Wednesday, October 31, 2007

workin' on lee's bike.

spent the day working on lee's bike and doing a fit session with matt. i got the stays on lee's bike so that it actually looks like a bike and you can begin to see what the final product will look like - cool! the first pic is the brazing/mitering fixture in the rotating work station i have set up so i can brass braze the sides of both dropouts with a 6,000* torch. the fixture holds everything straight so i can get the dropouts in parrellel to each other with the slots straight and the bends oriented the same for proper tire, chainring, and crank clearence. important stuff, any one of these variables can screw up everything if not executed properly. and, a picture of the miters still in the fixture post milling. the stays must be cut the same length or the wheel will sit crooked. after you get the stays on, you have to align them on the alignment table to the plane running through the center of the frame. and then use the dropout gauges to make sure the dropout faces are perfectly flush to each other. just some of the many steps involved in one small part of the build sequence. tomorrow, hand bending the seat stays, one of the hardest parts of a build. pics of that tomorrow. and, a shot from a sweeet ride i did with denise and the dogs up sunset on tuesday. a nice day out! steve.

Monday, October 29, 2007

cool stuff on a tired day.

howdy, all. just now getting my shit together enough to even make sense, and it's 4:47 PM. whoa. lied awake with painful, violent, constant spasms until 2 AM. sucky. sometimes i just have those days/nights. part of the deal, i guess. just had chauncey from new mexico out for a couple of days for a little frame building workshop, fun stuff. gave me a chance to look at my processess and clean the shop to make room for the fork blade bending station. it's a blank mandrel cast outta aluminum from designs in the the paterek frame building manual. thanks to andrew maximow for getting that going - he had to get 50 sold to nig-nogs like me to get them cast - and to doug hall for helping me out building the bending and mounting hardware. so, here's the latest pic of lee's bike, i got the front triangle going and it looks sweet, strong, and straight. and, a detail of the seattube sleeve. i make these from scratch from 4 foot sections of 4130. the reinforce the seattube sleeve where the mass of the rider rests, and eliminates the need to ream steel from the seattube due to the distortion from joinery methods like welding, or, in my case, brazing. and, the blade bender, a closeup of just a few of my file collection. these babies make me money and you bikes. no building without them. also, a little slice of history, BT stopped by on a drive through to new mexico and had this vintage team mutant sticker on his two burner coleman stove. sweet! next year will be the 20th anniversary of our old beloved, feared and loathed racing team! and, i'm starting to collect the parts for denise's new commuter that i'm building for the handmade bike show. that is one pile of sweet, shiny, expensive, handmade american metal! steve.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

lee's bike getting under way.

just a quickie before i check out for the night. i thought i'd post it because lee has been so stoked about his bike build. it's got a fork and handlebars made by sean from calaveras cycles. he makes really cool stuff when he's not out wandering around in the sierras, check him out. it's gonna be a stout build: top tube, 1.25 x .035 curved 4130. down tube, true temper 1.5" supertherm. some of the strongest steel tubing in the world. headtube, true temper. seattube, 1.25" pacenti heavy mettle sleeved to 1 3/8". dedacciai zero-tre s-bend chainstays. paragon machine works bottombracket and dropouts. custom handbent two-piece 4130 seatstays. stay tuned for more, steve.

the straight dope!

here's what's going on: jim's bike is done, whew! twenty-one brazeons, thank you very much. it's gonna go out and get a coat of john deere green with gold nugget top coat. sweeeeet. and, some random shop pics of order and mayhem. buisness as usual! starting lee's bike today, he says he's gonna ride it across mongolia, and i belive him! more pics later....... and, here's a pic of my foot....boy, when it's purple and cold, it huuuurrrts!! just one of the many joys of a spinal cord injury. i'm sorta surprised everybodys' not lining up to get one. arrrgggh. and a couple pics of yesterday's grovel up weatherford canyon. boy, it sure was rocky and pretty. looks like aspen season is over, the 50mph winds the other day took them all down, and there are shattered trees everywhere! sorry for the short post, man, i'm throttled on work right now, a good thing! thanks all for reading, keeping me busy, and caring. you all rock! steve.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

jim's bike almost done, simon's out the door.

well, just about got jim's bike done, it sure has cool lines. i only have the headtube fillets left to polish, braze-ons, {alot of them} and touch up and alignment. hey, wait - that's still alot of work! still, i hope to complete it today. and, yesterday simon came up to build his bike. it sure came out nice! the matching chris king gruppo and black components made a sweet combo. nice. the 29er wheels look totally ergonomic on this size of bike. also, i've pretty much made up my mind on the subject, i'm not making 29ers with suspension forks for anybody with an inseam of less then 32" with cycling shoes on. rigid, maybe. we'd have to review that on a case-by-case basis. sorry, bad fit. not what i'm here for. i'm not going to go into the sizing specifics, but if you cannot even clear the fork as far as standover it is just not ideal, i don't care what the magazines, other builders or designers for mass-produced brands say. but, remember: now we have the new knobby 650b tires, which measure in at about 27.5", so if your inseam is less then 32" as stated above, you still have a larger wheel option. also, went fishing the other day with dan.....survival fishing! it was whitecapping with spray and super cold! still, we stuck it out, caught five trout, and it turned nice {with three layers on} in the afternoon. didn't even get any pics, i couldn't feel my fingers and thought i might drop the camera in the drink! later, steve.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

one trail, two dudes, four wheels, no bicycles.

went for a ride with eugene down on a visit from oregon and he rode his unicycle while i rode my rig......fall colors were spectacular, the weather was perfect, and fun was had by all! steve.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


a quick post before denise & i go meet good buddy eugene for a handcycle/unicycle ride in the yellow aspen leaves. the dogs will be stoked! sooooo, real quick, here's simon's new frame, what a beauty! stayed up late prepping the frame so i could post a pic for him this morning. also, the progress on jim's frame, i love the lines! and, a couple random shop pics, a handmade chainstay bridge/fender mount. i really dig making this stuff by hand! and, slotted dropouts. i'll post a slotted dropout rant soon as to why they are better. and lastly, sally's first turdcicle for the season, she only likes them frozen, a seasonal treat, if you will......outta here, steve.

Monday, October 15, 2007

6th wedding anniversary at lee's ferry.

well, had a great two nights/three days at lee's ferry on the colorado river! we headed up stream with tara and devin, it was their 5th anniversary as well, it was their first paddle upstream from the ferry, and they had a blast! conditions absolutely could not be beat, days in the upper 70's, nights in the 50's, almost no wind with often glassy surfaces. we really only fished hard one afternoon and caught eight really nice rainbows. the slot limit says you have to release everything over 12", so we had three trout for dinner, setting the rest loose, and there were some beauties! didn't have a tape measure, but check out this beaut denise caught that's almost paddle blade size! a highly recomended adventure, you aughta go give it a shot! back to work, steve.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

a couple things before we split.

howdy, all. just droppin' a few pics befor we split on a three day kayaking trip upstream of lee's ferry on the colorado river to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. gorgeous scenery, great boating and {hopefully} stellar trout fishing! we try to go have fun on our anniversaries since i spent our fourth in a coma......anyhoo, here's chris's bike all polished up pre-brazeons. the frames look really cool before you put the doo-dads on, it's the shinest it gets, and all the flux makes the frame start corroding as soon as you rinse it off. and, i know what you're thinking, so i'll beat you to it: NO CLEARCOATED COCONINO FRAMES!!! there, i said it. it just doesn't last and all it does is give you a "clear" view of the rust spiderwebbing under the clearcoat. clear sticks to paint, not metal. also, sorry for the fuzzy pics, i still haven't figued out how to get a good pic of polished frames, something with the reflection. also, a great pic of denise riding waterline road courtesy of giddie. thanks! the leaves are changing up there, but the early freeze coupled with wet weather may keep us from having the absolutely stellar fall colors of last year.....oh well, the south side has yet to go off, i may be proven wrong....i thought i was wrong once but as it turns out, i was mistaken, as the saying goes.....and, i bet many of you wonder what i do in my leisure time. well, here it is. kitty wrestling. i almost always win! there you go. back on the 15th with cool pics, hopefully some of trophy rainbows.....later, steve.

Monday, October 08, 2007

mid-october, burrrrr!

got the bike cycle going on.....brazed one together, started another one, waiting for one at paint....sooo, here's chris's not-quite-defluxed new frame. man, i think it looks cool! that's definately not off-the-shelf geometry. it's a really small 29er. i'm usually not a proponent of 29er's for shorter folk, but chris has a short inseam, and a long torso and arm. toe overlap and weird angles were not issues, we just had to allow for standover, and, the curved toptube shrunk it down quite a bit. i bet it rolls log ramps really well. the seatstays came out really cool. the tight bends and two piece construction coupled with the angle they met the seat tube was a real fabrication challenge. next, jim r.'s new bike in the first stage of construction - a blueprint and some squeaky clean tubes. i've known jim since 90', i think, and i don't think he's ever had a bike that fit right. it's gonna be personally fulfilling to make him the best fitting bike i can so he can get out there and enjoy the grand coconino national forest in comfort! it's going to be a full build, so i'll document the whole build, probally starting oct 14th or so. and, got out for a sweet ride on saturday, up climb 3, down upper brookbank and weinie walk. the peaks had a dusting of frost all day, the temp while riding was 41*f, and conditions were perfect: moist, sunny and cool! had to turn on the heater for the 1st time this year, sally loves it! later, steve,

Friday, October 05, 2007

october 5th, 2007

well, i will have to say that so far 5/10/07 is going alot better then 5/10/05 or 06'. yep, it's two years ago today that i was crushed by a truck, changing everything. feeling pretty alright today, although i'm struggling a bit with nerve pain right now and was up quite a bit of last night with spasms of both legs. i don't dwell on my issues very much, but feeling a little introspective on this anniversary of the shittiest day yet......i definately still have long-term problems. skeletal, muscle and joint pain, nerve pain and spasms that at some point of almost every day force me to shut down or curl into a is definately difficult. but, it goes on if you choose to make it so. on the lighter side, got the chainstays on chris's bike today, it's looking more like a bike. wasn't about to start on the seatstays, those are gonna be CUSTOM on such a small rear triangle, and i'm alloting them their own day, also built some wheels. went fishing yesterday, we got 11 nice rainbows, with barry's 15 incher taking biggest trout, but not biggest fish, he also caught a huge sucker, netting him the $5.00 sucker derby prize. and, driving down to the lake in the morning we saw a HUGE really healthy black bear as well. arizona's high country sure is cool! gonna try to go ride my bike for the first time in a while tomorrow, weather allowing! catch you all later, steve.