Wednesday, April 29, 2020

aluminum 29er non-boost

 This one is for a teenager-a girl who races MTB and cyclocross in Colorado. It is definitely a cycling family as the kids and dad all go to the races and compete. Let's hope that there's an actual season this year- if not, next year will surely see the debut of this 3 lb. 14 oz. cross country frame.
 It is built for a 100 mm Fox fork. Nearly all the tubing in NOS Easton Elite with only the chainstays and head tube being Dedacciai 'Fire' 7005. This should be a very durable frame.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

April is aluminum month

 Not the whole month but last and this week I'm building a run of 7005 frames. The first one is going to Portland, Or. and will be in the deep mud of the next CX season, whenever that is.
 The frame is for a tall rider and has a 44 MM ID head tube in order to get the full 200 MM. The integrated head tubes I usually use top out at 185.
This next one will live in Santa Barbara some times and in Spain the rest of the time-again, whenever the next CX season starts. This is the current version of my team CX, the constantly evolving frame that I first started building in 1992. Back then it was steel but now it is 7005. I still do build a lot of steel CX frames but for the dedicated race-only frame this is what they are- light , stiff and simple.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Steel gravel frame for So-Cal.

In spite of the current virus situation I'm still at the shop building frames. The front door is shut and I am not open to the public or taking in walk-in work such as repairs or modifications. That said, I have about 40-odd frames on the list. Some of these frames might get postponed as there are folks who are losing their jobs or are in situations where a new custom bike isn't a good move financially. This makes for some of the bikes getting done ahead of schedule and this frame is no exception.
 The tubing is a little smaller diameter than what I would use in a larger frame to hopefully give the ride a bit more compliance. The frame is also fitted for three bottle cages with one under the down tube where it can't be seen in these photos.
The customer opted for down tube der. cable routing so there are no guides on the top tube giving it a clean look. I have not weighed this one yet but it feels pretty light. It is a mixture of Columbus tubes with some light stuff in the rear triangle. My goal is to produce two frames a week and use whatever time is left for some older projects that have been hanging in the shop too long. The result of these old projects getting done will be a fleet of old bikes that will be for sale. The bulk of these bikes will be older European makes but there will be some old bikes that I built. I have to move my shop in a few months so don't be surprised when you see some interesting stuff come available.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

CX race frame for Australia in 7005

 I stayed late at the shop last night to get this one done- very much like a normal team frame except that it has enhanced rear tire room for up to 700x45 tires. The need for the extra room is driven by the fact that the owner will not only be using this frame for CX events but will also be hitting some of the gravel races as well- places where you will not be using your light CX tires.
 The head tube on the frame is the 44 MM ID version, not the integrated style as on the team frames. This might be on the frame as the owner is likely a fan of the King Inset-7 style headsets- maybe seen to be a bit more durable than the integrated style over time. I'm not sure that is 100% true but there's nothing wrong with a little more metal where the stress is highest.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

This weeks work- two steel frames

 There's a shelter in place order here in Santa Cruz but part of my 'shelter in place' is my isolation in the shop. I am not open to the public now and I work alone. I go home for lunch, ride by myself and connect with the outside world with my phone. I feel very fortunate that I have work and have a situation- at least for now where I can continue with my frame building.
 This of course could change any day- there could be a worsening of the pandemic and I might have to shut down for a time. For now it is full speed ahead with fulfilling orders. These two frames were built this week. # 1 is a single speed 650 boost frame for a bay area rider . I'm really proud of this one. Since I have beed sequestered there are virtually no interruptions to the work flow and stuff is coming out nicely.
 This one has rocker dropouts. The right insert will not have a der. hanger- I was just using this insert for fixturing while welding.
 Frame # 2 is a gravel frame for Asheville, NC. This one is becoming my most popular steel frame. This one is the tenth that I have built in this style out of a total of 28 frames so far for the year- this total includes about a dozen aluminum frames so it looks like at least half of the steel frames I build in 2020 will be this model. The features are room for 700x45 tires, flat mount brake with internal down tube routing and tapered head tube. All of my disc brake frames are made for thru-axles as this is what is the industry standard. Thru axles are also a good safety feature as well.
 My goal of building two frames a week might not be met for some weeks of the year as I am likely to do another shop move in the summer. The economic conditions have hit some people hard and the person I share my shop with cannot afford the rent any more. He will move and now I will have to as well. When I do get situated I'll be hopefully getting a larger space and will make room for a vintage bike showroom and business. I'll be selling old bikes-not just the ones I have built. In the last several decades I have wound up with so many old bikes and parts that it has turned my shop into a bit of a museum. I think that it is getting to the time when I should pass a lot of these cool old bikes along and have a less cluttered shop. More on this in the coming months.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

2006-2007 team bike for sale

 This one is about a 52, good for a 5'7" rider. As you can see it has the full team build with Fizik Arione custom order saddle and the gold Paul's brakes.
 This bike was once the bike of Stella Carey who won more races on the team than any other rider in the 15 seasons the team has existed. She had a total of three bikes so this one is looking pretty fresh still.
 If you are interested contact as he is the present owner and has the bike. He's also on the team and does timing at many of the central coast races so if you are a local racer, chances are you have seen him. If you were racing about 10-15 years ago, you probably saw the bike as well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Full race CX frame for Irvine, Calif.

 There isn't that much of a CX scene in So-Cal but the few who race are very into it. This frame might get used in some of the local races in the greater LA area and who knows.....maybe up here in Nor-Cal as well.
 This one will be set up with Shimano Di II, just like the world cup bikes. I hope that the owner has a lot of fun miles on it.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Maybe the last of its kind

 The Al Carbon' road frame was the mainstay of my road frames from 2003-2010. I have not built many in the last decade as the manufacturers of the carbon parts have decided to no longer produce what I need to build these frames.
 Last fall I got a request for one and fortunately had the stuff to make one more. This one has the fork and carbon seat stay painted to match the frame so it is hard to tell this from other road frames I build in aluminum but trust me, it is different. Up until a couple of months ago this style of frame was my main ride .

This one is going to a bay area rider- I hope that he likes this- the most evolved version of this frame and possibly the end of the line for this model.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Covid-19 update

Maybe some of you might be wondering what I have been doing for the past month. I have still been working , building and shipping out frames. The difference is now that I eat lunch at home, rarely drive and have the door shut- I have to be closed to the public until the shelter-in-place instruction has been lifted. I'll continue working until a more absolute decree is implemented.  Here's a sample of what has been built in the shop recently- a complete Alfie town bike for Santa Barbara. This will be in the shop for the month as there's little chance that anything will get picked up until the virus has started abating. This bike has lots of features- a large basket for carrying a small dog, a fender mounted rear light, leather saddle and grips, a Wald rear rack with wooden platform, A very bright halogen headlamp driven by the Alfine front dynamo hub.
 Next is a boost 29er frame for N.C.  This one is 7005 aluminum, much of it from my NOS Easton stash. I still have some seat tubes and down tubes and some square seat stays. I figure that I'll be able to make about 20 more of these before the supply is all gone. The chain stays are Dedacciai 'fat-bike' style- something new that I really like a lot. I'll be able to use these for all the aluminum boost frames in the coming years, assuming that # 1, I survive the virus era and # 2, people still want frames like this from me.

 The same customer is N.C. also ordered this CX frame with a painted to match Enve fork. This is also aluminum but all Dedcciai tubing, as are most of the CX, gravel and road frames that I build.
 My posting to this blog has been limited as of late and does not really fully show all that I have been building so far this year. The total frames built since Jan. 1 is about 24 frames . The year started out busier than any in my history but with things as they are, I might run out of work some time in the late summer. It is also likely that I will be moving my shop yet again as the person with whom I share the space is having to move. It is possible I might be moving back to the building I occupied from 1996-2018. If that happens , I'll be paying less rent and hopefully be able to ride out this difficult time and with luck, come out the other side still in business.
I appreciate all the support and business I have gotten from everyone and hope that all of you out there are able to survive and cope with probably the most significant health crisis of our generation. I don't want to get all political about what has and what has not taken place to try to keep us all safe but I will say this: We should look to each other to take care of our population at large. All of us should really think about our own exposure and our exposure to others. I don't really have any contact with people other than going to an outdoor farmers market once a week. I work alone and ride alone- my wife is the only person I see and she is on work furlough for the next two months and has as little contact with people as I. We stay connected to friends and family by email and phone. This is the way that it has to be. We do try to support our local businesses by ordering take out once or twice a week. This is going to be a rough ride for sure but if everyone behaves it will be less horrific than the last go-around of 1918. If you want to know how bad it can get, there's a video on youtube called "We heard the bells" . It is a very tough watch but important for people to see. Many mistakes were made back then- mostly fueled by arrogance and ignorance. It is my hope that we as a people have evolved enough not to repeat the mistakes of 1918.

Hope that you all stay well- Paul.