Framebuilding is 90% mental, the other half is physical

I lived with one of my best friends Lee, for almost 10 years. And even though Lee has since moved to Connecticut, I never could get far away from him. We’ve gone on countless bike rides and several extended bike tours together but he was always on his old KHS mountain bike and me on my old Raleigh Competition (also not a proper touring bike). Well, the KHS got stolen over the summer and Lee had wanted a Circle A for a while so that clinched it. I built him this touring/commuter bike that he will be pedaling around very soon. He came up with the paint scheme which has a sort of baseball inspiration. I also recently built myself up a touring bike and plan on doing some trips with Lee. Or at least have him meet me halfway on a trip out to visit him in Connecticut.



 
 
 
 
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I’ll get you there faster

The latest and longest bike is a tandem for our very good friends Jay and Josie who tied the knot about a week ago. I finished building up this tandem literally hours before their wedding ceremony. It was a collaboration between myself, Josie, and Jay who did the paint work on it. There are only two Circle As out there that were painted by the customer and they were both by Jay. He has many years invested in the paint booth and can easily achieve the high quality finish we like to see on our bikes. Josie did all the lettering you see by hand with a brush. These guys are one of the most talented and ambitious couples I know. Between getting married and meeting work/art project deadlines, they also started the Providence Juice Company. Check out their truck parked out near Frog & Toad on Saturday mornings!



 
 
 
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This Holdsworth came in with a large dented top tube and chipping paint. I fixed the dent by rolling the tube in a tubing block to get it back to round. Then I filled it with silver and filed it smooth. A little bit of body filler and sanding before primer and it was magically gone! We added a bunch of braze-ons while the paint was off and then gave it a fresh coat of butter cream with only one simple Holdsworth decal on the headtube. Now it’s a super sharp ride again!



 
 
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And it might look like I’ve only been painting bikes white and cream for the past few months but I’ve had other colors in the gun for these frames. Two bikes for Dwight Bowen of Bowen Bicycle Works out of Connecticut, one from Nash Bicycles out of Baltimore loosely inspired by a Confente, one Terry that was a raffle prize for Amanda Resch with the awesome Team Dresch reference on the top tube, and one for Providence framebuilder Jim Frain of Dharma Cycles.


 
  

Lee Berman’s bike is done and I’ll post pictures of that very soon. Then it’s on to Alex and Brent’s cyclocross frames. Should probably hurry on those as the season is happening right now!

John S’s single speed, complete bikes, and more!

John’s single speed left the shop late last week and was on the road by the weekend. It was aching to get dirty on these dry, dusty Rhode Island roads. He put 75 miles on it in one day which blows my mind for a single speed (more like a two speed with the White Industries double freewheel). This sharp bike is primarily white with gray panels and blue accents for the logos and cutouts in the Richard Sachs lugs and fork crown. He went with Paul Components cantilever brakes which will give him more than adequate stopping power as he contends with some of the worst drivers in the country.



 
 
 
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I also built a fork and quill stem for our friend Ricardo. This was sort of a collaboration as he did the polishing of the stainless and created the stencils for the fleurs de lis. It’s was a long time in the making but it’s finally done.


 

We always have tons of pictures of frames, forks, racks, stems, and whatever else we make or paint here. While we’re doing all of that, we want to make sure that the bike and components come to fruition as a whole. Maybe it’s a Brooks saddle or sweet Campagnolo Super Record gruppo that is the glue that brings the whole thing together. Here are a couple of shots of some of our most recent builds in their complete form. I’ll try to get more together for future blogs so you can get ideas on what is best for your Circle A.


 
 

And finally, tandems take time. Lots and lots of time. I’m in the middle of fillet brazing my first for our friends Jay and Josie who are getting married later this month. Deadlines! Here are a couple of shots of the build in progress. I managed to modify our current tube mitering setup to easily do the complex cuts on the top and lateral tandem tubes. More updates to come soon. Back to work now.