A long, long time ago (1998?) I designed the disc brake dropouts for Independent Fabrications. I knew the whole crew there as we had all worked at Fat City Cycles together. The reason for the design was simple, I needed a new bike and I use Shimano parts. That was the moment that Shimano had … Read moreVery fancy dropouts for Firefly Bicycles
Things went pretty wrong at the Tara Llanes Classic. I’m bummed. Not just because of getting injured but because I really thought I had a shot at 2nd place in Cat 1, 40+. Grrr. I even had a cool bike for MegaDH. I got kicked off a big jump really bad on my warm up … Read moreThings going wrong, the bad way.
This weekend is the Tara LLanes Classic. http://www.tarallanesclassic.org/. It’s what is called a Mega DH. Mega DH is essentially Super D’s wicked brother. A very long DH race with no emphasis on real climbing but a bunch of pedalling at high speeds could be involved. The key is that the course will involve true downhill trails … Read moreMEGA DH !
Jake Harrell is the son of my friend and business partner, Bryan. Fairfax Cyclery!!! Jake and Bryan have been racing a ton of BMX lately and Jake is proving to be a seriously fast kid. He can’t wait to get out with dad and the bros for the downhill rides. Problem: There is really nothing … Read morePodracerOne – Big Evil, Small Package
Simple leverage. Didn’t anybody else do the math? BB30/PF30 has proven to be a complete mechanical failure. It was obvious from the outset and I had made good arguments against it when it was first being rolled out. The Shimano system is clearly superior but for some reason cyclists thing that everything has to be … Read moreBB86 is 30% stronger than BB30
The proper setup of Downhill and long travel suspension bikes often requires the frequent removal of the shock as well as having the system in a topped out AND bottomed out state. These little dummy shocks allow the rear end to be easily fastend in place to adjust things like chain length, cable routing, chain … Read morePVD Dummy Shocks
Ashland Super D, Cat 1 40-55 Men, 42:26, 14th. Super fun race. A poor showing for me. Ran with full fixed high post. I was a bit out of shape for the climbing and could have saved some time with a dropper post. Can’t wait until next year. I would expect at least a 39 … Read moreAshland 12 Mile
Thinking about this today. What about the area under the curve with regard to shock rate? Should the area be similar for differerent types of bikes? The shape can change, the duration and the magnitude but will in the end the area be similar? I’m going to think a bit about this… Here’s the curves … Read moreThe Area Under The Curve.
Cheap stems are rad. They do just fine holding the handlebar in place and come in many sizes. Most are even lightweight. What’s the problem? Tolerances. Most cheap stems are cast or use cast parts in a weldement. These parts have deviations that cause a problem. The issue is that the bottom side of the … Read moreMaking a dollar out of fifteen cents.
I read an artical online about a guy that made a few eccentric reducers for shocks to use for adjusting ride height on bicycles. It was a great idea although his execution was rather poor. I instantly decided to add that option to my PVD Reducers. Pretty cool. 1mm offset at both ends of the shock … Read morePVD Eccentric Shock Reducers
Mary Pralinsky wanted a beater bike to take to the jumps and to the pump tracks. She wanted something cheap and unbreakable. Nothing can touch a Specialized P3 when it comes to that. The bike is heavy and indestructable. She found someone selling a used one with 90% of the parts for $200 and picked … Read moreSpecialized P3, Best shit bike ever!
A Super D bike is a very special kind of bike. 90% DH Trail with 10% Climbing. Super high speeds on smooth to aggressive surfaces. You need a light bike but something that works right when treated rough. 160mm frames tend to work especially well in this situation if set up well for pedaling and … Read moreSuper D(set) Suicide
Named for NASA Project Gemini, since it’s the bike after Mercury. This is the first of a pair of bikes, one mountain and one road. They will reflect a snapshot in both disciplines of my bike design techinque. They will share several design cues. They will proabably be painted the same color. Since these will … Read moreGemini (Alpha) – 150mm Hardtail Trailbike
This past week has been all about Mary. Two of them in fact. Mary Pralinsky and Mary Moncorgé. Mary Pralinsky is a friend of mine racing DH as an expert this season. Mary Moncorgé is racing PRO in GRT and nationals with Santa Cruz Alliance. Both needed fully prepped race bikes for the season. They were nice enough to come to … Read moreThere’s something about Mary.
My SC Butcher bike has some serious drive train issues that make it less than fun to be on. It functions, but it’s so floppy and loose that it ends up being something that I think a lot about on a ride. That sucks. Gonna fix that. I don’t want to strip the bike down … Read moreRefining gearing for long travel suspension
Hey folks, Juliana Gallin of How-to Night SF was nice enough to invite me to lecture on how folks can build their own bicycle frames at home. Of course! It’s easy. How-To Night at Bazaar Cafe Wednesday March 9, 2011 • 7 pm • How to Build a Bike From Scratch Bazaar Café 5927 California Street, between 21st & … Read moreDIY Framebuilding Lecture
Inspired by products designed and made by Magic Motorcycle in the early nineties. Some wild stuff. Probably not the best, but intriguing to say the least. Especially if you are a machinist type like me. So, 2×10 has taken hold in mountain biking. It has a place but certainly 3×10 does as well. Shimano has … Read morePVD Magic Ring
I’ve been quite busy lately… The modular throttle project is just about done. Final testing takes place this weekend but this revision is assumed to be the last. Prototyping has been a long process for this. The engineering was quite a learning experience for such a simple little part. A 60 degree variable rate cam that … Read moreThese are the fun days of development
These are the all new PVD headtubes for the 2011 Gemini bikes. A pair of bikes following Mercury. A road and a mountain. They should be completed prior to NAHBS for all to see. Show bikes made to be ridden hard, put away wet and taken out again and again. Top bearing is Cane Creek … Read moreGemini Conception
Named for the NASA Mercury space program. Seriously rad! The 2011 PVD Mercury Trailbike. Tapered head tube, 2×10 designed, DMFD, ISCG05 w/slider, BB92, with clearance for 3.0″ tires. Like all PVD Trailbikes, this bike is designed specifically to completely dominate Marin California singletrack. The time tested and challenged design sets the standard for high speed … Read moreMercury.
It’s been a few months since I’ve build a bike frame. I needed to update my geared trail bike with a few new updates in my design but one issue was lagging. 1.125″ straight steerers are effectively dead. It’s all tapered now. The light carbon forked folks like it. The burly slopestylists like it. Everyone … Read morePVD Tapered Head Tube
As the proud new owner of a 2011 Fox Vanilla 36 160 fork, I finally got around to give it the TLC that it deserved. I had already swapped the stock ‘blue’ spring (039-05-102, 45 lb/in) for a stiffer ‘green’ spring (039-05-103, 50 lb/in). That’s a pretty simple task and takes about 5 minutes. It … Read more“Adjustable suspension” by Fox
This past April I moved to the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco. Quite a culture shock for me to be sure. Fairfax is a very differnt place. This part of SF is about 15 minutes away from one of the major casual DH/Jump locations in the bay area, Pacifica. An odd thing about Pacifica, … Read moreFancy New All-mountain Bike
Riding at Northstar this past weekend. My trusty steed the Intense M6 finally had an issue. 2.5 seasons of riding and the pivot link pertch broke off. I was able to get a good day of riding in on Friday, but at the bottom of the last run of the day the snap cracks and … Read moreStuff Breaks.
You don’t know anything unless you’ve measured it. A very wise tuner passed that statemet down to me. I learned a lot from him. Dan Kyle. Look him up. People get pretty spooked about suspension. They get lost. They get confused. I used to. Then I bought a spring scale and everything made much more … Read moreYou don’t know anything unless you’ve measured it.
Lately, I’ve been trying to recruit some folks from the city to go ride mountain bikes. Not fire road burns, but honest singletrack trail mountain biking. It’s an amazingly hard thing to do. I ask, “Would you like to go ride mountain bikes with me?” They say, “Maybe, I usually ride over the bridge to … Read moreCyclocross bikes are not mountain bikes!
I ride my mountain bike on single track trails. These trails, I keep assuming, are my friends. I spend time with them. I love them. I fix them when they are hurt. I work hard to keep a quality relationship with them. I forget to think about what the trail thinks about me. What does the … Read moreTrails don’t suffer fools gladly.
Anybody that knows me will already know that I am the first to question a person’s equipment choice on a bike ride. I question actively, vocally, and (in my mind) friendly way. One major tenant of mine is that cyclocross bikes are stupid bikes. They excel in only two situations; cyclocross races and mixed terrain … Read moreRiding the wrong bike.
#1 on my list is, of course, England. Top reason: BSC (60°) thread, special case, 13/32″ x 26 tpi. Let’s just call this the Sturmey-Archer thread from hell. It’s doesn’t conform to SAE, ISO, JIS, DIN or any other modern standard. It’s not even Whitworth (55°), which you might imagine. It’s a special case, used only by … Read moreCountries that suck!
What is up with Brooks saddles? 1. Heavy as hell – The lightest saddle that they make is the B15 Swallow Ti. 370 grams. Mind you that is the lightest one. Most of their line weighs in at 500 grams or more. Much more if it’s got springs on it. 2. Lame looks – Honestly … Read moreBrooks Saddles?