Sunday, July 29, 2018

The shop is moving

 Yes, that's right. If you have been trying to call and the phone isn't working , that is correct- Comcast turned off my phone about 5 days early and has not been able to turn it back on again. With luck, the working phone and all of my shop will be at 719 Swift st. # 10 , about one block from the old location. I was not sure where I would wind up  but as luck would have it, an opportunity to remain in the same neighborhood came my way . Although the rent will triple I'll be happy to not have to re-locate somewhere far away and will like being in a newer more secure building.
 My shop is roughly the same size as the old shop but I'll have to get rid of a lot of old things what I have held onto for no good reason and my storage at the new shop is more limited now. I'm also trying to have a more open floor plan and a better work flow. For the last 22 years I have been in a very chaotic and cumbersome work environment. It is only my stubborn work ethic and energy level that has enabled me to build about 90-100 frames a year there. Now that I'm about to turn 63 I can't count on being able to summon up the same level of energy and/or stubborness. I am being ground down by this work and have to attempt to make things a bit easier on myself- you laugh......maybe thinking that my supposed idyllic job does not come at a physical cost. Well, believe it or not, it does. Just a few days ago I fell off a ladder during the move and got a concussion and a twisted ankle. In spite of this I'm still at it - against doctor's orders attempting to finish off the move.
Fortunately for me I have a big network of folks helping me with the heavy lifting as you can see in the photos. Much thanks to Kirk McNeil, Roy, Joey, Jamie and Q.Z. at the Mission industrial and special thanks to Jeff Traugott and Brendan for helping me through the worst. Also, big thanks to Greg Foy and Detlef Adam for getting the new site wired up and creating the much needed storage.
I hope to be up and running in about a week. Stay tuned, this move almost killed me but I'm amazingly not dead yet.

Monday, July 23, 2018

XS 29er for Chico, Calif.

 Seriously purple and very heavy duty, this - the smallest 29er I have ever built will see some punishing miles in the near future. Most of the tubing is from my ever diminishing stash of Easton NOS MTB tubes. Only the head tube and chain stays are not Easton.
 This is the one where I had to make the seat stay yoke myself as the supplier was out of stock for a really long time. It was a lot of machine work, not my forte but it turned out pretty nicely.
 This one is made for a Fox 100 mm shock and with the PF-30 BB it will also be able to run an eccentric for single speeding.
Here's the paint in the direct sun. It has some really nice blue metalflake.

Team tig SL CX for Saudi Arabia

 This frame was built for a grad student who should be just about done with his program as I write this. I'll be building it up this week-I started on it last week but the move got in the way a bit. There's now a Jen Green headbadge on it and the parts are slowly being added. I have about 10-11 frames to prep this week while I relocate the shop to the new location at 719 Swift st. , barely a block away.
 The colors and scheme are a product of the customer's looking at the many photos I have put up over the last couple of years. He distilled his design to what you see here. It looks nicer in person and will be the only one of my bikes in Saudi Arabia as far as I know. The King headset is a nice touch, along with the matching red seat clamp.

Shop move

yes, folks- this week and next will see the big move out of the old shop of 22 years. Now , just a block away I'll be in a much newer building and presumably  have a freshly re-organized and de-cluttered workspace. I have given away a lot of stuff and have recycled much old metal. I was really hoping to finish my career in the old shop but this move really had to happen if I wanted my customers to still have access to my shop. I'll have a more efficient work area and maybe even a display of small goods for sale- tee shirts, socks, bottles, stickers......never too late to improve the retail aspect- at least I hope that it isn't too late ! I'm sharing this spot with a really top-end wood worker-I'm taking the back part of the space while he will have the front section. A partial wall will separate the businesses. I'm planning on putting some bikes on the wall to give the place some flavor. The old shop really had a vibe to it from all the old fading posters, race numbers and dust of the last quarter century. The new shop will have little of that......its time for something new.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

CX race frame for a junior in Boulder, Colorado

This is the last frame in a batch of eight. I am nearly done with the pre-season CX builds, only one more aluminum and a couple more steel frames yet to build but the shop move looms large on the horizon. I might start moving as soon as next week. I'm really hoping that the shop will only lose a few days of productivity.
 This frame is Di II and has a flat mount rear brake mount. The weight is a scant 2 lb. 15 oz as it is only  a 44 cm frame for a very young rider. It is full race, though- just as serious a ride as what I build for people racing at the highest levels of the sport. Should make for some great photos.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Aluminum CX race frame for a team rider

 This is going to be a model on the new website ( when that finally happens- it's me who is holding up the process ) I'll be overhauling the range of frames so that they represent what I am building now. Frames like this and the road equivalent are most of what I build every week.
 The tubing is Dedacciai as usual and the dropouts and flat mount are from Ahrens designs. I feel lucky that these parts exist for a builder like me- there are probably only a few customers in the US who build with this stuff. I don't understand why there aren't more builders using aluminum .
 With luck this one will be in Louisville in December at the CX nationals , along with the rest of the team.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Aluminum single speed CX frame for bay area shop owner

 I was lucky to have one pair of Ahrens slider dropout bodies in stock to build this frame. The weight is not bad- 3 lb. 8 oz. for a frame with some hefty hardware in the rear triangle. This frame will be raced quite a bit.
 The top tube is my very last NOS US made Easton elite 34.8 diameter tube. I used to have boxes of these tubes but they are now totally extinct, at least in this size. The rest of the frame is Dedaccai 7000 series.
The seat stays are some s-bend Nova ones that I am using for the first time. The are pretty nicely bent and are stout enough for the hard use this frame will see.