I think it’s fitting that this is taking the place of my annual NAHBS post. This post is about idiots making decisions, marketing of garbage, and what happens on a ride when something that is supposed to work, doesn’t. Sounds like everything NAHBS is about. You know what bullshit engineering is? It’s bullshit. It’s not … Read moreBullshit “engineering”
I love the SRAM GXP and spider system. I’ve been using it for years and it has produced a great deal of value for me. I have a trouble free bottom bracket and axle interface that works just as well in a press fit application as threaded. I can change spiders for 1x, 2x, 3x … Read moreGXP is so awesome
I just built a fancy new fork for my hybrid. I certainly wasn’t going to build around the now dead 100mm spacing that many fools still cling to. I, correctly, made the fork to 110mm. Sadly, folks who build forks for the commercial market haven’t realized that 110mm is much better than 100mm spacing when … Read moreSo much BOOST
I’ve hated the look of the cheap Chinese carbon rigid fork that the F-35 had put on it. Nothing against carbon forks, I love them. They really are the best, light and flex just right (when done right). I just couldn’t stand the garbage looks. It was a cheap placeholder fork. It’s nice to grab … Read moreBaron type fork for the hybrid
Dang. Back in early December of 2016, Drew (@engin) was all excited. He had been using his CNC milling machine since 2014 to make dropouts and he was looking to branch out. This was some seriously cool news. Drew is “all about the process” and this is some pretty real process. It’s proven to be … Read moreTies that bind
Supersonics. (or maybe Stetsasonics?) In 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first human to exceed the speed of sound: Mach 1.06 (700 mph). He was piloting a Bell XS-1 #1 jet named “Glamorous Glennis”, in honor of his wife. Both names are now part of history. (btw, he made this flight with two broken ribs) Yeager … Read morePVD Glamorous Glennis
This past week, six hardtails were selected from the 2017 section of a thread on pinkbike.com to run head to head in a reader poll for “Sexiest AM/FR/Enduro Hardtail 2017“. I was proud to have the PVD SR-71 Blackbird selected in the group of six, thanks to Tory Sox‘s nomination. The race was immediately on … Read moreSexy bikes
A few weeks ago we took delivery of a batch of BikeYoke Revive 185mm 31.6mm dropper posts. A lot of people are interested in these. I’ve been using dropper posts for a while. Since the A2 Reverb Stealth and KS LEV Integra came out. Certainly not as long as many folks but I was a … Read moreRevive!
This project was a fucking wormhole. I didn’t want to go down it but it’s gravity was just too strong. It was also a perfect example of the engineering process and how it goes, for better and worse. I started riding skateboards for real in 1984. I was 14. Sure, we played with toy skateboards … Read more1984
There are very few bikes that get used on dirt that don’t require a bent seat tube to work properly. Tires have grown, chainstays are short, and pretty much everything uses a dropper post. Today’s dropper posts stroke around 150 mm to 200 mm, 170-185 mm is preferred. These factors combined with the need to … Read moreProfessional Seat Tube Design
It’s been a busy couple of months for me with bikes. It’s almost like a second job now. Building my own new generation frame, teaching a few other guys to build their own bikes, designing parts for the next class of my bikes, international and national parts orders, getting frames to paint, final assembly, testing, … Read more#twentysevenfive is dead
FULL RACE! The Blackbird has proven to be the greatest bike that I’ve made thus far. The geometry is dialed. It is completely sorted. It works well everywhere. It’s comfortable. It’s fast. It has real balance. Up or down hills it crushes. So what to do? Push it. Make it full race. Find its limit … Read moreMore is everything
I love using Paragon Machine Works parts. They are well designed, priced well, and very rarely cause an issue. One issue comes up with the DR2065 dropout I often. It’s not because of any poor work on PMWs part but it turns into a problem at just the wrong time. It’s an issue that comes … Read moreRemoving stripped PMW screws
Here’s a nice trick. We can now save money converting DT Swiss ratchets to XD from Hyperglide by buying just the freehub body (HWRAAX00S3114S). It used to be that you’d have to buy the body, ratchets, grease, and springs (HWYAAX00S3188S). It’s about half the cost. The problem is that the new FH body doesn’t include … Read moreXD Spacers for DT Swiss hubs
Bike assembly weeks are always busy. There are so many details to focus on and little improvements to make. I try to make something better each time a bike goes together. I try to look at details with new eyes each time. The big news this week for a lot of framebuilding folks is the … Read moreLittle details of the week.
2017-10-14: Shakedown 1 With smoke in the air and fire in next door Sonoma and Napa counties, a red flag warning in Marin county, this morning’s ride was reserved. A simple Tamarancho loop with unknown effects from air quality. For today, air cleared well and it was the clearest of the week. The loop worked … Read moreBlackbird Shakedowns
I’ve mentioned and shown many times in the past that I modify my ODI Lock Jaw Clamps in a lathe. I mount the clamps on an arbor and put as large a chamfer as I can while not cutting into the screw. This serves several purposes. It softens the edge of the grip area where … Read morePolish
A year ago, after some development with the Red Five frame, I built the Concorde. It’s been a really special bike and it was named accordingly. It is a very long and super fast bike. Since this new bike is for going far bigger and much faster, there was only one name that would do; SR-71 Blackbird. The … Read moreSR-71 Blackbird
Hey folks, Bent seat tubes have become a necessity in modern mountain bike construction. Why? Dropper seatposts take up considerable straight line space within the tube while short chainstays and large diameter wheels compete for the same space. Something has to give and it means a bend at the bottom of the tube. The problem? … Read morePVD Blackbird Seat Tube OEM Order
I do a lot of fancy parts for bikes. I want the bikes I make to turn out just as I imagine them. Each one differs from the last. The problem with each bike being different is that it’s often not worth making tooling. This time it was worth it. I’ve been using yokes for … Read moreBound for glory!
I am a critic. The clip below is from the Screen Junkies Honest Trailers and it got me thinking this afternoon. After a savage “Everything Wrong With:” from CinemaSins, and back and forth discussions with critics at ComicCon; Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts joined the fun with the Screen Junkies crew to help make this critique of his … Read moreI am a critic
Every now and then, someone comes up with the great idea to build a bike frame with straight gauge tubes. This is silly and a dumb idea. Here, I compare with a True Temper VER01 .8/0.5/0.8 butted tube with a section of straight gauge 0.035″ thick 1.125″ diameter 4130. Why compare a 8/5/8 tube with … Read moreWhy butted tubes
More Blackbird parts are going through the system. It’s so good to see this all come toghether. This is getting very close to happening. Soon. TurboRamJet, baby. The power at the heart of the beast. After the monster job of getting chainstay yokes completed, it’s now on to the smaller parts. Head tubes will be … Read moreTurboRamJet
It’s no secret what’s been going on in the land of PVD. Lots of design work. I’ve been working on a ton of new parts and new bikes. Moving development through the Red Five, Lightning, and Baron class bikes, a new class is born. The SR-71 Blackbird class. driven to go higher. Faster. Radder. This … Read moreBlackbird Ops
Up & Down Mountains is a marketing thing from Transition bikes. It’s nice. It sounds like what we do on mountain bikes. I’ve been shopping around for a new squish bike recently. I sold my older 2016 Scott Genius LT 710. It was a monster, modified and pushed out to 180F/170R and a lot longer … Read moreUp & Down Mountains
I finally mounted the new Meade LX600 telescope to the newly fabricated pedestal in our observatory at work. This, just as the semester is starting and on the day of a major eclipse in North America. It looks so nice. It’s another great upgrade for the observatory. I now have just one last scope to isolate. … Read moreAstro on Eclipse Day
I’m getting old. Fuck. A simple intercept ride to do a photo shoot. We were going to cut through Tamarancho, ride Split Rock, hike up Repack, and meet Ronen at Happersberger. We did that but the heat of the day and my fitness crushed me. I had no spunk and was in no mood to … Read moreThe Happy photo shoot.
Ron Andrews is a bike industry legend. He’s been around longer than almost anybody. From the early days of Fat City Cycles to Yeti, and today, he’s the man behind King Cage, pretty much the nicest water bottle cages and accessories you can get. Besides his tooling prowess he’s a fun guy to be around … Read moreThe King of Durango
Currently, the next big thing in mountain bike marketing. High trail MTB. Specialized, Transition, and White have already begun marketing 29er bikes with 42mm offset forks, thus, higer trail than the 51mm forks produce. I’m sure many more marketing departments will be pushing this soon as well. This is another topic that Chris Porter has … Read moreHigh Trail MTB
Singlespeed bikes suck. I say that on every ride that I’m riding one. They suck especially when they are singlespeed mountain bikes. They hurt and make me feel dumb. I try to chase down enduro bros and I run out of gearing. spun out, I watch them pull away…helplessly. That sucks the worst. It always … Read moreSeven Samurai