The past weekend was the Texas Custom Bicycle Show. It was great seeing the other builders and visitors that have been coming to our show quite regularly over the past 6 years. It was also great being reunited with Matthew’s bike. The racks went to the chromer after I moved, and then sent directly to Matthew, so this was my first time to see the bike complete. It was certainly the standout of the show….
Back in January, my dear friend Roberto Caligaris from Italy sent me a bike jersey he earned after riding the famous Maratona dles Dolomites bike race. I knew I would have to do something special the first time I wore this jersey to honor such a gift. The only fitting ride would be to climb to the summit of Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in America. The 14 mile climb would have been too short if I started at the bottom, so I started in Denver, 64 miles away and rode up hill for 9 hours till I made it to the top. The way home only took 3.
I’ve started work on the first bike to built completely in my new shop. It is shaping up to be an interesting and challenging project. The owner of this future bike, Bruce from Dallas,Tx has a certain nostalgia for 70′s Raleigh Professionals. But he wanted an updated version, a bike that reflected the elegance and spirit of these older bikes but with modern materials and sensibility. To achieve this we went straight for Reynolds 953 Stainless tubing in oversize diameters and opted for a single speed drive train for simplicity and clean lines.
After designing the frame geometry, the first physical step is to shape the lugs. I wanted to make the lugs look as similar to the Raleigh Pro. I liked their long points and simple lines. Nothing ostentatious or unnecessary. I started with Pacenti Artisan Lugs in stainless. They are know for having ample material to allow shaping and carving.
Shaping and carving stainless is not easy. As you can see in the photos below, I first removed a lot of material and got the general shape I wanted. I then thinned the lugs. I usually do this after the frame is brazed but I thought I would try it out doing it first especially as the stainless is much tougher and I knew I was going to have to put some force into the files and didn’t wanted to hit the tubes if I had brazed it first. I have a feeling it will braze up nicer, but I’ll let you know shortly.
Ok, here are some pics. First one is a Raleigh I am basing the lugs off of.
Very pleased to show the first finished work since my move to Colorado. The frame was actually started before the move, but finished up in my new shop,
It is a fixed gear travel bike for Niall, my old house mate when I lived in Glasgow. Niall is a long time cyclist and works as a bicycle tour guide. He wanted a bike that was easy to travel with and capable of some touring, but plans on riding it fixed as he caught the fixed gear bug a long time ago and hasn’t coasted since.
My one long-ish bike tour was with Niall. We met up in Berlin and rode across Germany to Eindhoven, Netherlands for the 2008 European Cycle Messenger Championship. As one would expect when gathering hundreds of bike messengers together in one place, especially in the anarchist Disneyland that is the Netherlands, things got messy. We barely made it out of there in one piece.
The frame is Pego-Richie Columbus tubing with Richard Sachs lugs (thinned and custom seat binder fillet) and crown, Paragon track drop outs with bottle opener.Here are some pics. Came out pretty tidy, if I do say so myself. I’ll put some pics up of the first project I started completely in the Denver shop shortly.