Bullwhip

Archive for April, 2014

This color is called Awesome

Monday, April 14th, 2014

This is Sabine’s lugged commuter/tourer. It’s one of my favorite bikes. Lovely long point lugs, exquisite candy, 11 speed Ultegra on King wheels… delicious.

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And here are some shots of just the frame set:

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I also modified a Rivendell Atlantis for a Rohloff hub. David had been running the hub for years, but awkwardly; I cleaned up the install a bit, with long Campy dropouts to allow for chain tensioning, a tab on the chainstay for the Rohloff cable stop, new dropouts for the SON SL generator hub, and internal wiring. On a custom install we’d be able to avoid the torque arm with sliding dropouts, but we wanted to keep the Rivendell look so we compromised and moved the cable routing from the top tube/canti post to down tube/chainstay:

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I was also reminded why we love steel. You’d think it would be self evident – we spend lots of time restoring old bikes, from a 1895 Rudge to a 1950’s Thanet to any number of 70’s and 80’s Italian steeds – but riding at Battenkill last weekend, I got a stick in the derailleur:

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Note the screen shots from my Gopro below; after wrestling the derailleur out of the wheel, you can see how the cage is nearly vertical, ABOVE the axle. Then, I muscled it considerably to make it more or less in plane with the cassette. The cage was so crushed that the idler pulleys were fouled, but it shifted a little in back and the front der shifted fine. I was most lucky in that the chain wasn’t compromised, and was able to make it the 4 miles back to our car. Even with a replaceable der hanger, on an AL or carbon bike I’d be walking.

But once back to the shop, a dummy axle and hanger alignment tool made it all better.

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A new derailleur and all is right with the world.

Superlight Club Racer with Stainless

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Well this has been a fun one. We have a complicated relationship with stainless steel: we’ve always loved it for things like dropouts, where the paint is sure to get chipped anyway; and we love the all weather durability. But it’s expensive, and even from three suppliers there are a limited number of tube profiles available. Part of the benefit of a custom frame is that we have so many options to choose from in order to optimize performance and comfort.

So, for Myles’ club racer, we decided to use a mix of True Temper S3 and OX Platinum tubing, along with a KVA Stainless drive-side chainstay; and then we upped the ante by doing all the interfaces in stainless: rear dropouts, cable stops, H20 bosses, and brake bridge. A true all-weather steel bike, where it matters.

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The frame comes in a tic over 3 lbs, and with some very nice components indeed (King/Enve wheels; Enve fork, cockpit, and seatpost; and Sram Red/Black group) the complete bikes is a svelte 15.75 lbs. Not bad for a durable and repairable heirloom!

I used the Enve 1.0 fork with a 50mm rake and a 72.5 HT angle – this setup is eerily comfortable over rough roads while still being whip-quick, and gives a little longer front center for a stable wheelbase with short chainstays – 41 cm with a 73.5 ST angle and 25c tires. ST center to center is 52.5 cm and effective TT length is 55, with a 10 degree slope.

But enough talk – first more pics of the complete bike, then some shots of the frame before building up.

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Jay also painted a 1895 Rudge Penny Farthing:

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And I modified a Surly Ogre to accept belt drive with an 8 speed Alfine hub – they said it couldn’t be done, but after a little chainstay crimping and some fine tuning of the chain, er, belt-line, it’s an all-weather commuting monster:

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And finally I repainted a very rusty old Serotta in the trademark fade:

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Next: Sabine’s lugged beauty!

Circle A Cycles   |   523 Charles Street   |   Providence, RI   |   401.831.5221
background: mike looks at his new circle a single speed, excited to ride. (reveal)

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