Saturday, May 31, 2008

trout season is finally here!

well, the wind calmed down and the water got warm enough to get in some great trout fishing yesterday with denise, barry, jeff and chuck the dog. we all limited out, and i scored three big, fat holdovers - the three biggest trout of the day {heh, heh....} they had thick, deep red fillets. delicious! got a little sunburned, had some cold beers, and just enjoyed a full, deep lake in the pines. saw an osprey snag a trout off the surface and saw the usual herd of elk on the drive in. the forest is really green and healthy. trout for dinner tonight! steve.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

dave's bike done, had a nice chilly ride.

well, got dave's bike done. here's a picture of the frame before i did all the brazeons, it's really pretty at this stage, all shiny and smooth. it's gonna go out to paint in the next couple days and come back pretty soon all nice and orange. went for a good tough ride on a cool, windy day up to the wilderness boundary on weatherford trail from an old seldom used trail to the east and then down orion springs trail with it's new out-of-the-ditch sections. pretty nice, but one thing i don't get - why did they make the trail right through the spring? not very wildlife or watershed friendly, in my opinion...... anyway, we hooked back over to where we started via unused pine-needle covered connector trails and back to the car for a 4 1/2 hour grovel with denise. it will be summer some day, really, it will. steve.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

dave's bike all brazed up - what color, dave?

here's some post/during brazing pics of dave's frame. most were taken immediately after i put down the fillet and it was still really hot. the glassy residue is flux, which preps and cleans the surface as well as slowing down surface oxidation and helping the metal to flow smoothly and evenly. flux is your friend! them's some pretty smooth brazes, folks! i figure i have thousands of brazes under my belt now, and think i'm just now getting really good at it. i actually really enjoy polishing a frame now, whereas it used to entail days and days of toil. and, here's a self portrait of yours truly after cozying up to a 1600*F torch for awhile. there's allot of romance associated with framebuilding, but, don't be fooled, it's a solid bluecollar job! steve.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

next five builds

soooo..... here's the next five builds coming up. if you're on the list drop me an e-mail if your build parameters or essential component choices like fork or wheel type has changed, and start thinking about your color choice. i'll be getting a hold of you too, so this is just a "heads up". m. pacheco, t. martinez, s. correa, j. reddan, g. deckey. be talking to you all soon, get stoked! steve.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PVB's bike all built up and a couple update shots of dave's frame.

just a quick post folks! pvb sent me some pics of his rootbeer one speed - man, it sure looks sweet! damn, that's a nice bike! get a good look at it here, if you see it on the trails it may be traveling too fast to get much more then a glimpse. also, just some update shots of dave's bike. boy, when you are building at either end of the size spectrum it's really nice to have your parts the bike will use handy. i really wanted to {and did} use a 72* seattube angle on dave's bike to give it a nice long effective toptube measurement and a roomy cockpit area while still keeping the front-center measurement under control AND keep the chainstays short as possible to keep the wheelbase manageable for trail riding - allot of design aspects to juggle! so here i'm making sure the tire clearance is good, the 180mm cranks and the chainrings clear the chainstay, and that the front derailleur clears the chainstay, the tire AND had a good cable routing path. makes me really glad i was a mechanic for as long as i was, folks. steve.

dave w's bike coming together.

here's a pretty big bike, folks! it's a 26.5" top tube 29er, but it's going to look proper under dave - he's tall. so, here's pictures of the box-o-parts before scrubbing, cleaning and inspection for blemishes, measuring the butting, drilling the vent holes, and silver brazing the seattube sleeve on. next, a shot of "coping" the tubes, also known as "mitering" or super old school, "fish mouthing". then, it's all assembled into a working front triangle. the seattube sleeve is brazed onto the seattube which is then coped and tacked onto the bottom bracket shell. this sub assembly is then bolted onto the alignment table to make sure the "spine" of the frame - the seattube - is perfectly straight. seat tube no straight, frame no straight. every tube except for the chainstays joins the seattube, and the way i build the chainstays butt up against the seattube as well. you also have to slot the seatube for the seat collar to tighten down onto the seatpost and drill the waterbottle braze on holes, taking front derailleur placement into consideration. as far as frame alignment and proper brazing tolerance, the tube to tube coping fit is key. here's a shot of the BB shell/ST/DT compound miter TIGHT! lastly, dave's front triangle all tacked up. today, front triangle alignment check and on to chainstays. here's where the building gets hard...... the main triangle only has one main plane of straightness, whereas the rear has MANY. tubing list: truetemper: 1.5" downtube, single butt 1 1/8" seattube, 37mm headtube. dedacciai: s-bend chainstays. paragon machine works: dropouts and bottom bracket. 4130: 1.25" toptube, seattube sleeve, seatstays. later, thanks for reading! steve.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

trails could not be any better!

if it's Saturday and you are sitting around reading this, get your act together and get out there! it's a beautiful day and trails are perfect! me, i'm gonna go out and prep a frame and do a ton of braze-ons. but, don't feel too bad for me, cuz here's what i was doing yesterday afternoon - ripping down sunset trail with perfect tacky-ness, doing two and three wheel high speed drifts through perfectly groomed banked turns. it's finally warming up, and last weeks' snow really buffed out and greened up the forest and left a beautiful lining of snow on the peaks. can't wait for the flower season and getting up high, high in the inner basin and the upper mountains later {probably much later} in the summer. off to work, steve.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

shop status: busy.

here's the current shop lineup: trent's frame: done/painted. ben's frame: done/waiting for fork. allan's frame: in process. dave's bike: designed/tubing and hardware good to go. up next: toby in florida, 2 frames. get a hold of me, or i'll be calling you very soon! once again, thanks for the Patience everyone! steve.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

40th birthday come and gone.........

yep, made it to forty. never thought it would happen, and i'm sure it surprised allot of other people as well. i've been cut out of car wrecks, brought back from drowning, knocked out five times, crushed by a truck and endured more injuries and surgeries then any 20 average people and live a painful and tiring life, but i'm still here and evidently loved and still useful and able to enjoy many things and appreciate them more because of it all. thanks to all of you who showed up for the party and everyone who stood by me and kept believing in me all these years. we'll see how many more i've got in me! rock on, steve.

Monday, May 12, 2008

groveling with company.

went riding with another handcyclist for the first time since the worlds last august - darol kubacz. darol turned me on to the one-off, and he's training for his second assault on the summit of Kilimanjaro this august. it was nice to get out and ride with someone once or twice a year or so! it was a plenty hard 4 1/2 hour ride up dog food and old weatherford road and down hotshot and schultz creek. a great time was had by all! steve.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

making stuff from scratch.

{please note: i was sooo tired when i posted this that all the pics are totally disorganised! sorry! hope it still makes some sense - steve.} to me, there's two kinds of custom frames: those made with stock components, and those where the builder takes raw materials and some creativity and flair and makes something totally their own that stands out from the crowd, things that make your bike unique. now, i'm not saying that there's anything wrong with assembling pre-made pieces into great riding bikes, just that for some reason i've go to great lengths to try and make my bikes into what my vision entitles even if i have to make it all myself. now, i used to bend my own toptubes, but that's something that i've had to farm out to another well known builder since i've had to build in a chair. {i hope all of this comes out making sense, i'm sooooo tired right now} but here's some stuff that i do make myself. first, here's a pic of a seattube sleeve and a chainstay brace next to the pieces of raw 4130 crome-moly steel they started as. i can mass-produce the sleeves, but each brace is unique, and each bike has two. next, here's a series of photos of what i did today, made custom seatstays. they are custom created for each bike, there is no template, just my eye and sense of balance and form. they each start out as a piece of 1/2" and a piece of 5/8" 4130, which i then braze together, clean, bend, miter, spearpoint and drill ventholes in. i'm pretty proud of these when they are done, they take me almost an entire day, and every 5th pair or so doesn't meet my QC and goes into the recycling bin - ouch. but, man i like the look of the finished product! i'm going biking tomorrow, and then i'll braze allan's frame together on monday. also, trent's bike showed back up from paint, i'll have some more pics when i get it all prepped. i'm going to go lay down now......... steve.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

allan's 29er under way

started allan's frame today, got pretty far, i've got a front triangle done. it's going to be a trail/tour/all rounder kinda bike with a fox shock and a bunch of sweet goodies and full rack mounts and extra bottle mounts. kind of a regular coconino build as of late. sooooo....... just a few shots of stuff i thought was cool today - first, the tubeset pre-build, what i started with this morning just after i scrubbed everything inside and out but before i measured the butting and checked the tubes for bowing. next, a hole shot i made through the downtube with the mill for the headtube cope - straight through! that baby is centered. next, a shot of the hole for the seattube slot - as you can see, i draw the silver down in between the seattube sleeve and the seattube and make sure it's all around the hole where the slot will go, insuring that moisture will not get in between the two layers of metal. it's the little things that count! next, a shot of the headtube copes all tacked up, that's a nice tight fit - the way they should be! more pics when i have some thing to show, steve.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

lee's ferry kayak trip - about as good as it gets!

just had four stellar days sea kayaking the colorado river upstream from lee's ferry. it was awesome! despite daunting winds on the night before all our days on the water and in camp were perfect. we all caught beautiful trout with barry coming out waaay on top of the trout count but denise & me both caught some beauties and they all went back into the deep except some select specimens for the frying pan. cheers to jeff and jane for toughing out some hard paddling! jeff did some swimming due to his overloaded boat, but only lost a hat. a great time was had by all!!! get out there and go, it's one of the secret arizona freebies....... steve.