Here are a couple of photos from the early stages of Jim's frame. At 61cm its one of the larger frames that I have built. Jim is a pretty fair-sized guy at 6'4 and 225 lbs. so I am putting a little meat on this frame while at the same time trying to keep it light. This frame has a mix of tubes, from True Temper OX Platinum on the main triangle to Columbus Life chain stays. I love the beefy look of these stays and I have been wanting to use them on a frame for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity. The down tube is a multi-shaped 8/5/8 double-butted tube from Nova called Pear to Penta. It reminds me of the S3 bi-oval tube with a little more meat on it and without the rider weight limit. I love the way it looks and will probably use it some more in the near future. It would make a sweet down tube on a custom 29er. We are going with a 1 1/8" steel fork on this frame so this thing is gonna scream muscle on the road and should hold a line like its on rails. Jim is headed to the Tour of the Rockies this summer so this frame will get it proper style which is the way I hope all my frames get it. Everything is all tacked up and I will be brazing it up tomorrow. Check back for the finished product.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
If you have yourself a nice steel fillet-brazed frameset thats a good start, but how many of you have a custom fillet-brazed pull-up bar? I told yall a while back that I was training Rocky-style. I have been wanting a pull-up bar for quite a while now. Years ago when I actually went to a gym I would do lots of pull-ups and I thought by starting again might help my back a bit. Well, turns out I've lost a little of that pull-up steam I had 12-14 yrs. ago. I used to knock out 4-5 sets of 10-15, now its like 3 sets of almost 3 1/2. Geez, I knew I wasn't in race shape but I had no idea it was this bad. I'm not in as bad as shape as that tree though. I missed the mark a couple of times trying to get the height of my bar right. I don't like for my feet to touch the ground when I do pull-ups, and I hate those things you put over the door frame. Anyway, now its almost too high, hence the bricks on the ground, but my feet don't touch. This project should've taken roughly an hour or so at best but I think I spent the better part of a Sunday on it. I forgot to mention the other tree I was butchering in front of this one. Turns out it was over the property line. Sorry neighbor, but that tree was dying already. He's lucky I don't send him a bill for building him a birdhouse. Pardon me while I finish my workout. Gotta go punch some chickens and chase some big slabs of meat around.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
This frame here is a backup rig for factory backed racer Larry Yancey. A couple of years ago we decided to experiment with the S3 Superlight steel tubing on a cross frame for him and after 2 years of beating the molasses out of a sub-17 lb. cross machine its still going strong and we're both pretty happy with it. However, Yancey rides his bike like Josey Wales uses his pistol and if I remember correctly ol' Josey carried a couple pistols in his belt. I am not anticipating any problems with the S3 frame but Larry is training for the World Masters 'Cross Championships that will be coming to the states shortly and we have to be prepared. Anybody that has watched Larry race a bike would recommend he has at least 2 bikes built up if not 4. This frame is not quite as light as the S3 model but the OX Platinum tubing makes for a pretty light frameset, I think this one weighed out roughly a quarter pound heavier but that just translates into a better everyday training machine to beat up on and he can save the superlight for the important days. Cool thing about this frame is that I only used spare parts that were laying around the shop to make it. Tubes that were cut too short on larger frames can still be used on smaller frames. I hate wasting things. Look at that custom carbon fiber chain stay protector, no imitations on the factory bikes here. Neither Larry nor I are a big fan of these style of seat caps that I put on this frame, we prefer to braze things on, but like I said, I was clearing out some spare parts and this cap just happened to fit the bill. I am trying to get Larry good and fired up before the Worlds race. Not many people are brave enough to piss Yancey off, and since I'm not stupid I am gonna have the UPS man give it to him, they have worker's comp. You probably can't see it but I did a little experimental paint job on that Easton CX fork and painted the MEECH logo in a different shade of black on it, but unless the sun is beaming down on it its a little hard to tell, call it subtle if you will. I am definitely not a painter and trying to lay those stencils down in perfect alignment is not as easy as Paul makes it look. Thank goodness for Ace's Wild Custom. Check out Louis Maxximus making this an action photo shoot. You think this frame is gonna see some fancy racing action this coming CX season? As Josey would say, "I reckon so."
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Finally got Mark's 'cross frame all finished up and will be taking it over to Ace's this week. I've been working on a couple different things here lately so it took me a while to finish it up but I think it was well worth the wait. Check out that mini S3 bi-oval monostay, where do you get those? Its called handmade and I like it and may use it again in the future. Mark wanted a little stainless shine on some of the braze-ons so we went with dropouts, front derailleur, and seat cap. This was the first time I have done any stainless polishing for anyone so I still have a lot to learn but I am already looking for the necessary tools to get that mirror-shine. Mark saw the custom brake cable stop that I put on one of my past frames and decided he wanted one for this frame as well so I plugged a couple of nickels into my machine and wallah, no more brake shudder. In the near future I want to make one out of carbon fiber or at the least wrap one with some carbon. All and all this frame turned out nicely and hopefully here in a couple of weeks you will see the color choices Mark chose for this beast. Actually I don't even know exactly how we're gonna paint this one yet but judging from the engraving on that BB shell we should have a little idea. All this steel that you see in these photos and it only weighs 3.88 lbs. in a size 57. We put as many braze-ons on it as we could and its steel lightweight because its lightweight steel. Check back for the finished product.