I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go over to the North American Handmade Bike Show this year. The decision was made quite late but I wanted to make something nice to ride over there on. I really like the look of old steel track bikes so wanted make something reminiscent of those and then make a few concessions to see how well it can do the touring thing. Touring accessories included raise handlebars, 5 speed Sturmey Archer hub, front rack, dynamo hub lighting and a bunch of bike packing bags. Overall it rode really well, was perfectly comfortable and didn’t get too battered by the journey.
Having got heavily into riding fixed geared bikes over the last year my son wanted the chance to have a go on the track. After a thoroughly good initial outing with Sutton cycling club at Lee Valley we got down to design his own bike. We used Columbus Max and Spirit tubing, some specially made aero tubing for the seat tube and a whopping tapered head tube. Topped off with some Cinelli components and carbon wheels.
This took some time to get to fruition but finished at last and speedily built up by brother. Columbus Zona tubing with enough room for 2.1s and compact chainset. We used thinner curved rear seatstays for a bit more long distance comfort.
Due to a number of unforeseen circumstances we were pretty late pulling the Tomobikes together for Milan. We ended up having two ready but only completed in the week of the race; a fully bespoke Columbus steel fixie and a custom designed titanium one. The selection of Columbus tubes were specifically to make it stiff and give good power transfer with a selection of Max, Spirit and Zona tubing where as the Ti one was a bit more traditional with only round tubes and built for a bit more long distance comfort. It was interesting the feel the difference in the rides. They obviously have different components and I think those Spin On These wheels help but the steel bike certainly had some get up and go. We’ll be doing some back to back tests including a carbon frame and component swapping in the near future.
Running a bit late but trying to get this bike together to take to Milan Red Hook Crit. High bottom bracket, Columbus Max, Spirit and Zona tubing. Bentley Components dropouts. The first full frame build on my new Bicycle Academy jig. Seems to be working out alright. Definitely quicker to setup than my home made version. Can’t wait to ride this thing.
When prepping for our tall bike ride to Bristol, having built the later two out of full cromo donor frames I realised I might be slightly under gunned with my old Raleigh and Viner mix. The excuse of someone expressing an interest in buying it was all I needed to convince me to build another. It also gave me the opportunity to test out building some long forks in preparation for another up coming project. So on the Saturday before the Bespoked show the hammer (angle grinder) dropped and my old On-One Inbred frame went to a higher place. Just about finished in time as the last parts only arrived on the Thursday before we left on the Friday. We did manage to give it a 400 yard test ride Thursday night just as it got dark and packed it for the first time as we left on Friday and it worked out great. I will probably fit a stabiliser bar to the front fork which I ran out of time to complete before the off. Will probably reduce the load on the fork crown as there’s quite a moment on those forks and help once I get the front disc mount sorted too.
Got a new build on the jig. Classic style roadster with Alfine hub gear, disc brakes, porteur bars, Columbus frame tubing with Reynolds 631 forks. Plenty of coffee required to keep temperature up in the workshop.
I’ve made a few custom racks and realised I hadn’t got one on my Brompton. I wanted to create one that would help with wheeling it around as well being able to carry some stuff. Pretty happy with how this turned out.
In preparation for a #TallBikeTour next year we are expanding the flock. We created this double Marin framed mountain tall bike. With half Bear Valley and half Pine Mountain it feels pretty light with all that double butted cromoly loveliness. Managed to add in the beer bottle opener, just in case:-)
A chap contacted me for a possible interesting project based on a Dahon De Bike. Make a non folding lightweight mini velo with similarities to the Dahon. Knowing not too much about them I laid my hands on this little beauty for a test ride. Really good nick for a bike of that age. I’d have to say it’s somewhat flexible(!) and pretty intricate to fold. Even has a jocky wheel come out when it’s folded. Hope the project comes off as it looks pretty good fun and i’m sure would ride a lot better than the original.
For a planned tallbike camping trip I wanted to add some luggage capacity so added front and rear stainless racks and some additions to the rear frame to add some extra stuff is needed and add to the patchwork paint job.
Summer was starting to heat up so I wanted to stop commuting with a rucksack. I only ever need one pannier so made this stainless single sided rack for my commuter.
More progress on the latest truss forks i’m trying out. Next on to the frame to go with them:-)
I ended up with a free Sunday afternoon and having watched the TED talk about tall bike bobby I couldn’t resist turning some of the scrap in the shed into something more fun. They seemed to get a mixed reception but it’s got two wheels, looks like a pile of fun and actually rides pretty well.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with Sjoerd from Velowland in the Netherlands recently and we doodled a type of truss fork. Started experimenting with a trial build of those last week. Hopefully get them finished this weekend.
After having a go on a friends fat bike I was gagging to build one. I’d been collecting the bits for some time and finally got round to finishing it. Most seem to have pretty slack angles. The one I rode seemed like it did to so I decided to go for 70.5 degree head angle. It’s certainly doesn’t seem slow to turn. Can’t wait to get it off road.
A friend of mine wanted a new road bike. After talking to him about how and where he was going to ride it we decided on a cross bike. Alfine 11 hub, Columbus Zona tubing, 853 forks, custom Brooks saddle, Chris King headset, Avid SL road discs and the rather cool Microshift STi levers. We put a split in the frame using the Paragon dropouts to run a belt drive eventually. He kindly let me do the frame design and choose the colour!
I had the chance to make this for my nephew’s son’s 2nd birthday. It’s always tricky judging the sizing when they grow so quickly but this seemed to turn out just right. He liked it so much he almost put his dumper truck down!
I’ve been using the Christmas break to progress my Fat Bike. I had been collecting the parts for a while but was convinced to build it by having a go on a friends. Really want to finish before it snows or maybe before the sun comes out and go to the beach. Mix of Columbus and Deda tubing with Ritchey dropouts. 4 inch tyres fit ok with some room to spare. Will have to wait and see if 4.8s will squeeze in.
Something for the winter! A friend of mine sent me a link to one of these so it seemed to good an opportunity to miss. Bit research and Bob’s your snowman’s uncle – snow bike / ski bike. A few bits to make to complete it and fingers crossed for snow.
Copper coated fixie Columbus steel frame, carbon seat post, Velowland copper coated carbon seat, lightweight shallow rake steel forks, aero topped carbon bars, 50mm aero rims.
I wanted to try copper coating a frame so combined it with some tube bending on my latest singlespeed frame. I couldn’t decide whether to leave it shiny or let it age and oxidise. Even I thought it looked pretty cool shiny so have tried 2k lacquering it to see how that sticks and lasts.
The slightly long awaited birth of my eldest’s bike for Uni. Finished a while ago but never posted. We went away from the fixie idea having seen how lumpy Newcastle and the surrounding countryside is. Hopefully this will make the commute a little easier and enjoyable. Just about enough clearance for 2 inch tyres if desired.
And taking pride of place in the student digs kitchen.
When I was at Spin London last year I showed Sjoerd from Vellowland a doodle of an idea for a fork I had. Always been fascinated by the Cannodale Lefty fork for it quirkiness. He liked it so having found a front wheel I eventually got round to knocking this up.
Now I need to finish it up and do the frame to match.
I finally got round to finishing the build of my Bamboo framed bike. The weather was looking up so thought it was about time. Of course the forecast is now wazzing down all week. I decided to go 8 speed for ease and, as someone kindly put it, traffic light colour scheme. We’ve got a Bamboo ride out planned in July so must give it a try as soon as the weather clears.
I had the great opportunity to build a balance bike for the grand daughter of a friend of mine. She chose the colour to match the new Tomo Bikes kit (or because it was a pretty colour!). Got some adjustable dropouts which with a bit of filing could make the angle needed for the chain and seat stays. What is a chain stay on a balance bike called? I wanted to go for a sort mixte look as it was for a young lady! Happy riding Amelia.
Parts for Jenny’s balance bike build have started arriving. Frame parts coming soon. Will be fun to make and start early introduction to bespoke bikes:-)
New project underway to build a steam punk themed bike. Lots of brass and detailed parts still to make. Nice skinny wishbone seats stays.
Brass stem cap with fixing for copper tubing. Not for the weight conscious but looks cool.
Having had a night with a few like minded friends I got round to building my bamboo frame up today. The Bamboobee frame comes as a kit with the box making the jig. All worked out ok with the need for a few adjustments of some dodgy joints. I decided to use some black pigment to colour the hemp used in the kit. It did make it look extra messy! Just needs 48 hours to set but looking forward to getting it out of the jig. Can’t wait to see how it rides.
A lush choice of clay puddle grey/green from Armoutex came out really nice.
I wanted a small rack for carrying tent or sleeping bag on the front forks of my 29er. Knocked this up out of stainless to go on my new 29er bikepacker.
I wanted to create a 29er that could run biggish tyres, single speed or geared. This can easily take up to 2.5 tyres with as short a rear end as I could squeeze in to reduce overall length. The forks are modified Surlys to take a Salsa Anything cage and a front luggage rack. Just about ready to go to paint – just need to decide on the colour!
I love my Brompton but wanted something I could ride a little further and faster in comfort. I wanted slightly larger wheels and full size frame so came up with this. Nearly ready for a first test.
Lisy needed a rack for her Mixte so it was a chance to make a stainless one. Got a new Ridgid tube bender, some 10mm tubing and 4mm plate and bobs your uncle. I’ve tried using cheaper tube benders before but this made the job much easier. Solid handles, with flat sides to easily lock in the vice. Angle marker made it much easier to get the angles close to that desired.