Simon wanted to extend his Ragley Blue Pig to make it better for carrying the family whilst still being able to hoon the trails. We added about 125mm to the length by extending the chainstays, adding some curved supports following the tyre profile and adding some curves and length to the seatstays. We then modified the rack to suit the new stays and accept the child seat. Was a nice project with a pretty cool result.
I had the chance to take a trip across southern England with a friend so it seemed a good opportunity to make a bike specifically for the task. It was something i’d want to build, taking on board a number learnings from other builds to create a bikepacking bike. Room for 2.6 tyres, stable geometry and enough braze ons for racks and bottles. So my friend Scott agreed to test this one whilst I took my faithful old green steed (which was the first mountain bike i’d built some time ago!).
I modified my old copper singlespeed removing the carbon seatpost to replace it with a curved steel one to give clearance for the larger tyres. That meant replacing the chainstays too. Repainted in Spray.bike copper and green paint. Some time ago I had made some curvy forks. They were so curvy they didn’t really go with any frame with straight tubes but seemed to match these seats stays pretty well. Still have the option to run either fork.
After helping a friend build his Breakaway frame I thought i’d do one for myself too as the thought of being able to travel baggage charge free seemed like a great idea at the time! Using some interchangeable dropouts so I can run it geared or single speed with discs. Final braze ons to do to finish the build then decide on the paint scheme.
I almost couldn’t bring myself to do this, other than I had two of these lovely old Kona A’ha frames and this was one was looking a bit tired so why not! I wanted to try out a long tail cargo bike design with some Xtracycle bags or the ability to run 4 panniers if desired. This should definitely handle the weekly shop! Need to decide on the paint scheme now – always the hardest part of the build.
How low can people go? Emilio’s custom balance bike was last seen in the garden. The camera caught this image of the suspect that looks quite a lot like his fast growing up sister!! #keepyoureyeonit
A Tomo gravel bike made it’s way out Iceland for The Rift gravel bike event with Peter. The bike did the business and the photos look amazing. This was my first proper gravel build and we learnt a few things. Columbus Zona tubing, Shimano 105 group, Ritchey, WTB, Salsa, Brooks bits. Rolls pretty nicely with 2.1 29er tyres. The long Ti seatpost seems to make it really plush. Just makes me want to go now.
When starting out framebuilding there are plenty of challenges. Having a space to work, tools, brazing gear, frame jig, the list goes on. Having made made own way along part of that journey it was nice to be able to help Chris out with the loan of some space and gear whilst offering the occasional bit of advice along the way. It was useful for me as he was building a crossbike Ritchey Breakaway fixture and flat mounts which meant I could build a jig for that too. Turned out nice.
One of our race team has a rather nice Cinelli Gazzetta that had unfortunately broken its chainstays. Both had split near the bottom bracket. We had tried a quick repair in the past but it didn’t last so it was time to replace them with some new metal. A couple of new Columbus Cromor stays brazed in whilst also straightening out the rear end. Job done.
I’ve always liked the idea and utility of cargo bikes and fancied the challenge of building one. For the first one (!) I decided to go for the front loading design. To ease the ability to fit it in the workshop I wanted it to be a reasonable size but also made the cargo platform removable so it’s narrower. It also makes it a surprisingly fun race bike!
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.