So it begins. We will call it a soft opening. I am taking orders for titanium bicycles and am now fulfilling orders for people that were in the queue and opted to wait til I was ready to offer titanium. The single speed bikes are now official since I have received my order for the Paragon rockers made to my wanted spec. The geared bicycles are waiting for my new drop outs which will hopefully go into production at the weeks end.
With the new drop outs in hand and a list of folks that have been very patient I have started Dmitri's new single speed. After that is Philip who has also been super patient. I got some work done on Dmitri's bike and the new drop outs made a great difference. Sometimes more is better. Here it is true. I had the drop outs made thicker to add some stiffness.
Lots of tire clearance and a bit extra heel/crank clearance for 180mm cranks:
I am keeping the new drop outs under wraps til they are done but trust me they are cool and super slick.
Phillies season is over and I am kind of glad. They started to make me upset. Hopefully 2013 will be a better year. Now I will route for the Giants (San Francisco not NY).
Which was better (or worse) the El Camino or the Brat? Then there is the Wrangler which to be honest is another useless car (truck) that is designed to hold both passengers and cargo. Most things designed to do more than one task tends to fall short in one area or even worse all the areas it was designed for. The El Camino is a terrible truck as is the Brat. The Wrangler is a horrible vehicle for the 3rd and 4th passenger and if you were fortunate enough to fit all 4 people then the cargo better be real slim because you have enough space for maybe 1 sleeping bag and a 2 man tent. Where am I going with this??
I am currently building Jake a bicycle that is hopefully going to achieve the impossible (according to my statement above). A bicycle that will function off road (not as a full on mtb), race a cross race or two, get fenders and hold some stuff for a light tour and finally function as an everyday bicycle. That is a tall order. Jake said to me that he was scared of getting the El Camino of the bicycle industry. I thought that was funny. Even funnier since he is way too young to really remember the El Camino.
We made some compromises and I think came up with his perfect (key word is his) bicycle. It will be sturdy and allow for rough riding. It will have fender mounts and rack mounts (rear) but no provisions for the lower mount of the rear fender. It will require tire changes to change the feel of the bike. Small slicks to lower the BB for touring and regular cross tires to raise the BB for pedal clearance. Probably another tire change to get the fenders in. This all adds up to a functional bike that will hopefully make Jake happy. A hybrid of sorts but definitely not an El Camino. Here it is waiting for me to clean up the tubes and stick them together.
On the other end of the spectrum is a race bike. Here is Steve's cross bike (no water bottle cages and all) waiting for a saddle and some dirt. There is all kinds of fuss over the disc brakes and if they are better or worse. I think lots of people would actually ride and race a bicycle better if they took a race car or motorcycle racing course. There is some merit to straight braking before a turn and then pushing through the apex of a turn. Disc brakes WILL allow a rider to stop faster BEFORE the turn and allow them to pedal FASTER out of the turn. This is fact not an opinion. Once the companies make lighter and hydraulic drop bar brakes it will be on all the top racers bikes. For now in the amateur ranks the BB7 road will do fine and honestly help most folks. That is my opinion and I am sticking with it. I am all about the sport and purity but this is a better product. Most haters have never tried it and are just plain stubborn. Here it is at dusk right after the wheels got assembled (oh yea the wheels are tubeless which is another topic of discussion).
Now for my go Phillies! Ryan Howard sure does know how to swing and miss but he also knows how to smack a ball to the second deck. Way to go last night against the Mets and lets hope for a sweep tonight.
Sorry for the absence. It has been crazy recently. I successfully took a few days off with the family and we went to the Shenandoah National Park. It was a short trip but very much welcome and the park has a great history and was really cool. We lucked out and missed all the foul weather. Next chunk of big news is the family is expanding. We are expecting another child at the end of Feb. which should make both NABHS and its preparation rather crazy!
I will give a brief list of the things that need to get done which is beyond the standard duties:
Expand Shop which includes running some more electric and lighting
Make a few new fixtures to finalize the ti bikes
Paint the 3rd floor of my house well before the baby arrives
Work on the super extra special secret project for NAHBS
OK that is enough before I get overwhelmed. Many of the projects will get done but it is expected that a few will get sidelined. We will see.
I am fortunate to have some great customers but one in particular has been super patient. Carl's commuter bike has been done a while but there are delays at paint so it sat for a while. It has returned and we got right to the extra hard built. The bike has rigid fenders, racks, dynamo with some hidden wires and a few other items that make for a labor intensive assembly. Saturday was the day of fenders and dynamo wiring. Next week the bike part of the assembly will get finished. Here is a snap shot of the half done product:
I also welded Shawn's Ti geared bike and should finish that up on Monday.
And last is Steve's ti cross bike. This assembly will also get completed next week. Should look slick when done:
Thanks for reading and hope everyone had a great labor day weekend (I know that was last week).
The shop building is rather large. There was an ability to create an area that would house Engin Cycles world headquarters and up went a wall. At first when the wall was done it seemed like a crazy amount of space and hard to believe I would exceed what it offered. Then came my 2nd Bridgeport and it got a bit tighter. Then came the Monarch and it felt tighter yet. Then the 3rd DiAcro and it really started to get tight. The Cincinnati was the last item to get installed and at that point it was obvious the shop was too small. The issue is heating such a large space. Without the wall up there is no hope in heating the facility without heating the entire facility which is a crazy idea.
This late summer/fall the wall comes down and an expansion will begin. Two new walls, a barn door for allowing in and out of machines, racks for tubing storage, AC unit in a dedicated opening in the wall, double doors for entry and not opening the sliding door and a few other cool features. It will open up the floor plan and allow for a great flow. Things like the tube roller will get set-up on a pedestal and the bandsaw will be in a location to maximize the ability of it with large stock. The new walls will get sheet rock and bright white paint which will also be a nice touch.
This week I am making Steve's Ti cross bike. I have the fork, stem and post all set and need to clean the tubes so I can weld the frame. Should be off to Todd for a finish next week. Then onto another Ti cross bike and then a Ti mtb while I wait for Ryan to return from out west so we can get his cross bike going.
Some shots from the week:
Went to a Phillies game last night. They stink this year and will probably stink next year as well but I still enjoy the heck out of the game and will always be a fan. Here is a view from our seats last night: