Saturday, February 26, 2011

A few shots of Roy's 650B

NAHBS update, sort of

Hello.  Christi here.  Rody and our son Kalten left Ohio right before a delightful winter storm and an additional 6" of snow to fly to sunny Austin, Texas, for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show..  It was a push to get bikes painted/assembled/packed, and get them out the door at 4:30 AM Thursday.  They made their flights, and so did the luggage, and they arrived in Austin Thursday afternoon. 

Booth set up Thursday night, and they sent me this picture:

The bike in the foreground is an S&S coupled road bike with the Groovy headbadge as the inspiration for the paint scheme.

The bike in the background is Roy's 650 B.  I have to say photos do not do justice to this paint job. 

So they send me no other show pictures all day, but this morning, they send me these:

On the advice of Adam Richman of Man V Food fame, they made the drive to Round Rock, Tx, this morning to sample these babies.  Got them right out of the fryer and Rody said they literally melt in your mouth.  They even bought some to pass out at the booth.  Wish I was there!

They promised more pictures today, so I will post them as soon as I can. 


Friday, February 18, 2011

Time for paint...

Well, I'm sitting down to take a bit of a break.  I've been at it since 0400, 16 long hours ago, and am planning on pressing on through.  The case of monster Kalten won at the Neo Power Series final last fall is looking mighty tempting, but alas, if I drink one of those my welding will look like a guy with Parkinson's was wielding the torch.

So, here's a quick update...

a good portion of the day was spent gathering, setting up, tearing down and boxing up the booth and supplies for the show.  I normally have it all stored together and ready to go, but with the move the pieces parts seemed to scatter all over the place...some in the shop, some in the garage, etc...  I was glad to see the booth left at UPS and get back to the bikes.

After a brief nap last night, I began masking and prepping the parts and spraying the first of three coats of sanded primer.  What do I have to show for the effort, a box full of goodies; frame, forks, bars, and a pair of Hot Rods.  I'm hoping to have four more pair of cranks done in time to take to the show, they are at the heat treaters now, then off to plating, then to paint on Wednesday, whew!

The reduced size of the bake box means the items fume off and harden more quickly, but the smaller space makes putting wet parts in a bit like playing Operation; don't touch the sides or BUZZZZZ, start over ;)

And a little clue on my inspiration for the three paint schemes

If the bikes are late coming back from the painter, I've got no one else to blame.  Too bad, that excuse seems so convenient. 

More tomorrow during the next break.


snippets and stuff...

Toiling away.

I am pleased that Roy's 650b conversion came out as hoped/anticipated.  It's one thing to calculate it out on paper, see that it is possible, and make the decision to move forward, another altogether to put the angle finders and tape to the finished fabrication and see just how close we came.  Nailed it.

Old stats...                            New stats...

Head angle   71                     71
Seat angle     72                    72
Wheel base  42.00"               42.25"
Trail             72mm               70mm

The bike should still be flikably quick but now offer better rollover capability and momentum with the larger contact patch.  The only compromise was the rear chainstay spacing; as I was working off of an existing bottom bracket and had specific design parameters/restrictions for the Rohloff and Hot Rods, I was able to fit a 2.5" tire in, but with only about .25" lateral to either side.  The use of oval stays helped, but with Roy's size, I could not in good conscious dimple them on the interior aspect to cheat a bit more space, they would have succumbed to cyclic fatigue earlier.

A shot of the stay brazing after soaking...I fed the silver a good .625" into the stays to really support the anticipated stresses.
A look at the one piece bar/stem combo for the build...built out with a 28" bar, it will allow a bit more leverage against the larger contact patch tire to keep steering an unconscious effort.

Lots entering the paint booth today; three frames, three forks, bars and some stems.

I've got two more ti stems to work on as well, hoping to find an extra ounce of energy somewhere the next few days :)



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because you asked :)

another shot of the scalloped fork end, with a tab grown on...

The crown is up there ^ a bit more ;)

think we can keep this up til I leave for the show?  A bit each day to keep you curious, kinda like a slow strip tease. 


Monday, February 14, 2011

A few snapshots...

Just a few shots of some of the work going on in the shop...

A scalloped fork leg for Roy's 650b build...

Coupled main tubes for a road frame...

...and we stripped Don's frame, sanded it and blasted a few spots to get ready for powder.  About 6 years old, this was a frame that Don thought was broken becuase the rear end felt wiggly, but it turned out that his slider plate had in fact fractured off.  The frame was fine, but we decided to spruce it up while we had it.  I would have liked to replace the stay brace as the one on it is fugly, but maybe I'll do that in another 6 years, after all, it's got a lifetime warranty, just like all my frames.

Although I've got show stuff to do, the press of work that is late, with patient folks getting ancy is stressful, so I'll keep chipping away at it all.

more later,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Roy's Groovy mod...

Gonna make this a quick post, as I'm really trying to get as much forward momentum in the shop as possible right now...the show draws near (yikes!)

One of the projects that has been in the shop awaiting some work is Roy's polka dot bike that I built back about 3 years ago.  This was originally built up with Magura Firm Tech brakes, 26" Rohloff wheels, and an old school bar stem combo. 

As this was the first frame built with the Firmtechs in the US, there was very little info available as to design, fabrication, performance, anticipated braking forces, etc...  At the time of the build spec, I tried to encourage Roy to go with Discs, as the experience would be worlds apart from his old school cantis... no dice.  So, long story short, the bike is back for some work; on the agenda is the removal of the Firm tech mounts, the addition of disc brakes, and a new disc friendly fork. 

Part way into the work, I realized that all things being equal, the bike could be significantly improved on.  I did not like the fatigue the Firmtechs placed on the stays over the last three years, determined a fixed dropout system would be cleaner, rationalized that Roy is a big guy on some little wheels, etc...Why not bring it up to date?

So some quick emails later, we had a plan. 

After some quick calculations, I determined the bike could be built back as a 650b with almost no perceptible change in the geometry, the calipers indicating the necessary increase in axle to crown...

The new wheel size and rigid fork would change up the angles only about a 1/2 degree...easily corrected to achieve the same trail as before, but with a larger surface contact patch, greater momentum, and roll over capability.

Emboldened with the new direction, I lopped off the rear end. "Eeegad, you did what?"  Yep, decided it would be quicker to just start fresh out of the gate. 

So long to put together,so little time to hack apart...

A view of the vent holes in the bottom bracket, placed high on the tube to allow the argon to push the oxygen out during purging if desired.
After some meticulous work with the 4.5" grinder, Dotco file, and finally hand files, she's smooth and ready to go...

I've got to get to fabricating a Rohloff compatible dropout, cutting up a new rear end, and who knows, may even have another surprise for Roy too ;)

While the paint on the frame was bubbling off, I ended the evening finishing off  a few more Ti bars...

Never alone in the shop, Frankie likes to sleep right under my feet while welding.  Comforting, but a bit of a problem when he gets up and steps on the pedal :)

 Catch y'all tomorrow,


Friday, February 4, 2011

80's flashback...

Ok, some late night fun.  It's been at least 15 years since I last cleaned out my locker at the Fire Department.  Amongst the stacks of promotional and training  books I found a few folders that had been doodled on in highschool/college.

Looks like my mind wandered in the right direction at least :)

Always desired a fat tubed Klein Adroit with mission control and segmented fork.  The price these classic fuselages are fetching now and days it'll have to remain a fond memory.

Made me smile though.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ti Luvs for show moving forward

Cold and nasty outside...warm and happy inside.  Love the new shop :)

Worked on Ti Luvs today. 

Kalten with his bleached shaggy mop on the mill drilling vent/purge holes.  Next week for swimming sectionals he'll be bald, quite the change.

A well purged end cap, so shiny and oxygen free, the colors you see on the edge are my reflection.

Gonna keep on chugging.



The ice is upon us...

The ice hit full force with between .750 and 1.000" of accumulation, taking down powerlines, trees, and causing general havoc.

Could not make it home this morning from the FD...had to park the car along the road and walk/post hole the rest of the way.

Here's a view of the frozen landscape as I trudged up where my driveway should be...
The good news is that we still have power to the house and shop, so I'll be comfortably welding the day away :)

Hope everyone is safe out there...