Category Archives: Bike Painting

The coyote and the milestone

Two more bikes are ready to get built up. Adam’s racer looks incredible. The polished 150 badge was a nice touch. It seems like the Circle A milestones come in numbers divisible by 50. Adam chose to get the seat mast instead of the typical post. It adds just that much more class to this ride. It’s going to be built up with SRAM Red and an amazing DT wheelset. More pictures to come soon.


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See the full slideshow.

Jeff’s touring frame and fork are gorgeous as well. The orange and cream is one of my favorite color combinations. I’m extremely happy with the lug shaping on this frame considering the lug choices for a 1 1/8″ steer tube are limited. The seat cluster in particular makes me very happy. Check out these shots.

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See the full slideshow.

Circle A is contributing to a project organized by Rapha Clothing. They’re creating a publication of long rides with photos and cue sheets in the northeast. There are several framebuilders in the northeast that are taking part in this project including Independent, Bilenky, Igleheart, and Richard Sachs. The frame we’re building will be ridden by Piers North from NYC. It’s it’s full Dedacciai Zero Replica for lugs tubeset with Columbus Life s-bend seat stays. We’re not doing the paint on this but we’re happy to hear that the talented Chris Rowe will be taking care it. Here are the shots of the current build up.

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See the full slideshow.

We also did a little bit of paint work on a tiny road bike. It says Colnago but it’s not. Still very adorable. We painted the fork and pump to match the frame.

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We also did a bunch of clear coating on Sonny’s wire art. We’re finding new uses for the frame jig everyday.

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Who says pesto and dark chocolate don’t go great together?

So many bikes since my last post! I finished Sarah’s cyclocross/touring machine, Ken’s bike looks outstanding, I built a single speed for myself in the after hours, and Adam’s number 150 is well underway. Chris and I also did a couple of paint jobs for Dwight Bowen of Bowen Bicycle Works out of Connecticut. I spent the greater part of last week in the paint booth so forgive for the delay in these updates.

First off, Sarah’s paint scheme was amazing. She came to me with an idea that included a damask pattern. I didn’t even know what the word meant and when I saw the sample patterns I got a little nervous. The vinyl cutter we use is pretty old and has difficulty doing detailed patterns but everything worked out in the end. I’m especially pleased with one of my premiere forays into lug lining. The gold is subtle and gives it that classy Victorian look.


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See the full slideshow.

Ken’s frame and fork wasn’t that shabby either. I used some Richard Sachs Nuovo Richie lugs for the first time and really like the look of the cutouts. I also used a new (to me) seat stay attachment style which I borrowed from the recently restored Viking. Ken did a lot of tweaking in Illustrator getting the final paint job down. I was skeptical on how the coffee milk colored fork would look but I think he made the right choice. The dark chocolate/coffee milk scheme has me craving mousse. And more lug lining practice here. There a whole lot of lug action going on so the pressure was on to have a steady hand. It all came out fine in the end.

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See the full slideshow.

I spent most of last weekend and early this week on a frame and fork for myself. We can never have too many bikes, right? This is a single-speed-all-around-town-and-then-some bike. My old single speed is racing through the streets of Philadelphia under its new owner, Jonny

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And after a TON of carving on his bottom bracket shell, Adam’s is well underway. Totally starting to look like a bike. There will be more entries about mine and Adam’s next week when painting begins. Stay tuned.

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See the full slideshow.

A 3RENSHO, a Viking, and Your Mom

Micah came and built up his frame a couple of weeks ago. We spent a small part of a freezing Saturday afternoon putting some nice parts on his beautiful new frame.


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Ricardo picked up the 3RENSHO which came out wonderful as well. I was very pleased with the lug matching (thanks in part to Joseph for tracing the old ones for me).

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Joe’s Viking is another inspirational restoration. This was an old one but definitely worth redoing with its Nervex lugs. The seat cluster in particular was my favorite. I like the way the stays clasp the seat lug so much that I ended up using it on Ken’s upcoming single speed. Here are the pictures of the completed bike.

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Sarah’s cyclo-touring machine is ready for her super fancy paint job. I finished it last week but we’re still working out the details of the paint. More to come soon.

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Eggplant, coral, lace, and so much more!

So much has been happening in January! Where to start. Well, Stephen’s bike has been assembled, Micah’s bike is ready for parts, Hilary’s frame is completed and built up, Sarah’s coming up next with a cyclo-touring machine, Joe’s Viking decals finally came in from the UK, and Ricardo’s 3RENSHO is ready to be rebuilt. Phew.

Stephen came in yesterday with his Specialized to migrate the parts over to his Circle A. Everything went smooth and today was gorgeous so I’m sure we”ll hear the verdict on how it rode very soon. Here are some shots of the finished frame and the making of it.


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Micah’s frame was also completed recently with the most original color scheme I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a metallic eggplant, coral panels, and gold bands. Looks AMAZING! This one was built up with Dedacciai Zero tubing and Paramount lugs. Here’s the finished product and as usual, the slideshow.


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I also built a bike for my girlfriend Hilary’s birthday. It wasn’t a surprise because I had to get measurements to design the frame. The frame is built with Columbus Spirit for Lugs tubing (thanks Richard), Paramount lugs (thanks Kirk), and an old set of Reynolds 531 fork blades (thanks Owen). I did some fancy-shmancy vent holes in the head tube and some old styling cut outs on the BB shell. I also used the ultra-svelte single speed dropouts that we have cut over in Pawtucket. I brazed some stainless plates on them and then polished them up. The lace design was her idea and came out very classy. We actually went to the fabric store to find a nice lace pattern, scanned it in, and made an EPS file out of it to cut the vinyl mask out. Our old Roland vinyl cutter is somewhat of a relic so it wasn”t too happy with the intricacies of the lace. There’s an extensive slideshow of the build here.


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And finally, cross season ended over a month ago and I haven’t even mentioned that it totally changed my life. I need to personally thank everyone who made my first season so much fun including Jack, Hannah, Dan, Adam, Scotty, Scott G., and NBX. I never knew beer and bikes went so well together. So as a result, my plan for 2008 is to start off riding mostly flatland, move onto the road bike mid-summer, and then ride cross for the fall and winter. Year-round on a bike sounds like fun, right? Here are some choice shots from this season for your entertainment.


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Happy birthday Mr. Bull…and other important stuff

So today is the big day for the founding father of Circle A. Happy day, brother.

Also, Stephen’s frame is done, primed, painted, cleared, polished, and ready for parts which should be here in a day or two. When I painted this bike, I tried out a new technique using a liquid mask around the lugs and bottom bracket. It was fun to work with and I plan on using it more on future frames. I’ll have a full photo shoot with it very soon but for now here’s where it’s at.


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It’s been abnormally warm so far this January. So much so that we’ve actually had the garage door open some days. The weather has made it possible for Chris to put a new carburetor on his 1960-something Volvo without losing the shop’s precious heat.

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Micah’s frame is very close to completion. The front end is all brazed together and the fork is complete. I anticipate finishing up by the end of the week. I just need to do a bunch of sanding and filing and then work with him on the paint.

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And Michelle’s bike was built up and looks incredible! I’m happy with the silver and green combo. This is one classy ride.

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Among other things going on at the shop, we have no real heat so this guy has become our best friend.

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We tried running it on vegetable oil because it says that it can run on almost any fuel. It really just smoked a lot and spat hot oil out the front. After trying several kerosene/vegetable cocktails, we decided that heat was overrated. Or that Garrett needs to get about a dozen more full size espresso machines in the shop and leave ’em on 24 hours a day.

Sarah (who’s on the list to get a frame) stopped by the shop recently out of the blue and brought us some amazing cupcakes. I ate three and left the birthday boy one. I’m trying to bulk up.


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Next on the agenda is a 3RENSHO repair, my beard attempt, cyclocross race season wrap up, and more! Woo hoo!

Garrett’s paint, a bearded woman, and the whiskey dog

Garrett, who shares the space at Circle A repairing espresso machines, stripped his bike and had us repaint it and make it new again. Here are the pictures of it in all it’s classiness.


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I had a small photo shoot with Michelle’s bike at the same time so here are some more pictures of that. I’ll have even MORE pictures of it when it’s all built up.

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She brought in a birthday/xmas/thanks-for-building-me-a-bike present which was a bottle of Jameson 18 year old whiskey complete with whiskey dog decanter! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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And Mike Taylor has been in the shop painting an amazing bearded woman on the big white wall near the entrance. I’m so happy to see her every morning. Makes me smile. Here she is in all her glory.

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Michelle’s plaid paint and starting Stephen’s frame

This was my first time painting a plaid pattern on a bike. Maybe not my last time either because it has been requested before. It ended up being six different layers of paint to get the right pattern. When Michelle asked for plaid, I wanted to say no but an article on instructables.com made me think it wasn’t that bad. And it wasn’t. Just a bit tedious. I found a plaid I liked, converted it to a layered EPS file, cut it out of vinyl, and started painting. Here are the pics of the frame before polishing and the build up. More to see here.

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I’ve also started a road frame last week and have a fork and the beginnings of the frame done. Here are the pics of that progress.

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I also done more work on the Viking but am waiting for transfers from the UK. I’ll also be posting pictures of Garrett’s repaint in the coming days. Check back soon!

Brian Fu’s frame is done, other repaints, and repairs.

Brian Fu’s frame is complete with the smoothest finish I’ve ever done. Here are some of the pics of the completed project and the slideshow of the whole process. Special thanks to Joseph Ng for volunteering to transport this frame halfway around the globe to Hong Kong!


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I’m also in the middle of a repair on an old Viking. It has seen its share of repairs already with a downtube replacement and a sloppy conversion to a geared bike. Well, the hanger and brake bridge have been removed and the downtube has been replaced. A replacement fork was built and the Viking transfers are being hunted down. Here are the pics of the bike in progress.

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I’ve also spent a bit of time in the paint booth on a bike for Echelon Cycle Works. This frame is dark green with black panels and little “-dB” logos all over it. Here are the pics of that.

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And in the hopper is a small fillet brazed 650b frame and fork for my friend Michelle. The tube set is in hand and construction begins this week. Stay tuned for more updates.

Repaints, repairs, and my cross frame

So a couple of bikes have been in the works at the shop including this Witcomb track frame that was in for a repaint. Here are a couple shots of the lugs, crown, and shell which were the most difficult for me to mask.


Witcomb seat lug Witcomb BB shell
Witcomb fork Witcomb frame
Witcomb crown Witcomb head tube

That Motobecane that was run over by a car is also ready to go. We’re not doing the paint on it so it’s heading out like this.

Motobecane BB shell Motobecane dropouts
Motobecane bridge Motobecane frame

Jack stopped by the shop to show us his built up Green Jake cross bike. Looks pretty sweet if you ask me. The tubes for my frame are already mitered and in the jig. I brazed it together today and will be uploading more pics this weekend. Hopefully much progress is made.

Jack’s Green Jake Brian’s CX frame

And lastly, that flatland frame I built for Henry a while back is assembled and ready to ride. He uploaded some pictures to Global-Flat here.

Hannah’s is done. Cross racing begins.

Hannah’s paint is finished and I’ll add pictures to the gallery soon enough. But for now, here’s a sneak peak at the finished product.


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The seat cluster The frame

Last September I had built a frame for Dan Langlois but never had the chance to take pictures of it. After a season of cross and doing a bunch of traveling, the well-used frame returned to the shop. so here’s a shot of Dan getting it back together. I painted a stem to match it as well. The cross season technically starts on Sunday for Dan with a race up in Agawam, MA. Good luck, man.

Dan’s cross frame The stem


Speaking of bikes returning to the shop, this red star fade bike has been making the rounds. It’s temporary home is for now at the shop. The original owner bent the seat stay and he sold it to a friend who had us replace the stay and repaint it. I should say right now that I will never do a paint job like this again.

Star fade

Two more cross bikes to do this week including one for Jack at the Hub and one for ME! Yes, me. I will be thoroughly testing one of my fillet brazed cross frames this year. Can’t wait. More pics to come soon.