The long distance singlespeed

This single speed is going to Tim C. in Ohio. He already has my respect by having done the Paris-Brest-Paris this year on a single speed but to top it off he was also a guitarist in the 80’s punk band, The Dicks! It was a definitely an honor to build for him. This frameset is fillet brazed with a combination of Dedacciai Zero Uno and Zero tubesets. The dropouts are Paul Components and the fork has wire guides on the inside of the fork blade for the dynamo front light. The paint is a red with a very subtle metallic and a black with a red pearl over it. The details are in a creamy white to not be too overpowering.

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Mike’s Bianchi came to us in a pretty beat up state so to get it to this level was very satisfying. We had done work for Mike in the past with a Team Raleigh restoration. The chrome on the Bianchi’s stays and dropouts were far too pitted to save but the final product looks very clean nonetheless.


I made this fillet brazed bar/stem combo for a Stephen who I built a bike for last year. This was my first time doing something like this. The handlebar is a Nitto chromoly straight one brazed directly onto a stem that I made for him.

And finally, I finished up the paint on a Royal H Cycles frameset a couple weeks back and have these pictures to share.


Nik’s bike is up next!

A bike for a box

This bike was designed as a 26″ wheeled single speed with the S&S internal style couplers. In order to get the couplers to fit inside the tubes, they needed to be turned down on the lathe (see pic). Since it is a travel bike, Tim wanted to go with a more durable matte black powder coat for paint. But we only do wet paint so the guys over at Geekhouse were happy to oblige with their powder services. It has been built up with all silver and black components for a very monochromatic look. It’s definitely a serious looking bike with a purpose.

See the full slideshow.

In other repairs and repaints, this Independent Fabrications frame came to us to have the canti posts removed and get set up for a disc brake. I put on the guides, brace, and disc mount and then gave it an understated blackish blue paint job with light cream panels. Looks great, Vince!


The seat mast situation

This is the second cross bike I’ve built for Adam St. Germain but it’s the fourth Circle A I’ve built for him. He also has one of the few Circle A BMX frames and a pretty fancy road bike. For this one, I wanted to make it as light as possible. I ended up going with Dedacciai’s Zero tube set. Because this is a cross bike and it’s going to be put through the motions, I put a small gusset at the down tube head tube junction. I suggested a seat mast with some unique internal cable routing and Adam let me have my way. So here’s the final product but I unfortunately neglected to think about one thing…

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A week or two after he got the bike, at the NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross right here in Rhode Island on December 4th, the seat mast bent. I was devastated. I totally felt like I let Adam down by building a bike with such a thin seat tube and doing the internal routing at the rear. He sent me a txt with the image and my heart sunk. I had to fix it. NOW.


So Adam dropped the bike off at the shop on the Monday after and I had it back to him at the week’s end for the Ice Weasels race in Wrentham, MA on the 10th. The repair consisted of me carefully straightening the mast and reshaping it with tubing blocks. To strengthen that joint, I bonded a section of slotted aluminum post into the seat tube. It essentially has a seatpost in there now, which I will recommend to all future customers who inquire about a seat mast. I repainted the affected area and it was ready to ride again. Just last week, he raced it at the Nationals in Madison and got 32nd. Attaboy! We’re very proud of him here at Circle A. Here are a couple shots of the bike after the repair.


My longtime friend Lee FINALLY got his bike together. Definitely a fun commuter/light touring ride. Hope you’re having fun, Lee!


And it was a long time ago (I think back in October) but we had our 10th year anniversary. A lot of friends and local builders came by to help us celebrate. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years and will continue to build for the unforeseeable future. Here are some shots of that beautiful day.


Next up is a travel bike with a couple of firsts for Circle A…

A Circle A in Scotland

We’re definitely getting more international orders here at Circle A. This fillet brazed cyclocross frameset is going to Chris in the Scottish Highlands (which looks like one of the best places to ride a bike on the planet). Some of the finer details include the spade cutout on the top of the seat tube, the modified Mitsugi fork crown, and the painted bands all over. Sometimes the simplest looking paint jobs are the most work.

See the full slideshow.

Peter K. sent us this 1968 Harry Quinn “Road Champion” for repaint a bit ago. He specified the purple color with a light pearl coat on top. Our master lug liner, Josie, did the gold lining freehand with a brush. Peter did an outstanding job with the build. You can read more about it here.


I also had the pleasure of painting one of Bryan’s frames at Royal H Cycles. This one is an S&S coupled touring frame in an appropriate royal blue.


And Providence’s very own Paul Marandola finished his 3rd frameset a while ago for our friend Peter. If you get a chance, get over to Legend Bicycle and ask to see this one in person. It’s very classy. And yes, that is a ravioli painted on the head tube.


Next up, the seat mast dilemma. Is there really a dilemma? Wait and see.

Joseph’s satin cross frame and Ricardo’s rides

Joseph went to RISD here in Providence and then moved back to China for work and family. While he was here in Providence he helped out here at the shop for a bit. When he wanted us to build him a cyclocross frame, I was so excited. This one also has the flexibility of being a light tourer and have fenders put on it. We went back and forth a couple times to get the paint details straight and I’m very pleased with the satin finish that he chose. The seat cluster has a very non-steel look. Almost molded. Defying the standard steel look wasn’t my goal but was very satisfying.

See the full slideshow.

And our friend Ricardo has had us do some paint and repair work for him over the years. He took some time out of his busy schedule to bring by some of the completed projects. A very nice stable of bikes indeed!





Next up are the final couple of cross bikes for the year!

Dan’s classy city bike and photos from Philly

This bike was originally going to be called a “Grocery Getter” but the rack is more conducive to just doing a milk run to the corner store. I feel that “City Bike” is a more apt title. The 1×10 Shimano Ultegra drivetrain keeps things simple. The Sugino 75 crankset was paired with a 42 tooth chainring to make the hills a little more bearable. The rack on the front was based on specific dimensions (it’s 7″ wide x 10″ long) and got a bit of inspiration from one recently done by Capricorn Bicycles. It’ll be great with a larger handlebar bag. The moustache bars bring me back to my days of working at Union Cycle in Attleboro, Massachusetts and selling the Bridgestone XO-1. Good times. The paint is a custom gray/green mix with a very faint pearl coat. And there are red and silver details throughout. It is understated to say the least. Hope you like it as much as I do, Dan!

See the full slideshow.

In other news, we went to the Philadelphia Bike Expo again this year. The weather was less than stellar with a freak snow storm but the turnout was still great. Bina and the rest of the Bilenky crew did a great job of putting this one together. Circle A Cycles shared a big “Providence Booth” with Chapman Cycles and Dharma Cycles. Here are some shots from that weekend.


Miss Dancer

Cyclocross season is well underway and Genisis just got her bike together a bit ago. This is one of the smallest cross bikes I’ve made in a long time. The frame might be smaller but it’s the same amount of work as the larger ones. The paint on this one had much inspiration from the black Rapha Continental bike with pink and silver details from a couple of years ago. The fork was from ENVE and painted to match. I painted some small pink and silver details on the fork tips and seat stays to match the details on the head tube and in the seat cluster. It was also a way to hone my paint registration skills. Check it out.

See the full slideshow.

This Hollands came in with some significant rust damage to the top tube cable guides as well as a large dent. The cable guides were removed and replaced with cable stops, the dent was rolled out and filled, and the decals were procured to get this bike back to it’s original state, albeit with a different color.


Sean brought this Croll to us for paint. It came in stripped so clean it looked like it was just welded. He also provided us with the Croll decals and the PPG paint in the same system we use. Definitely an accommodating customer!


This customer came in with a specific vision or recreating a paint job that was once on this bike. The lugs were red and there was a distinct series of cogs on the seat tube. I was able to recreate the cog design and got nice clean lines on the lugs and fork crown.


I graduated from UMass Dartmouth about 14 years ago with a degree in mechanical engineering. I haven’t kept in touch with a lot of people who were in my graduating class but I’m glad to have reconnected with my friend Mike. I remember him being into mountain biking back in the 90s and wanting to build bikes. Well, he built his first frame recently and it came out great! I hope he has the bug and wants to build some more.


Two great people tied the knot recently as well. Congratulations Adam and Ali! You guys rule. The wedding was beautiful and I wish you the best of luck in the future. Adam, your cross bike is coming up soon!


There was a hurricane along the east coast recently too. We had a bunch of tree limbs down but nothing too serious. The shop came out damage free which was a relief. Some were not so lucky though.

Lastly, our friend Ryan brought us a cake! Why? Well, he’s just a nice guy and he likes what we do. We like you too, Ryan.

Next up is Dan’s grocery getter, some pics from the Circle A Cycles 10 year anniversary party, Joseph’s cross bike, and more!

Trevor’s lugged Columbus XCr frame

The latest project out of my fixture is a lugged stainless frame for Trevor. This was my first time working with this particular brand of stainless steel and have to say that I was pleased. One of the complaints I’ve heard from other builders was in regards to the tubes’ dimensional accuracy. I had none of these problems and with good tolerances built a very strong frame. Trevor went with an ENVE 2.0 fork painted to match.


I’m still making freewheels from time to time. This one went over to the UK. If you have a project that needs a freewheel with a tooth count greater than 22. Give me a holler.

Also, a bunch of us Providence folk went over to Deerfield, MA for the D2R2 last month. It’s becoming a new tradition of packing a couple of vehicles with people and bikes, sleeping in a bumpy field, and then waking up to a very difficult but beautiful ride. Plenty of Circle As were there in attendance. This year seemed a bit harder but maybe I was just a bit out of shape. Anyway click on the big pic of Jim to see some video of us agonizing up one of the climbs. Fun stuff? Yes!


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!

Mike’s light tourer

The blog was down for a little over a week and I assumed that no-one would notice but a lot of you did. And no, I’m not going anywhere. I did start building bikes on the side as Chapman Cycles (more on that in another blog post) but I am still a full-time framebuilder/painter here at Circle A. My latest frame for Mike P. is a light tourer built with Columbus Zona tubing and Richard Sachs’ Rene Singer lugs. Dark blue pearl with lighter metallic blue panels round off this classy frameset. Almost all the parts are in so I’ll get some complete bike shots soon.

See the full slideshow.

This Mercian came in for a whole series of modifications. It was originally designed to be built up with 27″ wheels and now will be good with 700c wheels and cantilever brakes. The derailleur cable routing was moved to underneath the bottom bracket and a rear derailleur hanger from a Campagnolo dropout was brazed on. A new seat binder, rack mounts, fender braze-ons, and a black paint job and Chris is ready to go! Chris is also responsible for the Mercian Register on Flickr. Check it out if you get a chance.

See the full slideshow.

This Rivendell came to us in rough shape. There was a gaping hole in the top tube from corrosion. Needless to say, it had to be replaced. It was built at Waterford so it was silver brazed which is helpful when the lugs are very intricate like these. We gave it back to the customer as is because he wanted to get it powder coated for a nice durable finish. If *you* need any frame repairs done, please check our price sheet and then drop us a line if you want some help.


This paint job was for Alchemy out of Austin. Great people, great bikes, fancy paint. Getting those stripes to line up is trickier than you think!


Our friends, and amazing husband and wife team have been helping us out a bit here at Circle A. First, Josie, accomplished painter and designer, has been making us look amazing with her lug lining skills. This is all done with a brush and a steady hand, people. Truly a craft that she is a master at. Every frame that she does blows my mind. Including this cream Icarus which I painted and she lined.


And her husband Jay is a veteran high end auto finishing master whose skill set transferred very nicely to bicycles. He did the paint on this red Icarus.


And when you get them working together, they can make beautiful things look more beautiful like this Johnny Coast.


Next up is a lugged Columbus XCr stainless frameset and more repairs and repaints!