Graphic Violence

Toolmaking has been a theme lately. After putting time into my frame fixture tooling and my press tooling and a lingering mandrel bending project. I’m hoping to get back to some go fast shit soon. I finished the leveling base plates for my Enerpac press a while ago. They have been an awesome improvement to … Read more

Crackhead “inventors”

Here’s another from the message vault. The other day, a guy posts to the bicycle Framebuilder’s group on Facebook. His claims were that he understood the cause of ChloĆ© Dygert’s recent crash during the women’s individual time trial at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola, Italy. It was a very gnarly crash as … Read more

Why we hate “Makers”

I recently wrote about obtaining a cool little “Lego”  plate for setting up parts on my fiber laser. I talked a little about problems with the design and how it should have been produced. I made drawings to show my work. I had shared that information with Randy Lint but it seems to have fallen … Read more

The leader of the pack

The other day, I came upon a Facebook post from GMBN to a video: “10 Easy Ways To Get Faster On Your Mountain Bike”. The video gives some perfectly good technical advice but ignores the single biggest problem slow riders have. For almost every one of them, they simply don’t have a good reason for … Read more

Race Face Atlas Pedal Pins

I swapped out the pedals on the Spitfire the other day. The bearings of the Spank Spike pedals needed to be serviced and I wanted to just get going on a ride. I had made a big modification to the Spike pedals four years ago, Nice long sharp pins. It was a really nice upgrade. … Read more

Unreasonable Men

History is rarely made by reasonable men…. – Terry Goodkind  We don’t get gifts in life. The golden ticket or silver bullet are things of fantasy. You’re not going to get ‘discovered’ while walking down the street. You’re not going to ‘invent’ a world changing thing casually after dinner on a Thursday. Success in life … Read more

Passing Gas

The other day, I was chasing down the problem on a slow leaking tire. In the era of tubeless tires with Cushcore, flat fixing, while rare, isn’t trivial. It’s nice when a puncture is obvious but often now, it isn’t. So we need to go to the dunk tank. Until recently this was my kitchen … Read more

Still Standing

I just finished a small project that is a pretty cool improvement for the shop. During COVID-19, I was forced to move a bunch of personal tools that I keep in the university shop home. I was locked out but I still needed to be productive. Obviously, I was able to produce the Cyberdyne Chassis … Read more

Filigree

Using a fiber laser to mark the outside of a cylinder is relatively common. The EZcad software breaks a graphic into a polygonal cylinder and marks the part while indexing a stepper motor axis. It’s crude but works well enough for most work. The precision and expertise of the user will produce differing results, better … Read more

The full circle

When I was a kid, one toy ruled them all, Lego. Then in the late 70s and very early 80s, when I was in the prime age for using these, we didn’t have a lot of money in the family and Lego were very expensive. Still, Lego is a toy that provide a huge dollar … Read more

Warbird update

I like to do an update on my bikes from time to time. Sometimes, I’m just repurposing them. Other times I’m cleaning them up and I decide it’s time to talk about them. It’s not often a designer talks about how well something is working long after it is released. Doing this gives me some … Read more

The PVD Cyberdyne System

The rise of the machines… TL;DR: This isn’t just another Arctos frame fixture clone. It’s a better solution and one you’ve never seen. The rules of the game have been re-written. If I were to say where this began, it would probably be back at the 2016 NAHBS show in Sacramento. I had spent the … Read more

The Hostage Negotiator

There’s a special power in saying what you’ll do and doing what you’ve said. Action is everything and words just connect actions. That became clearer than ever for me today. After Greg White stole the balance due on my frame fixture, $1901 due on the $4000 sale, I was in a pickle. After three weeks, … Read more

The Bicycle Tool Thief

POST NOTE, 10:35AM: Since going live with this post late last night, I have received about a dozen emails and phone calls from people that have been victims of Gregory White. People whose lives have been truly damaged. Suppliers who are owed thousands of dollars in a tight market. Even people who almost became his … Read more

Systems and Systems of Systems

A while back, I wrote a piece on recognizing expertise in those around us. It’s pretty good, you should check it out. In that essay, I talk about how an expert can recognize systems around them and build those systems into other systems, better, that they can explain all this. I’ve been doing just that … Read more

What does a day of modeling look like?

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” -Blaise Pascal COVID-19 is a bad thing but many of us keep trying to find and see the good things. One thing that I have enjoyed about the COVIDs is the time I can spend really savoring the design process. As … Read more

Laser accessories

Now that I’ve got my laser marking system up and running, it’s time to fit up a rotary attachment for doing radial marking. This is exciting as so many parts that I produce and encounter have some sort of cylindrical profile. This is an easy expenditure to make this far into the investment. Some marking … Read more

Laser Marking

More on the new frame fixture details… I started on this path when the employer of a friend took delivery of a fiber laser for marking parts. I would have been able to get some limited access to this but, sadly, COVID-19 ate the company up and that opportunity disappeared along with my friends job. … Read more

SRAM Master Pistons

SRAM Guide and Level brakes work pretty well. I use them. In general, they do what is needed. Not perfect, but nothing seems to be right now. For flat bar all-road conversions that have flat mount calipers, we use the Level levers, not the Guide. This keeps the leverages correct. Level levers can also be … Read more

Windy’s Bird of Prey

This is the time of the all-road bike. It’s been the bike to have for the past 3 months as COVID-19 has brought a whole new mode for my bike rides with my wife, Windy. Many mountain biking areas near us have been closed for a long while. At the same time, Bolinas/Fairfax Road and … Read more

The finish line.

Advice for the aspiring designer; Have lots of patience, keep working hard, don’t ever stop! I’m currently working on producing a new fixture for making my bicycle frames (a mandrel bender also but that is another story). I need a tool that will work better than what I have been using for modern geometries, mopeds … Read more

PVD/RAD Refined

Back in November 2019, I posted  a stream of consciousness, ending in an enlightening concept: PVD/RAD. It looked promising even in that primordial state. The problem with that post is that it was confusing and left folks with more questions about the process than the answers it could have. Six months later, I’m still excited … Read more

Sonofabitch

Today is my day to eat some crow. Attentive readers will know of my work on brake caliper mount locations and a tool for attaching flat mount caliper bosses in the correct location. I’ve been pretty proud of this work. It cleans up a big mess. Devin Bodony of Lichen Precision, a machinist bro that … Read more

Manfrotto Mini-Me

More photo stuff… With Canon’s release (Fucking finally) of a DSLR driver for webcam use in the age of COVID-19, we have entirely new practical uses for photo gear. Quality webcam use has become very important to looking professional. You should put some thought into this. Good lighting is important. Some headphones. A decent background. … Read more

Fork Testing with the Camera

After all the drama of the winter injury season has subsided and the lazy days of COVID-19 are here, I finally got back to the fork test video that I had intended to do on the day I broke my clavicle….and then big toe. Originally, I had intended to do this filming with a GoPro … Read more

Fiftyfifty tires.

2020-04-17 All-road tire test: Subject: Maxxis Velocita AR, 622-40,120TPI, 380g, tubeless. Setup: 50psi with Cushcore CX insert on both wheels, Orange Seal endurance. WTB KOM i25 rims. Tire width measures 42.25mm on the i25 rim. Bike: PVD T-47 Airspeeder All-Road. 40/10-50 gearing. Rider: PVD, 205 lbs, fat, out of shape, expert dirt. Conditions: Dry but … Read more

You can’t fix it in post.

In photography and filmmaking, the joke is often made that “it can be fixed in post” to justify doing very low quality work. It’s true that there are a several small issues that can be fixed after the image has been captured. Some colors can be shifted, a smudge removed, subtle white balance changes, the … Read more

Flop

This came up in a discussion the other day. I figured that I’d bring it up here as it is current in what I’ve done in a recent design. I’ve been working with my klunker platform enthusiastically and have just produced the Supermarine Spitfire which was building on the Sopwith Camel. It makes use of … Read more

Some bikes are more evil than others

Here we are, well into 2020. The bike industry has just two products to sell: ebikes and all-road bikes. Nothing else matters. Those are the money makers and all that folks are really paying attention to. Everybody is trying to stake a claim. On February 15th, I saw a few images on someone’s Instagram that … Read more