Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Frame done...waiting for paint!

Here it is, a little series of craptastic pics for ya. Man, I really have to get a better camera, the full frames shots are too blurry to post! Anyway, here we have the front drops- you can just make out the cool knife edge detail on top.

I wanted to come up with something for the frame that fit well and signified the Porter/Matthews collaberation on this project, so I came up with this design for a seatstay bridge. I really like how this came out- as an added bonus, it's also Pete's initials!

A dt/ht shot after a little cleanup. You can't really tell, but there's some damn fine shorelines there!

And finally the seat cluster. This was my first time using "top eyes"- they came out ok, especially after I filed them to a sharper point, but I think I prefer making them myself out of scrap tubing- let's the craftsmanship show a litle more dontchaknow.
Can't wait to see this bad boy painted up!
Next up, the SS 29er, and details on the coolest jig ever!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Building backwards

Lots of good progress made today. As you can see I put fire to metal and brazed the rear end together. Normally, I'll build the entire front triangle before I attach the cs/ss, but at Mr. Porter's shop, we're using the CJE* (coolest jig ever) and it allows for a different approach. I could have still done it my old way, but this frame is about learning new things and I gotta say that it works well. It reminds me of Freddy Parr's method of "keel building" in which the cs/bb, bb/dt, and dt/ht are all assembled first. The idea being these pieces are the heart of the frame's stiffness and strength and if they are in alignment, the rest will just fall together as superstructure. It's working great so far!

To answer Steve's question about the last post- the geo numbers are as follows: 74 degree head angle, 73 seat, 42mm rake, and 40cm chainstays.

I'll get going on the front half tomorrow.

*much more on the CJE coming soon

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pete's Bike and contact info.

Today we start Pete's bike, a road-going fixie with a geometry that will work well in the 'drome too.

When it comes to the fixed gear aesthetic, Pete and I see eye to eye. This frame will be classic all the way: lugged, standard tubes, with a horizontal TT-the way the fixed gear was meant to be. When built, this frame will look fast sitting still, a true hot rod baby.

This frame is gonna be really special because it represents a once in a lifetime chance for me to work with a master framebuilder, Dave Porter. I'll be building this frame in Dave's shop under his watchful eye- I'm REALLY looking forward to this. I should be able to seriously shorten my framebuilding learning curve. Being self taught is cool and all, but it's time for me to kick this framebuilding thing into high gear!

So, we start with a call to Lon at Nova Cycle Supply and he set us up with a great mix of Tange, Columbus, and Deda tubes along with a pair of Columbus track ends (second pic). As you can see, the work will start with "deuglifying" the track ends. I sketched out the shape I wanted and got out the angle grinder. Many sparks later, we have this (first pic)- much better, ya? I decided to forgo the window because it wouldn't leave enough meat and it would detract from the cool "knife" detail we carved around the outside. That detail should show up better in the pics once the ends are brazed in.....but that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Any questions about Livewire prices, styles, etc? Shoot me an email to koyconn(at)aol(dot)com.

Friday, July 6, 2007

And we're back

Hey folks, lots of building, but not a lot of blogging going on this past month. Well, that changes today.

First, we have closure to Jeff Kerby's GDR saga. After getting his bike 3hrs after the race start, Jeff proceeded to tear up the GDR race route. Through snow, rain, hail, and a crazy moose or two, he was poised to make a serious shot at breaking the single speed record on his Livewire. Until he got to El Rito, NM that is. A little advice for ya: if you ever are unfortunate enough to find yourself in El Rito, don't eat or drink ANYTHING! Three of the GDR racers got food poisoning there. Jeff and Matt McFee were hit so hard they ended up in the hospital with near fatal cases of dehydration, thus ending their race. Even with the race ending like that for Jeff, you have to admit it's still an amazing accomplishment. Riding the hardest terrain in N.America, self supported, on a full rigid single speed for 19 days and over 2,000 miles is something very few people will ever have the cajones to try. So, congrats to Jeff! We're all proud of you!

(pictured is Jeff on a fully-loaded test ride the week before the race started)

Since this is a blog about Livewire frames, I guess we should start talking more about that. Jeff's frame was built around two main design elements:

1) To be comfortable. You can see the more upright position he has. The seat tube angle is laid back at 71.5 degrees to compliment the riding style dictated by a loaded down SS mtb. Chainstays are longer for better weight distribution.

2) To be strong. Jeff has broken 6 frames in the last few years- most of them on his commute to work! So this frame has a straight gauge 4130 main triangle, beefy Deda stays, and a sleeve reinforcement at the seat cluster. The double curved TT was more for style, but it does add to the strength of the frame.

This was my first 29er and I'm very pleased with the results.

I have lots to document in the next few weeks. Coming up is another 29" mtb, a street going trackie, a monster cross for the Leadville 100 race, and an in-depth look at some of the most unique frame building equipment ever made.