Monday, February 28, 2011

Vintage Capo

Here's one for all of the old bike fans. This is a fully restored Capo. An old customer of mine took it on as a project and handed it off to Cycleart for the repaint. It looks very nice in person.
You can say what you want about all the advancements in bike technology in the last 50-odd years......the older bikes still have something that no new bike has visually.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is what a few of us did instead of going to NAHMBS

The tanks......scene of many a drunken night time derby about 15 years ago.
This one's for you......if you thing you can still steer your bike after a few good swigs.
This is a place I used to ride about 30 years ago....De La Veaga park. I had a Schwinn Varsity set up with flat did surprisingly well on the trails.
West coast builders included Sean from Soulcraft , Robert from Ventana and his own brand , Blue Collar , Rick of Hunter cycles and myself. There were about ten of us total.
Here we are in Steve's house , waiting to get under way. Things never get going too fast from what I was about 40 degrees so it was fine waiting inside for awhile.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OX Platinum road frame

My camera is old and feeble so these photos are a little dark. I guess you have some good days,then some not so good it goes with the old Sony. This frame is really light - it weighed in at a scant 3 lb. 6 oz. before I put the guides on. The customer requested no bends in the stays so it is a very simple style. I still put a gusset on the down tube to help the frame in a frontal impact.
The other request was a set of round/oval/round chain stays......very old school in my book.
There's plenty of room for a 700x28 tire on this frame , even though it will have short reach caliper brakes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

O.X. Platinum 'cross frame

This tubeset was one that I was maybe going to use for myself. Well, another need came up and it is now a 'cross frame for a team mate and friend. It weighs in at 3 lb. 13 oz. , pretty good for a steel 'cross frame. The tubes are a little bigger diameter than the stock size tubes so this will be really good for hard trail use as well as racing. The frame will be mated up to a newer Ritchey W.C.S. carbon 'cross fork. It should be a pretty light build.

Friday, February 18, 2011

'Cross frame with fender room

This one is going to Berkeley. The wheelbase is a little longer than the stock race model so that fenders and 700x35 tires , maybe a little more rubber than what is used on the race course.

I put a chainstay bridge on with a fender mount-not my normal thing on a bike like this but it really makes putting on full fenders easier and the reasult is a lot cleaner than having to use zip ties.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Aluminum 29er with 2x10 drivetrain

This bike is a first for me in two ways. # 1, I have never set up an MTB with Sram 2x10 and I have never built wheels with Stan's rims. All of the components work well and result in a cross country bike that weighs 23 lb. 13 oz. without pedals.....not bad for a 29er with a Fox Terra-logic fork with the big legs. The cassette is a massive 12-36 range and not having tree rings up front is no disadvantage with this setup.
The only thing that might be considered a disadvantage is the Sram 2x10 front der. is almost hitting the tire ! It does miss and it shifts fine. A Shimano unit would not take up as much room but the 2x10 Sram setup is what was requested. The crankset is a Truvative mated to an Enduro ceramic BB, a very free spinning setup..
The bike is pretty tight and should be really nice on the climbs. The front end is So-Cal. geometry, not really steep and made to carve. It feels pretty nice to me, not having my own bike set up this way. Maybe the next bike will be......
The fork was given a custom 80 MM travel setup from the factory. The forks come stock at 100 mm but the customer wanted 80 , the same that I have on my bike , only in a 26" wheel format.
All in all, I think this looks like a balanced aggressive ride. I wish I could take it up to the forest and give it a good test but it is going in a box and will be in the customers hands a.s.a.p.

Ideo decends on the shop

Ideo is a design and engineering firm that I'll be teamed up with to compete in the Portland Manifest 'Builders Challenge" this year. Ideo will bring their considerable resources to complete this project . I'll have an opportunity to learn quite a bit from these folks and will be part of something much greater in scope than anything I have attempted in my 33 years of building frames. While I cannot reveal details about the upcoming project, I can assure you that it has a good chance of being one of , if not the top entry in the competition. There will be three teams involving builders and design firms in the competition, along with a out five college teams and 20-30 individual builders. The show will involve a 50 mile ride on the entered bikes and will take place in the fall. We have a lot of work to do but at least a number of months to complete the project. The Ideo design team visited Santa Cruz and saw the shop, the farmers market and life on the west side. There will be a broader vision of the use of this bike-to-be in the project but I'm sure that the west side of Santa Cruz will have an influence in some way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unofficial 25th anniversary MTB frame.

About a year and a half ago I realized that it had been 25 years since I built my first MTB frame. I got the idea to make a 25th anniversary model. I guess nobody seemed interested enough to order it so it never got built. This frame and fork were built in the spirit of the 25th anniversary bike-fillet brazed , fully rigid and a nice paint job. This bike has a lof of hand work in much that I christen it the 25th anniversary Rock Lobster. The owner doesn't know yet but he's getting the kind of bike I built in 1984 , with all of his specifications of course.
The colors and panels were the customer's choice and I think the whole scheme works really well.
Since this is a 'Signature' model, it gets the sterling silver headbadge and headtube collars.

It was getting late and I really couldn't do the kind of photos that showcased the details of this frame but I'll attempt to do some better photos next week. The downtube cable routing was a customer spec and also the way I routed cables on my MTB frames for the first 3 1/2 years. By the way, this is a 29er and it is a disc-only setup. Not exactly 1984 but probably a lot better .

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Path Racer frame and fork.

Not only do I get to build the frame and fork of this tig-welded "Path Racer" but I also get to build the whole thing up as I see fit for the customer. Now that's trust.......I'll be sure to not break the bank but put on stuff that has durability and style. This frame has all the fittings, you didn't guess it-loaded fixed gear touring ! I'm not kidding....there's a few folks who do this and all I can say is that they are much mightier than I. Imagine how tough one would get riding fixed with all your gear for month or's not unlike the Tour De France before WW I.
There's lots of tire room and the brakes will be long-reach Shimano sidepulls. They are really powerful, have a nice feel and don't cost much. I have a set on my big tire road bike.
This frame has my last two Tange Prestige ultimate ultrastrong tubes. I think this frame will last into the next century.

Small army of display stands

Yes, that's what they are-trade show fixtures to display cranks and chain guides. They aren't for me, I built them for a company in San Jose, Gamut that specializes in chain guides for downhill and dual-slalom. I like doing work like this every once in awhile. It makes me use my brain to figure out the most efficient way to produce a number of nearly identical parts. Custom bikes are all different so this kind of job is out of my comfort zone of constant discomfort, so to speak.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Steel 'cross frame with fender room

This frame and fork are the "Euro 'cross" style of frame I offer except that the rear chainstays are a little longer for the 700x35 tire and a fender. This bike will see 60% trail riding but also be used as a race bike when the fall arrives. The customer specifed no rack mounts, only fender eyelets. I guess he has another bike fully outfitted with racks so there's no need to encumber this bike with that.

It's a trick getting a 395 axle-to-crown fork to have fender room. I had to put the fork in the mill and machine off the last bit of excess steerer hanging down below the blades. I missed cutting into the weld by a millimeter !