Sunday, October 27, 2013

More Tam

 Headed up Mt Tam again today. Since we live in Oakland, we don't make it over there as much as we should and Tam still holds a bunch of new territory for us. Luckily the rides on Tam make the tedium of riding throught the city worth it. We just headed up Old Railroad Grade and took a peek at the summit and headed down Eldridge Grade/Blithedale. I had never seen some of these trails and, as always, new trails are the best trails. I also managed to wipe out right in front of a huge group of hikers which is always fun

Heading up. Some weird fog thing brewing in the background.

Heading down Eldrigde. A little bumpy for my narrower virtually treadless tires. I rode with a bunch of folks in Santa Cruz last weekend who were killing it on 28s and 32s but I guess I'm just spoiled after riding big knobby 2.3 inchers. I was envious of Mark's wide supple 2.35" small block 8's.

 Our future trail
 Madrone color
 That fog was blowing in with a fury. Sun breaks like this made for a heavy bliss vibe, whatever that means.
 Lastly today I've got this weird thing. I recently took a headset out of this old Trek 890 to use it on another bike. I didn't end up using it because it was all plastic- the top and bottom cups and the fork crown race, what a terrible idea! Anyway that wasn't the strangest thing I found. Looking down the head tube I noticed that the vent holes were really big and in fact weren't vent holes at all. On some old treks the entire head tube is a LUG!? The "lugs" you see are fake (well kinda anyway) because the whole head tube/lugs is one cast lug. I guess the idea was that it made a cheaper faster production, but I've certainly never see it before. I lightly looked into it and there is a pic of one in the 1989 catalog over at vintagetrek. Weird.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Old friend

It's been a while since I posted something up here on the old blog and I think I finally have some postworthy things to put up. For whatever reason  I haven't been taking my camera on rides or have just forgotten to use it when I should, but thanks for hanging in there and checking back occasionally. 
At the start of the year I decided that this was the year I wanted to try and make a frame. I spent the first part of the year getting some tools, reading manuals, and scouring the web for info on framebuilding. It was slow going and at some point I realized that I wasn't getting very far. For my birthday my wife surprised me and signed me up for the frambuilding class at UBI. I was initally opposed to taking a class because I figured that I could just buy a bunch of tools and fixtures for the cost of the class, but after floundering for months the class started seeming like a good idea. So now here I am at the end of two weeks in beautiful Ashland Oregon with a new frame that I made. The class was great and I feel like I essentially shaved off a few years of screw ups by having experienced frambuilders walk me through the entire process. 

 UBI, this is where the magic happens...
 Here's the frame. It still needs hours of clean up but it's all there and mostly ready for parts. The idea here is 650b camper. It's got a 6 degree sloping top tube, a lotta room for big tires, medium high bb for clearance, longish 450mm chainstays, and 3 water bottle mounts. I won't really know how it rides until I get some wheels built and parts on it, but I'm pumped anyway.
 Newbie silver brazing job. Pacenti crown, paragon canti studs, Llewellyn lugs.
 Yup more blobs of silver here.
 stars and ovalized chainstays
More Llewelyn goodies here with socket style dropouts.
 The seat tube is still untrimmed here to protect the lug point until I've finished clean up. I was happy how the wrap around stays came out.
 The backend here with prebent s-bend stays. I was just guessing on the braze-on rack mounts here. I'm probably going to try and make a little custom rack.
 Then there are some old pics that I should have posted a while back. An old friend and og Dirt Owl Jonny was in town in July and tricked out this Stumpy for a month in Mendocino and a tour back to the bay. He set up VO-Jitensha-3ttt knock off bars, big oury grips, nitto big back rack and a set of Uff da tires.
 A little back heavy. He's also got one of Mark's Heavy seat bags.
 And back to framebuilding for a sec. I scored this tiny old craftsman lathe this summer that came with a milling head attachment. I've been using it to cut tubing to practice brazing. I got lucky and a Paragon frame block perfectly fits the small milling head vise. I learned in the UBI class that this set up will probably give me problems in the long run because it's so small that it is lacking the mass needed to keep it rigid enough to cut thinwall bike tubing. For now it's working great if I make light cuts.
 I had to file off the corner of the block to fit perfectly.
 Also saw this thing last month. It's an old Solex moped. These things are pretty funny, the motor spins and just rolls directly on the front tire driving the bike. Otherwise it's just a really heavy bike.
 The same barn had this aawesome old vise.
 More frame stuff coming and a build soon.