Archive for the ‘Everything Else’ Category


Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

It’s been a crazy summer at many levels, but that doesn’t mean we’re not making bikes, not to mention people! First off is this sleek cyclocross bike for Matt:


We also did a top-tube replacement and repaint on a Hollands; once again Josie did the fantastic lug lining:


And a raft of other paint work: Basso, Zancanato, Icarus:


And I fabricated some arm rests for Bob’s tandem recumbent trike:


But most importantly, my latest collaboration with Sara – please meet Oscar Henry! If you think I’m not already planning his first bike you are so wrong.

I’ll be on paternity leave for a couple of weeks, but then I’ll be back in action, starting with Holly’s touring bike! Watch the skies!

CHARLIE! also, forks!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

But first, a Dawson update; last you read, he was on his own (well, he and his Circle A), westward bound – and the exciting news is, he made it to Portland! Oregon, that is! I hope to get him to write down some of his experiences, watch this space!

Meanwhile, I built a cyclocross bike for our friend Charlie at Bikes Not Bombs; here it is:

It features a mix of Dedacciai Zero, True Temper OX Platinum, and Columbus Zona tubing; Richard Sachs lugs; and a full complement of rack & fender mounts:


The red has a nice subtle metallic that you can really see in this last one:



I also built a fork for Joe; he wanted a nice tight-radius bend, and mounts for Paul Racer M brakes, as well as a Nitto rack. He sent me the rack so that I could get the mounts positioned perfectly; also I had to machine down standard canti posts for the Pauls. The last shot is right after clearing, with tape still on the posts & steerer:


Next: Matt’s cross bike! More forks!


Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Before I go any further, please turn immediately to Matthew and Dawson’s blog. There’s a spoiler at the top, so if you can, go straight to the bottom of the blog, i.e. start from the beginning. I built Dawson a bike and he promptly took off on a cross-country trip, which is currently in progress! Here’s Dawson… well, not exactly riding his Circle A:

This is why we use Frame Saver in our frames, and why there’s a hole drilled in the bottom bracket! So I built Dawson a welded frame; regular readers will know that this is a bit of a rarity, folks just love those lugs… but I think you’ll agree that this is a welded frame with some nice retro flourishes:


And here it is with some paint:



And here’s the complete bike, built up with a Campy triple drivetrain:



Best of luck on your travels, Dawson! Next: Rachel! Matt! & Charlie! also, Paint!


Monday, February 1st, 2010

There’s been a lot of painting going on as I prepare for Benno’s Randonneur; first off was this Falcon restoration for our friend John. Looks better than new:

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I also repainted Scott’s IF, adding a brace for the disc brake mount, and an ISCG mount:

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And tons of paint for Hollands and Gaulzetti – more soon, including new fork blade bender! Also, at long last I added photos of the finished trailer class trailers – check those out here.


Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

It’s been a while, so much has been happening that I haven’t had a hot second to stop and write about it, but here goes! First off is KC’s coupled single-speed that shipped to Singapore last week! Take that, trade deficit!


You’ll also note the Paul’s dropouts with built-in chain tensioners, and the stainless steel down tube protector.

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I also added couplers to Terry’s Centurion, and painted a raft of forks for Team Geekhouse:

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We were also pleased to have a birthday ride with ANT’s Mike Flanigan, and saddened to say goodbye to Nathan, who’s off to work in an ICU in upstate NY; and psyched for a visit from Katharine, who had her Circle A retrofitted with a rear brake and basket:

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And that’s not the half of it, but it’ll have to do for now…


Monday, August 17th, 2009

So two bikes went out last week after waiting on some parts: Mo’s road bike, built with Columbus Spirit For Lugs tubing, with Richard Sachs lugs, fork crown and BB shell; and Jascha’s single speed disc-brake commuter, complete with stainless steel fenders and sliding dropouts. Let’s look at Mo’s first.

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Here are some shots of Mo’s in progress, including the internal cable routing. We use a brass tube to run the housing through, which insures that no water will make it into the top tube.

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And here’s Jascha’s burgundy and gunmetal commuter; he’ll be completing the assembly himself, and promises to send photos of the complete bike; I wanted to make sure the fenders fit properly around the tires. He’s using 28c tires right now, but the frame was built to handle up to a 35c.

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I also did a dropout replacement for a Rivendell that Harris Cyclery sent down to us. The customer didn’t want a full repaint, so I just painted cream up the stays to cover the affected area:

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Coming up: S&S couplers on a Centurion! More paint! Another 29er!


Monday, June 22nd, 2009

First off, if you’re in the New York area this weekend, June 26-28, come visit us in Long Island City at Socrates Sculpture Park. It’s their Makers Market, and lots of folks will be there with stuff that they’ve, you know, made. Friday night is the big kick-off and should be lots of fun; in addition to showing some hot new bikes we’ve been working on, we’ll be selling schwag like t-shirts, pint glasses, and posters! Click on the flyer to make it bigger:


You can find more details here.

Meanwhile, Jen’s 26″ world-tourer is ready for paint. Here are some pix of the construction:

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One of the goals with Jen’s bike is to make it as retro-compatible as possible. If she’s in the middle of nowhere, she needs to be able to use whatever parts are on hand. So there are down-tube shifter bosses and semi-horizontal Henry James dropouts that will allow her to turn it into a single speed if her derailleur blows up. That’s also why we chose 26″ wheels – it’s the most common size on the planet. Although she’ll generally be running slicks, I wanted to make sure she could fit full-on mountain bike tires in case that’s all that’s available:

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Here are some more frame details; I’m putting through-holes in the fork for a Tubus low-rider rack:

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I also did a rear-end treatment on Jonathan’s Marinoni. New dropouts and a wishbone monostay. I’m trying a new technique to avoid the “cookie cutter” problem of the monostay punching a hole in the back of the seat tube: I weld a cap on the end of the monostay, grind it smooth, and then silver braze the capped end to the seat tube:

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Next: Jascha’s tubes and lugs have arrived for the first disc-brake single speed Circle A! Construction starts this week!


Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

So certainly the most dramatic event of our open house was Reba taking delivery of what she calls “the coolest f**king bike I’ve ever seen.” And are you going to argue? No, I didn’t think so.


Stealthy and sleek, it’s got metallic black lettering on black, save for the silver wheat on the seat tube, a loving nod to Reba’s home state of Oklahoma. If you can’t make out the script on the top tube: “To the place I belong…” Note the leather Brooks bar tape – the Brooks saddle is on it’s way.

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I also sent out AJ’s tourer, here are some shots of that, and of the built up bike in it’s natural habitat:

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Also, Eric finally rode away on his belt drive commuter:

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I painted an Icarus for Ian:


And finally, I started a 26″ touring bike for Jen. It’ll primarily be welded, but with old-school capped seat stays:

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Next: Finishing Jen’s, and Jascha’s disc-brake single speed!


Thursday, February 5th, 2009

We’re all over it. Find it at a newsstand near you or go directly to the COG website.

What’s most notable, apart from Brian’s gravity-defying hijinks, or my long-windedness, is that the gorgeous featured bike was not, in fact, built by Brian or myself. That particular knockout was designed, built and painted by Emily Klass, our erstwhile co-worker. Emily was my first long term apprentice, and worked at Circle A for about 4 years, after which she moved to New York to pursue arts of the finer variety. You can see what she’s up to here.

Photographer extrordinaire Brian Vernor stopped by the old shop in Carpenter Mills and tooks these hot pix of the whole family:


And here’s some more, including a shot of one of Emily’s other bikes:

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For my personal favorite of Emily’s work, check this out. She took our paint to another level, bringing a nice dose of the Providence screenprinting sensibility.

We see Emily pretty regularly, though never often enough. You should email her and tell her to come back to Providence and make more bikes.


Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Yesterday we had a nice snow storm in Providence, about 8 inches starting promptly at 9:30 the morning of New Year’s eve. It’s the second real storm we’ve had, and it’s putting our snow bikes to the test. We’re used to riding thru the traffic gridlock when it snows, but what’s really satisfying is passing cars, plows and sanding trucks that are under way. It’s true folks, bikes are just better! Yesterday the conditions for snow riding were perfect, light fluffy snow that ‘cross tires can cut right thru, and not much ice. Here’s some shots of the snow outside the shop. I’ve got snow in my air horn.

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The holidays means schwag, so I whipped up some bottle openers for friends and family:


Our great friend and customer Brian brought in an old Fat City frame for rehabilitation. We’re waiting on decals for it; here it is on the alignment table:


I also built up Nick’s track bike. It’s super hot! Here are some shots of the finished product. I built up a custom wheel set using Surly hubs and white Velocity rims, and I painted his stem white to match; Nick found the white bars and seatpost. Can you say bling?

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Circle A Cycles   |   523 Charles Street   |   Providence, RI   |   401.831.5221
background: jared spinning on his circle a flatland frame. (reveal)

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