Saturday, December 29, 2007

annie's bike all done, john's bike all brazed.

you gotta love it when you have the revolving door thing going on with bikes - one in, one out, one tubeset cleaned and another blueprint all drawn up. currently i'm backed up through september, 08'. annie's bike came out GREAT. looks killer, parts all fit perfect, all that good stuff. we're calling this color "cornflower". john's bike is all brazed up, gotta give it it's final lookin' at on the alignment table, and a good bunch of filing and polishing and it's off to paint and charlottesville, va. cosmic ray's bike is up next, it's all drawn up, the tubeset is polished, the headtube and seat collar are cut, and the dropouts are brazed on. keep warm! steve.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

what's for x-mass? how about red dirt and steel?

well, did some bikes, and did some biking. went to sedona on x-mass it's self and did a nice spin in the dry creek area. the air was crisp and windy, but it was also very clear affording great views of the surrounding buttes and the mogollon rim. that's around a three-thousand foot escarpment there. only saw one other person out on the trails. i really dig the arizona cypress forest down in the washes, they have to be some of my favorite trees with their stout form and blue needles. we saw this nice fatty on the aptly named arizona cypress trail. i guess they are a leftover from the last retreating ice age. cool stuff. for Christmas eve david came over for a few cervezas and to do some maintenance on his new-ish coconino. nothin' but thumbs-ups' from him on his new ride. those sliding pacenti horizontal disc mounts coupled with the paragon dropouts sure do work nice with the bb-7 brakes, and hey, it opens beers too! and, here's the progress on john's bike. got the chain stays on all straight and have the seat stays all bent. gonna do them tomorrow, and maybe even get the bike all brazed up too. last bike of 2007! steve.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

john w.'s bike coming right along.

just started on john's bike yesterday, and really kicked ass on it! so much so, i may take today off from metalwork. i haven't had a relaxing day off where i haven't either done metal fab or wrecked myself armbiking in a long time. I've got allot of neglected cleaning and organising to do.'s some shots from john's build. it's gonna go to charlottesville, virginia to live, a great place to be a mountain bike it's a good old 26" wheeled mtn bike built around a 100mm suspension fork. pretty traditional geometry, 71* headtube angle and 73* seattube angle when sagged 20mm. 1.25" botttombracket drop, 23.75" toptube, 16.75" chainstay lenth. it will ride sweet. as we've been bantering about tubesets, here's what this one is made from: headtube, truetemper, 37mm O.D., truetemper 35mm verus heat treated downtube, .9/.6/.7mm butting profile, nova externally butted seattube with one of my .035 x 1.25" sleeves, dedacciai zerotre s-bend chainstays, 1 1/8" x .035" 4130 toptube, and i'm gonna make my signature seat stays out of 4130. the bottombracket shell and gorgeous dropouts are from paragon machine works. any questions? steve.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

gillis's bike almost done/another great ride in sedona/cool pics people sent me.

well, with a headline like that do i need to write anything? like it says, gillis's bike only needs brazeons, gonna do them in the morning, gotta think about some options. went pretty smooth, even with chucking the first set of seatstays i made for it. looks sweet! and, it's supposed to snow the next few days, so i got out on a five hour sedona single track ride. it seriously kicked my ass......that's some hard stuff, yo! went up ridge trail, down to secret slickrock, and up post trail to carrol canyon and back. ouch. and, some pics from friends: some shreddin' pics from paul. looks like he knows how to "rock". he's got a 29er coconino on order for this spring to add to his 26" pictured here. and, lee's lava 29er touring bike from reno. looking like a sweet ride! and, a pic of the coconino livewrong cruiser showing how to use the bottleopener option. cool stuff! steve.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

first sedona ride of the season.

finally got out for a ride, it's been a while, at least a couple of weeks since my last ride. i feel sorta sore today! sedona is all about short climbs {at least shorter then flagstaff} but steep and loose, so it's kind of a grovel, especially since some of the northern slopes were still soft from the recent rain and snow. we went up post trail, up carrol canyon, then back to the top of post and down it. good'n'rocky with nice views of cathedral butte, the mace, courthouse butte and bell rock. mighty pretty down there for a semi-urban environment, you're never more then a mile or two from a road or a house. we're mighty lucky to have this less then thirty miles from our house. it was really a pleasant temperature down there, while it was about -5*F here in the morning and only about 20* when we left the house at 11am. my skills have improved allot since last year! had a good time, didn't see anyone else out biking. also, saw scott downtown, and he just got back from riding his coconino from istanbul to beijing! 6,800+ miles! he said it was comfy the entire trip with no issues, although the drivetrain was cooked. we saw him going out to ride it some more in the desert on our way to sedona. gonna build dara a wheel this morning and go make a new set of seat stays for gillis's bike, i didn't like the bends on the first pair i made......too bendy. hope you are all having fun out there too! steve.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

notes on tubing choices - you asked for it!

o.k., here ya'll go. i'll try to make sense here. the main design parameters by which tubing is chosen for a specific rider are, and this is the short list, mind you - are rider size {height, weight, body type: tall and skinny, short legs/long arms, visa-versa} intent {touring, mtb, cyclo-x, commuting} history {I've broken everything i own, i've had the same bike for years} and, just plain old bike size. allot of other factors are in the mix, of course, like what it's like where you ride, physiological characteristics, past and present injuries, personal preferences, age, and aesthetics.for instance, if you want a 29er with a 80/100mm travel fork, you have about 3 tube choices for the down tube - a heavy mettle dt, a true temper dt, or 4130 aircraft cromo that comes in 8' sticks. i usually choose the true temper 1.5" dt, as i like the thickness {.9/.6/.9, in mm's} and because the yield strength {the point at which a tube bends to a point at which it does not bend back, i.e., it is bent} and the ultimate tensile strength {it busts} are higher then the others. and, the butts are long {the thicker parts at the end which resist bending, and dissipate heat during joining} allowing use on a wider range of designs. also, as a rider get bigger, the butts get thicker, the outside diameter gets larger, and the actual thickness of the tubing profiles increases. one important thing to keep in mind which people often do not know is that ALL STEELS HAVE THE SAME DENSITY. if you take a 1.25" piece of prestige and a 1.25" piece of 4130 with the same diameters and thicknesses THEY WILL RIDE EXACTLY THE SAME. the differences are in the diameters, butting, tube length and shape. certain alloys impart differences in hardness, ductility, yield strength, and tensile strength, but not "ride quality". often, ESPECIALLY with alloys such as reynolds 853, THE ONLY TUBE IN THE BIKE THAT IS 853 IS THE ONE WITH THE STICKER. they don't even MAKE 853 seat stays and chain stays. have i confused everyone yet? sooooo...... basically, i choose my tube sets out of whatever company makes the specific tube i consider to be appropriate to the design which i have chosen. i like true temper toptubes and down tubes for mtb's. they have long butts for better resilience against suspension fork stresses, although for smaller riders, i have been using prestige, but not for much longer - i only have 4 dt's left, and it hasn't been produced since 1994. but, when those are gone, i'll just use appropriate true temper tubes. i just liked the prestige butting profile better. i use mostly dedacciai chainstays because they aren't too thin, and the bends are all in the right places. i use alot of nova seat tubes because they take a 27.2 seatpost, have long butts on the bottombracket end, and are externally butted, to which i add my external lug for added strength. i bend my own seatstays out of 4130 because it bends easily {if a one-ton arbor press is considered "easy!}and i use true temper headtube because it comes in long sticks that i can cut custom lengths out of it with out wasteful cut-off end pieces, and it's good and thick - i hate wallowed out headtubes! so, as you see, it's not as easy as saying "i want a frame" tubing choice is critical, and i try to optimise every design, even though it means getting tubing from four different vendors in ohio, california, and tennesee. if you want to know more, i would highly suggest reading scot nicol's 5-part metallergy series at the ibis cycles website, or of checking out where alot of framebuilders hang out and talk about this stuff, did any of this help, or just cloud the waters? and of course none of this has anything to do with frame geometry..... that will be another post. it's even more complicated! steve.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

great weather for building bikes.

rocking out shawn's bike. gonna braze it together tomorrow! it looks great, and is really straight - it's already beeen on the alignment table three times in my build sequence. first, the front triangle. then, when the rear chainstays are tacked on, then again after the chainstay brace is brazed in. the dropout faces are aligned to each other on the second and third alignments, and a wheel is stuck in the frame to check clearences as well. the frame looks big until you see the 29er wheel in the drops, huh! lookin' good! the snow seems to be slowing looks like we have about a 2 1/2 feet in the yard. arctic! tomorrow, seatstays. let me know if there are steps you want pics of, or if there are questions about the geometry, or tubing choices steve.

Monday, December 10, 2007

ABSOLUTE-ly sweet frame!

got a big start on shawn gillis's new 29er. it got bumped up a couple slots so i could get it to paint in time to get it all built up to go to the north american handmade bike show {NAHBS} in portland, or. on feb. 8/9/10. i'll be sitting alot pretttier and be less stressed when i get this off to paint. but, it's not gonna add alot to the wait list cuz' i'm kicking it out! it's been snowing nonstop for about four days, so i'm getting alot done with no visitors and nowhere else to go. i've known shawn for damn near 20yrs, and he owns absolute bikes in salida, colorado, and is the promoter for the vapor trail 125. this thing is gonna see alot of miles, and be decked out to the 9's. soooo..... here's some cool pics of the ongoing build. any questions? steve.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

annie's bike all done/winter is here!

well as you can see, winter is here! it just rained for two days, and snowed all day today, with more on the way! and, i must say, as a finished package this frame came out REALLY sweet. the way the top tube blends into the hand bent seat stays really works for me......that, and it's quite light, and with the sliding dropouts, versitile. what more could you want? and in a vast improvement, the detail pics of the brazes came out clear, giving you a good look at what i do oh-so-much, make things shiny! also, i'm putting out the request for action pics of all you coconino bike owners with your rigs, or of your bike in some cool locale for blog use. bring em' on! rock on, thanks for reading, steve.