Wednesday, June 24, 2009

final build shots of Shabir's bike, Dave's all brazed. out of here until July 7th.

man, this bike came out really purty - the lines really work for me. it sparkles like crazy in the sun, but it's still cloudy every time i try to shoot a pic of it.
Pacenti fork crown & full length housing on all the cables.

flowing organic curves make it look like it's hauling ass just sitting there.........

mostly Deore XT with hand laced wheels.......quite the whole enchilada.

Dave's seatstays all bent & ready for mitering.

fast forward to the final pre-brazing alignment check. all good!

cleanly brazed! sorry i didn't get this done before my trip, Dave. i'll put it in the fast lane when i return. thanks for you patience!!!!

head tube junction still cooling down.

that's it for now, ya'll. i'm off to re-charge my batteries until the 7th of July to see Denise's side of the family in Wisconsin. catch you all when i get back. thanks for reading!! Steve.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shabir - your bike is done. Dave - yours is coming along. and a nice ride among the flowers. updates on built frames & next five builds.

yours truly hand filing brazes. fun stuff!
modifying braze ons - i have to tack them with brass & then clean them up and silver braze them to the top tube.

off she goes to paint.

shazam! back from paint just like that. "melon yellow" with gold sparkle topcoat. haven't seen it in full sun yet, as well.........we haven't had any. it's still not summer here yet. odd, that.

fast forward many hours and a few beers later and with some help from friends it's ready to roll. man, this thing looks SWEET & purposeful. Shabir - get ahold of me about a shipping destination. off to Vermont!

at the same time, i am working on Dave's frame destined for Wisconsin. i hope to get it to paint before i well, go to Wisconsin. i have to at least get it brazed up. we'll see. can't hurry detail work or it will bite you in the is my trusty mill that i often think of as my robot co-worker. attack, robot - attack!!!

that's what i'm talking about. i mitered 50 bikes totally by hand and me, my elbows and shoulders do not miss it at all.

bitchin' new H2O bottle jig from Sputnik Tool - awesome! what a clever little widget. instant love & spot-on hole placement.

chain stays and dropouts all fixtured - got them brazed too.

front triangle all tacked - all this bike work on both rigs was yesterday & man - i am really tired. didn't sleep more then a few hours last night, after working about a 14 hour day. that's a long day on your ass. not sure if i'm gonna even look at the shop today.

went on a great two and a half hour ride the other day mostly just to look at flowers and get a little exercise. nice to get out!!!

gorgeous Iris - these are usually gone in mid May - it's been that cool out.

an indian paintbrush.

manyflowered gromwell - pretty.

the forest sure is nice this year. we only saw our two friends Bryce & Kristina all day.

great ferns!!

lastly, an albino lupine. i estimate they are amout 1: 10,000 to purple ones in the forest - cool!

OK - now that you all got through all of that here's the current build status - Nate: your frame should show from Spectrum before i leave on the 24th. Aki: at paint. Shabir: will ship. Dave: will at least be brazed before i leave. *** next five builds out of twenty-three: *** finalise your bike concepts, folks.........1: J. Perner. 2: K. Olsen. 3: J. Marzoff. 4: R. Mingus. 5: M. Hoover. i'll be here until the 24th & then gone until the 6th of July. thanks, all - Steve.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

mid June 2009 megapost.

ORCHIDS!!! this is Corallorhiza maclata - spotted coralroot. although quite common the flowers are only fully open for two days - quite the rare treat!! i was pretty stoked. Coconino county has 13 species of orchids.
here's the whole plant to give some scale. they lack chlorophyll, which is why they are red, and are parasitic to the fungus which lives symbiotically with pine trees to help them process food through their roots.

the Lupine are *going off!*

here is a tiny baby Horny Toad so small it could perch easily on a nickle.

quite a nice portrait of blackdog Sally. she is really great company & still going strong at 12, although it seems like she has been 12 for quite awhile...........

random drylake hills shot looking down into the valley where little bear trail is.

as always, a solo grovel..........i sure am glad my lovely wife enjoys getting out in our forest with me. i am way lucky in that aspect - been becoming quite the recluse as of late.

fun with yellowdog!

brazing detail shots for Shabir & all. i'm gonna hit this thing hard tomorrow & get it off to paint along with Aki's bike. i'm not solid on the color - if you get this, Shabir, fill me in..........Nate's bike should return from Spectrum soon, too - there's been a lack of painted bikes to show lately!

flowy stays, track ends, derailleur hanger, bottle opener & lugged fork. this is full build too, so i'll get to see it from conception to completion.

nailed that, yo. i'm starting to get the hang of this brazing thing........

lacing some 40* tandem wheels in the Casa De Garro. Velocity Dyads to Phils.

i wonder if i'm ever going to get over burning myself? more tomorrow or the next day as i polish Shabir's bike up, and going riding Monday. thanks for reading ya'll, i really appreciate all the shout-outs! Steve.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shabir's project winding down/Dave's starting up.

i got the frame all tacked up and ready for brazing, but i didn't get that far as the day turned into customer relations. no worries! i'm gonna braze it tomorrow first thing while it's cool out, i'm gonna get out in the woods today. i *think* i'm doing pretty well build wise, i keep all my build ques as they evolve and it seems somehow that i have creeped build up to the point i am somehow almost a month ahead after Shabir's and Dave's bikes! this is good as i'll be out of the office from June 24th to July 6th to see my inlaws in Wisconsin, so if you gotta get ahold of me please do it before then.........
here's how my seat stays start out. raw lengths of cro-moly 4130. each set is totally unique to the build, and i braze the segments together - i refer to them as segmented stays - Bontrager did something sorta similar on their old bikes, but their style was to speed up production where as mine slows it down! i use feel, diagrams {see the paper the pieces are resting on} and muscle memory to come up with the bend placement and angle. these babies usually take me an entire day.

bent as per my plan and matched up. nice!

mounted on my Anvil fixture for mitering on the mill.

here i am using the end of the day to draft up Dave's frame. each blueprint is hand drawn by me. i really enjoy this. i took years of drafting in school. nothing like the smell of a #2 Ticonderoga! clients are welcome to have their plans upon completion, just let me know.

all drawn up. i'm still thinking about it, i may incorporate more standover clearance into the design.......the straight line bisecting through the top tube is crotch level. whadda ya think, Dave? you said you liked a bigger bike.........that's 2" standover at the bottom bracket sagged......1" more might be just right. sometimes i'll come back and scrap the whole design & draw a new one...........Steve

Dave's tubeset as it sits.............that's it for now, ya'll. i'll be back with updates probably tomorrow night. Steve.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

a couple of pics of Shabir's frame.

Shabir's "monstercross" is coming together.......basically a 29er/700c bike made to ramble comfortably wherever he wants to ramble.......on road, off road, trail. i think it's looking damn sweet, the lines really work for me. i had to get these pics off my camera, it's doing weird things.........i think a piece of grit or metal is lodged in the telescoping HAS outlived three ghetto boxes! the shop is a harsh environment for electronics.
brazing the drop outs in place. it sure is great to have proper fixturing {and lots of tubing!} when making a living out of this.

a macro shot of the chain stay fit straight off the mill. it doesn't get much tighter then that. that's money, yo.

trying to get my ass in gear this morning...............had a great day at work yesterday until about 4PM, then my body started to fall apart. super nerve pain - i couldn't feel anything but fuzzy extreme pain below the knee on my right - my back and abs {at least the ones that still work} started cramping, and i started getting electrical shocks to my feet with spasms in my feet & stabbing pain in my hips. arrrrggghhhhhh!!!!, we went out to meet friends at dinner. it went just OK until i went to the bathroom and didn't come back - i felt so bad after climbing some stairs i just sat in a big comfy chair in the lobby of the Monte V until Denise found me......ah, the life of an incomplete spinal cord injury. didn't sleep much, either. oh well, gonna pull my shit together & try to make some headway on current projects. maybe i've been running too do what you can with what you got, i reckon. Steve.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Shabir's bike/a ride high on the peaks.

Shabir - sorry for the lack of photo documentation so far! i got the fork done & it looks great! i was fixating on it's manufacture to the extent that i didn't take any pics. i actually have all the main tubes all mitered and i'm gonna get pretty far on it today - more pics, i promise.......
a photo of a still hot silver braze on the seat tube sleeve. nailed it. the sleeves are made here in house from 8' lengths of crom-moly aircraft 4130 steel. your entire weight is riding on this junction & i've seen enough perfectly good frames ruined because of too little material in this junction of multiple tubes, or because of distortion from the joining method being reamed out leaving a very thin wall............

Yael came by to overhaul her wheels i built her nine years ago when she was an employee of mine at Sinagua Cycles. her shop penance was to have to re-fill the grease guns. ready for nine more years!

went for a great/strenuous ride high on the San Francisco peaks the other day. it was IDEAL conditions! check that out........

Cody leading the way on the approach.

and then you bust out into this.........sucky, huh?

we saw a bunch of these little guys. they open up into a downy tuft. no idea what they are.

Bristlecone Pine.

a close look at some really great lichen. the boulders were encrusted with all colors of them.

it's a tiny forest. i'm lichen it.

the wild native Iris were in full force. they are a good few weeks late, it's been a cold spring. these guys are usually out in mid-may.

Denise said she had a great day. my route was so steep she found it comical at times & laughed at me. i WAS totally tapped out afterwards!

we found a big bed where a bear had laid down and pulled out a bunch of his winter hair. the cinnamon color of black bear are common around here. the doggies thought this was *really* cool & sniffed it really hard and rolled in it.

beginning to run out of "trail" grass is great on the one-off. excellent traction & no dust!

what a great view of Sitgreaves mtn. on the left and Kendrick peak on the right. Kendrick is over 10,000ft tall, so i know we were pretty high up.

Steve's eye view.

there always comes the time where we must return. it was a fast ride down.

that's it for now. more on Shabir's bike, probably tonight. thanks again, faithful 10 readers! Steve.