Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Adventure disc brake CX frame for the Sierra foothills

 The owner of this frame might really get way out in the wilderness so it is built for some rugged riding.
 Not a race bike, this one is more of a trail bike for the remote areas of the central Sierra mountains. The fork has the new Paragon machine works tapered steel steerer. I am making more use of this part as of late.
I didn't need to go too heavy on the steel in this one as the rider is only about 140 lbs. Still, it is not a flywieght machine with the big head tube and burly fork. Should be a fun ride.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The making of Scnozola # 1

 This last weekend I ventured about 110 miles north to complete a couple of frames with Bruce Gordon. This collaboration will be unique in the bicycle framebuilding world....two old guys with about 70 + years frame building experience between them constructing a new brand of bike : "Schnozola"-this big tire ride anywhere bike will be debuting this summer. # 1 is already sold to Jeff Traugott a guitar builder who beats the crap out of bikes every day of the week. He has always wanted something on the order of a drop-bar mountain bike and now he will have it.
 Here's number one on the welding table. It was mitered and tacked here in Santa Cruz , then transported to Petaluma to Bruce's shop for full welding. Bruce did the braze ons and final alignment and will be powdercoating the frame in the coming week.
 Here's Bruce fitting a zip-tie guide for the disc brake-that's right.....big wheels need big stopping power.
Ross Shafer  stopped by to see what the heck is going on ........a Kosher bike ? Where's the rabbi ? 
 Here's Bruce fitting up the second frame of the weekend.....what ? A second one ??  Oy, so much for the say off on Easter Sunday. Fortunately it didn't take long to weld the # 2 bike up so we got in a bike ride before I had to brave the traffic home.
 Here's the drawing for # 2, a bike for the photographer who will be overhauling Bruce's website photos.
 # 1 with all the braze ons , blasted and nearly ready for paint.
 # 2 getting finished up on the welding table. Lucky for me, Bruce has a Miller Syncrowave 250-nearly the identical rig that I have in my shop. Still, it is always a bit nervous welding in someone else's shop-at least I didn't burn the place down.
 Here's Bruce fitting the rear disc mount-hand filed in the olde worlde traditione.
 Schnoz-1 , that's the serial number on the very first Schnozola bike. You might ask, " Why schnozola ?"  Because the air is free........
 The picnic bench in front of Bruce Gordon cycles is made up of bicycle frames-some of these frames would sorrow some Bridgestone collectors.....worry not-they were all broken before they were used in this project.
Stay tuned for pictures of the completed fully built bike and more detailed info about isn't a joke-it's a bike.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Single speed CX frame for San Fransisco

 The tubes are very light steel on this one-about as light as I dare go for a frame that will see full seasons of 'cross racing in Nor-Cal.
The downtube is True temper S-3. The top tube and rear stays are Columbus Life. The headtube is for a 1 1/8" steerer and the bike will have cantilevers so this one isn't as much cutting edge as it is traditional. 
The Paul's dropouts will have adjuster screws and the bike will be fitted with a Ritchey carbon fork. I have a number of bikes out there with this tubeset and it gets consistently good remarks from the riders. Maybe my next road frame will have this set.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New book on bicycle framebuilders

Here's a new book that is a must have for any fan of custom bikes and/or builders. I got my copy from Amazon but I'm sure there are lots of sources. The builder list is extensive with shops from all over the globe. 
 Heck, even I am in there ! Check it out-it is the ultimate coffee table custom bike book and it is new and available now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prototype Dedaccai aluminum road frame

 I'll be riding this one locally as will maybe a couple other folks. The tubeset is one I have had sitting in a box for several years , left over from a project that never got started. I figured that I should turn the tubes into something rather than let them sit unused for eternity. I'll be building a few odd frames every year if I have the chance. It is an opportunity for me to be creative, challenged and best of all-it creates more room on the shelves for new tubing.
 At a later date I might add some holes for DI II routing. For now it will just be built up with whatever I have on hand. The frame is a scant 2 lb. 4.1 oz. without the seatmast topper. This might be the lightest road frame I have built in this size-equivalent to a 55 cm.
The chanstays and seat stays are rectangular.....not sure why but the will have nice surfaces for decals. The headset will be in integrated for a 1 1/8" steerer. At a few years old some of this tubeset is already out of date !

Saturday, March 29, 2014

30th anniversary bike built up

Other than the grips, this is the full and final build o this bike. Why not fillet brazed and fully rigid like the original 1984 edition ? All you would need to do is to take a one minute spin on either bike and figure out why I went with a more current formula. Hey-I would like to think that I have improved on what I built 30 years ago !
 The only nods to the original on this bike are the 26" wheels and the Tange Presige tubeset-now being re-issued after not being available to U.S. builders for over a decade. My opinion ? I'm really glad to have it back and if this set is typical of the quality , I will no doubt be using this tubing in the future. Not all the tubes are Tange-the seat tube and wishbone seatstays are the Nova brand and the head tube is from Paragon. All the other tubes are a sample set of Prestige-light stuff but not too light......just right for cross country Nor-Cal bikes.
 Why all the room above the tire ? This frame will also take 650 wheels-with a different fork I'll be able to check out 650's on the local trails. I have been building 650 bikes for nearly 10 years but have never had one myself.
The other reason for this bike to exist are all the parts.....they have been gathering dust on the shelves of my shop: Sid XX fork, Shimano MT 65 tubeless wheelset, Saint rear der. and shifter, Zee crankset.......the only things I had to buy were the brakes and the bar and stem and the flat pedals. This is my first bike with a 1x9 setup and flat pedals and I really like both a lot. The super tight spring in the Saint der. keeps the chain from slapping and the flat pedals allow me to ride the trails with any shoes.....this week-Vans-they really stick to the pedals like glue. Verdict : 26" is not dead ! The bike feels super quick and the steering is..... lets say......exciting ! I found myself nearly hitting all sorts of trees and stuff , just missing at the last second. Ahh.....memories of 1984 coming back.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aluminum road frame with a nod to tradition

 This rider has been on level top tube frames pretty much forever so when he ordered a frame from me he requested the same for this newest edition to his stable. The standard head tube and BB shell also don't veer from the pattern set many years ago , giving this frame a less bulky look than a lot of my current crop.
The wheelbase is a little longer than a standard racing frame  so it should be a bit steadier on bad roads and maybe a taste more compliant.
I really like what this customer requested and think that it is not purely nostalgic but a really functional and practical design.