Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Contest winner...

Sorry guys and gals for not posting for a few days, life has been moving at a frenetic pace.

Besides the fact that I'm falling woefully behind on the blog, we have a contest winner to crown.

The last contest request was for a picture of why you ride/what riding means to you...you know, whatever gives you that fulfilling feeling that strips away the stress of your days and renews your spirit.

Honestly, this was a tough contest, as there were many photos that really spoke to me. After much deliberation, I narrowed it down to two...

First, our runner up. From Kurt, a pic of one of his favorite trails from the rider's eye....

Kurt's pic really elicits the feeling of speed and freedom that is achievable when carving through the woods on a familiar single track. Liked it a bunch. Kurt, hit me up with your addy and I'll get a care package in the mail for ya...thanks a bunch for sharing.

When I saw this next picture, I said..."now that's why I ride". Martin's photo shares the sense of adventure, new discovery, and the grandeur of experiencing points of nature accessible with a mountain bike. This shot makes me yearn to be out in the saddle, riding towards the next horizon.
So congrats Martin, you are the deserving winner of the Jollypop green stem. Shoot me your mailing addy and Christi (my super duper wife and shipping chick) will get it out to ya.
Thanks for playing everyone,

Friday, September 25, 2009

a few hours more...

Hey folks,

Getting slammed with hours at the FD, but had an afternoon in the shop before heading back for another 36 hour tour of duty. Moving on with Steve's retro inspired build...

The seat tube is the "backbone" of the frame, and as such, requires that it is as precise and true/striaght as possible. When we cut the miter at the bottom bracket, the tube was squared up and put in phase based on the pinch collar, ensuring that the two planes maintain alignment.

When drilling the bottle bosses, I use these same indicators to set up the tube so that the boss holes are dead center on the apex of the tube.

Now, it's time to slot the tube for the seat post clamp. I use the binder bolt again to square off of the table, check level of the tube with the table, then position the slitting saw for the two part cut; first cut flush with the bottom aspect, next flush with the top aspect.

After the two part cut, now it's time to set up the center drill for the relief hole...

Once my seat tube is all set up, all the pieces were placed back into the fixture, the locations circled with sharpee, the tubing all drilled with vent holes, then everything deburred, filed, degreased, washed, dryed, acetone applied, and put back into the fixture for welding...whew!

Some fine motor skill action, a little heat, some inert gas, and a bit of luck and time and here ya go... one front triangle all done up.
These weld beads should dissapear under a nice thin layer of Pierce fire engine red... oh yeah!

A close up of the bottom bracket business...things flowed ok, but not as nicely as I would have liked. I've got two more to weld up though, a bit more sleep will help with smoothing things out a bit more.
I'll check back tomorrow with our contest winner, see y'all then,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last contest winner...Jared's bar

Our last contest, guess the builders, was to introduce the graphic bars. Jared was our appreciative winner and sent on a pic of his colorful Quiring with the Luv's mounted.

I know one thing for sure...Jared won't need to wear an orange vest in the woods this hunting season to be seen ;)
Y'all have til tomorrow morning to get in your pics for this months contest...good luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taking shape...

Feeling pretty tired tonight, so I'll just let the pics tell the tale... Steven's Retro 29er is coming along...

Nighty night little frame...here's to happy dreams of a curvy rear end.


Needle in a haystack?

Brad had called me and was disappointed with his current JJ Ti bars...they had failed in the center section and he was getting no love in seeking a warrantied replacement.

Hesitant to move to another Ti bar, he had some questions regarding wall thicknesses, strength, and guarantees.

One of the nice options being a small builder is the ability to custom tailor to customers needs, providing a product that is not normally available. Based on Brad's riding style, physical needs, and desire for increased strength/longevity/peace of mind, I fashioned up a Luv with a heavier wall thickness in the center section for him.

Now my problem, when on the table with 20 other ti bars, how do you tell it apart? To insure that Christi and I could tell which one was Brad's, we did a little branding...no one needs to be weighing that many bars to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. Hope you don't mind Brad, but I put your name on it ;)



Monday, September 21, 2009

Contest Time!

This past weekend marked the completion of our season of sponsored races with the Reagan Park Time Trial. 120 racers had a drool inducing, leg burning, tree clipping good time. It was a lot of fun to be part of an event that brings out the best in folks, both physically and emotionally.

Lots of folks stopped by to voice their appreciation for the NEO and Groovy series put on by 331 productions...not only for the opportunity to race, but for the friendly vibe and fun factor they encouraged. That got me to thinking...one of the reasons I participate in cycling, races, and even fabrication is because I get a natural high out of people feeling good in the outdoors.

So, for September's super duper contest give-a-way, we're going to keep it simple.

If you would like to have a shot at winning the Groovy funky green stem, send a pic of you on your bike that reminds you of why you ride. It may be on a favorite trail, with a group of friends, or just a solitary ride to regenerate your soul. I'll pic the picture that speaks out to me and we'll post the winner Friday night.

Win me!
Stem specs... 110mm x 5 degree, 1.125 clamp with 25.4 bar, tiny paint blemish on clamp, but hey, that's why it's free :)

So, you have til Friday morning (that will give you time to go take a pic if you don't have one!) to send a pic to contest@groovycycleworks.com and be a registered reader.

I'm looking forward to seeing your good times ;)


Groovy 650b for sale...

Well, one of the issues of having a growing family is that the kid's quickly out grow their bikes and need new ones.

I made this frame for Kalten to race on this summer...it lasted about 5 months and it is too small for him now, so if somebody can use it, I'd like to see it in the dirt under a smiling face.

The frame is built of a mix of Dedda, Columbus, and a double butted downtube from Fairing Industrial and has a fresh powder coat of neon green ... no fashion weenies allowed ;) I made it with modular sliding dropouts, so that it can be run as a single speed or geary 1x9 with full run cable housing and ties. It is pretty light...don't ask for an exact weight cause I don't have one.

The frame was built in a midnight session and has one minor cosmetic oops. When making the sliding drops for frame, I rotated one of the hoods around .25" farther than the other, so if you know where to look, they are not symmetrical. Does not affect the strength/alignment/ride, just thought you should know.
Here's the specs...

Groovy 650b frame with sliding dropouts in fresh neon green powdercoat

Bontrager Switchblade carbon fork

New Ritchey pro stem and seatpost

Steel Luv handles, 26" wide in matching powder

Magura Marta Hydraulic brakes...used, scratches on levers, housing nick by rear cable tie

Race Face cranks with bash guard...fresh white powder coat

New Surly stainless steel 32 tooth ring

New Shimano bottom bracket

Wheels...Redline single speed hubs, DT Swiss DB spokes, Velocity blunts, Pacenti Neo/Quasi tire

Cane Creek S8 headset

WTB dual density grips


Top Tube Actual...22.50

Top Tube Effective...23.00

Seat Tube ctc...15.00

Stand over to center of Top Tube...30.00

Chain Stays...15.5 ctc

Head Tube angle ... 72 degrees

Seat Tube angle ... 73.25
Lifetime warranty on the frame to ya as well.

She is a fast single track machine that likes to carve up the twisty trails.

If you are looking for a fun solid single speed, she fits the bill. Nothing fancy, just a straight forward build.
Price is 1250.00 plus shipping to you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Final Groovy Series race...

Running from the paint booth and out to the Knob for the race, we had a lot of work ahead of us. Kevin and the boys from 331 productions had set up the race banners, flags and the start/finish line the night before, so all we had to do was get the tents set up, get registration ready to rock, re-check the trail markers one more time and prepare to have a butt load of fun.

The day brought perfect weather, low 70's with clear skies and perfect trail conditions.

We kicked off the event with the kid's races, running three classes for the little guys and girls. A big "booya" goes out to Clay Upcraft, who traveled 5 hours from PA to rock it out in the kid's race, finishing second and taking home a killer trophy and a better story. Everyone had too much fun...I totally get geeked up seeing the little ones, faces contorted in concentration, pedaling for all they are worth to get to the line. Too cool :)

By race time, we had 104 racers lined up and ready for an evening of good times and a little competition.

Here our expert class is cranking off the line for the first of 3 tough laps... Chip, Jeff, and Dave nearest to the right.
The 30 + sport class brought out our largest group, proving that we only get better with age ;)

The under 19 novice class has shown the most growth this year, with more young racers hitting the dirt than ever before in previous seasons. That in and of it's self is a positive indicator of the health of our sport.
Can you see the determination in his face? Carey Wenger is diving into the Bowl...

The after party awards ceremony was a total hoot, with a ton of free schwag for many in attendance. We also had the drawing for free custom Groovy frame, fork and bar, Ti Luv, Graphic Luv, and standard steel Luv. The winners were...
Winner of the Groovy Cycleworks custom Frame and Fork was : Carey Wenger
Winner of the Groovy Cycleworks Titanium Luv Handles- Jared Zabrosky
Winner of the Groovy Cyclesworks Tartan Plaid Luv - Ryan Wayne
Winner of the Groovy Cyclesworks Black Luv - Dave Pierson
Tee's, helmets, Heed, and lots of other great stuff was drawn, thrown, and otherwise spilled to the masses. A big thanks to our sponsors; Monster, Chipotle, Hammer, EAS and more...it was all good!
After the awards, the bonfire was lit and DJ Madnote began turning up the funky beats that lasted well into the night. Psychadelic lights, mad tunes, and a bit of smoke for effect had everyone rocking it out and dancing on the tables...
The dawn came earlier than anyone wanted with the sun slowly burning off the midnight dew. Here a "smoking" can of Monster was the only activity that met me once rolling out of the tent.
All in all, a super fantastic time.
I truly believe all the hard work is worth the good vibe and comraderie that is shared on the trail...til next season,

Wade's Visit...a lesson in paint

So, catching up on the last week of happenings, the last post brought us to Thursday and a special guest.

Wade has been a vibrant member of many of the frame building forums for a few years now and after a bit of soul searching, decided that his educated profession of legal work was not gonna satisfy his need for fulfillment. What is to be the object to fill that career void? Building frames, he doth say :)

So with much public encouragement, Wade embarked on a journey to build his first frame; a Columbus Spirit tubed frame with Richard Sachs lugs. Constructing his steed in Texas under the watchful eye of Glen, he returned with a riding manifestation of his work and sweat.

Wade contacted me about painting up his frame, as I do paint work for a few other builders. I told Wade that he would learn much more about framebuilding on a professional level if he were to come and experience the process himself. As fewer builders today do their own paint work, I thought this would be an opportune time to give back to the community with a little mentor ship, as I was so generously shared with in my learning years.

I started the day EARLY so that I could finish many of my projects and devote my attention to working with Wade.

When Wade arrived from the state of Tennessee, we got to work cleaning up and prepping the frame. As this was Wades first effort, he really focus'd in on making it just right before sealing it up forever in a coat of finish work; shorelines to be filed, areas to be sanded, etc.

We worked late into the night, Wade on his project with me checking in every so often. After 2 hours sleep, I was back in the shop for Groovy Stuff and Wade met me around 8. It was back on the frame. We set a deadline to move to paint before Friday rolled away from us. After taping, blasting, and then blowing off the frame, it was into the booth and begin masking off the stainless dropouts...
Three thin coats of primer followed, with Wade diligently sanding between each application.
Then the real work began. Wade wanted to run with a three color finish, painted on graphics, and highlights in the lug windows. As we were using a white finish, the tiniest overspray would stick out like a bloody nose, so the mask-a-rama began. Overall, the frame was fully wrapped and masked three different times; that's a LOT of paper and tape folks. The final color coats revealed a Carrera white base with royal blue panels and orange bands/highlights. Here's Wade diligently handpainting in the lug windows...
A short night and then we worked right up to Saturday at high noon, when it was time for me to run off to Vulture's Knob to prep for the final Groovy Series Race.
Wade's frame then received three thin coats of clear, to give some depth and glossy protection to all the hard work...
I enjoy sharing the process of building with others, both in person and through the blog. I've always tried to be totally transparent, sharing both successes and failures in the shop to give folks a honest taste of what the process is all about. I've been both criticized and applauded for that by others, but in the end, if one person is able to walk away with information that aids them, makes them smile, or helps them drift off to sleep faster :) , I'm a happy guy.
As of yesterday, I'm another day older, hopefully wiser, and due for a new driver's license ;)
To celebrate, we'll be running a contest over the weekend for some schwag...make sure to check back in.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prepping Steve's build...

Wow, hard to believe a week has passed since we last checked in...lots has been happening. To catch y'all up, I thought I'd take it a day at a time for a bit.

Wednesday I began working on Steven's Retro 29er.

I began by laying out the fixture to match the sizing and geometry we had discussed. I have a methodical process I follow to insure I get consistent results.

The bottom bracket is fixed and the set up revolves around this known point.

The first adjustment made is to accommodate for the bottom bracket drop, a measurement that sets the difference between the center of the bottom bracket and the center of the axle line, effectively setting the distance between the ground and the center of the axle and the ground and the center of the bottom bracket. This measurement is affected by the wheel size planned and the expected tire range to be used.

Once I know the relationship between the axle line and the bottom bracket, I can then confidently set the chain stay length.

Calculating up the wheel base allows me to then use the straight edge that crosses the bottom of the fixture to find the center of the front axle point, which I mark with a sharpee. Some factors that influence this measurement include the head tube angle, the fork length, and the fork offset.

Once the front axle point is a known quantity, I can then set the point that indicates the bottom of the headtube, taking into account the stack height of the headset and necessary distance to allow for fork crown clearance.

The seat tube angle is then set, a tube placed for reference, and the tape pulled out for the final set up.

With all the known coordinates made to the fixture, the last items for me to set are the headtube angle and the final top tube length.

Now a double check of all my info vs. the reality of the physical measurements and we're ready to rock!

I selected the tubing I wanted for the build, then quickly decided against some of my choices, favoring some smaller diameter stock to maintain the classic lines we want to stay true to. A quick trip to visit with Joe B, my US importer of Dedda and Columbus tubing, and I was on the way home with tubes and canolis :) Yummy!

I rolled out each tube to find the arc centerlines and butts, then got to work prepping the headtube. The 600mm headtube stock is cut to length on the cold saw then chucked in the lathe to square the ends and bring to final length.

A quick check with the calipers...spot on.

The head tube then goes back into the lathe to be relieved on it's inner wall to prep for the headset. Most folks don't realize that headtube stock does not come ready to use and if not properly prepped, can cause increased stress when a headset is pressed inside.
Here we are taking down the id of headtube to match a precision fit for King headsets...

And a view into the final product...

With the base prep done, the tube set is ready to be mitered up into the frame members that will create Steven's new ride.

The pups hung out and gave the nod of approval, things are looking good for this build :)

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning I had a visitor in the shop...more on that in the next post later tonight.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A little bending fun...Steve's retro 29er

Hey folks,

Another rainy day in big Woo, so it was a morning of office work, talking some details with upcoming frame customers, and then getting off the ground on Steven's retro inspired 29er...yeah!

I've been anxiously awaiting this project, as this is a bike that I too have longed to build.

Steve rides the tight, rocky single track of the east coast and wants a retro inspired 29er that is suspension ready to handle the difficult trails with flair. So what we are building is an early 1930's inspired cruiser, with a few modern twists. The 29er will be a steel geary with disc brakes, vertical drops, and a dark fire truck red with white stripe accents. I'm planning on doing some interesting twists...like using an ovalized bent top tube that will allow for piercing by the seat tube, working with some different seat stay arrangements, and a few little accent touches. Anyhoo, this is what I'm looking at for inspiration...
To get started, I decided to tackle the bent top tube for the project. To accomplish this, I broke out the home made roll bender that the Brown Brothers and I used when we were fabricating custom choppers a number of years back.

As I wanted the tubing bent and ovalized, I put in the 1.75 dies to roll out the 1.125 top tube...as the tubing is pressured upwards by the jack, raising the cradle dies, the die walls, being of greater diameter, allow the tubing to displace laterally a skoosh while stretching the top aspect of the tube. This should give me the shape I desire...
And wahlah! A gently curving top tube that is dead sexy in it's oval profile. The lateral width gained by the ovalzation gives me enough space to pass the 1.125 seat tube through it, giving the intersection a seamless look that will be a subtle aesthetic. This look also pays tribute to one of my personal favorite vintage frames...the Goat Deluxe.
From the top, you can see the nice contour the tube has developed...should look killer once it is in place on the frame.
I can't wait to begin putting this one together...who knows, I bent enough tubing for an extra frame as well ;) . Gotta be some benefit to having all these tools.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna work on prepping the other tubes for the build, then have to wait a bit for a few special parts to arrive before hitting it hard.

No slacking for me though, I've got plenty of Ti Luvs to weld in the interim.

Hope all is well with y'all,


Monday, September 7, 2009

A rainy Labor day...

Although it is a national holiday, Labor day, and everyone else has the day off, I chose to honor the sacrifices of my grandfathers by actually working, despite the rainy BLAH day ;)

Open for business...
So, what did I do all day...welded bars.
25 steels and a bit of paint knocked off. Tomorrow, Ti on the table for some zapping.
Hope y'all got out and played,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trail Day at Vulture's Knob

The Volvo hit the road just before sunrise to get ready for a full day of trail work at out local course, Vulture's Knob, to knock off some projects before the final Groovy Series Race of the season. We were graced with a stunning sunrise that promised a beautiful day to labor in the dirt :)
15 fine folks made it out to help with the work, each earning some Vulture's bucks for money off their next race entry, an additional entry into the free custom frame/fork/bar contest, and a sumptious lunch provided by Chipotle.

Although I had a long list of jobs, this tireless crew knocked off all of them. Here were some of the highlights for those that are familiar with the area.
The Serpent...the expert section of the serpent was marred with two manky log bridges that many have asked to have replaced as folks were cutting to the sides through the drainage areas. Your wish is our command. Heavy 2x6 planks on 4x4 cross sections were used to build two bridges that are positioned on rock foundations. In the first bridge area, the old Cherry bomb was taken down due to safety issues and used to funnel folks onto the bridge as the drainage swale has been cleaned out and is not appropriate for riding.

The final wanky log bridge has been removed and replaced as well, utilizing a nice berm to funnel folks onto this expert section. Here Kevin shows us how to balance his way across...
A berm was added to the pine tree field to allow folks to rail this full speed section...

The Powerline had began to become eroded with 8" ridges developing to the sides of the foot wide section...when folks are hitting almost 35mph, it created a nasty probability of front wheel washout. The ridge was broken down and the entire section of downhill evened out so that riders can keep the gas on as they enter into the small transition bridge at the bottom.
The cradel developed a gaping hole in this high speed section, allowing wheels to dip toward the creek below. Despite the mosquitoes desire to devour us, we fought through the onslaught and replaced the decking on the U shaped bridge...here Frankie is dipping in the water below to escape the blood thirsty buggers.

Probably the most significant change is the re-route of the classic Over/Under section. The rock shelf entrance has been a sustained erosion problem as riders who are unable to ride it as designed have been cutting to the sides of the steep obstacle, tearing down the softer foundation. Rather than try to build it back up an funnel folks down the right way again, we decided to re route the section. The new entrance now takes you down Horseshoe hill, and across the Over bridge in reverse. You will then climb a steep section, hit a high bank apex turn, bomb back down over a section of rocks, another high stall apex turn, then down through the Under rock chute. Here's a quick vid showing the changes...
Lot's of fun was had too...here Kalten is car surfing on a bridge that is making it's way back to the top of the knob...

A big thanks to those that helped and to Chipotle for the great food...
Although the group work ended at 2, it was much later before we finally got all my little tick list projects done. Long day, but well worth it.
See y'all next week at the race.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lots been going on this week.

One of my responsibilities outside the shop is to teach a myriad of medical oriented classes, this month, I'm gearing up to help teach a paramedic refresher course. Tuesday and Thursday were filled with instructing ITLS (International Trauma Life Support), a tactile scenario based process where I at least got to include a bicycle as one of the cases :)

In the shop this week, I continued to paint. I thought I'd share a color process for y'all to see.

Here we start with three thin coats of primer on this bar. Each layer is dryed and sanded between each...
This color, a two part process, starts off with a green metallic base...can you see the little flakes swooshing around in there?
Mettallics are quite finiky, they must be applied thin and even, as a run or too much concentration will immediately show. Here we have a happy Shamrock green...

The next color in the process is a sunshine yellow, a transleusant color that will overlay the green.
Once on, it really changes the character of the original green.

I also painted up a stem that has been hanging around a bit as well...this little guy has a surface imperfection/scratch on the clamp section so I won't sell it as it is not as perfect as it can be. Who knows, it may end up as a contest give away ;)

While the paint has been curing, I've been knocking out September bars...lots of moly and Ti on the way.
Starting to weld them up, one down, 19 more to go...

In other news...
I've had some folks ask about some Groovy Hoodies. I checked into it, and Eric at Illusions can print us up some hoodies for 35 bucks a piece in a heavyweight 80/20 blend...a nice heavy piece to keep you warm this fall. Probably 5 bucks to ship. Lots of colors available. If you are interested in one, drop me a email with a size and color you would like. I'll be putting in the order this week.
Trail Day at the Knob
Interested in earning an extra entry into the Groovy frame/fork/bar drawing for the final race next week? Come on out to the trail day Saturday from 10-2 and give a little back to the course that has shed so much of our blood :)
What a surprise I got when I looked at the calendar and found out that I'm off from the fire department next week, so I should have some serious time to start kicking out some frames in the shop. I'll be contacting the next three folks on the build list and firming up details Monday.