Friday, June 22, 2007

Another one down

Another year that is. Yup, as of yesterday another year down.
For a couple years now I've been meeting a few friends for breakfast at Al's roughly once a month before work. We're all early birds, so we meet right when it opens at 6am and I'm usually back to work shortly after 7. Most of the guys ride there since they live and work in Mpls, but it's one hell of a hike for me since I live and work in St. Paul. But I've always wanted to ride it, and I decided what better day to try than on my birthday. So yesterday I managed to get myself up at 4:30 am so that I could get there on time. Rolled out of the house a little before 5 and proceeded to have one of the most peaceful rides across the cities that I've ever had. it was fantastic how few people and cars are out at 5am. Made it in about 5:50 to Al's and waited for the others while mentally scoping my route back to work.
A huge plate of pancakes down and I was back on my way with a full belly this time. I stayed north of 94 on the route back to work just to keep the mileage down. Took the U of M transitway to Energy Park, crossed the ped bridge there and followed Pierce Butler up to Como. Jumped on the new bike lane to the capitol and weaved my way down to Phalen Blvd and the new bike lane there which took me right to work.
Felt pretty good all day till about 3 pm when my lack of sleep started really sinking in...
One thing I've really noticed the last few weeks is how St. Paul is really ramping up the bike lanes on city streets. I guess that huge federal grant is really starting to kick in and (like the folks at McDonalds) I'm lovin' it! In the last week I've ridden at least 10-15 miles of bike lane ot designated bike path that's brand spankin' new within the St. paul city limits. They're finally adding bike lanes that go north and south which is a nice change, and they're adding a lot of lanes north of 94 which has been somewhat of no-man's land when it came to cycling before this.
Anyone know if there's a map on-line anywhere with all the new changes or planned changes shown? I haven't found one, but it seems like there must be one out there. I'd love to know if there's more I'm missing.
In other news, my shop cleaning sell-off has been wildly successful, and in the spirit of keeping it going....
I have this full bike or frameset for sale. Long time Blog readers will know all about this baby, but for those that don't:
This is a lugged steel front/carbon rear end superlight racing frame. 58cm effective Top-tube, 60cm effective Seat-tube with a 1cm headtube extension. 77mm drop, 41cm chainstays, 73 degree parallel angles. This is a full on racing bike.
The frame is a combination of True Temper S3 and Columbus Spirit tubing silver brazed with highly modified Slant Six lugs. The rear triangle is a Columbus Super Muscle kit, including full carbon chainstays and seatstays.This is the top-of-the-line offering in carbon rear triangles.
The headlugs have been carved back quite a bit to give that "bikini lug" look and to save weight.
The seatlug and BB shell were custom creations with integrated sockets to accept the carbon rear triangle tubes. The seatlug is a carved up slant six lug with a monostay socket added to the backside to accept the carbon mono-seat stay.
Then to top off a very unique build, I gave it an even more unique paint job. The frame is sprayed with Dupont Chrome-illusions color changing paint. The paint is opaque on most of the frame, but on the rear end, I increased the translucency on the carbon center sections, so that you can clearly see the carbon weave through the color effect. The same was done on the carbon fork. The paint changes color depending on lighting and viewing angle, the dominant colors are a deep purple and forest green that you see in most of these pictures, but in sunlight it also shows a dark red and gold. The curvy surfaces of the lugs show the most change since you're viewing multiple angles at one time when looking at them.
The downtube logo is painted in, no decals there, so it's perfectly smooth, buried under several coats of clear. The headtube has a sterling silver foil logo on it, also buried under the clear to protect it. It looks stunning with the dark background.

The fork is an Alpha Q Sub 3 fork, painted to match the frame. The overall condition of the frame and fork is near perfect. The only mark on it is one small paint chip on the underside of the left chainstay near the dropout. This happened in transit to a show and it 100% hidden in normal use (you can only see it if you flip the bike over). It's on the carbon chainstay, so there will be no corrosion issue from the chip. Otherwise the frame and fork look brand new. This was a show bike I built up and did ride occasionally. It's very light and rides very smooth. The carbon rear end definitely does remove some of the jarring of road irregularities and smooths out the ride.
Currently the bike is 100% built up and ready to ride. It has a used Campy Record 9 speed (alloy) group on it with newer Record (2002 model) hubs laced to Sun Venus deep V polished rims and DT revolution spokes. The wheels are very light and accelerate well. The seatpost is the custom Wound-up carbon post to fit the 31.6 Spirit seatube. Stem is a Thompson X2, 100mm, bars are TTT 4G XL, 31.8 clamp, 42cm. The saddle is a brand new Flite Carbonino (very light). Cranks show the usual scuff marks from shoes on the arms, the shifters are the last year of the alloy lever style and are in good shape, but there are a few dots of color stain on the lever blade (no scrapes or scratches though). Cassette is a Record 9, 12-23 cassette, used but has lots of life left in it, the chainrings are 39, 53 and in good shape.
If anyone has questions on component condition, I'm happy to take detailed pics of anything.

And if anyone local to me is seriously interested, you're welcome to take it for a ride. This is really a spectacular bike and is one of a kind. I've never seen anything even close to similar and will make a great racing frame for someone. Please email me with any questions.

I'd like $1800 for the frame and fork, or $2900 for the complete bike. I think that is really priced to move considering if you put a deposit down today to have me build this bike I would charge you about $3200 for the frame and fork alone and you'd have to wait 14 months to get it!
If this is your size, this is a great way to avoid the long wait for one of my frames.

ok, now that I got that out of my system, here's some frame building stuff.
I've been working on a new frame with Richard Sach's newest lugs. I really like the overall look of them once I cleaned 'em up and reshaped some of the shoreline. The side cut-outs are a really nice shape for the size of the lug. My only gripe is that these are not cast as well as his other lugs. They're coming from a different casting house overseas and you can tell they're not Long-Shen castings. Not a big deal, but the need more cleaning up before they're ready for brazing. The front triangle is about done on this frame and I've begun the rear. I expect it won't be long before it's ready for paint, which I'm sure the new owner will be excited to hear!

Friday, June 15, 2007

not much new

It's been a while since I wrote, but honestly I haven't had much bike-related activity to write about. I've been pretty much just tying up loose ends in the shop, finished up a few repairs and repaints that had been waiting for a long time.

I've been busy on ebay too, selling off spare parts from past bike builds. You never realize how much that stuff builds up until you gather it all together to sell it! So far I've unloaded about $800 in surplus parts and cleaned out a nice chuck of shop space! Still have a couple complete bike I hope to move out in the coming months too which will really free up some space.

I was rushing a little bit this week to get a Route 29 bike together for the Hub Co-op. They're going to be carrying them as well, and they wanted one to show at the Bike in at the Bell this weekend.
For those that don't know, the Bell Museum (at the U of M) is hosting their second annual Bike-in this weekend. There's music, bikes, vendors, and a movie. You should check it out.
I won't be there for this year, I've got a wedding to attend instead, but the Hub will have a route 29 all built up and ready to go.

In unrelated news, the Large Fella is rockin' it Twin Cities style now. Beth and I helped them move in a couple weeks ago and have been providing some local guidance. Seems like they're settling in pretty well and meeting people fast, so if you see two folks riding around on BBC's with a burly piccolo in tow say hi to them and welcome them to the 'hood.

That's about all the news for now. I'll have some pics of the frame I just started next time...


Friday, June 01, 2007

good week

Well, to finish off a story started last time, all my cars are now operational and my wallet is thicker thanks to the sharp memory of a few blog readers.

The second window regulator came in 2 days after the first one was returned and amazingly it was still the wrong part! I returned that one, got my money back and looked through my Volkswagen file of paperwork. Sure enough there was a letter in there stating they had increased the span of the warranty on the front windows to 7 years. Made an appointment at the dealer that night.

I left the whole door taken apart figuring it would just save the dealer some labor. Sure enough they replaced the broken parts for free, but they refused to re-assemble the door or install the same parts in the drivers side door because I had "modified" the doors. That dumbfounded me and I had to ask what "modifications" I had done because I really didn't think this was real. My "modification" was that I replaced the stock speakers with aftermarket speakers mounted in the EXACT same position in the EXACT same stock opening. How dumb is that. Anyway, they agreed to give me the parts for the driver's side door but they just wouldn't install them. Fine.

I went home and put the passenger side door back together and everything seems to be working fine. At the end of the day, the things was fixed and I didn't have to pay anything for it. Thanks readers!

Good week story #2: My cell phone has been in need of a new battery for some time, the current one holds a charge for about 8 hours and often just goes dead spontaneously. I decided to stop by a Batteries Plus one night this week. They had one, but it was a lower capacity battery and it was $40. Seemed a little steep for a downgrade, so I walked across teh street to the Verizon store just to compare prices (usually the Verizon store is really high). They had the exact replacement for $40 (same capacity) which surprised me, so I thought I'd buy one. As the woman opens my phone to install the new one, she notices my original battery was recalled, so she just swapped in the new one for free. Nice. Then she also informs me they've upgrade the software for phone to improve reception and that I can get that done for free too. Double nice.

Good week story #3: Buck hill. Last night was my first buck hill of the year. PD set the course and what a job he did. I did 1.5 warm up laps and was kinda nervous as it seemed like a pretty killer climbing course for the big gear I was running. But once the pack rode it in one lap it was fantastic. Classic Buck hill course, big climbs, downhill singletrack, right up my alley. I was planning on a slow race, but the climbs started right away and I knew the only way to not be walking them was to get up near the front. Went out hot, trying to keep Stone Phillips in sight. First lap went pretty well. Second lap flew by and I started to get concerned because I was riding with people I hadn't been able to keep up with for about 4 years. Third lap I managed to close the gap with Stone, and ride most of that lap right behind him. Starting into lap 4 I put down my move on the first climb figuring that was my only chance to get in front of Stone. I guess it worked breifly as I did get in front if him, but about 20 feet later my left quad goes into full cramping. I'm forced to get off and hoof it up the rest fo the climb and Stone rocks by me. I got back on fast enough to keep him in my cross hairs. Rode most of the lap just off his wheel, but coming into the final singletrack he put it down full Stone Phillips style and I was outta juice. I still felt like I had a great race and I beat a lot of guys that I couldn't hope to keep up with last year, so I must be finally reaping some reward from my suffering out in Fruita! Made me feel a lot better after a fairly disappointing result at Cable.