Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hey there

My apologies for being gone so long. I've been meaning to start posting again for a while, but life is busy. Anyhow, I've been sick in bed for 3 days and figured I ought to use the time to catch up on a few things.

I took pictures of my current build, but the macro wasn't working right. You'll have to settle for one teaser until I can borrow another camera.

My last couple of bikes have been very traditional. Columbus SL or Reynolds 531 tubing, pressed steel lugs (Prugnat in one case), forged steel ends. On the one hand, these materials (apart from the tubing) take more work. They're not as well finished as
modern parts. But, they are much easier to manipulate and they encourage one to express some artisitic license. The tubing itself seems much easier to cut and file than even basic CroMo tubing of recent vintage. So, if you're willing to work slowly, its a very rewarding process.

One of thes bikes is a randonneuse for my wife. It should be back from the painter in a couple of weeks and I'll
post pictures here. This bike is built around 650b wheels w/ Gran Bois tires. Janet took it for a short ride prior to paint and remarked "It's so light" That's not what a scale would say - but a reflection of how good fit and frame design rides. So I'm very happy for the recognition.

The picture from today is of a bottom
bracket. It's my first cut-out BB. You will clearly see that it's hand made - but that's part of the charm. No one will think that the holes were cast in place or punched out on a machine. They will know that someone laboring over a bench with some simple tools created them by hand. As always, you can click to enlarge.

I've used this frame to try some different styles for finishing off the tips and track-ends. You'll have to wait for the photos to see how they came out, but I'm pretty satisfied.

The bike is set up for 700Cx32 tires, and there's a nice old set of white Pirelli tires with terracotta treads waiting to go on the finished bike. The crank will probably be a set of old Nervar arms with the little bolt circle that most folks recognize from TA Cyclotourist cranks. On it will go a pretty polished Stronglight chain-ring with their traditional star-pattern spider. Naturally, the seat will be a Brooks B-17.

The bike is built with a low trail design, which should work well with a front bag. Interestingly, I've seen specs on some old high-end British path-racers - the kind that always have their luggage hanging from the seat. And some of these use very low-trail designs. So, maybe there's more flexibility to this approach than I realize.

I haven't sorted out colors yet. One would be a Cabernet metallic with gold lug lines. Another would be sea-foam green and periwinkle as in the picture at the head of the post (Sorry, it won't move down here for me).

Anyhow, that's it for now. I'll get pix up as soon as I can. Until next time, happy travels!