Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a grovel up Weatherford trail.

almost to the top! quite the crawl, not many tracks - only one bike track we could see. great to be out on the trail, i was starting to have shop-cosis from being in the shop too much!
Denise says i look strong in this pic. yaaaayyy! i often think i look pretty weird, all cobbled together from spare parts with crooked limbs and big scars. i used to be one of the strongest people i knew.
if you think this looks hard, you should see how intimidating it looks from 2 1/2ft above the ground - it looks like Everest!
"rocking" it on the way down.
Barry was kind enough to make me new leg pad covers - this shows how manky my old ones were! at least it gets used......
Keri's bike - i'm gonna get some stays on this baby today. i had to spend a few days getting parts all sussed up, building wheels, doing errands, organising, paying bills, going to the bank, getting my product insurance all set for the next year and talking to upcoming clients about fine points of their soon-to-be bikes.

Nate T's box o' tubes for his 650B that's next in line. i have your wheels all laced, too, and i got allot further on this pile of stuff, cutting & facing the headtube, making a custom seat tube sleeve for the Prestige Ultimate seat tube, polishing all the 4130, washing the tube set, inspection, brazing the sleeve to the ST and cutting off unneeded ends. i had a good photo of this, but i sadly just deleted it.......... more soon, thanks for reading! Steve.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

late april/what be happenin? some cool stuff, that's what/upcoming builds!

yesterday Phillip & I built Dannette's bike all up - it looks great & fits really well. they are on their way to Moab for a vacation & promised me some action pics, which i will share as soon as i get them.......this pic certainly does not do the paint justice, "laser emerald" it really pops green in the sun!
Keri's bike as it sits - i actually have the stays & the dropouts all fit and mitered & just need to tack them on. i'll get around to that later today after breakfast & stretching - my back is killing me this morning.
a pic of the headtube miters during an alignment check - tight!
Mc D got me an action pic of his new Rohloff bike. in his words:....... I LOVE MY NEW BIKE!!! first real ride on it went rode up and over the hill behind the house, way up onto the next hill (pretty much to snowline), around Dog Valley (Toolie's final resting place) and back up the first hill's backside and descended on home. 7.5 hours, 50+ miles, 9000' climbing. refilled water from snowmelt and depleted all of that by the top of the last climb. the descent was a pleasant 4000' jeep road and single track run all the way home. the bike handled perfectly, was totally comfortable and quite responsive. thanks again!

Tracey got her frame back from Spectrum Powder Works - looks killer! can't wait to see some pics of it in action cruising the Rockies.........

as ya'll can see, been very busy lately! gonna take it semi-easy today, i'll get the chainstays on Keri's bike after i clear the mayhem left over from the build on Danette's bike & clean the shop - tools & boxes everywhere.......then, i have to look at inventory as per the next few's the next five builds & some notes on status: Keri - get me a color......Nate T: on deck next, i've got your blueprint drawn, your tubes selected, and your wheels built. Aki - figuring it all out - waiting for your fork, i have your drawing from last summer. Shabir: i think we're all good! got your wheel stuff trickling in. Dave from the Bike Hub - same - i think we're all good. i'll be calling you for last minute finalization. PEOPLE COMING UP ON THE RADAR: Jeff P, Kyle O, Mark H. be talkin' to you all soon! thanks all, Steve.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

updates on stuff & things.........

Danette's frame all done & ready for paint - Sally approved!
Trent stopped by with a couple of his rigs - here's his couple-of-years old touring rig..........

and here is his 5-6yr old 1-speed. this bike has been very well used.

......and out on the trail here is Lex on the maiden voyage of her new bike.

here's an up-close shot for ya - copper penny with gold topcoat.
got out for a handcycle ride with Darol - i was out almost five hours! i'm tired today.......

what a clear, nice day!

lastly, a shot from Mc D's house of him building up his new frame. i'll post more pics when i get 'em. rock on, Steve.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

mid april, 2009.......

Danette's bike bolted down for a post-brazing alignment check - straight!
a nice looking rig!
some smooth headtube brazing - i did these at the end of a really long day and they came out quite nice even though i was very tired.
i'm happy with this BB junction - it won't take long to polish that up - plus my arms & joint are very fatigued from handcycling, so i appreciate that.
shop mayhem picture!
went for a cruise on the Fort Valley trail system - climbed for three hours & then descended for one. good fun! i really needed to get out - it had been a long time! the big lenticular cloud east of the peaks means the weather is changing, and it did snow the whole next day.

a beautiful grove of mature Ponderosa pines. we live in the world's largest grove of Ponderosas, stretching from Utah to Mexico through central Arizona through the southern corner of New Mexico.
the snow is thinning on the southern slopes, but people are still skiing up there.

more later, i'm gonna try real hard to get Danette's bike done today, and then i'm starting on Keri's. more later, Steve.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Danette's bike - ready, set, GO!

few people really realise how many steps there are to actually building a frame up from scratch. there are ALLOT. here i am just starting out from the blueprint, cutting the headtube from a bulk chunk.
next, the headtube must be faced to insure that both faces are parallel.
now, you have to drill vent holes in the piece. ditto with the bottom bracket shell and the seattube sleeve, which was made from a raw length of 4130 steel in-house.

the downtube is one of the last pieces of Tange Prestige tubing i have - considered by many to be some of the finest tubing ever offered for bicycles. this is new old stock circa 1993/94'. quadruple butted goodness!
trimming the excess off the ends of the tubes.
here are all the main components minus the seatstays {i make them from scratch later} and they have all been washed inside and out, inspected for bowing and flaws and had the butting profiles checked and marked.

here's my hand creme.......silver alloy paste flux........put some of that on your organic granola!........frame building is not the healthiest profession you can have.......

mitering the tubes on the mill.....
here is a raw fit straight off the machine. nice!

and lastly for today, the completed triangle. more later, thanks for reading, ya'll - Steve.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mc D, your frame is done........

not sure what to call this really sparkles intensely up close like some sorta mineral........look for it cruising the backroads of the great basin.
check this out - last friday. it really likes to do this on my days to go do stuff lately, it at 7000ft. Steve.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Lex's frame, Danette's frame.

all brazed up & in the polishing process.......what a cool looking little frame!
how nice is that? this came out really well......i couldn't find a double butted tube short enough to use without removing all or most of the butting off of one or either ends, so i ended up using a single butted seat tube and making this "lug" for the seat cluster. no, you cannot have one. sorry...........
some A-OK brazing still hot from the torch. that'll clean up quick.

Denise snuck in and got a shot of me brazing.
Danette's bike in it's conceptual stage. it's gonna be a great build. i have all the parts here and i'm gonna start cutting tubes as soon as i finish with Lex's frame. a great tubing mix on this frame: true temper, prestige, dedacciai, 4130 and paragon.......

her blueprint before i cover it with greasy hand prints, coffee rings and flux.......

that's it for now.......going to have some breakfast and relax before doing some polishing and resting up for a build date with Simon, we're gonna get his yellow frame put together this afternoon, and hopefully weather allowing i'll get to go fishing tomorrow! ciao for niao, Steve.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Lex's bike creeping along......

but, i am getting there! here's the front triangle passing the alignment test with flying colors. small frames are inherently straight - there's just less distance to get crooked in! i've been really busy with out of town visitors, wheel building, parts specs on builds, and yesterday i pretty much just did customer relations - calling people close to when their build comes up and really cementing down details. each of these "final calls" {which usually aren't} takes at least an hour framebuilding acquaintance recently estimated that only 40% of their time being a "framebuilder" is spent building frames, and upon thinking about it, i must concur. there is just so much to do. add to this that my back is being wack right now and that i feel like i'm getting sick {but, it's probally just pollen allergies - outside surfaces are turning yellow.......anybody here remember the bee pollen incident?} and you can see how hard it is to "crystal ball" exact delivery times........still, i think that i'm "ahead" on builds......averaging 9-10 month actually delivery times as of now. i know it's easy to want me to hurry up on everyone else's bike and then really take my time on yours but, this super detail stuff just takes time, more so as i do it all sitting down. i'm always really glad for every one's patience, as it also tells me that people are ordering my bikes not because they are the cheapest or that you can have one tomorrow, but because they appreciate the time, style and skill imparted into each piece. right on. thanks, ya'll......
stuff like this: most people just bend the tabs and slot with a machine, but i still do this all by hand.......i've actually got it down to awful damn fast with a square, a sharpie, a hacksaw and a warding file. a really tight fit is a necessity when joining stainless steel to chrome-moly alloys with silver alloy fillers.....
a 14" bastard file, a 12" round file and a 10" 2nd cut file and the tips are all nicely spear pointed for a pleasing look and a nice cup to feed and hold filler.
lastly, after mitering in a dedicated chain stay fixture the stays are precisely fitted to the jig & the front triangle - now you can see what the bike will look like - sweet! i'm going to clean the shop today as parts and packing material are strewn everywhere and then maybe try to get out and enjoy the sun before we allegedly get stormy weather for a few days, shutting me up inside to get my seat stay groove on..........little bikes have really dynamic bends {the last bike this small i did i recycle-binned 3 pairs of SS's - arrrrgghh} but i hope to nail this one first should wrap up very early next week, SO, get me a color #, Lex! Steve.