Friday, December 30, 2022

Last frame of 2022 and another frame builder garage sale

Hugh Enochs built his first frame in 1961 when I was six years old. Now he is in a care facility with parkinson's and is no longer capable of working. This has left his wife with quite a task- figure out what to do with all of his accumulation from being in the bicycle business for a half century. These boxes of tubing represent a tiny fraction of what he has stored in the garage. I went there at the urging of one of my customers to maybe buy some materials left over from when Hugh was building frames . I took what I could- not all of it is useful but there's enough there that will be fun to turn into bike frames.
What you see here is a frame and fork made almost entirely with matrials from that garage sale. This is also the last frame of the year and a project that really does not have much of a reason to exist other than that between Christmas and new years I like to build a frame or two out of old materials in the manner I did when I first started 44 years ago. 
This frame and fork are meant to mimic the style of frame that was built in the '70's in  Italian prisons ( or so the legend says..) Brands such as Atala, Ideor ,Lygie and others were supposedly produced in prisons in Italy for export , mainly to the USA. These frames were not built with a lot attention to detail but they had their own sort of charm. I used a set of lugs I got off of Ebay for $ 14.00 and the tubing was out of the boxes in the photo. The fork crown was one I bought from the late Art Sump in about 1993-1994 , along with the BB shell. The dropouts are fairly modern and they can still be purchased from Nova cycles. The tubing however is very old, some of it from the '60's . There's a good chance that much of this stuff was old when Hugh got it. Frame building supplies tend to get passed down and some of the tubes have a very long wait to be utilized. Some times they never get used and wind up in recycling or landfill. I'm trying to use all the stuff I get, even if it means building something that has no purpose other than to just be a bike- a bike that will some day be much more useful than a pile of old tubes 
I'll be interested to see how this one rides. It is make for longer reach caliper brakes and up to a 700x35 tire. Maybe this one will see a little can only hope. Happy new year, everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Aluminum track frame with steel fork going to Iowa

This one will be velodrome bound. This is the the aluminum version of the "mass start " track frame. There isn't much available in carbon track forks so I opted to build a custom steel one to match up with this frame.


Aluminum road frame going to S.F.

The customer asked for paint, not powdercoat so if you like the finish on this frame , that's the reason it has the look. There are a lot of great powdercoat colors but nothing exactly like this one.
The fork was painted at the same time as the frame so the match is perfect. It almost has a Masi Gran Criterium look to the gold metallic with the black and yellow decals. 


Monday, December 19, 2022

Steel cross country MTB frame for a local

This one is not made for really big tires but it does have boost spacing. It also has an integrated style head tube. The advantage is with less headset stack the head tube can be a bit longer and less overlap of the tup tube is needed to fit both tubes on the back of the head tube. 
Much of the steel on this frame is US made. The top tube is NOS True Temper and the down tube is Velospec made from surplus True Temper steel that was drawn into tubes in Taiwan , then sent back to the US . You might say that these tubes have a larger carbon footprint than the original but if you want this US made steel, Velospec is currently the only way to get it. 


Friday, December 16, 2022

SSCXWC prototype frame in steel

Yes- the shop may be closed this month but that does not mean that I won't be doing some work . This is a project that I wanted to do as next November the SSCXWC will be coming to Santa Cruz and I wanted to make a commemorative frame for it. The idea is that the winners of the event will each get one of these. I'll get them painted a special gold and will try to cook up some nice graphic touches and maybe a custom headbadge from Jen Green. I'll have to try to design one soon as this frame will be ready for it in a matter of a couple weeks. I'll try to have a fully built bike in the next two months. I'll do a special blog post then.
Notice that this one does not rely on an EBB for chain tension adjustments but uses a pair of the Paragon "rocker" dropouts. I could have gone with the sliding dropouts but they are heavier, more expensive and don't have quite as sleek a look. The 29er single speed I built for the Chris King guest house show had the same dropouts.
Nothing all that special about this frame. I though that I wanted to do something a little more ornate but eventually went with the functional look of my normal tig welded steel CX frame. This one is special because it is tied to a specific event that changes location every year. It is a major coup for the locals to have it land in Santa Cruz.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Steel road frame

Rim brakes and mechanical shifting will be how this bike is built up. The frame will be mated to an Enve non-tapered 50 mm rake fork. I put an extension on the head tube as the rider has had a history of neck pain. Hopefully the more upright position will help.
The rider os about 5'3"and very light so this frame did not need to be built with heavy tubing. The weight pf the bare frame is 3 lb. 7 oz. and should build up very light.


Gravel frame in steel with painted to match fork

Ahh, King headsets are back in stock and I can get them again ! It has been a long wait but this customer's patience was rewarded with the rare gold tapered 'Nothreadset' - a great addition to this frame.
Another nice touch is the Jen Green badge in bronze. I have to re-order as I have now sold through all the badges in stock. 
As you can see, this one has rear rack mounts and is set up for mechanical shifting.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Shop will be closed for the month of December

 Thats right- I'm doing inventory, going to the CX nationals and re-booting the shop for 2023. Don't worry- I'm not quitting. My plan for 2022 was to build 70 frames.......I have built 85 so far. I think I am maybe trying to do too much so this time off I'll be figuring out a way to make everyone happy but do a better job in the shop and waste less moves. I had some issues this year, all due to working too fast. I hope that I learned from this.........time will tell !

Friday, November 18, 2022

Steel 'Ultimundo' road frame in a disc version

I have only built a handful of these so far. Since there's no more S-3 tubing I have switched to Columbus Spirit and Life to get the weight of the frame down. I ovalized the 38 mm down tube so that it resembles the S-3 that I used to use when True Temper was still making bicycle tubing. The frame should ride the same as the S-3 version as all the other tubes in the frame are the same as the original version.


CX frame going to Chicago

This one is pretty light. The customer supplied the fork when I couldn't get one- wouldn't you know that a couple of days after this fork arrived I got my shipment.........oh, well- they will all go on frames before the end of the month. The fork was painted to match by Joe's bicycle painting in Watsonville- he also repairs carbon frames.
My last Jen Green bronze badge is on this frame so I'll have to order more. I think that 2022 has been the biggest year so far for head badges.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Steel big tire gravel frame- almost a drop bar MTB

This is one for the backwoods and it is going to Gunnison, Colorado. Think what you will about the proportions of this frame - the customer has gotten a couple other frames from me and this is the shape that makes him comfortable. There's nothing more important regarding making cycling more enjoyable than having a bike that feels like home- one that you don't have to get used to. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Steel fixed gear commuter

This one will see street use, hence the brake bridge but it has typical mass-start geometry so it should still feel like a track bike and be ok for the velodrome. 
I got to use some Columbus aero seat stays that I have a small stash of . On this frame they fit well and make the look of the frame a little distinctive. I'll be building a steel fork for this frame tomorrow. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Aluminum road bike for a 6'7" rider

It took the better part of 6 months to get all the parts, even had to hunt down a few items today to replace stuff I ordered by mistake. Yes, it was a really painful process getting this one on the road but lucky for me, the customer was really patient. His patience will be rewarded with a really unique bike that should be a lot of fun to ride.
The build is Ultegra Di II 12 speed with the new wireless shifters. This is the first 12 speed build done in my shop- I guess I'm a bit behind the curve but I'm trying to catch up. I have one more complete build for this month and it will be the last of the year.


Friday, November 4, 2022

Steel boost 29er with sliding dropouts for a local.

This one is extra beefy . I get the impression that it will be ridden hard- it has a 76 deg. seat angle and a 66 deg. head angle and the shortest chain stays I could do for a frame that is meant to hold up to a 29x2.6" tire. 


Monday, October 31, 2022

Two older bikes for sale for a 6'3" rider

One of my customers is cutting loose of his bikes. # 1 is a very early "team issue" fillet brazed MTB with an XT 7 speed group. It has a RockShox Mag 21 that still functions . It is pretty much a time capsule to this period before SPD pedals and many other things that have been MTB innovations. The frame has a  560 seat tube c/t/c and a 595 top tube. The stem is one I built a bit later and is 150 x 15 degrees. 

bike # 2 is a tig SL steel road with all Shimano pre-Ultegra 600 8 speed with bar-con shifters. This is also a real time capsule of the period of 1996 when it was built with the parts predating the frame by a few years. The stem is one I built and is 125 x 10 degrees. The seat tube is 620 c/t/c and the top tube is 615 c/t/c. You can contact the owner if you are interested at   Both of these bikes are in good riding condition and are located in Santa Cruz, Calif. 


You don't see one of these every day

This is a bike designed to give the rider lots of handlebar height without sacrificing the standover too much. Also, it is equipped with S&S couplers that will make this large frame easier to travel with.
The fork is very stout and is made for a post mount disc brake. There's routing externally for a generator wire from the front hub to a crown-mounted headlight. There's a set of rear rack mounts for a special rack that the customer is supplying. The front it capped off with a Jen Green sterling silver head badge.