Thursday, February 28, 2008

first handcycle ride of 08'.

well, finally got out for a handcycle ride yesterday, and it was gorgeous! almost 70*, in stark contrast from our snow and cold, and only < 30mi. away! the trails were perfect, every rivulet is flowing clear, cold water and the views were superb. i went from the end of jordan road to the top of the descent to midgely bridge and back, a nice distance for a first ride to try and get my coordination, muscles and joints back in action, and my sternum tough. i'm pretty over the snow, as are many others {especially those with roof problems} and i'm ready for biking/boating/fishing/building with the garage door open season to start! march is usually a high precipitation month however.......with much of the massive coconino plateau over a mile high, weather is usually taken on a day-to-day basis. off to work, i'm starting pvb's bike, got cameron's to go off to paint, some custom wheels for mimbres man in venezuela to build, and a bunch of movies for the mountain film festival to screen - i'm on the judges panel again this year. busy, busy! steve.

Monday, February 25, 2008

cameron's bike winding down, and pvb's starting up.

almost done on cameron's bike. it's great to feel almost better! i'd probally have it done if i hadn't trashed a set of seat stays on a day when i was trying to work and shoulda just stayed in bed. boy, i layed down some nice brazes on this bike! polishing them down has been pretty easy, i should finish the frame tomorrow. here's some before and after shots. i really like polishing brass! it looks so purty when you're all done, and if you get your brazing down it really doesn't take that long. sooooo.......on to pvb's bike. he's already got a 26" wheel coconino that's been on the trail for a good four years or so, doing lots of ultra-endurance racing in the rockies area - it's blue. his new rig is going to be a 29er single speed with discs. here's a quick tubing list - headtube, 37mm true temper. down tube, 1.5" x .9/.6/.9 verus heat treat. seat tube, vht single butt .9/.6 x 1.125" with a 1.25" x .058 seatube sleeve. toptube, 4130 1.25" x .035, curved. chainstays, dedacciai zero-tre s-bend. hand bent segmented 4130 seatstays. paragon bottom bracket and slider lites. it'll be sweet! and, denise's current stable plus barry's bike over for a visit. that's a sweet stack of metal. later, steve

Sunday, February 24, 2008

first time nordic sit skiing.

went out with the phoenix adaptive sports center to the flagstaff Nordic center yesterday and had a fun time! it wasn't as hard as i thought it would be, it was allot faster, easier and smoother then off-road handcycling, but still a great workout. definitely easier on the joints then riding the oneoff. i was super fortunate to get a one-on-one tutorial from debbie, she's a real pro at it and would just slide away on the uphills, she's going to some huge sit-skiing powwow in norway soon. i tipped over {hard to "fall" when you are less then three feet tall} three times before lunch, but after lunch i was ripping around and didn't wreck once. they knew i built bikes, and i guess the major builder of sit ski chairs in masschusetts just quit making them, and they want me to start. i think i'll definitely be making my own for next winter, but i don't think i can go into full production or anything. how come some folks can't find things to run with and make a living, and so many folks have things they can't find people to make? oh well, made sure to take allot of couldn't have asked for a more perfect day, bluebird skies and fresh powder with groomed trails, and heavy snowstorms on both days on either sides of it. saw tons of cool flagstaff locals too, and lots of people fall down and get up o.k. what's more fun then that?

Friday, February 22, 2008

back in action/random images

feeling better today, about 75% of all better. did a bunch of errands and got camerons bike all tacked together too. i would have gotten it all brazed up but my right leg kept spasming so violently i could barely braze straight. folks wonder how i can do clean brazes in a chair. you have to learn to work with what you have got - like learning to braze with both hands. and you have to have each move choreographed before you do it. also, here's an upcoming project - frank p.'s commuter, which is going to be built out of heattreated kaisei tubing and llewellen dropouts with a lugged fork. i'll blog the whole build. i might be one of the first builders in the usa to get a set of the heat treated kaisei - UBI is importing it and has had just the non-heat treated until now, and ron sent me a tubeset to build and supply feedback. initial feedback - it looks SWEET!!! the INSIDES look better then most available offering's OUTSIDES. reminds me of prestige that way. i'm gonna finish cameron's and PVB's bikes and then start frank's. next, on to one of the most ludicrous tags i've seen in a while - "waterproof" - right next to a hole. ???? and, a shot of the current snow level from the shop with sally and cody. tomorrow, i'm meeting with a group from phoenix to try nordic sit-skiing, so, it's off to bed. later, steve.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

productivity currently lacking.......

man, do i feel sucky. i lost my voice pretty good at the bike show, flew across the country in germ tubes, then got a mild cold. i took a couple days off feeling i would come around and tried to concentrate on office work and streamlining the buisness so as to save time. i faced and chased and prepped keri's new bike {and let it get out the door without taking a picture of it all stickered and headbadged, but here's a "fresh outta the box" photo} and sent it out the door and bent, mitered and slotted the seat stays for cameron's new bike......only too find i cut them short. really short. into the recycling bin short. sucky. there's alot of time into those. soooo.......i cut all four pieces of a new set, brazed them together, talked to PVB about his 2nd coconino frme coming up next, and drew up the blueprint. 6:30pm. got some work done, replied to about six e-mails about parts groups {very organised on my new parts spreadsheets, thank you} and went to bed expecting to get up all chipper and brighteyed. wrong. i feel like shit. worse then before. it pains me to type this. green stuff is coming out of my head, my whole body hurts, and i can't talk. and here i was kicking ass on febuary's build list......there is a lesson in this however. it shows why it is so difficult to try and tell someone nine months in advance {i'm filling up october build slots right now} when exactly their frame will be done. i thought the bike i'm STILL working on would be happily at paint right now. not languishing in my jig. oh well - moan moan moan. soon to be back in action..... steve.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

denise finally gets her new bike - last clean pics!

denise just took off on her new rig - it was in transit from the bike show until today and we built it right up. it sure looks sweet! the 650b/27.5" wheels sure look ergonomic on her size bike, they fit perfect. thanks to mark and liz at spectrum powder for the awesome powdercoat, ron andrews at king cage for stoking it out at the show with a full set of titanium king cages, lizardskins for the custom grips, and all the great parts manufactuers for helping put together such a great build - hubs and bottom bracket from phil wood, cranks and freewheels from white industries, paul components for the entire brakeset, chris king for the headset, thomson for the stem and post, hope qr's {my new fave} brooks saddles, walt at waltworks, and everybody at the show who helped us box and ship this stuff back to arizona - hope the flask of hornitos anejo and the rounds of beer were sufficient for all your help. she's out getting it muddy right now! steve.

Monday, February 18, 2008

update on cameron's frame/wheels for sale

just a quick post here. cameron's frame is really looking great, i assembled the segmented seatstays yesterday, and i'm going to go out and do the bending on them and maybe get it all brazed up. i'm gonna go biking tomorrow for the first time in about a month - man, i need to see som dirt! hope i remember how! also, i have this extra wheelset for sale, i figured if i had to lace one, i might as well do two. price is $350.00, no tax outside arizona, does not include shipping. wheels are 26". black deore xt centerloc hubs WITH shimano 6-bolt adaptors and quick releases, black dt swiss 14ga. spokes & nips, dt swiss x-430 disc specific rims {not rim brake compatable} and velox rim tape. first e-mail to me at: gets em'. hand laced and tensioned by yours truly, straight and round. rock on, steve.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

back to work!

well, went through about 50 e-mails, a stack of mail, paid bills and taxes, cleaned the shop, and got back to real work. already got cameron's front triangle tacked together. it is going to be sweet. i used the lightest curved toptube i supply, 1.125 x .028. thin stuff! also, ran a newer, stronger truetemper seattube that i'm starting to use on most models - not that there was anything wrong with the old ones, these just have a higher tensile strength and fit more riders while still allowing use of the entire butt length at the bottombracket shell. and, they are made in the USA. the down tube is a sweet shaped prestige model i have a few of still. they are flat oval at the headtube, and smaller and round at the bottombracket junction. super nice tubing! today i'm going to go out and install the chainstays and start the seatstays. i should have it up and off to paint pretty soon. also, laced and tensioned a big stack of wheels......still have one to go. a set is going to cameron, and i'll post a set for sale when i get them all good to go. how much snow do we have? check out this pic of denise shoveling - OUT SIDE THE WINDOW. talk to you soon! steve.

Friday, February 15, 2008

a different kind of wheelbuilder

after we left the bike show we stopped by to see our friends heidi and magnus drudik in salem, oregon. the drudiks are really great people, growing alot of their own food on their two acre plot and living incredibly simply and happily. magnus makes some of the most highly regarded spinning wheels in the world - he currently has a six year waiting list. each wheel is an incredible work of functional art made from raw blocks of aged hardwood! he has been making them for so long that he doesn't have to measure anything, just going by eye. he mostly uses native oregon myrtle wood {the yellow and dark wheel} although the fully built wheel is made from tiger maple. gorgeous! heidi is really big into spinning, making just about everything you can think of out of fiber. magnus has gloves made from their dog's hair that he uses for the final fine polishing, and man, they shine! i really enjoy any kind of workshop where someone makes their living with their hands, and really like being able to see the drudiks leading an incredibly rare self-sustaining low impact life style. steve.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

handmade bike show 2008 - it's a wrap!

well....... that was quite some gathering of the tribe! it was really great seeeing everyone! all the bike folks: DW, richard a deb sachs, bruce gordon, rody, bill grove, brian baylis, fred, the sycips, curtis and mitzi inglis, paul sadoff and simon, mark norstad, thursday, margo, peter weigle, the hunters, shawn walling, ron andrews, carl strong, mike desalvo, ron sutphin, the dirtrag crew, the folsons and the true temper gang, joe bringheli, all the frame forum freaks, all five wades, neil hassan, drew, ginger, dazza, the rebolledos, joe bringheli, kirk pacenti, steve beomke, liz and mark from spectrum, jim kish, and all the builders who showed and the groupies who made it happen, and to the flag crew and the ex-flag crew who showed up: yod, lisa, keenan & rylin, billy & libby, smithers, joe, stu, lars & julie, edie, dirtburner, vulture & jessica and jen & mike. i can't belive the cuban resturaunt was able to seat all 17 of us. the whole deal was overwhelming, i didn't get to see half of everything cool, saw some stuff that blew my mind, and saw some stuff i didn't think was cool, and saw some stuff that was just poorly done or was way too "concept car" for me. {how can you make that stuff and still find time to build bikes to sell?} and had some folks really dig on what i was doing. it seemed like everyone knew my name, and liked my fillets. there's no way i can convey it all, but here's some pics........ back to work tomorrow, steve.