Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting bent!

Here's a couple of pics showing how I've been bending the tubes on bikes like the NAHBS (not) 29er and the GDR frame from last summer. Influenced by (ok, ripped off from) Steve Garro. It's about as low-tech as you can get, which suits me fine. First you get the right size piece of chromoloy, pack it full of fine sand, cap the ends with duct tape, and then pose for a pic while invoking your inner Dio. This part is most essential, if you can't contact your Dio, there's no hope for you.
Now strap that sucka onto a mandrel and heave! The bending in this pic (ignore the date, it was really last May) made both top tubes for the GDR bike as well as the seat tube for the fixie that's coming up. The key to bending like this is to make sure the radius is large enough- 24" in this case- and the tubing is the right diameter. Any thin wall tube larger than 1 1/8" really needs a pro tube bender to curve it without kinking. Smaller tubing like seatstays can be bent the same way on much smaller mandrels and you usually don't even need the sand.

Gonna be doing a lot more of this soon, seems everyone wants a sexy bike these days!

Friday, October 19, 2007

As close as it will ever get to Portland.....

How small is too small? Well, as far as part time framebuilders are concerned, I got my answer today. It had been my plan to combine resources with Dab Cycles so we could have a booth at the North American Handbuilt Bucycle show in Portland this year. Turns out that you can't share a booth unless you get the big 10' x 20' space. We figured we could swing the 10' x 10' registration between the two of us, but that was about it. What can you do? Sell more frames and hope to have the extra scratch next time around, I guess. I sure am glad we didn't register before we found this out!

Well, with all the whining out of the way, here's a frame I'd hoped to debut at the show- might as well post it now. I tried all sorts of settings, lighting, etc and these are best pics I could get with this color. It's a curvy sexy SS 29er with a Sabrosa Cycles inspired "lugged" fork. The graphics are a dark "bass boat" blue- understated and glittery all at the same time! Hmmm, that description sounds like about half the population of Santa Fe. Not that there's anything wrong with that...........

In the close ups, you can see the pearl in the black base coat. Here you can just make out the lightning bolts that extend off of the inside of the fork lugs. The crown is 1 1/8" .049 chromoly and the sockets are .058 while the legs are beefy 1" round True Temper offerings from Henry James. I did build a prototype crown and tried to break it- holy shnikees is this configuration strong!

As always, a parting dropout shot. Paragon perfection, baby. I love the way these look right out of the box.