Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I know it's been a while... It's summer and tough for me to find time to write here sometimes.
I've been pretty hard at it in the shop, finished up 2 more frames within the last week. The first is a really cool road frame with Sach's new Nuevo-Richie series lugs.

I was loving this frame before paint, and it only got better after. These are just a couple quick shots of it under the fluorescent lights of the shop, so the color is slightly off. But it's a beautiful burgundy with a very subtle metallic flake to it, with cream accents.

The Polished stainless headbadge is brazed to the headtube then masked for paint. I've got most of the components at the shop now, so I'll have some better pictures soon of it all built up.

This one will have a Campy Centaur group with lots of shiny Nitto parts to really make it look good.

The other frame was another Route 29. This one is the first of the new non-suspension corrected frames! Lots of you have been asking me when this might be a reality. Well the answer is now. This one is at The Route getting built up into a complete bike and it's a size small (17.5").

A couple of small changes as this frame design continues to evolve. Obviously these frames will come with a rigid fork with my fork crown. I've added removable canti bosses on the forks, so if you want to run discs you can take off the canti posts. And I've modified the sliding rear deopout design. We had a compatibility issue with the old disc mount, some calipers could hit the left seatstay when the dropout was slid in all the way. So I've lengthened the sliders and given more room, so they should work with any disc caliper along the full range of travel.

I've tried to maintain a unique clean look to them even though they are a bit larger now. I think they still look really nice.

I think we've settled in on the stock colors as well and we'll have color samples up on the official website soon (when the official website is officially up!). The colors will be: Metallic silver, Root Beer candy, Madarin Orange candy, Deep blue and a Green candy.

I've been really trying to ride my bike more these days, and in that vane I actually raced (well if you call it that) at buck hill last week. It was a perfect night for it and I actually felt pretty good. Well, until the end of the third lap anyways. As I was nearing the end of lap 3 things went awry. I was starting to get fatigued (when you don't train it sure hits you quickly!) and my legs were starting to feel the verge of cramping. I must have hit something with my front tire as the bike endo'd suddenly. I didn't actually crash at this point though. I actually got both tires back on the ground while still moving, but the sudden jerk forward had pulled my right foot out of the pedal, so I was waaaaay off balance, on one foot leaning pretty far off the side of the bike madly trying to regain balance. Unfortunately I ran over a root while this was happening and I knew instantly I wasn't going to pull this off. Down I went. I flailed off the bike landing with my right arm outstretched. It was freakily similar to how I landed when I broke myself back in 2003, so my first instinct was to check the arm I just landed on. Fortunately it was fine. After a couple of seconds making sure I had all my parts, I got up, dusted myself off and got back on the bike. Felt OK for minute or so, but as I was descending down the end of the lap it became pretty clear that my left knee wasn't happy. So I decided to stop one lap early and head home before the real soreness kicked in.
It sure did kick in over the weekend. My knee swelled up a good bit and made walking a challenge, but it seems to have subsided now. I checked out my bike yesterday, found a small dent in the top-tube, bummer. But even worse found the front of my helmet cracked! Bummer since it was a fairly new $100+ helmet, but good in that it did it's job. I've got a new one on order, I'm back to using an older helmet till the new one comes. Keep those lids on folks, they do work. I'm sad to say this is the third helmet that has "done it's job" for me over my cycling career. I'd hate to think what kind of shape I'd be in without them.

I rode some errands yesterday including my first trip over to Hiawatha Cyclery. Jim over there happen to have a good stock of Nitto Crystal Fellow seatposts which no one else in the US seems to have right now. I needed one for the bike shown at the top of the page, so I rode over. Neat little shop (emphasis on little), but lots tucked in. Jim seemed like a nice guy and I'd say if you're in the area and looking for Rivendell type parts stop in. He seemed to pretty much have the whole Riv catalog in stock. To be honest, the pricing was pretty high on stuff (higher than buying from Riv direct) but then again, he's actually got stuff in stock and you can leave with the parts in your hand.

I ushered in a possible new era last night as my band, Derailleur, moved all our stuff out of my basement and into a new rehearsal space. We've always practiced in my shop, since um... since my shop began I guess. But I needed the space to do some remodeling down there later this summer, so we're going to try out a new rehearsal space in the meantime and see how it treats us. It felt really strange moving the stuff out though, kind of not right. Who knows, maybe we'll love the new space. One thing is for sure, I had no idea how much crap we had down there that we don't pack up when we got to shows. Moving the whole rehearsal space too over twice as long as just packing up for a show.

write at you later,


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wrapped up another frame this week and just about through another route 29'er. For those of you waiting, this Route bike is the first of the non-suspension corrected frames coming out. It'll be a rigid single with sliding dropouts, can also be run with gears if you're so inclined. Pic's soon.

The frame is pretty neat, using Sach's Neuvo Richie lugs. What can I say, they're pretty cool.

The casting isn't great, but they seemed to clean up well and I just needed to flow a bot more silver inside the joints to make sure they are nice and full.

I reshaped the head lugs a bit as I don't like the forward facing points on these lugs (nor on any lugs). I think that really cleans them up and makes the shape more pleasing, but that's just me.

Richard doesn't have a fork crown to match, so I had to improvise. I took one of his Newvex crowns and modified it to match the theme of the lugs.

I had to reshape the side points and then braze them together. Then I went in with the needle files and made the resultant window bigger and shaped similarly to the lugs.

It looks good together with the frame, can't wait to see it all painted up. Hopefully that will occur within the next week.
Got out for a nice ride Tuesday afternoon. Did my St. Paul mtb ride, which is basically the first 1/4 of the super-enduro route I've put together for later this summer. I managed 3 solid hours of of-road riding and I didn't leave the St. Paul city limits and I didn't double up any trails.
In other news, Beth's folks came to town to visit late last week. It was a hectic week for me. I was down in Little Rock from Sunday night-Thursday, then her folks arrived Thursday night and we were pretty much going non-stop through the weekend.
While Beth and her Mom spent most of the weekend planting things in the yard, Bob (my Father-in-law) and I added on a new section of deck to our existing deck to go around the side of the hot-tub. It was one of the small projects I just never really got around to, and it was clear that Beth thought I needed to get around to it!
Got a few trees trimmed up too and hauled off a trailer load of branches. I've got two ash trees in the back yard that appear to be slowly dying, so I keep cutting off as much of the dead wood as I can, but sooner or later they're gonna have to go.
No Buck Hill tonight, guess they figure a holiday is in order for 4th of July, maybe a nice road ride or maybe just finish up that route 29.