Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cooler as Ekke

To borrow from the vernacular of the kids today,

Today's bike is for Brian Rogers of the greater Atlanta, Georgia

What's the catch phrase du jour?
Monster 'Cross?
 Gravel Grinder?

Whatever you'd like to call it, I'll call it "Bad Ass".

Features that may help you with your pigeon hole:
Slightly slacker angles than a 'cross bike.
Room for up to 2.1" tires (but 1.85"s are probably more realistic).
Aggressive enough stance for racing, but comfy enough for rolling along.

Curves in all the right places.

Straight steerer that keeps the front end stiff enough
for anything most mortals will throw at it
while keeping the weight down, the ride lively,
 and the fillings in your teeth.

Seat stays arced downward to add to the shock absorption
of the rear end, allowing the rider to hold a line through the rough stuff.

Custom Enve butted carbon seat mast,
topped by a Ritchey WCS Topper Thingy.

Pf30 bb shell.

Black Cat geared dropouts of the newest style.

Bottle bosses that aren't just riv-nuts that are bound to come loose,
pull through the carbon tube, or both.
Built to last.

Sounds like a nice pigeon hole to me.


Thank you, Brian.

South Africa is not the place most 
look for rad white dude rappers, 
but here he is: Jack Parow.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cat on the Wall

Hey, y'all.

This is a bike for Henrique Tono.

Full rigid. No messin' around.

2x10 drivetrain. All business.

650b wheels. No sass.

And now it's time for the dropout portion of the blog post:

Mention was made of the new front
dropouts in the previous post, so here's another peek.

The "leading axle" design allows for a
fork angle that absorbs shock better,
while the elongated disc tab helps disperse the
 forces that push the tab into the fork blade.
Neither of these are new designs by any stretch,
but both good ideas.

Enough talkin'. Let's ride.
Thank you, Henrique.

Seldom does someone come along that 
plays the game so well it becomes their game.
Over 20 years has passed since her first record,
and its accompanying accolades, and PJ Harvey
is still throwing it all away and starting from 
scratch with every release.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Clear Shapes


This is a bike for Mr Hiraiwa in Nagoya, Japan.

It's a very straight forward road racing bike.

Stiff and efficient for pedaling without
 adding to the fatigue of long days in the saddle.
 The bike, holding a predictable line while 
it's rider worries about more pressing matters. 


As they say in Japan, "Go at 'er with the give'r stick!"
That's what they say, right?  Isn't it?

While not everybody's cup of tea,
Asa Osborne has been exploring
some of the most meditative music
 I'm willing to expose myself to.
His work is slowly getting more and more
 elemental until the melody all but
 disappears into a hypnotic sine wave.

Perfect working music and
 certainly not fist pumping arena rock.
From playing guitar in Lungfish,
 starting in the early nineties;
half of The Pupils;
and most recently Zomes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seemed Like the Thing to Do

Hi De Ho, blog-o-teers.

This bike is headed back out to Mark Schofield in 
currently-snow covered New England.

This bike was also one that had its front end replaced.

 We took the opportunity to also build a fork for the 
bike's new sizing since Mark had purchased the 
frame second hand.
The fork is the latest iteration of the Black Cat segmented forks.
They feature custom drawn tapered True Temper blades, 
silver brazed into a fillet brass brazed crown, and leading, forward facing dropouts.
It's a mouthful without all the accompanying pics,
 but you'll see plenty more of these in the near future.

It is kinda interesting (to me at least) to look at the bikes
 made some years ago and see the ways things
 have changed and way things have stayed the same.


Same bb configuration. I guess there's only so many
 ways to attach the same tubes to a bb shell.

The seat cluster is noticeably different. 
The seat stays used to attach above the top tube.
Not sure there was ever a real reason, 
I just like how it looked at the time.

I could say, less distortion of the seat tube,
 less concentrated heat, etc, etc, 
but the newer ones don't seem to have a problem 
with all the tubes coming together at the same point.
Right now, I like how the new ones look.
Go figure.

I seem to have stuck with the gusset design.
It seems to be working rather well,
 both as a functioning gusset, and as a calling card of sorts.
We'll continue to stick with it for now. 
This one is brand new and is more or less 
identical to the one that was on the old front end.

As esoteric as the differences may be,
it's those things that keep me interested and challenged.
Hopefully when/if the big thaw comes to Massachusetts, 
Mark will beat on it as before, without skipping a beat.

Suddenly, I seem to have noticed
Dinosaur Jr's name being thrown around
as a touchstone for "modernguitarrock"
and as a reference point for many up-and-coming
bands. I agree, for what it's worth.
Still, J Mascis seems as unlikely a frontman
as there ever has been in this "modernguitarrock".
All the better.

The slightest scratch in the surface.
Pick your own favorites.