Friday, March 26, 2021

Steel 29er frame for Sierra foothills

I built a 29er frame for this customer in 2014. He was diagnosed with cancer while he was waiting for his build to come up. He got treatment and had me proceed with the build. He recovered from the cancer and rode the bike a lot over the last six years.
Right after he recovered from cancer he moved out of the area and up into the foothills as he had just retired from his job as a bus driver. The area where he lives was in the path of one of the big fires last year and he lost his house and the bike I built for him.

Fortunately, he had good insurance so the house will get rebuilt and he ordered a new frame. I'll be doing the full build if I can get the parts he wants- no easy task these days when everything is on backorder. Still, I feel happy that this customer will have one of my bikes again to ride in the sparsely populated woods where he lives. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Goodbye to my CX bike

 This was not an easy bike to let go-my race bike for most of my racing of the past 15 seasons. I had had it hanging on a hook for quite awhile and only pulled it down in the last few weeks. I did a few good rides on it and remembered what a good bike it was , especially as I had done a pretty complete tuneup of it before it was taken out of service for the most part. The only races I have ever won in CX (2) were on this bike. My best races were all on this bike- not to take anything away from my newer bike but I don't seem to go as fast any more. 

Since I have been getting ready to move my shop I have started letting go of things that I thought I would keep forever. This bike was one of those things-GX-2 Scandium made in the USA, the best non-ferrous material I have ever worked with and long out of production. I will not ever be able to replicate this frame again-I'll have to make the best out of what is available now. Someone came by the shop and was the perfect person to pass this bike on to so I do feel good about that. Goodbye, old was a hell of a ride as they say. I hope that the new owner has the same feeling when he rides the bike that I had all those years. 

All-road commuter-tourer aluminum frame with steel fork for N.Y. state

This frame and fork have a lot of fittings: Rack mounts, fender eyelets, generator light routing and three bottles. There's even a single mount for a rear light. 
This will be set up with flat mount disc brakes and should do a variety of duties. 
Sorry about the blur in this last photo- old guy with a cell phone syndrome. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

SSCX with geared option in steel

How about this ? Want to race.....want to commute.....want to just rally around ? Here's a way to do it all.
And yes- rim brakes are not dead. Looks like this one will get some sort of mini-V setup. There's something nice about simplcity-come to think of it I just rode my 15 year old rim brake CX bike today. I have been riding it a lot in the last couple of months after not touching it in nearly two years. 
As long as you aren't in the deep mud or going down some sketchy non-CX bike downhill rim brakes will work fine. Hey, that's just my take on it. Not saying anything bad about disc brakes or thru-axles or any of that's just that a good rim brake bike is still a good bike, even if it isn't the most modern.

Clear coated steel SS/Geared MTB frame

I usually don't like the plan of clear coating a frame without paint or primer but I know that this frame will reside in a relatively dry climate. There's powdercoat and wet clear as well as a painted on panel so maybe that will help keep the rust as bay. 
Along with the Paragon sliding dropouts, this frame has a sterling silver Jen Green headbadge. I used to order just a few of these each year. Now it seems like about half the frames get them. 


Steel gravel/CX frame with painted to match fork

This one is going to a local bay area rider who races CX . This will be Lobster # 3 for his family as his parents each have one. All three frames have custom Jen Green badges that they designed. 
The Enve G-series fork has been painted to match- a very popular feature for the last few years.
Here's a closeup of the headbadge with its California themed design. I think it looks great-I had nothing to do with the design idea. It always impresses me what people will come up with-maybe I'm working too hard and my imagination is shut down !


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Steel boost 29er for Washington state

Maybe 2021 will be the year of the 29er for me in my shop. I doubt that the MTB numbers will catch up with the gravel/CX numbers but there seems to be a bit of a trend here- 148 spacing and room for 2.6 tires. These features are paired with a rather steep (76 deg.) seat tube and a pretty slack (65 deg.) head tube. I have only ridden one bike like this and I didn't get a chance to really test it in the dirt but this formula is what people are asking for right now. 
A 29x2.6 tire will just fit in the back. I had to increase the length of the seat stays to make the tire fit. What I mean by that is that I actually had to add material to a tube that would have been too short. I'm going to ask the importer to spec a longer tube for future builds as I doubt that this style of frame is going away any time soon. If anything, frames like this will continue getting more extreme with larger tires and slacker front ends. 
Some of the tubing on this frame is Velo-Spec. This is a brand created by Fairing industrial when they bought up all of True Temper's old steel. Fairing shipped the steel to Taiwan where it was drawn into butted heat treated tubes and then shipped it back here. This steel has a bigger carbon footprint than some but the quality of the metal is so high that it is worth the trouble. I'm anxious to see what other tubes they come up with later this year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Steel frame and fork for Seattle with an interesting mix of features.

Take a good look at this one- yes, those are shifter bosses. Yes, those are flat-mount disc brake bosses. Yes, those are 12 mm thru-axles. This one will sport 26" wheels but it could just as easily fit 650.
This might be a commuter, could be for touring, could be for just exploring the forest. The idea is to have few limits to the purpose of this frame and fork. Oddly enough, it is a bit of a nod to the mid-90's style of frame that I built back in the Gross rd. shop- my first actual commercial location, although the word 'commercial' is a bit of a stretch- it was a tin hut in back of someone's house. It did have 220 volt power and about 440 square feet but it was a shack. I did wind up building about 300-odd frames before I moved to the west side. This is the shop where I really became a full time business. This frame echos those days a quarter century ago......


Sunday, March 14, 2021

650 gravel frame in steel going to So-Cal

Not an easy week for me with getting taxes together, a visit with the in-laws and a kidney stone. Not all of it painful but the kidney stone was a grim reminder that not drinking enough water is really stupid.
This frame is equipped with rack mounts and a fender eyelet on the bottom of the seat stay bridge. This one is made for 650x2" tires , although I'm sure that the tire of choice might wind up being in the 40-45 mm range. My own touring bike is similar except for the fact that this one will have a carbon fork and my own bike has a steel fork. 

 The rear der routing is on the underside of the seat stay so that it is out of the way of the rack mounts. Everything has a reason- and reasons happen for a reason.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Goodbye to my track bike

When there's an upcoming shop move , the occasion for a bit of purging is likely-especially if you have been at this work as long as I have. There are over 40 bikes in my shop and the prospect of moving all of them and finding places in the new shop to store them is making me lose my sentimentality to a large degree. While it was not easy for me to let go of this particular bike, I can say that it is going to a good home. The new owner has plans to race the track in nearby San Jose-something that I never did. 
When I built this bike it was with the intention of making regular trips to the velodrome - the Los Gatos junior development team that set me up with all that I needed to build this bike were super generous and very encouraging to me. I wound up only making one trip to the track . I had a great time riding and really feel that I could probably be better racing there instead of cyclocross-a sport that in spite of my enthusiasm , little success has been realized with only a couple wins in 20-odd seasons. 
I guess I'll never know what I could have or could not have done as a track racer but hey-you can't do it all. I have spread myself very thin for decades now and letting go of this track bike will hopefully start a thinning of an overly large collection of bikes. Stay tuned- there will be others .......

Saturday, March 6, 2021

29er Boost single speed/geared for Idaho

I think if I were to build myself another MTB frame it would be a SS 29er. Everyone who has one is telling me that the wheel size really lends itself well to the single speed ride. This one has Paragon Machine works Rocker dropouts to get the chain tension dealt with. 
The frame maxes out at a 2.5 rear tire but mostly this rider will opt for narrower cross-country tires.
Most of the tubing on this frame is USA made-from the Vari-Wall down tube to the NOS True Temper bi-oval OX top tube , a relic from the days when True Temper was making steel for the Trek company. The frame also has dropper post routing and will take a 31.6 seat post. This is very much the formula for MTB frames that I have been building for the last few years. This one is made for a 120 mm fork and has a head angle of 68 1/2 degrees- pretty much the magic cross-country head angle for 29 and 27.5, at least in my experience. The front end has the ability to maneuver quickly but is still rock solid at high speed. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

steel gravel frame with carbon fork for So-Cal

You are looking at the most popular frame currently in my catalog- steel frame with carbon Enve for painted to match. This is capped off with a Jen Green copper headbadge.The standard features are tapered head tube, flat mount disc brake attachment with internal down tube routing, Enve G-series fork painted to match.
This one is a really nice medium blue and the paint match is very good on the fork. The paint process on the frame and fork are not the same so they cannot be painted at the same time with the same paint. This makes the matching of the color critical-lucky for me I have two painters who are adept at this: Allan Neymark and Joe's bicycle painting.

 The last option on this one are the rear rack mounts-also becoming a more popular addition. Maybe with Covid people have time to plan bike tours for the time when we can do that again.

Steel 29er frame for South County local

Only a few years ago MTB frames were somthing that I hardly ever got orders for. Back in the '80's and '90's , they were the majority of my work load. The trend toard full suspension and carbon fiber pretty much wiped out the market for custom rigid MTB frames,at least in my case. 

That was then and this is now- slack angles, boost spacing and steel-that is what seems to be what people want from me now. Last year I think I built maybe 6-7 of this style frame in 29er and 27.5 but this year looks to double that. It could be that the MTB frame will again be a major part of my annual work tally.
Features from the '80's and 90's are still there to a degree- down tube gussett and wishbone seatstays are things I have been doing since 1987- they worked then and they still work now, although with the larger profile tires getting room for the larger treads takes some extra work. Because of this I'll be raising the price on frames like this-it makes sense as they take quite a bit more work to produce. This one also has the internal seat tube dropper post routing. I'm doing what I can to stay current with the features that are in demand in 2021.