Mid-summer projects wrapping up

The summer of 2011 has proven to be hot and busy. That combination usually gets me stressed out but we’re survivors here at Circle A. The projects keep coming in and we have to keep them moving. These are the latest projects that I’ve recently completed. First up, this Richard Sachs came to us after Richard replaced the downtube. I built a new fork for it and painted the frameset this dark green with a slightly tinted yellow clearcoat to give the panels a creamy look.


This Mondonico came from the same owner as the Richard Sachs. It was in a parking garage vs. roof rack accident and needed both the top and downtubes replaced. The head lugs and head tube were saved and ground out. This bike also needed a new fork so I built one with the original crown minus the pantographing. A black paint job with gold details made this frameset good as new.


Our friend Francine came back to us to have her bright blue Waterford touring bike toned down a bit. She did the difficult task of picking the color and I did the complete breakdown and refinish. The result is this Daytona Blue beauty ready to roam the countryside.


I built a road frame for the owner of this Ira Ryan back in November of last year. He sent me this cross frame to have a couple modifications done as well as a full repaint. The final result is this stunning sparkling purple beauty ready to get covered in mud again!


This Harry Quinn has a lot of history as old bikes often do. I personally acquired this bike back in 1998. It was my daily commuter for a while, then my retro-direct experiment, and then it was passed on to my friend Mitch who has been riding it hard on the streets of New York, Boston, and Providence. It came back to the shop looking beat to hell but now it has been rejuvenated and is ready for many more years of service. Be good to her, Mitch.


And Mike’s bike that was completed last month has been fully built and ridden. Here’s a shot of the complete bike. The steerer tube has since been cut down, of course.

There was also a pretty rare flatland contest here in New England last month. Even rarer was the fact that there were four Circle A BMX frames in attendance! I had to get a shot of them all together still going strong.

Next up is Trevor’s XCr road frameset. It is a looker so check back soon!

Matt’s tall cross bike

It seems like I’ve been building some taller bikes as of late. This cyclocross bike is 67cm and looks incredible! The light blue with white panel paint scheme is gorgeous. And the dark blue painted on logos and bands look sharp. If there’s anyone who needs a custom frame it’s someone who can’t get something off the shelf at their local bike shop. Everyone should be able to enjoy cycling no matter what their size is. These bigger bikes are fun to build because of the design challenges that arise. Head tube angle, seat tube angle, bottom bracket drop, seat stay length, and chain stay length are all crucial as bikes go larger than 64cm. Restrictions in tubing lengths from manufacturers poses the largest problem which is overcome by using straight gauge chromoly or custom drawn tubes. So check these shots of Matt’s frame and fork out and contact us if you need a bigger bike built.

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See the full slideshow.

In other news, Dan Langlois’ cross bike was in for a repair and got a new paint job while it was here. It’s like a brand new bike again except now it matches his other one.

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I also recently uploaded some riding footage from 2007 for Dan to see that was shot for a video that didn’t use all of it. Might as well share it with the rest of you too. Here I am riding my Circle A flatland frame.

Brian Chapman – Riding 2007 from Brian Chapman on Vimeo.

A Nishiki restored, Mike’s on the road, and more

Joel’s Nishiki is fixed, straightened, painted, and ready to go. It came in with a crumpled downtube so I replaced that and did some alterations while the paint was off. That included new rear dropouts, new cable stops, and some fender mounts. Check out the slideshow for the pictures of the process.

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See the full slideshow.

Mike came by to pick up his completed single speed on Saturday. The bike looked amazing with the White Industries ENO crankset and freewheel. The custom stem didn’t look too shabby either. Here’s the finished product.


Our friends Bobby and Dan held an alleycat race on Saturday as well. Congratulations to Eric Pupecki who won it and also to Mike Bike for winning the Circle A paint job (again!) for carrying the most papers. Here’s Mike in his partial Mapei kit. Nice job.


And I still ride my BMX bike from time to time. On Sunday, a bunch of old school riders (i.e. people who’ve been riding since the mid to late 80’s) got together to ride and catch up on each other’s lives. Got a little group photo because it probably won’t happen again for a long time.


Speaking of BMX, this Saturday Vic over at Circuit BMX in Pawtucket is holding a BMX swap (1-5PM), the footdown world championships (5-7PM), and the Kink Safety First video premiere (7PM).


And speaking of bike swaps, Providence Bicycle will be hosting their bike swap/fundraiser for the RI Food Bank on Sunday from 10AM to 3PM. There will be a ton of vendors and a cool raffle which will include a Circle A paint job as a prize. See you there!

Fillet brazed bottom brackets are sexy. There, I said it.

It’s been a while since I’ve written so here’s the lowdown on what I’ve been up to at the shop. I’ll omit the graphic details of badly burning my arm and being covered with paint stripper. What’s left is a bunch of shiny frames ready to be built up and beat on. Brian K.’s flatland frame is done and I’m digging his paint scheme. He went with an orange plaid with red bands. Very unique. The dropouts on the front and rear were milled out to 14mm and the bars and fork were painted to match. The fork is KGB’s new space fork with low profile brakes. Check out a little demo if you have a minute.

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See the full slideshow.

The latest fillet brazed cross frame with seat mast is for Dan Langlois. Dan moved to Philly but is still a Circle A supporter so we’ll always support him. This bike is painted to match the Embrocation team bikes. Thanks to Chris Igleheart for helping me identify the paint. The Embrocation logo is on the back of the seat tube. Check out the fancy Circle A gusset at the down tube/head tube junction. Can wait to see this one built up.

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See the full slideshow.

I built a road bike bike for our friend and honey bee advisor, Ron, earlier this year. This is his old Peugeot that I stripped and painted. It’s a great frame with Simplex dropouts and Vitus tubing. All the rust is gone and the chrome was buffed new. Here’s the final product.

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See the full slideshow.

Jay’s lugged beauty is coming up next but right now it’s just a box of lugs and tubes. Arthi’s lugged single speed is also happening as soon as the lugs arrive. Mike’s fillet brazed single speed will be up after that. September will be busy so check back soon.


Brian’s flatland frame (different Brian)

Believe it or not, but there’s another flatlander in RI named Brian. Well, I’m building a frame for him and it’s coming along nicely. He had me do a slight drop in the seat stays similar to the way I did Jon’s way back when. Here’s the progress so far.

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And Tom from White Electric pulled up to the coffee shop on the motorcycle I painted the tank on. Looks pretty sweet.

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Chris’s cross frame, another stem, and the Cox Classic

The front end of Chris’s lugged cross frame is in the jig and ready for brazing. He’s a tall fellow so this one’s going to be big. I carved a couple of cutouts on the bottom bracket shell to match the Richard Sachs lugs. I’m liking the way it looks like a hungry baby bird (or is it just me?). Here’s the status as of now.

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I finished a little fillet brazed stem for Steph’s bike this week as well. I’m not really psyched on the tiny stainless bolts I put on there so I’ll probably switch those out.

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Rick built up his flatland frame which is hot. Well, as hot as a brown bike can look.


And finally, our good friend, former roommate, and future Circle A rider, Adam St. Germain, got 4th in the men’s 2/3 race in this year’s Cox Classic in downtown Providence. This year the race tortured the riders by partially sending them up Waterman and then down Angell. It didn’t seem to phase Adam (or Gabe Lloyd who got 6th). Nice job guys! Hannah was on site selling cupcakes made from scratch. And everyone else just laid around in the grass. Myself included.

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Socks and sweater paint

Rick’s flatland frame is done and painted a unique palette of brown, pink, tan, and white. I’m a big fan of the argyle and painting it wasn’t as hellish as I was expecting. Still it was a full day and a bunch of basecoats. It’s being assembled and hopefully he’ll be riding it later today. More pics of the completed build to come.

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See the full slideshow.


Chris’s lugged cross bike is up next! It’s currently just a box of tubes but it’s going to be so much more. Sparks will be flying later today.

Here’s something I don’t build everyday

The latest news in Circle A Cycles-land is that Steph is figuring out parts for her cross bike and Rick is getting a very rare flatland BMX frame. There are only 4 others out there. The amount of work that goes into one of these tiny frames is on par with a fillet brazed road bike – just fewer braze-ons. We put our heart into every frame no matter how small. Here’s the progress so far. Paint starts tomorrow and it’s going to be crazy. No joke. Stay tuned.


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See the full slideshow.

Waiting for paint

Here’s the latest update on the flatland frame. The brazing is complete and I just have a little more work to do on the dropouts. Otherwise it’s ready for paint. And that happens early next week as the paint booth at the shop is finally complete. Also, next week I should be busy with a dropout replacement and I’m starting a cyclocross frame for my friend Hannah. I’ll be posting the progress here. That is all for now.

Seat cluster Bottom bracket
Seat cluster The front end
Dropouts Dropout detail
Head tube The frame