Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sarah's Bike

Sarah's bike came back from the painter yesterday. Gordon did his usual good job, and it looks so nice. The light color paint shows off every errant file stroke - but its good for learning what to improve upon.

I don't know who's more excited, Sarah or me. Anyhow, I was up until 11:30PM last night getting it built. Then I took it for a spin. It tracks great and turns easily. With a very short stem, and wide flat bars, it's very easy to turn the front wheel, so the tracking is especially important for a 7 year-old. Despite the fact that my knees would hit the handlebar if I pedaled and turned at the same time, it was a hoot.

This morning I checked the size on Sarah. We need to cut an inch off the seat-post (originally a Mtn-bike post), so we can lower the seat to her proper height. Otherwise, everything checked out.

The build looks like this: Ritchey Scuzzy Logic head-set and Ritchey riser stem, Syncros aluminum flat bar, SRAM 5.0 rear shifter w/Lizard Skin grips, SRAM 12-34 9 speed cassette, SRAM X0.7 rear derailer, HKK 9 chain, Tektro brake-levers, Shimano Altus cantilever brakes, Performance Forte seat-post, Sella Royal (some old brand?) black suede saddle, Shimano 105 hubs, laced straight gauge 2X to Alex rims (BMX size), with 406x1.25" tires.

The net is a strong (easily can carry me at 205 lbs), light bikes that spins easily and fits (subject to seat-post as above) Sarah great and looks very cool IMHO.

Monday, August 21, 2006

General Update

Lots has been going on with little documentation. Let's fix that now.

After making a slight alignment tweek on the chain-stays, I installed the top tube on the track frame. I used a smaller tip on the torch which gave me better control, so these joints went faster than any of my prior filet joints. Also, cleanup of the joint was faster. In various places, different builders have suggested smaller or bigger tips for filet joints. My vote is smaller. Next step is an alignment check, then install seat-stays. After that a brake bridge, cleanup, and off to the painter.

I've been preparing to build a DCS carbon frame. The design is done and approved by the rider. We've figured out the build kit and she's forming her ideas on paint. The build has been held up waiting for the track frame to be done with the jig. I'll probably start the build by next weekend. I anticipate this to go fairly fast.

I've got a new client for another carbon frame. For this, we're going to use a Deda Corsa Nero. After going through the analysis, she fits it beautifully. Again, the build kit is decided on, so I'll be ordering that soon.

I've also ordered a new batch of 20 Cycles Noir decals. This will feature a more traditional design. I've also made the font bigger to take advantage of the real estate available on a carbon frame.

So, September should be a busy month with the delivery of a steel track bike and two carbon road frames. Yea!

After that, I'll get my new steel road frame finished and then move to building myself a steel track frame and see what comes next.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sarah's Frame is Almost Done

Gordon is almost done with Sarah's frame, and shared some pictures on his flickr site ( Now they're posted here as well.

You can see his usual outstanding work. I can see a couple of my mistakes, and anticipate seeing a few more when the frame comes back. Still, I think it looks great and I'm sure that Sarah is going to be very proud to ride it.

BTW: Gordon hand painted Sarah's name onthe top-tube.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I know I know, I'm late posting pictures. But soooon.

Meanwhile, I have to tell you that I have my first frame based on the new Corsa Nero from Dedacciai. It is a thing of beauty!!! You're going to love it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Keel is Laid

I'm on the road rather than in the shop. The last week was a blur, with so many activities that it was hard to keep track what day it was. My hope was to finish Aram's frame and get it off to paint, but there was simply too much else going on.

Still, I stayed up late a few nights and made some progress. First, the chainstays were mounted in the bottom-bracket. The bottom bracket spigots required some grinding to allow for the 120mm rear end. After pinning, alignment was checked with the Bringheli table and looked good, so it was on to brazing. Post brazing, the stays were pulling together a bit. This was probably caused by more heat on the inside of the stays whiling pulling filler around the joints. A little cold set fixed this, along with a final check-out on the table.

Then everything when back into the jig to fit up the front and back ends together. When all looked good, the down-tube and BB where sanded and cleaned with some of Freddy's Al-Tife. Everything got fluxed up, the joint was put back together on the jig, and the pins were set.

Checking this on the alignment table, I began to see the limits of my cheap surface gauge. I'll probably want to get a good height gauge someday.

Anyhow, after a bit of fussing, things looked good, so I hung the assembly from the track-forks and brazed up the joint. This came out looking clean and neat - which is nice because cleaning filler around the bottom bracket is especially difficult.

Onto the table to find that the downtube was drooping by 1/2mm at the end, and that there was a slight twist to the head-tube. Bending a 35mm down-tube takes some work - but in short order the droop was gone.

Joe supplies a nice jack with his table. This was set below the head-tube in line with the axis of the down-tube. Then a long bar was fitted to the head-tube and the twist eliminated.

After re-checking everything we have a complete straight keel. By then it was 2AM, and that was time to quit.

More when we make progress again.