Thanks a lot to everyone who stopped by at the St. Louis bike expo, I had a great time and hope to be building some more frames!
Last Saturday ended my 10 year long losing streak at the Blues games! I can not tell you how many games I have gone to where no matter how big a lead the Blues had, in the end no matter what they would end up blowing it. Half way through this game I was convinced that my luck had continued and they would end up losing, again. However with an open net goal at the end the Blues won 4 - 2 against the Buffalo Sabers! Also this was the first game where I took all three kids and they all did great.
OK, back to bikes! My Dad came by the shop last week to put all the parts on his new frame. While having done minor maintenance on all of his bikes he had never really assembled a frame from the ground up before. That being the case, while he was there I got little if anything finished on Erin's frame. No matter though, we had a good time and his frame is looking really nice. Right now with only some of the parts on weighs around 17lbs, I am hoping that with the rest of the parts it comes in under 24lbs.
As far as Erin's lugged roadie goes the work is coming very nicely. The fork is done and 95% cleaned up (unfortunately that last 5% always seems to take longer than the first 95%). This morning I was able to silver braze the main triangle together and finish all of the miters for the chain stays.
My goal is to have this bike 100% finished (except for paint) in time for the St. Louis bike expo and swap. That way I can have this lugged road bike, my track frame and my Dad's new 29er to show off.
Well I think I may finally have found a decent powder coater. You would think that in all of St. Louis I would be able to find someone who could do a decent job. With the last shop I used the quality was never consistently good and sometimes just horrible. Then with some of the bigger powder coaters I was too small for them and they wouldn't even talk to me. Finally though I have found someone that does a really good job and hopefully in the future will be able to work with me on any problems I may have.
Also with this frame I was able to try out some new decals. They give the bike a very classic look with the white panels and I feel it looks a lot classier than just the standard white or black decals I had in the past. In addition the panels also allow me insert some more color into the frame where with powder coating you typically can only have one color.
Now that my Dad's frame finished I am able to move on to some new projects! Last week I received in the mail the lugs for Erin's bike. So far I have the fork nearly completed and am almost ready to move on to the main bicycle frame. Being that this is my second lugged frame, hopefully this one will go a lot smoother than the first. Not that I had any major issues with the first, I just would like to have a lot less clean up time around the lugs.
My goal with this frame is to have it assembled and cleaned up for the St. Louis Bike Expo on the 29th of January. I will be showing off some of my most recent bikes there and would love to have an example of my newest lugged and filleted work.
Well my Dads frame is finished and off to the powder coater! It is nice to be back building what I truly love, Mountain Bikes! Don't get me wrong, road bike are extremely beautiful and they are great to build however I will always have a place in my heart for the Mountain Bike. This particular frame had a lot firsts for me (somehow I have a feeling that there are still going to be a lot of those). Not only was it my first frame using the 44mm head tube but also with using the Bikecad program to help assist with the design process. Before I was just using Autocad for the design work, but now with Bikecad I can easily adjust certain aspects of a frame and immediately see how it affects the bike as a whole, VERY NICE. One most helpful things is using it to see how fork sag (the amount a Suspension Fork will sag just under normal riding) can affect the overall geometry of the bike. With the my first bike that I built at UBI I didn't include fork sag into my geometry. So a frame that had a 69 degree headtube actually had a 72 degree headtube, which ended up being little to steep for pointing the bike down hill and going crazy fast (makes the control a little sketchy).
I just finished all of the brazing and alignment checks on my Dads 29er frame. Now all that remains is to do a LOT of cleanup on the brass and silver brazes and then to get the frame to the powder coater! One thing I really like about brass and silver brazing is that while it can be an extremely messy process, and it looks incredibly rough at one point, the final product can look exceptional beautiful. With brass brazing the final product can almost look organic.
Anyhow, that said my next bike (after MY 29er) will be a lugged road bike for my wife. While the second frame I ever built was for her, it was not was that proud of and I feel I owe her a much nicer ride than that particular bike. So this next one will be 100% from Henry James and True Temper. Meaning that all of the tubes and lugs are sourced from the good old USA! I can't wait to get started on another lugged bike!
Happy New Year 2012!!!
May the air be filled with tires!