I hope Mike enjoys riding this bike as much as I enjoyed building it. I’m always trying to use the customer’s input to visualize what they’re seeing in their mind and helping them get to that vision though components, paint, construction details, etc. This is a case where both of our visions came to fruition. This is Mike’s second Circle A and a big change from his cross bike that I built almost exactly one year ago. This is reminiscent of the cruisers of the 60’s and 70’s but with modern, lightweight components. The new Dia-Compe 610 centerpull brakes with their CNC’d aluminum arms are modern looking up close but resemble the classic Mafac brakes of times past. The same goes for the Campagnolo inspired IRD aluminum crankset and Mavic single speed wheelset. Many of the components on this bike were purchased from the Velo-Orange line that is fulfilling the needs of classically inspired cyclists everywhere. The complete bike with leather saddle, rack, and fenders weighs in at 23 pounds. And with a 46-18 around town gearing, Mike should have no problem getting this one up to speed.
See the full slideshow.
This Richard Sachs repaint was rusted and weather beaten when it first came in the shop. EVERYTHING was seized on there. Especially the bottom bracket and rear dropout alignment screws which were eventually drilled out and then re-tapped. There were even markings on the chainstays from someone bolting a Greenfield kickstand on there! Well, this one has been saved. New paint and love have brought this one back to life.
See the full slideshow.
This next frame was brought to the shop by our friend Billy who said it was built by Dave Hartranft of Lincoln, MA. If anybody has any information on him, I’d like to learn more. This frame needed a seat stay replacement in a bad way. There were no vent holes near the rear dropouts and the unconventional fastback attachment at the seat cluster allowed for a lot of water to get in there and it rotted out. I mitered a new stay in the same fashion and now it’s good to go again.
It has been a while since I’ve written anything here and realized that I haven’t mentioned the Bilenky junkyard cyclocross race that happened last month. It’s a non-competitive (for most) cyclocross race through the junkyard that’s in back of their shop in Philly. It was a damn good time and recommend it to any cyclists within driving distance.
In other news, we’ve been experimenting with matte clearcoats and got to test it out finally on a bike. This fillet brazed Icarus was requested to have a matte finish. So here it is! It isn’t something that I’m personally a fan of because it will get dirty fast. Maybe for a sunny day rider it’s perfect but as soon as it gets mucky out, you’d better hop on the beater.
And something special is coming together at the shop right now. I know everything we make or paint is special but this is my first foray into drillium! I was inspired by the rear dropout of the Hartranft that was at the shop and of course the stylings of Peter Weigle. And anyone else whose drilled out a dropout for that matter. These dropouts are going on a fillet brazed frameset for our new friend Dan. More about that one soon!
The latest restoration here at the shop was on this 1976 Team Raleigh frame. It came in with a busted fork so I built another with Reynolds 531 blades, Campagnolo fork tips, and a Cinelli crown. This bike apparently has quite the pedigree after the owner did his research on it. This is what he found out:
“According to people who know these things, the bike appears to have belonged to Jan Van Katwijk of the Dutch TI Raleigh/McGregor professional cycling team in 1976. This is evidenced by his initials in the bikes serial number (JK176 which indicates that this was the first frame built for Jan Van Katwijk in 1976). In 1976 Jan rode in both the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain. I haven’t been able to confirm if he rode this exact bike in either event but it’s probable because he was only with the team for a year. Jan’s brother Piet Van Katwijk also rode for the team and must have been a better rider as he was with them for six years. I bought the bike from Mike’s Cyclery in Boca Raton, FL in the early 80’s and was unaware of its history until I researched it for the restoration.”
In other news, I had moved last year to a location that was about 7 miles away from the shop. Before the move I had been doing my 3 mile commute on a single speed as that was fine. But for the past year I’ve been riding either my race bike or my cross bike and finally decided to build up a light touring/commuter bike for myself complete with front rack (soon) and fenders. This multifunction bike also survived the D2R2 this past weekend as there’s room for cyclocross tires on there. I was looking for mustard in the color and I got it. A mix of our yellow and gold came out with this classy number. Some subtle logos, a pearl coat over the whole thing, and a little yellow tint in the clear gave it some extra detail as well.
See the full slideshow.
This road frame and fork(s) is ready for some high speed club rides or road races. Full True Temper OX Platinum tube set and seat mast will keep the weight of this bike well below 17 pounds…and having the Edge carbon fork on there won’t hurt either.
See the full slideshow.
In non-bike building news, a bunch of Providence locals travelled over to Deerfield, MA for the 2010 D2R2. This was my first time doing it and it was one of the most fun rides I’ve ever done on a bicycle. Maybe it was the weather or the great group of riders or all the steel bikes or a combination of everything but I can’t recommend it enough. There were a lot of hills and our group did the 100k version. Maybe next year we’ll get brave and do the 180k.
Our kitty turns one year old this month too. Since she’s joined the Circle A team, morale has been up and productivity down (kidding). She’s the best thing that’s happened to the shop…aside from the Bridgeport. Here’s to many more years of her walking precariously onto bike stands while we try to file your lugs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.