Sunday, August 30, 2009

What would Dave do?

As in Dave Elliot an offroad/ultra marathon running tough guy I know. You see, Dave has all the time constraints (and probably more) that I do and they always seem to keep me off the bike...or at least cut rides short. Between our day jobs, kids, and framebuilding (that's for me, not Dave) it just doesn't leave much time for our chosen forms of self-inflicted punishment. Now, the problem is compounded by the fact that I have to train for a big event, and even though it's not till next June, I can't afford to be cutting miles in September.
So what would Dave do? He'd put the kids to be, go to some trail, meet some other crazies...errr, I mean runners, and run till sunup!
So here was the scene this morning at 4:30 before I headed out for 55 miles of dirt road riding. I hope Dave would be proud.

So what's your excuse? ;)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Like Granpa's ol shotgun

I've been playing around with some alternative finishing ideas and decided to start with bluing- the same finish most firearms have. After seeing a bike from Ezra Caldwell of Fastboy Cycles with a similar finish I knew this was the way to go. Check out the Thunderf****r here: (By the way this is reason #742 from the list of "Why Ezra Rules")
I started small with the stem and after a couple of adjustments to the application process this is the result:

Pretty flippin cool, don't ya think? I came out even better than I'd hoped. The bluing will discolor the brass in the joints, but it doesn't really stick to it and can be buffed out pretty easy. I'll leave the brass mostly discolored because I think it really adds to the overall look.
Gotta do the rest of the bike now- this should be more of a challenge as you only have a 30 second window to neutralize the acids in order to make the finish pressure there!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fork this!

I think a custom frame really needs a custom fork. The right fork ties the look of the whole bike together, and more importantly, it can be designed to give just the right handling for a specific rider.
Here are three forks from current builds- they are all about 75% done still needing final finishing and brake mounts. Three different routes to the same destination: From left to right 1. a 26" Fat tire fixed gear fork (getting a disc mount) 2. a much narrower 700c road fork (also getting a disc mount), and 3. a burly 26" BMX fork.
The rake in fork 1 is achieved by putting a 6 degree offset angle in the crown...really keeps you focused when hand filing it. I think this is the right look for the oddball fixed gear frame it will be going on. It has lugged leg sockets for strength and the shape will reflect to seat tube lug on the's the little things.

I went for a more traditional look for #2- the rake is in the blades and the narrower crown lets the top of the fork legs be flat (you'll notice the wider crown have angled leg tops to make sure they clear the down tube when the wheel is turned) giving it a nice old school profile.

#3 is one is a beefy bastard. It's going on a BMX/dirt jump bike so niceties like tapered legs for a springy ride aren't really a consideration. It's all about strength and stiffness here. Rake is acheived by rolling the crown peices forward and by the offset in the drop outs.

Up close on the crowns.



Next, frames to go with the forks!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two posts in one day!

More of Cara's bike:

Seat tube sleeve cut to mirror the fork crown and bring the bike together.

I have John N. to thank/blame for this. The spade headtube badge on his bike ( makes everybody want a version of their own. I don't blame them, it is a nice way to further personalize your dream bike. So much so that I'm thinking of making this standard for all my frames.

This one is a "om" a buddist symbol for bliss/enlightenment/a comatose state, I don't know for sure, but Cara wanted it, so there it is.

Thanks John...I think. ;)

A girly touch for a girly bike!

I love the bottom bracket shots on fillet brazed bikes.

Cool chevron shaped stay bridge that I love to do, but seems to be getting a little too common these days, right Drew?

Until my next show and tell...

Look! A new post!

Yeah yeah, I know, same story... lot's of building and no posting. Found it hard to get motivated to post because it started to feel too much like showing off, and that's just not me. I mean, who really wants to see that I made a pair of seatstay caps today? Turns out, quite a few people do and they've let me know about it!

So, in the words of my 5 year old son, "Look at me! See what I can do!"

First up, Cara's little "Touring/rough road/no toe overlap/it has to handle like a road bike" bike.

It has an eclectic selection of mtb and road parts that work well together....with a little effort.

Like the mtb shifters on road bars. This is the third bike I've set up like this and it works great- plus, it gives you more options for different brake levers.