Saturday, January 31, 2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
A new limited edition Eddy Merckx is being offered for Eddy's 70th birthday. Its a beautiful bike draped with full custom Campagnolo. The bicycle is apparently handmade, which is a nice touch, but with a price tag of $17,500 I won't be getting one. Its ashame because I like it alot and was gonna put some 32c Continental 4-Season tires on it and hit the gravel circuit. The only limited edition bike I ever owned was the pink LOOK KG171 that Team ONCE used in the Tour. They made like 225 of them or something like that. If I remember correctly I had No. 188. LOOK used to be my brand of choice as it was an extremely comfortable bike. I rode that bike 13 hours in my first three rides, 6 hours on the third day, and couldn't wait to get back on it the next day. In the end, I got tired of the Pepto Bismol pink and being called a faggot at the stoplights, so I had it repainted in a way that I thought would still do it justice. Basically ruined it and sold it for a couple hundred bucks. I'd probably do the same thing with this Eddy Merckx if I could afford to. I bought a Merckx Leader right before I purchased the LOOK. I believe it was the 1997 Team Telekom edition. Beautiful paint job but the frame and fork weighed over 6.25 lbs. Can you imagine? I spent a year in the Cat 3 class racing a 21+ pound road bike. Ahh, its so much fun looking back on my earlier days of stupidity, as opposed to my most recent stupidity. Sometimes I look back and think I was happier back then, but then I think, "No, you were just stupid and thought you were happy."
Yes, I do believe this is beautiful. The components are specifically made for this bicycle's production, or so I would imagine. It would suck to be flipping through the Performance Closeout pages at the end of the season and see this stem on sale. How do you tighten that steerer cap down? After purchasing a $17,500 bike the first thing I'm gonna do is take it all apart and get it set up to race, maybe put some SRAM Red on it. Can you imagine paying that much for a bike and being uncomfortable on it? Uh, naturally. I want to see the video where the guy who buys one of these forgets that its on top of his car and then drives into his garage. "Hello Eddy? Do you do frame repair? While you're at it, do you think you could paint my Whiskey carbon fork to match it? This is a race bike you know."
This is very nice. The first thing I noticed after the custom seat cap and post was that its tig-welded. "Strike One!" Sorry. It's a personal thing. Once again, this seat cap is beautiful.
"Hello, Mr. Campy? I would like to purchase some skewers. And don't worry, I promise that when I do the Tuesday night crit races I'll use my SRAM skewers so I don't scratch these."
This is brilliant here. You'll have a lifetime racing number already on your bike and you'll never have to pin another number on your jersey again. That alone is worth $17,500.
"I'll take Numbers 1 and 71. Do you accept Paypal? What? You're only gonna make 70 of these? Mr. Merckx, with all do respect, if you can get over $17,000 for a bicycle, I would make as many as I possibly could. Have you contacted China to see if they can help you out with production?"
I think Eddy might get #1. "You think?"
Everyone knows I'm a Campy man. Uh oh, what's that? Is that a blemish on the tig-weld at the bottom of the right chain stay? That tig-welder must've been hungover from Sunday's cross race, either that or Eddy himself welded it. I guess we're all human. "If you don't mind, leave that off of mine Ed." Where's the carbon fiber chain stay protector?
This is like the Merckx Leader frame that I used to drag up the hills in the Cat. 3 races. Mine had a big dent in the top tube from a crit crash. Chrome plated horizontal dropouts are a miserable experience. Every time I stood up on a hill I would pull the wheel to the left. I used to have some power, and I didn't need a meter to tell me how much either. I've never purchased a frame with horizontal dropouts since, nor have I ever, and will never, use any on my frames. Hate them with a passion. On a positive note, you may not be able to see it in this picture, but there is a super-thin, gold highlight around the edge of the letters. You could barely see it even when you were looking directly at it, but when the sunlight hit it, it was such an elegant touch that I never forgot it. I've asked around some paint shops about how to do it but they all tell me that it had to be a decal. I've considered calling Eddy myself and trying to find out.
Here is the old LOOK KG171 that I was speaking of. Mine didn't have pink bar tape though. This guy must've been a total fag (means cigarette butt you know). I hate to say it but this bike rode 10 times better than the Merckx. Sorry Eddy. The truth hurts sometimes. I think I had something like $2500 in that bike. And that was high-end back then. I think if I pay $17,500 for a handmade bicycle, I would at least like to have the files that they used to make it with Eddy's signature on them. Oh yeah, and get me a cappuccino and a box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls while you're at it.
This is my all-time favorite picture of Eddy Merckx. He is the GOAT when it comes to bicycle road racing. Ride on Eddy!
Sunday, January 18, 2015
I know its been way too long since I've posted anything but there just hasn't been much to post. This post here is gonna be reaching for any sort of creativity at all. I'm currently working on a 29er for Christian who I built the most recent cross frame for. He loves the frame and told me thats its one of the best bikes that he's ever ridden. Those are encouraging words and always good to hear and so now I'm working on trying to stuff a 2.4 tire in between some chain stays and make this frame as good as the last. It really hasn't been that bad. I just haven't spent a lot of time building mountain bike frames and I'm a little unfamiliar with it, but I'm slowly getting back up to speed with this one. It has a 142/12mm thru-axle design, which is a first for me since I've been out of mountain biking for quite some time now.
I used to love riding the trails and bombing downhills but somehow over the years it got pushed aside. Occasionally I think I need to build me a 29er and start riding again but there just doesn't seem to be enough time to get all these things in. Its all i can do just to get out for an hour 2-3 days a week on the one bike I have. I've really been feeling the lack of riding time both physically and mentally, and, when you combine that with the cold weather, well, lets just say that sometimes I'm not that much fun to be around. My wife has been telling me that I have a bad attitude and to suck it up but its easier said than done. I don't want to have a bad attitude as I prefer to be more positive. Life is just better when you attack it with a positive outlook. Its just that when I can't get out and exhaust my energy I start to feel like a caged animal. I don't want to just sit there and suck it up, I want to fight back. I can get really on edge sometimes, and when I'm like that I usually stay away from people. Funny enough though, its people who usually help me get through this because I don't normally have an attitude around others. I can, at the least, be cordial for a short conversation. I guess we take it out on our families for some reason, unintentionally of course. Truthfully, this winter has not been that bad. At the moment we have a really nice warm spell and it feels almost like Spring. I may get some riding in this coming week. However, its those really cold spells that seem to affect me. You know, when you wake up and its 1 degree. "What? One degree!" I'd prefer that they didn't even put a number on it at all. Don't want to even know. I wish my phone would just say, "Its damn cold man! Get ready." Sometimes its hard to believe I live in the South. I have total respect for the people who face really hard winters because I'm certain that I couldn't do it. I have family in South Bend, Indiana who sometimes have a literal tunnel dug out from their front door. My bad attitude would say, "EFF this, I'm outta here!" My grandmother told me once about the time they moved up to Flint, Michigan to work in the car factories. She said they would come out from their shift and that all the cars would be covered so deep in snow that you had no idea which car was your own. She told my grandfather these exact words, "If you wanna stay here thats fine with me, but I'm going back to Arkansas as soon as I can get outta here.", and she left. Luckily, he eventually followed her, so I was allowed a little time with my grandfather before he passed. He was great because he always bought me fireworks and took me fishing. What more could you ask for as a 4 year old?
So I'm working on a 29er, my attitude, and then theres Jack. I call him Jumpin Jack because he spends about half his day jumping up and down in the Jump-a-Roo. It hasn't been easy for me making the transition from being able to come and go as I please to becoming an almost full-time baby sitter. I'm not gonna lie (because I feel I'm too old to), some days have been down right hard to deal with. Some things come easy for me however this isn't one of those things. When he gets cranky and is crying off and on all day long, I'm thinking, "Calgon, please shoot me!" There's that bad attitude again. I'm sorry. I honestly don't know where i get it from. A screaming baby has always been my Achilles Heel for as long as I can remember. The only thing that I can imagine worse, or equal to a baby screaming, is if you were stuck in a jet that was fixing to crash and everyone is screaming like their head is on fire. Good thing about the plane crash is that it wouldn't be that long before it all ended. With a baby its like the plane is fixing to crash for 20 minutes and then its not, and then its gonna crash again, and then its not, and on and on and on. Imagine a plane crash that takes 2 hours to complete. And then you go to bed, get some sleep, and do it all over again the next day. You think I'm not counting down the hours until Anne is off work?
All and all, Jack has been a really good baby for the most part. I know that I'm blessed to have him and I love him more than anything, and thats why I haven't been getting much done lately. I feel like if I've brought this child into the world, then its my obligation to make sure he's as good as I can make him be. I want him to be something good for the world, an asset so to speak. In other words, I don't want him to have a bad attitude. And so if my frame building time, riding time, and blogging time suffers, so be it. I just don't want the rest of the world to suffer because I haven't done my job of raising this kid to the best of my ability. Thanks for baring with me while I learn to become a dad, and, if I ever have an attitude around you the best thing to do is just tell me about it. I hate to hear that I have a bad attitude and thats the best way for me to change it.
Paragon 142/12mm stainless dropouts. Very nice stuff but the miters and brazing are a bit of a challenge. I have to have a clear mind in order to get these like I want them.
Some pretty intricate machining going on with these little frame ends, and I also like the thru-axle design quite a lot.
I think I've found all the clearance I need. I think Christian is gonna run a 1 x 10 on this.
I ran into a little brazing problem the other day. While I was brazing up the final dropout the tack on the chain stay broke free while I was heating it and I guess the heat made the stay pull to the inside of the dropout. So anyway, trying to fix it only made it worse and now I have to start over. And to add a little insult to injury, or vice versa, I managed to poke myself in the eye with a brazing rod which required a trip to the doctor. Its ashame because alot of work went into getting all this to fit right right and it was exactly like I wanted it. Oh well, if I can do it once I can do it again and the eye is healed for the most part so tomorrow I'll be back at it.
Thanks for stopping by.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Here are some beautiful frames made by Festka. They paint them in a way that I've been wanting to experiment with when I have the time. No particular paint scheme, just whatever comes to mind. However, I'm not interested in painting some Monet on the frame, I want it to still look like a race bike. Anyway, I've got ideas that I just haven't laid down yet. Will there ever be enough time to get everything done?
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Ok, I know this doesn't have anything to do with bicycles or frame building but if you classified it under the heading "Health Food" then I suppose I might get away with it. I've had trouble getting work done due to the holidays and waiting on materials to show up. But now the holidays are over and my supplies should be on the way so hopefully I'll have some frame building pics before to long. Anyway, I stumbled onto this video today for homemade gyros and I just had to try it. Its not anymore complicated than making a meat loaf, actually that all it is, and the taste is excellent. The gyros have always been a huge favorite of mine, so whenever I come across them I usually buy one, but these homemade ones blow the street gyros away. You can spice up the meat any way you like, make your own tzatziki sauce, and this kalamata salsa will set it over the top. And then if you'd like to take it to the 'Outtareach Level', just sprinkle some crumbled feta over it.
Next new thing I'm gonna try to make is tamales. Sounds easy enough, huh?
I gotta go. Sweet Virginia is telling me to get back out in the shop and build some frames.