Thursday, March 28, 2013

Zachy C's Rat Rod 650b

Each March once I return from the show, I try to dedicate some time to miscellaneous stuff that gets relatively ignored the balance of the year; race team builds, repairs, the odd lingering repaint, etc...

One of the items on the list was a build for Zach, a really great up and comer in the under 18 Expert division who has fully embraced racing and it's community culture.

So, this will be Zach's sled for the season, a 650b frame painted up in a Rat Rod motif.

The finish did not start out as intended.  Originally, to save time, it was going to be a simple fire engine red powder coat with a couple of simple know, to save time and all.  Once I got the powder layer done, I just really was not feeling it; didn't like the color, the powder didn't flow as well as I wanted, etc.  I was frustrated right off the bat.  So I decided to go the other direction and use the negatives as a springboard for something cooler.
I sanded down the red powder to take off the gloss and give me a good mechanical base to build off of.  I then began working in some primer with 80grit paper, translucent brown with a grey grade scotchbrite pad, and finally some heavily reduced black with a crumpled paper towel.

Once flashed off, the whole frame got a rub down with a maroon pad, to blend the colors and edges together.  Next up, I took a detail grinder and began working my way down through the finish to expose areas of bare steel, creating diverse long "scratches" and shorter abrasion areas, giving the frame a beat on look.  Decals on, I then took a torch set on a heavily carbonized flame and smoked the white in the decals so that they would look aged, being careful not to apply too much heat to lift them.

Finally, I added a little custom airbrushing to bring out the persona of the frame  :)

A matte clear finish was applied to bring down the overall effect.

I was pretty happy with it.  I wish Zach the best of luck this season and that he is damn fast on this Rat Rod.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sneak peek...

Here's a quick sneak peek of Gregs Bigwheel; built with Full XT, Stan's Arch EX wheels on Maxis rubber, Thomson Stem and Seatpost, King Headset and bottom bracket ceramic coated, Groovy Luv Handle, Magura MT6 brakes, and a 120mm travel X Fusion Fork.

Should be ripping fast...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Greg's Bigwheel in Brook Trout motif...

Ok, so I thought I'd document most of the steps involved in painting up Greg's Bigwheel.  He is an avid fly fisherman and wanted a paint job that mimics his favorite little fishy...the Brook Trout.

The colors of nature always amaze me, they are so vibrant.  That being said, it is soooo difficult to paint such a scheme on small round bicycle tubing, as the bicycle frame does not lend it's self well to giving enough surface area to truly represent the medium.  So, I need to pick out details that catch the eye and give the illusion of the real thing.

In the above pic, the orange belly with the hint of gold transition stands out. So too do the red and yellow spots that fade into a darker top skin.  The fish does not have defined scales, but definitely does have a texture to it.  Let's grab ahold of those traits and go for it.

I'll start off with the primer layers...

Each of the four layers are sprayed, flashed off in the bake box, then sanded smooth with 600 grit.

The last primer layer should be very smooth and texture free, so we'll touch up the surface with a extra fine Scotch Brite pad to give a little tooth for the color layers to adhere.

The last preparation is the to wipe the frame with a tack cloth, insuring a dust free surface.

We'll be beginning with a metallic sterling silver base.  I mix the base with reducer so that the paint runs free from the spoon but leaves an even, slightly translucent covering.  Just right for even application.

A single coat of silver in place...we'll let it flash off and then start the colors.

To provide a visual texture, I stippled a burnt orange onto the frame in the area that the vibrant orange will be sprayed.

A little orange glow candy...

and faded onto the frame...

Grab an airbrush and begin fading in a little golden yellow on the superior boarder of the orange.

Next up, it's time to add the red and gold spots to the downtube and the underside of the top tube and seat stays...

and begin airbrushing in some candy metallic sea foam green...

Next I mixed up some custom darker green, reminiscent of the color of stream water flowing over mossy rocks.  To provide consistency in visual texture, I stippled in a darker moonstone, mixing the darker streaks from the fishes dorsal spine with a pebbled look of the stream bottom.

a little artistic license, but it flows nice around the tubes...

With all the colors in place, it's on to the decals.  I printed up the down tube pieces, weeded them out, put on the transfer paper, and am ready to apply.

Clear all mixed up and ready to shoot...

The first coats of clear on and looking spiffy...

Should look killer once the frame is all built up.

Monday, March 11, 2013

An early spring?

I got half a day in the shop yesterday before taking Em off to volleyball, but I made good use of the nice weather.  In a long winter with little warmth, we had a rare day that climbed up to 64 degrees before it plunges again.

I took the bike along and got my first ride in about 5 months.  Brutal headwinds on the first half with a rocking tail wind heading back to the car.  Really hate the fact that I'm about 50 pounds heavier than I want to be and horribly out of cycling shape, one of the things in my life I'd like to change.

Really enjoyed my time out.  One of the cool items I saw were these wind turbines...

I put updated photo galleries of the cruiser and zombie bike on facebook if y'all would like to see more of either of those two builds.

back to work,


Friday, March 1, 2013

Stuff for sale...

Now that I'm back from the show it's time to clear out some stuff, can't have it all hanging around forever.  Some of it is show leftovers, some is excess stock from customers who changed their mind on component specs, some are pieces aquired along the way.  So, here's what we got...

Luv Handles -
I have very few bars left over from the show, but available now are:

- 1 Titanium 26" bar coated in Zombie Green Ceramic with black splatter - $300.00 plus shipping
- 1 Titanium 26" bar in brushed finish - $275.00 plus shipping
- 1 Titanium 28" bar in brushed finish - $290.00 plus shipping
- 6 Steel 26" ceramic coated bars (2 with ceramic logo, 4 with decals) - $125.00 plus shipping

Bikes -

Titanium Zombie Road Bike -

Yep, this is the one that got lots of media attention.  I cut the tubes for this one a while back as I knew I wanted to have a frame to experiment on to push the limits of ceramic coating.  It now needs a home.  Full of hidden details, it's a fun bike and is perfect for the club racer who desires a bike for both racing and longer social rides.  Lots of pictures online, see the previous blog entries or FB for links to better pics than I could ever take.  Here is the important info:

Specs -

Groovy Titanium Road frame built of 3/2.5 Titanium and finished with Graphite Black and Zombie Green Cerakote, masked polished titanium.

Groovy Titanium stem with aluminum faceplate for 31.8 bars

Groovy Titanim Disco Stick

King headset, bottom bracket, R45 hubs

Shimano Dura Ace 9000 series mechanical components...11 speed

Conti Gatorskin clincher tires on DT Swiss rims and double butted spokes

Dedda  Zero 100 bar and Brooks leather wrap

Selle Italia SL saddle

TT - 23.25"
Stem - 120mm
Cockpit length (center of saddle to center of bar) - 28.75"
HT - 73.25 degrees
ST - 72.5 degrees
Fork offset - 38mm
CS length - 16.5"

This bike will fit someone 5'11" - 6'2" within it's adjustable range.

Price is $8500.00 or best offer plus shipping

Candy Road Bike -

This bike was constructed for a local client who experienced some job/economic difficulties prior to taking receipt of the bike. We've hung onto it for a couple of months in hopes that things would turn around for him...alas, it's time to get my money back out of it.
This is a steel road bike built with a mix of Dedda and Columbus tubing, SS couplers, custom fork, all sprayed with a multi layer candy metallic finish that fades from sunset red to orange to yellow as it wraps around the tubes. Groovy headbadges are scattered around the frame to give some visual breaks in the spectrum. Built with SRAM Red components and Stan's Alpha 340 Team wheels with Michelin tubeless road tires, it is a very nice road bike for club racing or exploring the pavement of foriegn countries. It is definitely a fast/sporty feel...for those who like to ride hard and go fast.

Head tube angle - 71.5
Seat tube angle - 73
Top tube - 58cm
Seat tube (c to c) - 44cm
Chain stay length - 415mm
Wheel base - 100.5cm or 39.5"
Center of bar/stem to ground - 95cm

Compact geometry to fit in a travel case.  Would fit a rider 5'10" to 6'2" within it's adjustable range.
Price is $5000.00 or best offer plus shipping

Lots more pictures of both bikes available by request.

1998 Litespeed Titanium Classic frame - 57cm

This is a New Old Stock frame that I took in on trade for a local shop I did some work for.  The frame was originally a complete bike, the parts were sold off of it for a customer and the frame sat in the back room for years.  I've been told that other than a test ride before it was taken apart, the frame has no miles on it.

I contacted Litespeed to confirm the details and they advised it is a 57cm frame built in 1998, serial number c4b2f36022.  The customer service rep stated that the serial number is different from their current standard, as the format changed when Lynsky sold out.  He stated the additional numbers were used to designate who welded the frame, but could not provide a name of the welder as that information had been lost in the transition.  Kinda some cool info. 

Frame is in nice shape with no significant blemishes noted.  There is a slight wrinkle on the drive side decal from aging, barely perceptable in the pic.  I threw it on the alignment table and everything checked out.

Price is $650.00 plus shipping

Wheel set -

Stan's No Tubes Alpha 340 Team wheelset, built with 3.30 hubs, double butted spokes (2.0/1.7), radial front wheel and radial/2 cross pattern in the rear.  The set in new in box, never opened.  These are designed to be run with tubeless road tires.  Shimano/SRAM compatible cassette hub.

Look here for more info.

Price is $500.00 plus shipping

That's all for now, thanks!