April 8th, 2013
I had built a bike for David several years ago and it came back to the shop for new paint, new stainless logos on the downtube, and new chrome on the racks. The transformation is amazing! Although I am a big fan of metallic brown, the “new” bike is a step up in the classy department.
This Raleigh Super Course came in for some modifications too and is now a 650B conversion. I brazed on cantilever posts, added a derailleur hanger, added a set of water bottle bosses, aligned the frame, installed fenders, added braze-ons for a Nitto front rack, and dimpled the chainstays for tire clearance. Normally when we dimple stays, we do it prior to assembling the rear end of the frame. But I’ve found on several occasions the need for post build dimpling and this little creation of found objects does the job like a champ!
February 12th, 2013
What better way to celebrate a blizzard than by blogging! At least until the power went out. Hope all you New Englanders survived last weekend’s storm. I had built a light touring/commuter bike for Alane’s husband a couple of years ago and it was now her turn to get a bike. It’s a road bike with fenders and rack mounts so it is quite versatile. The paint was inspired by a bike I built for my wife in 2008 which was a pleasure to do again. To prevent any toe overlap with the fender, I used a slightly longer top tube, slackened the head tube angle, and used a shorter stem (not pictured). And to keep the handlebars at a decent height, I used a lugset with a 6 degree slope in the top tube, left some of the threading at the top of the steerer tube, and a stem with a decent length quill.
I painted a frame, fork, rack, and stem for Simon at Hanford Cycles. Gloss black with painted on logos. Simon’s a great guy with a wealth of knowledge of bikes and framebuilding. He’s also the official Brooks saddle repair person for North America. If you ever need your Brooks saddle repaired, he’s your guy!
And I painted a Quickbeam and a handmade frame by Manuel out of NYC. These were solid color framesets that will definitely be stunners when they’re fully built up.
Next up is the mixte, 29er, touring bike, and other various projects I’ve been working on at the shop this winter!
December 17th, 2012
Every once in a while a customer wants to make a modification to a Circle A but because they are so happy with the way it rides, they don’t want us to completely rebuild the bike. Here are two cases in point. This gold frameset was originally a yellow single speed. Chris wanted to make it compatible with a 3-speed hub and wanted a couple braze-ons added. Also, the stainless fork crown was originally satin and this time around I gave it a high polish shine. The details are a metallic brown to match the Chris King headset to be installed.
This bright blue frameset was was originally a white and gray single speed. This time around, I removed the cantilever brake posts, drilled the fork, and added a rear brake bridge for medium reach brakes. The horizontal dropouts were removed and replaced with Ritchey vertical ones and the rear end was re-spaced to 130mm. Other changes include STI cable guides on the downtube, rear derailleur cable guides, and the front derailleur boss. The geometry was essentially a single speed road bike to begin with so this full road iteration will not handle differently but will now be able to climb some big hills!
Craig brought this 1950s(?) mystery frame to us with the bottom portion of one on the fork blades missing. Our job was to replace the blades with an original set of Reynolds 531 imperial oval pencil blades and recreate the original front dropouts (as only one was still attached). A repaint was obviously needed as well. I reinstalled the pump mounts on the downtube, one of which was hacksawed off at some point. I also reinforced with brass and a small piece of steel tubing the seat binder whose stamped shape had been crushed over the years.
Jamie’s 90s fillet brazed Charles Roberts came in a bit rusty and with a slightly chipped up red paint job. Looking to make a bike that he loved ride like new, he had me paint the frame black with some silver detailing in the pantographing on the bottom bracket. And voila, it’s a new bike!
Steve has had this Fuji Dynamic 10 all his life. It’s his favorite bike and with the tubing that it’s built with, it’ll definitely last him a lifetime. It was starting to rust in the areas where the paint had chipped and the chrome was almost completely gone on the fork. I blasted off the loose chrome and painted the bike this Porsche Viper green by his request. I also added the downtube water bottle and shifter bosses.
My wife and I recently took a trip to Ireland for our first big vacation together. It is a beautiful country but with incredibly narrow roads which would’ve made for some adventurous cycling. While driving on our trip, we came across this “Circle A” rental bicycle parked near the Cliffs or Moher. It’s a little different from the ones we make.