Monday, August 11, 2014

First Contact

Hope you've a got a good summer on lockdown.

Jorge Tamayo just got a new bike.
That always helps.

We pulled out all the stops and built him a 29er super shredder.

He wanted a painted pattern that was black and white. 
Hard to do without it becoming a mess. 
The negative space ends up playing just as important 
of a role as the positive space, if not more.

Here's that revised dropout design again.
I'm pretty happy with them.

That curved seat tube is really the linchpin
to how well these bikes ride.
You can't fake short chain stays.

Man, that did come out nice!
Thanks, Jorge.

Ps I Love You is a band.
They are from Canada.
They are very good.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow


Check this thing out.

Mini-moose stem.

 Hang on a sec.
Here's the thing I wanted to show you:
I've been working on a new dropout design for a while, 
and they're finally ready for prime time.
Very similar, but with some small tweaks to an already solid design.

The main difference is the tensioning system.
At the end of that set screw is a little brass ball, 
captured by a pocket in the aluminum insert.
It's the simplest, most reliable way to lock the dropout in place.
No unwanted forward or rearward movement.

Add to that, the cinching duties have been taken over by chain ring bolts.
Should you strip out the steel threads 
(which is highly unlikely- when was the last time 
you stripped steel chain ring bolt?), new threads are just a new nut or bolt away.

They are also now 60 grams lighter at 269 grams, 
and still made of rock solid 4130 chromoly steel,
and aerospace quality 6061 and 7075 aluminum.

More dropout/axle options to follow... Stay tuned...

Guest Super-Photographer:
Brian Vernor.
 Thanks, Brian. 

To someone of my persuasion,
saying you like the Ramones 
is like saying you like eating food.

Friday, July 25, 2014

People Get Ready

Hey ever'body.

A new custom built road bike made specifically 
for Bruce Marco from the Commomwealth of Virginia.

His new bike is a hybrid of sorts. It's got some handmade steel lugs 
with some carbon fiber tubes carefully glued in there.

Making these bikes is about as much work as making 3 bikes.
First I start off by brazing together some tubes at the correct angles.

Next, the tubes are bored out to the correct diameter in the lathe,
 and all excess material is removed.

When the lugs are ready, they look like this.

 Skip ahead another 40-50 hours of work, 
and here's what they look like when the Enve carbon tubes are glued in.

After a bunch more work, the frame and fork are all ready to build into a bike.

Never done with the targets. So many ways to paint them...

That seat lug doesn't look so bad after all, huh? 

Delicate looking s-bends terminated with
 delicate looking, yet bombproof brass brazing.

The monochrome targets give the effect of each stripe
being darker closest to the lighter color underneath, 
but there's no paint fade going on. 
We'll let your eye trick you into thinking that I'm a better painter than I am.  


I think the repetition from the lug to the paint came out quite nice.

 What do you think? Worth the effort?

Lately, I've assigned myself some music listening.
I've been trying to get through the Rolling Stone's 
Top 500 Albums of All Time.
I certainly don't agree with everything they point to,
 and looking at the committee they've tasked with
 coming up with that list, I can see why. 
In my mind, any and all members of Blink 182 
will never have a vote as to what is good music.
Anyway, so far I've really enjoyed it.
It's interesting to try and get some perspective 
and context to where music has ended up, 
as well as getting turned onto things I never would have.
There are things that I can now never again torture myself with:
anything by Pink Floyd, The Eagles (the Dude was right), 
Prince (sorry, never liked him), early Neil Young, etc.
There are things that I knew were good, but had never connected with, 
which brings us to Aretha Franklin.
Now, if that's not completely packed with awesome 
in every way imaginable, I'll pack my things and go home.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Over and Over Again

 Hey, y'all.
What's the haps?

I hope you're all getting out and riding bikes this summer.

Eric McKeegan of Pittsburg, just got his new bike. 
With any luck, he'll be riding it a bunch.

This one is more of the same:
Slack and short while at the same time
being long and low. 

Slack head angle up front, paired with a longer front center, 
keeps you going in the right direction, without oversteering. 

A tight chainstay length and low bb offer predictability
 to the rear end, so there is no second guessing the 
timing of corners or trail detritus. 


The nearly ubiquitous swinger dropouts on this style of bike from me. 
Hard to believe they've been on my bikes for eight years. 

All the details line up pretty nicely to give a very balanced,
well mannered, versatile mountain bike. 

 The Mini Moose stem offers the rider absolute control 
with the wider bars that seem to have gained almost total acceptance.

The two piece seat tube design offers the ability to run a 30.9mm post 
with only a 30 gram penalty over the same length tube that limits your 
seat post size to 27.2mm and greatly reduces your dropper post selection. 
Seems all the kids want the dropper post these days.

Eric's bike has the swoopy seat stays y'all 
have come to expect from Black Cat bikes.

The 1x drive trains that have gained so much popularity
 are a great option for bikes of this style. 

Thanks, Eric.

Don't forget your music listening assignment:
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats.

Trip out!