Friday, August 31, 2012

Damn, that's big frame.

 This is maybe the tallest cyclocross frame I have ever built. The rider is 6'9" and very long legged. The disc brakes are a good choice for anyone over 200 lbs. Hopefully this bike will see a lot of use in the midwest 'cross courses. The eyelets were left on as the bike will also serve as a commuter during the off season.
 Yes, that is a 270 mm head tube. The steerer has a 4" re-enforcement to help cut down on fork flex during heavy braking. It's a really long steerer so I'm pulling out all the tricks I know to make this bike feel solid.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A tale of two forks.

 Fork # 1 is finished. It is a replica of a Tesch "Built for speed" road fork , right down to the 30-some odd MM rake. It is going on a Tesch frame so it will probably get the original ride character.......scary quick !
Fork # 2 is a suspension length unicrown disc fork. No, it isn't done and yes, it is behind schedule. Honestly, I am finding that time to build forks and stems is nearly impossible with the number of frames on order right now. It's too bad as I have a nice Anvil fork jig and like having a chance to use it. Maybe I'll figure out two months out of the year that I can devote to smaller stuff. That will most likely not happen until they make a 14 month year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Really tall 7005 road frame

 I hope this one is big enough. The rider is 6'4".....he looks taller than that . I'm hoping to have it all ready for him to ride from here to his cabin in the Sierras. I think it will be about 160 miles over two days. I hope he has been training.....the last 25 miles will be tough.
 I haven't weighed this one yet but it feels like about 3 1/2 lbs. Not bad for such a large frame but in aluminum you don't get much additional weight from the increase in size. I used normal guage and diameter tubes so that the ride would be less punishing for all day riding.
I had one of these 660 mm Easton seat tubes left in my stash. I'm glad I still had one. The next really tall frame will have something else a bit less elegant- That is the problem with a finite supply.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rare bird in the shop

This is a WTB Phoenix frame that I had to replace a chinstay on. I don't see many of these......I don't think that there were many of them built. They are rare and unusual , a relic from the early '90's.

853 'cross frame for So-Cal.

 I don't build frames like this much these days. It has a traditional level top tube and will only take a single chainring. This is what you might call an old-school 'cross frame except that it will have a carbon fork.
 This frame was exactly 4 lbs. in it's finished state-not bad for steel in a non-compact format.
I could only do gradual bends in the Reynolds 725 seatstays......they are mega-stiff. I was surprised at how stiff they were given that they are very thin wall , about as thin as I dare on a bike with cantilever mounts.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Big tire 'cross frame for Washington state

 I still have to build a fork for this frame but I thought I would put up a photo of it today. It is almost an expedition style 'cross bike-a variant on the Tig Team s.l. platform. This one is set up with sliders, disc brake mounts and fender eyelets. There will be spots for front and rear racks as well.
I put a Bruce Gordon 700x43 tire in the back of the frame and it cleared with no problem. With the sliders moved back I think a 29x2.0 tire would fit. This ons will get the team color-seafoam green.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


 There are times when a frame comes out good. There are times when a frame comes out less than good.
 Then there are times when a frame can only be described as 'sick'.  I don't use this term to assess the quality of workmanship normally......I don't really use this term for anything other than what I feel when I'm not well.-That said , I make an exception and proclaim that this frame is about as sick as anything I have ever built. I'm kind of dumbfounded.... ever since I have come back from teaching it feels like I'm the one who just got a lesson in my craft.
From this point on I'll have to live up to this monument to sickness in steel.-It won't be easy but then, that's what keeps it interesting.

Race only machine for Bakersfeld

 This frame represents a dying breed.....the very last bits of scandium in my stash. The owner of this frame is very light -if he wasn't I would definitely use another tube set. It's a light frame and it will be nice for the Hart park course with all of its elevation gain.
 This one even has a scandium seat tube......I lucked into a few of these tapered tubes a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7005 aluminum 'cross frame for East bay rider

 There's some vintage metal in this frame. I think the top tube was out of a box dated 1997. This top and down tube combo is the US made stuff, my tubing of choice for race bikes. It is light and reliable.
 This is the first frame I have completed since returning from Ashland. I have another 5-6 to build in short order. I don't know if I'll be able to keep to my schedule but I'm trying my best........
Considering how long I have been away from my shop, this frame really came out nicely. It went together without a fight......I like that when it happens.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pizza and bikes

 The second annual Ruota Liberia at Una Pizza Napoleatana in San Fransisco attracted as many folks as last years event. Here's pizza master Anthony Mangieri speaking with Bruce Gordon after about three hours of standing at the oven.
Maybe you don't see any bikes in the photo but trust me , they were there. You just can't see them as there's too many people in the way !

Saturday, August 11, 2012

UBI class of August 2012

 This is my annual tig steel framebuilding class that I teach at UBI. I feel lucky to have this opportunity to be in Ashland and be part of the team at this unique school . I don't think there's another more well tought out program anywhere and it is constantly evolving to try to provide a better experience for the students.
 The new big dry-erase board is a welcome addition-a place for the instructors to write the mantra of the day.
 The last day-graduation and for some, the last chance to get the finishing touches on the last two weeks work......frame # 1.
Here are some of the students with their completed  frames awaiting the diploma and customary last words.
Here's the frame I built for the demo parts of the class. This frame will stay at UBI and will hopefully be something the boss can take out on rides on the rare chance that he has time to pedal. look for me to return in August of 2013.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's a celebration !

Come see me and a bunch of other Nor-Cal builders and have some world-class pizza from Anthony Mangieri-black belt pizza ninja. $ 10 is all you pay for a really unique and special time. Check out some super cool bikes.