It's been a while since I had anything to post because Jack had a couple of weeks off for summer break but I finally got back in the shop and got a little done these past couple of days. I used to think that when Jack got old enough to walk around that he and I would go over to the shop and he could play and keep himself busy while I got some frame building done but it hasn't worked out like that at all. He's always getting into something or wants the tool that's in my hand and I really get nothing done at all. Whenever he does come into the shop he wants to go to the paint room. He always says, "We need to look at this one." That means he has picked out a color and he wants to open it up. But don't do it! He can make a mess of things in the blink of an eye. The other day I opened up a can of blue paint just to let him look at it and we both had blue paint on us before I could say dammit. I try not to say curse words around him but there are those moments...well, you know. Anyway I've learned my lesson about opening paint cans. On the next frame that i decide to do some funky paint scheme i may let him have a go and see what kind of mark he leaves. He'll love it. Anyway, I got this frame all cut, mitered, and tacked over the past couple days and wanted to post something in the name of frame building so here it is. Gonna try to lay down some fillets here shortly so hopefully will have a few more in a couple days.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Call it a bit premature if you like but I'm thinking this may be new favorite bike to build. This is gonna a be a traditional road bike built with a 1" steerer but just enough room in the fork to accommodate a 30c tire. I have built a couple for other people but have yet to ride one myself. I've ridden everything within a couple millimeters of it but never this exact style. The ease of maintenance, the simplicity of a caliper brake, and the room to run a wider tire that will handle much more than your average road tire will make this a very well-rounded versatile ride. This will be a go-to ride. Save your high-dollar carbon racer for the races and train all year long on this thing. Years ago when I raced on a regular basis I would spend my winters training on a cross bike on the road just to ride something durable with lots of resistance. I didn't worry about scratching it up, jumped the curbs, rode it off-road, suffered, and enjoyed every minute of it when race season rolled around, not to mention looked forward to riding it when the season ended.
I had planned on having just a couple more millimeters of clearance since I had a little extra room to spare under the caliper. The distance between the top of the tire and the fork crown turned out just as I had planned and I never even thought I would come up this tight between the blades. The tire that I built this fork around just barely fits. There aren't many tires in the 30c tire category. This is my favorite as far as concept and size go but it's a cheap Kenda tire that doesn't feel very well made. With that said, I have ridden many a mile on this tire. Can almost get through the entire winter with a pair if you rotate them. I'm on the search for some other tires that may fit the bill. I think Specialized makes a fat road tire that would work and I believe it would be a bit higher quality. I'm not a big Specialized fan but I'm willing to see what they have. Other than that I'm back down to the 28c department which is full of choices. It'll all work out in the end and come out almost as tight as this fork did. Almost I say. Should be done here shortly.
Thanks for stopping by.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Decided to clean out my tool box a bit the other day and fork these crowns in the back of one of the drawers. Figured I would build up a couple forks for a couple of old school frames with 1" steerers. A one inch steel fork is still one of the best riding forks you can get, plenty strong and makes for a very compliant ride. I learned this a few years ago when I went to the Bicycle Tour of Colorado with one of my earliest frames, like the 5th I had ever built, and it had a 1" fork built with True Temper OX Platinum tubing and I still say it was one of my best riding frames that I have been on. A friend of mine here in Jonesboro actually has it now. I'm contemplating buying it back. Anyway, gonna build a couple of traditional framesets with some good tire clearance so you can throw a 30c tire in there some everyday standard caliper brakes and roll with it. Lightweight, simple, straightforward riding. The kind of bike that will do it all and you're not afraid to go beat it up a little dirt or gravel, hop the curbs, wheelies, or whatever you feel like doing. That's my kind of riding. Probably gonna paint one in a traditional manner and the other maybe throw some swank down on it.
Doing it all by hand is where it's at. It's so satisfying.
This frame set may have a little extra clearance for a 32-35c tire. May opt for some mid-reach brakes on this one. It will be the ultimate year-round training bike.
This is when you know the crown is cut correctly. The crown race will just sort of hang over the edge of the crown and then with a couple of good hits with the crown race tool is drops right in place good and tight.
Feel free to check back in a couple of days for the finished product and the start of some new builds. I haven't been doing much other than painting here lately so I'm ready to get back to torch and files.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
Finally finished up one of the more complicated paint schemes that I've ever done. Over the past few months I had a handful of ideas for painting bike frames that i just wanted to do before time got away from me. I really enjoy the painting aspect as much or more than the actual frame building. They're both equally difficult in their respected ways, as in they can both make you crazy quicker than you can say biciciclismo. Anyway, this piece is called, "Momma Gets Swanky When the Lights Go Dim" and it's the first piece in a collection of mine called, "No Sleep, Just Dreaming".
So anyway, a few months ago I'm laying on the couch watching Lords of Dogtown on Netflix and while I love everything about the movie and the documentaries that surround it I was fixated on this shirt that Heath Ledger was wearing in the movie from the moment I laid eyes on it. I immediately thought I had to use that on a bike frame. And while there were times I didn't think it would ever get done, it never left my mind and I persevered until one day it just came true. You're looking at and it's sitting in the middle of my shop owning the space that it takes up. I worked off and on with this thing for give or take 3 weeks. The main thing that you can't see with this frame is that there was so much more involved than just painting it. I think I'm gonna just bite my tongue here and keep the secret to myself.
The movie probably didn't win any major awards and it's more suited for a younger audience but it's cool because it shows how skateboarding and sidewalk surfing became an overnight sensation and this handful of teenagers from Venice, California were the ones who fueled it all. When I was a kid between '75-'80 these guys were in all the magazines I was reading. It was a lifestyle that me and thousands of other kids dreamed about. While watching it I was just overloaded with memories of my childhood and I'm probably gonna go get a skateboard and bust me arse just one more time for old time sake.
This is the shirt that caught my eye and inspired this paint scheme.
There are roughly 40 individual panels on the frame and then another 10 on the fork. I really didn't realize what I was in for until I had painted about 3 of them that it began to soak in what I had gotten myself into. I had a plan in the beginning but it got thrown out the window almost immediately. I'm not even gonna tell you that I probably painted each panel a minimum of 3 times. Painting on a rounded surface presents another challenge.This paint scheme was some serious work but it was also fun, once it was completed anyway.
This is one of my favorite panels.
There were many days throughout this whole painting process that I felt like an absolute Zero.
Saving this shirt for another day.
My buddy Vince Pearcy cut me out a few special stencils that I needed that helped set the tone for this whole thing. I think they help define it. Thanks Vince!
Sadly enough, the carbon fiber chain stay protector is probably the most boring part of this frame build but I still love it anyway.
142/12 thru-axle dropouts.
Who do these belong to? I'm not telling but their face is on the frame.
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