New carbon

Just touching base on what has been keeping me busy recently. After the Supermarine Spitfire crash, I took a deeper look at the materials that I use in my handlebars. A greater safety factor was needed at the cost of a little bit of flex. Some of these bars have been in service for next … Read more

Hard Modeling

This is an important thing for novice modelers and designers to think about. It’s tied up in this example. While drawing up a tool I was thinking of making, I chose to give it a knurl as it was a handle and that is what you do. Knurls provide grip. We see them all around … Read more

Dunkirk

Gambling is an art with a vicious side to it. We bet on black and by magic, we get black…over and over. We get cocky. We think we know what we are doing. Then, up comes red and we are busted again. The gambler always loses. Dunkirk. The first ride on the PVD Supermarine Spitfire … Read more

Special knarp for dropper posts

Here’s a problem some may have come across when setting up a high performance bike. It’s a little tricky. I needed to actuate a OneUp dropper post using an older style BikeYoke Triggy lever that used the 4.3mm (diameter) x 4.4mm (long) derailleur cable end at the lever. Typically, for this seatpost, we will clamp … Read more

The devil went down to Georgia

Supermarine Spitfire. Today is new bike day. I try to raise my bar when I build a new bike. Each has to be an improvement on the past. Better, faster, funner. Whatever it takes just push farther. Maximize, minimize, optimize. There’s so much room for development. This is another next level bike where few see … Read more

Frame reach isn’t a driving dimension

The current trend in bicycle marketing is to talk about frame reach, the horizontal distance from the bottom bracket axis to the center of the top of the headtube. The ‘long’ in long/low/slack is for “longer reach” or “longer top tube”. Although this is just flagging that they don’t understand much about what they are … Read more

On mentors

It was Thanksgiving a few days ago. Thanksgiving is one of only a few real holidays in the United States and it’s probably the most important. Important, as it’s not about turkey or shopping or even your crazy aunt and uncle.  It’s about gratitude and that’s some good shit. I always try to focus on … Read more

I’m soooo RAD!

POST: 2020/02/15 – An attempt has been made to refine the content you see here in a newer post. This should help a bit as it is clearer and more straightforward. Last year, PinkBike published an article describing Lee McCormack’s concept of fitting bikes using his Rider Area Distance (LLB-RAD) method of bike fitting. McCormack … Read more

Punk isn’t dead.

It’s time for the Philadelphia Bike Expo! I wanted to be there this year but lots of important work got in the way. The design for this tool was done a couple of weeks ago. The tool was supposed to be finished before PBE and show to folks in real life but thanks to late … Read more

Move fast and break things

Generally, I like the motto “Move fast and break things.” It’s punk rock. It’s what tech needs to do. It pushes hard, fearlessly. It’s better to take the risk now than just pudder along doing the same old thing. Move the ball forward! This, except when things do get broke…and it took forever to do … Read more

BREXIT Brakeset

I got these new brakes from the UK just before a hard BREXIT hit on Halloween. What an insane situation for a trade company. Spooky AF. #thanksobama The moving target that is mountain bikes never fails to disappoint. Everything has changed and will again. We can’t rest. Generally, things keep getting better. I’ve been saying … Read more

SRAM Coaxial

At Eurobike a few weeks ago, SRAM made public their Universal derailleur hanger (UDH) concept. There was a bit of hype from the marketing shills. None of it made much sense. The problems that all of the marketing people were saying it solved really aren’t legitimate problems or serious consumer problems. I didn’t think much … Read more

Alloy Nipple Seats

I use alloy nipples when I build mountain bike wheels for myself. It’s a real weight savings right where light weight really counts. They’re really the only choice for performance use. But, they break and you fix them. Your wheels are light. Simple. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks… It’s the details that … Read more

I don’t care if it comes in violet

I had an issue a few weeks ago that I’m getting around to talk about just now. There’s a reason for that. It’s because I now have the part that I need for my all-road bike to work again….and this is bullshit. I had a pretty good crash a few weeks ago. Bad for my … Read more

OneUp 210

There’s a lot of change that’s been happening for the last 8 years or so in the world of mountain bikes. I discuss much of that on my blog here. I’m most associated with discussions on geometry and frame engineering but I do a bit in many other areas as well. Rarely do I talk … Read more

Wabi-sabi

侘寂. Imperfection is sometimes a strange kind of perfection. We’ll see a hot rod, motorcycle, or bicycle and it is such a terrible thing in the details but in that, it’s fantastic. Producing something like that takes time, wisdom, and a little bit of luck. Knowing just what blemishes bring out the soul of something … Read more

American Irons

Every cyclist has to to fix a flat tire. For that, there’s IRON! Not all tire irons are the same. Most are terrible. I’ve been handling these things for a pretty long time. Every now and then you find some that just work well. In the bicycle world, tire levers (irons or spoons) are treated … Read more

Making an impact

I recently needed to remove a fussy T25 drive screw from a SRAM XX1 crank. Despite both the screw and tool looking in good shape, the tool kept camming out of play, rounding edges, and was turning into a terrible situation. I didn’t understand why this was happening but it was time for evasive action. … Read more

PVD-JD2-32 Bender Cart

This may not seem like much but it’s pretty exciting for me. Bending tubes is an important part of making things out of metal. Everyone that works with metal needs a bender of some sort or is looking to find one. I’ve had one for a long time, an old DiAcro #4 but because of … Read more

Bi-planes are the future

I’ve been pestering people and challenging them to make a proper bi-plane bar for the past year or so. We need these for progressive all-road geometries. Nobody understands, blank looks were all I got. I wanted the carbon guys to step up but it was too much for them. I was forced to do it … Read more

Predictions

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ― Yogi Berra My projects are going to slow down a bit. I’ve gotten pretty busy with a lot of summer duties. I have a bender cart in the works and a few little things going. Still, I wanted to post a few projects that have … Read more

Trainer modification

Trainers are nice tools. For the consumer, they are a handy tool for staying in shape when going outdoors is not possible. For the racer, they are a tool to help stay warmed up until just before the race starts. In the shop, they are a tool to help with basic fitting of the rider … Read more

Bars, stems, and spacers

The job of the handlebars, stem, and spacers on a bicycle is to place the hand grips above (or below) the headset and with the grips in the correct location for the rider’s body, style of riding, and goals. It’s a relatively simple task that is often screwed up by the user or technician. This … Read more

Missed opportunities

I built the Sopwith Camel klunker with a huge compromise, to be able to use the Von Sothen 26mm stem and Surly Sunrise Handlebar. I love how this combination looks and performs (in general). It keeps the bike in line with the klunker theme and using them reduced the work (at the time) of building … Read more

PVD Sopwith Camel

Legends… “Here’s the WW1 Flying Ace is climbing into the cockpit of his Sopwith Camel.” The Flying Ace (as played by Snoopy) is an icon for Americans of my generation and a bit older. He’s brave, skilled, and even a little psychotic. Aboard his Sopwith Camel, he fights in the skies above Europe, hunting down … Read more

CushCore

I mounted a pair of CushCore tire inserts on my Warbird on Friday evening. It was past time to try them. About 6 months ago, Cameron Falconer was talking with me about using them. He was loving what they did. I was hesitant. I’m not a strong climber and as I have gotten older, that’s … Read more

Three days on the floor

This last weekend was the 2019 NAHBS in Sacramento, California. It’s local to me so it was easy to go and enjoy the event as I like to; by working hard taking photos, recording interviews, and networking with bros.  This year I decided to step up my game by trying to do audio and photo … Read more

Bike trade shows

It’s that time again. The North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS). It will be in Sacramento this weekend and I’ll be there taking photos of the details and doing interviews with folks. Hopefully work hard for a few days and mine some gold in the gold rush city. The funny thing about NAHBS, you don’t … Read more

Revisitation

A long time ago…2014…I did a skateboard project, the Skinny Little Bitch. It was an interesting idea of a board but it really didn’t work out. It was no fun to ride. The board was too tall. The wheels were small. The trucks geometry was off because of the height and with reduced leverage from … Read more