Friday, January 29, 2021

Steel classic road frame and fork for Burlingame

From the Columbus tubes to the crowned fork, this frame is an example of a frame style I have been doing for three decades. Before this style I only built lugged road frames and a few fillet brazed.
The paint is from Dark Matter finishes and is really stunning in the sun. The customer opted for non-powdercoat and the wet-applied paint really does show off the details. The frame is capped off with a Jen Green silver head badge.
About 8-10 years ago I had a frame like this that go submitted to the now defunct Bicycle Times magazine. I miss that bike- I really rode the heck out of it. I hope that this customer enjoys the ride of this one.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The largest steel road frame I have ever built

The rider of this frame is just a hair under 7'.  The fitter gave me some numbers that were off the chart and I knew that building this frame and fork would take all the brain power and resourcefulness that I could muster.
For one thing, with an effective top tube of 740 mm there were not many tubes long enough to build the frame. I was lucky that I had stocked up with some 38mm Vari-Wall down tubes-these worked well for the top and down tube. The head tube stock I was able to get in a 3' length.
There's really too much to talk about in the process of making this frame a reality- I had to use two frame jigs and figure out ways to make tooling work that was never intended for something on this scale. I am fortunate that I have a lot of tools and years at my disposal to attempt a build like this. I hope that the rider is pleased with it. It might be the only bike he has ever ridden that was big enough.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Steel disc brake road bike for Pacific Grove

Currently there's a real problem getting components for complete bike builds. To build this bike I had to be resourceful getting all the parts - the original plan was a full Ultegra build with some wheels from a small company.
If you look,you won't see much Ultegra stuff, only the brake calipers. I was able to get Dura Ace levers to mate up with the calipers but really had to improvise on the derailleurs. Front is a 105 and the rear is a Metrea......ever hear of it ? It's 11 speed and it does pretty much the same thing as a short cage Ultegra. I could not get an Ultegra or any Shimano crank but fortunately Praxis works is just down the street from me and their stuff is fantastic. I got some Shimano RS-770 wheels and they are set up tubeless. There's  lots more scrounging stories with this bike but I won't bore you with was a real journey but it is a rolling bike.


Monday, January 18, 2021

7005 CX frame for San Fransisco

This one was built to replace a frame that was destroyed by a collision with a car. The fade paint was done by Joe's bicycle painting in Watsonville, Calif. I think that they have the '90's fade faithfully replicated on this one- looks like an Ibis from that period.
The Enve G-series fork has been painted to match-as you can see, the location of the fade on the frame and fork matches up well. I'm hoping that the rider of this frame is luckier with riding in traffic than he was with the last edition.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Junior team CX race frames

I think there's probably 3-4 Nor-Cal district champions on our junior CX team. Both of these guys are real talents and hopefully 2021 will see a CX race season. Both of these frames are 7005 aluminum and weigh about 3 lbs.
I'm starting off 2021 with a small batch of aluminum but will go right back to steel soon, maybe next week. The steel side of the list is over twice as long as the aluminum side now so I really need to get rolling . I have made plans to shrink my work schedule a bit but those plans have not been implemented quite yet. With the upcoming shop move I really have to keep things going for awhile- maybe by the time I get into my new shop I can breathe a bit easier. Being a senior citizen has made me think that my capacity for doing so much is decreasing and I really don't want to hit the wall- I would like to keep the quality level as high as possible ........that does not happen when one is stressed to meet unrealistic deadlines. I hope that everyone can be patient !


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Special orders don't upset us....

At least in this case it was not upsetting. A local rider requested a rim-brake steel CX frame and fork with a few non-standard features. For one, the fork is a crowned design- one which I do build regularly but not that much for this type of frame. Next feature that is seldom part of a CX frame are the wishbone seat stays.
While these things might not appear on most of my steel CX bikes they are well within my comfort zone to do and they don't take away from the functionality of this frame. The fork looks like it has chrome accents but it is actually a powdercoat color called 'Superchrome' . It really has the look of nickel plating. I'm not sure how durable it is but it looks pretty nice in this case. It might be fun to build a lugged track frame and fork and have the whole thing with this finish. Maybe that might happen later this year, provided it does not get in the way of fulfilling orders for people on the list.
The frame also has three sets of bottle bosses and there are eyelets for front and rear racks. Perhaps there's a bike tour in this frames future.