Windy’s trail crusher

It’s new bike day for Windy! I’m hoping that some of the younger folks read this post and have a new understanding of how to look at putting commercial bicycles together. Most of my work is done at the extreme high end and development level that few can relate to. Here, I’m working with a … Read more

Fail Early and Often

This happened. We all get to look and see. The carcass of my soul and pride lays in front of you. The message board heroes get to point and laugh. Public failures are a double edged sword. On one side, they give others ammunition to bring me down. They can point at this and say … Read more

Deeper Custom

We all think of custom differently. I like to take things a lot further than what you see in magazines. Spending money on retail crap isn’t custom as I see things, it’s consumption. Custom should be at your own hands not your pocketbook. It should be about taking risks, to show your style and flair. … Read more

The PVD Wheel Lacing Fixture

I think it was 1990 when I built my first set of bicycle wheels. I was a young man of 20, working at Fat City Cycles in Olive Square in Somerville, Massachusetts.  We manufactured very fancy bicycles there. On the side, I had just constructed a fixed gear road frame for use getting around Boston … Read more

Porting equations from Excel to SolidWorks

I develop a lot of equations for use in my designs. Math is behind most of what I make. Generally, I’m using MS Excel while going through the math and drawings to arrive at the system that I want to use. That gets added to master spreadsheets along with all my other calculations that I’ve … Read more

PVD WOPR Frame Fixture

This is the holy grail of the plate style fixtures and is the third iteration of a bicycle fabrication fixture that has developed from modern bicycle design principles. The 2020 Cyberdyne System fixture changed everything. By building a fixture on a breadboard surface, precise fabrication could be done with a lesser investment in tooling. The … Read more

Temperature Management

This is a another diversion within the CNC controller box project. Another opportunity to learn things that I’ve never bothered to in the past. The more time I spend solving these practical issues the more it makes sense and the pieces start fitting together. Electricity is hard. For my CNC controller project, I have to … Read more

Angles for Welding Tables

This is something interesting that came up in the shop yesterday. My friend, Tim Murko, has been working with wood in recent years. He’s been doing various furniture and wall art types of things. For a while, he was content with just wood and fasteners (along with some fun electronics as Tim is an electrical … Read more

CNC Control Box Power Safety Circuit

I’ve made it clear that I’m no electronics expert. This project is challenging my ability to learn at a later stage of life. Still, I’m getting used to all of it and it’s even getting fun. In my research on the CNC control box project, much confusion was made in the vague descriptions of the … Read more

Handlebar Data Plates

Last week while in Santa Cruz for the Caletti Open House, I got to take a quick ride at UCSC before heading over to John’s shop. At the top of U-Con by the kiosk before entering Rock and Roll, I got to talking with a bunch of guys. They took interest in the bike that … Read more

Micronauts

In the last few years I’ve been needing real microscopy in my home shop. Fiber laser engraving, electronics projects, and analyzing 3D printing failures prompts this. There’s seeing and then there is really seeing. I feel foolish that it took this long. Had I known how much of a difference 90x magnification would make in … Read more

Caletti Open House

Yesterday, I went to the Caletti Cycles open house in Santa Cruz. My wife and I had a nice little day trip. A few east bay stops on the way down and a sunset drive back up the coast to San Francisco and Marin. We enjoyed a quick ride in the trail network by UCSC … Read more

3018 toy router pro tune

A few months ago, for fun I bought a crumby hobby grade CNC router from one of my favorite low cost online suppliers.  I was working with some development 3D printed skate trucks and I needed to cut some wheel wells in a skate deck in a more precise way than I had in the past. … Read more

Upsweep Isn’t a thing

Handlebar upsweep isn’t a thing. It never has been. Notice that this will be the last paragraph where that term will be written in this article. Don’t say it. Don’t repeat it. It’s an old punchline to a joke nobody remembers. It’s been a few years since I’ve discussed handlebars in general. It’s time again. … Read more

Spring basics

A friend of mine was on a ride with us on Saturday. He had purchased a used bike a few months ago, a Santa Cruz Megatower XXL. He’s a big guy, 6’5″, and this bike is small for him. Not much tuning has been done. The rear end was giving him some issue. There is … Read more

The Half Volume Token

I’ve  been tuning the fork on my 2022 MiG-31 Firefox. It’s a RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 150/42 B4. Nothing fancy in terms of tune at this point but sorting the spring side for now. It’s such a nice little fork. I’m 218 pounds and riding on gnar Marin singletrack with this hardtail. I’ve been tuning … Read more

Breaking things while moving fast

I got lucky. Really lucky. Less than a second later and I would have been tumbling head first down a 15 foot chute of chunk. It would have been very bad, possibly deadly. The 3D printed stem on my 2022 PVD MiG-31 Firefox  broke catastrophically on my third ride. This is the second catastrophic failure … Read more

The 240mm dropper post

Just about two years ago, the world changed. I got my hands on the (then) new OneUp 210mm dropper post. It was exactly what we had been waiting for and I put it right to use. Prior to that, we were on 185mm dropper posts, a 25mm increase. In the time since, all of my … Read more

2022 PVD MiG-31 Firefox XC MTB

It goes MACH 6 and is ‘invisible’. This insane interceptor fighter is thought-guided and controlled. The Firefox MiG-31. You need to ‘think in Russian’ to get this jet to do it’s job. In the past year and a half, I’ve invested a huge amount of time and resources developing an update to my state of … Read more

Ghetto CMM

I’ve mentioned using a manual mill with a DRO (digital read-out) as a ghetto CMM (coordinate measuring machine) in the past. Here’s a twisted example of what I’m talking about. Generally, when I’m talking about the ghetto CMM I’m talking about using the DRO to measure some points on a part so that we can … Read more

The Empire Strikes Back

The initial prototype of the new skate truck had seen enough riding and evaluation to go to the second round. The trucks were working out pretty well but were still not really where I wanted them to be. I’m looking for a real premium experience with these and the work has to go on until … Read more

PBE2021

I hadn’t been to the Philadelphia Bicycle Exposition until this year. It was long overdue for me to attend as it is a very east coast event and I’m an east coast (originally) guy. Plus, folks have always said great things about the event. Unlike NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) which moves from one … Read more

BikeCAD Pro 17.5 and BikeCAD FREE 17.5

BikeCAD Pro is the ‘go to’ program used by bicycle framebuilders, bike fitters, and riders around the world for designing and drafting bike setups and designs. It really is an indispensable tool that almost everyone agrees is crucial for working in this space. Few things can be agreed on by framebuilders and this is one … Read more

The Ground Effect

I was forced to give up riding skatepark back in 2008. The years of punishment needed to come to an end. At this point, 11 foot falls to concrete were really starting to ruin my month. Skateboarding is a young man’s sport. Still, the pure joy of cruising down a hill or across town on … Read more

The Art of the Steer

Skateboard steering is a very challenging thing to model. I’m used to doing some incredibly complex calculations for my bicycle projects but producing this calculator pushed me to my limit. It took me three days of full time work to finally get the math correct. I had done a calculator like this 20 years ago. … Read more

Skateboard Trail

When putting a skateboard together or designing a truck, we need to understand the inherent stability of the system. Control is everything and we can influence that with our choices. Often, we will talk about trail when looking into this. The trail is simply, the length of the lever that is influenced by the ground … Read more

The Roll Center

One of the most important characteristics of a skate truck, but almost totally ignored, is the roll center. I was one of the first people to discuss this back in 2000 (20 years ago!) and I’ve seen a few people replicate my explanation but not many. As I’m wrapping up the design of the new … Read more

The contact patch

This made my day and was very nice to see. Owen at Donard Custom Bikes in Northern Ireland posted this image to his Instagram. Three tires contact patch. Each at 70psi. The top three are with a road tire labeled 25mm (26mm actual) loaded 0kg, 35kg and 70kg. The middle three are with a road … Read more

The Return of the Jedi

I know a few things. After 51 years on earth I’d have to. Two of things that I know more than almost anyone I know is bicycle design and skateboard design. I’m pretty good with a couple other things. This is about skateboards. Sadly, while I’ve been making some serious progress with producing some important … Read more

OGLE Center Lock Rings

This was a nice gift that showed up last week. I was talking with Josh Ogle on the phone last week, I can’t remember what started this, I think that I called him about center lock threading. I was talking to him about some nerdy detail for modeling and engineering threads using equation driven formula … Read more