New Jedi

New Jedi

I’ve been on a break from the shop since the end of June, spending time on Vinalhaven, both riding and kayaking.  Just before leaving, I finished (well, almost finished) this touring bike for my friend Tim.  Tim loves the look of old one inch threaded stems, so this is set up with a Nitto Technomic…

A Change of Pace

A Change of Pace

  Until this winter, every frame I’ve built has been TIG-welded.  TIG welding is a relatively modern technique for bike building.  It wasn’t invented until the 1940s — it originated at Northrop Aircraft as a method for joining light metals like magnesium — and it didn’t make its way into bike building until the 1970s. Until then,…

Sneak Preview: Jay 3.0

Sneak Preview:  Jay 3.0

Next week I’ll finally be back on one of my own bikes.  I finished brazing the water bottle bosses and cable stops for Jay 3.0 yesterday.  As soon as I can butt into Marty’s shop to use the powder coating booth I can put color on it and then start the finishing assembly. Brazing is…

Life Framed

Life Framed

I can measure my life in bicycle frames. I happen now to be riding a Lotus, probably about 30 years old but in very good shape. It’s red, and it has Shimano 600 shifters, just like a bike I had built when I was 22. It’s a loaner to keep me rolling while I replace…

Building Matt’s Blue Steel

Building Matt's Blue Steel

Building a bike for someone with whom you ride often can be a little unnerving. One the one hand, you have a sense of how your friend rides, what seems to work, what might work better. On the other, what if the end result isn’t right? You’re going to see it and live with it…