a local. He originally ordered it in 2014 but for financial reasons had to delay the build. After a lot of saving and planning, this is the result.
 The build is Ultegra 6800 with the exception of mechanical Rever CX1 brakes-a new product that is really easy to set up and might be the best mechanical disc out there. This is a demo set and if the customer likes it I'll order him a set and keep these for a demo bike. The hubs are XT 8000 and I was able to machine the freehub body to take the 6800 11 spd. road cassette. This isn't something that Shimano would be happy about but it was pretty easy to do on my metal lathe and I have seen other people do it successfully before I tried it myself. There just isn't a lot of affordable disc brake hubs out there that can take an 11 spd. road cassette.
The pedals, tires and saddle were provided by the customer. I built the wheels with Hed Belgium rims and DT 14-15 butted spokes.  The idea is to have a durable bike for steep ups and downs  while having a little old-world style.

Friday, July 1, 2016

something old, something new

 This disc brake road frame has the newer axle standard front and rear but it has some nods to ye olde tradition of frame building. The head tube collars and fork crown are things from the past.
 I call this color 'black light purple' and it is one of my favorites. It is impossible to see the depth of the color in a photo. It really lights up in the direct sun.
This bike will get a build of Shimano 6800 , XT hubs and the R-685 hydraulic brakes with mechanical shifting. I converted the rear XT hub to take an 11 spd. road cassette. How did I do it ? It helps to have some big machines in the shop. I had already heard about other folks doing this mod so I had to try it myself.