I started this project last fall and I’m finally getting it done. I’m trying to clear the counters in the shop and I’m hoping to stay on track. I like to use my PVD StepDown brake mount on frames and forks. After welding, some calibration of the mount is good to do. This will help. … Read moreThis sucked.
Making the rounds this last week was a photo of a 4.5kg “mountain bicycle”. It can’t possibly function, but I’m sure few realize that. Last week someone I know was bragging to me about how amazingly light their bike was (although, they get a pass, being pro AF). I’ve been planning to get around to … Read moreThe McNamara Fallacy and bikes
You know what comes in very handy and costs a boatload of cash? Hurricane Components Fork Ups. Why? They have a patent. #6036069. So you pay dearly for what they do. Even on the Ebay they are expensive. Most recent cyclists my not know how hard it was to load a bike onto a car … Read moreFork Up Reworks
A stuck seat post used to be a very common problem in the world bicycles. There were many steel road bikes and aluminum posts in that era that would never move and galvanic corrosion welded the two parts together. Over time, road bikes became primarily made of aluminum or carbon fiber and assembly life became a … Read moreStuck Seat Posts
I was thinking about kids bikes this week. There were some discussions of 26″ hardtail design and another on building a kid bike. It sent me off. It’s a good mind experiment. How to design a bike that has no reference? Imagine trying to ride a bike like this? Sadly, that’s what most kids have … Read moreKids bikes
This is a big deal for me. For years, I’ve been looking for a way to mark my bikes. The careful observer may have noticed that close to none of my bicycles have had any identifying marks on them other than the fingerprints of my design ascetic. No decals. no logos. No marks. Why? Because … Read moreData Plates
Windy got a new bike. It’s a medium 2018 Whyte S-150 S. The decision to get this bike was based primary on the modern geometry and, in this case, the ability to switch from 29″ to 27.5+ wheels. While the ability to use the big tires wouldn’t normally be a thing where we live, our … Read moreWindy’s Whyte S-150 S
A while back, I made some head tube extensions for twenty-six inch bikes as travel was getting longer and super-d still existed. Race bike setups were getting very strange. That was 2010. Today, I’m making them again. This time, for the new Whyte S-150 that we’re setting up for Windy. The bike rides very low … Read moreTwentysevenplustwentyfive
I came across this design in my hard drive this weekend. Back in 2004, I was elbow deep in suspension nerding. I was riding my sportbikes hard and tearing through tires. I probably had my forks apart twice a month for a year or so. The rear shock also. I was learning a lot. Of … Read moreSuspension nerds
I’m working with a REVELATION RC A1 (2018+), 150mm. Changing travel to 160mm. Simple enough. I ordered the part: “11.4018.026.034 Air Shaft DebonAir – PIKE B1/Revelation (35MM) (160mm 29/27)” as specified in the SRAM 2018 parts book: The problem? The replacement doesn’t match the stock part. The head height is very different The head is riveted … Read more2018 Revelation RC A1 travel change issues
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!