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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

The problem with water bottles and hard forks

Red rubber baby buggy bumpers bounce. Red rubber baby buggy bumpers bounce. Red rubber baby buggy bumpers bounce. In the past 5 years, I’ve been doing a lot of work with rigid forks on bikes. From klunkers to hybrids, there has been so many layers of the onion that have been pulled back within the … Read more

The end of the all-road.

The last pieces to the TIE Advanced puzzle have come into place. Largely, the use of a much larger front tire. Just as moving the front tire of the klunker to 29×3.0 was completely transformative, it has been on the TIE. Of course, I knew this to be the case. This is how bikes work. … Read more

New Possibilities with Additive Construction

Construction of the TIE Advanced X1 (Released early July) was turning a bit frantic and wild near the end. Every build that I do seems to have new features and complexities that involve even more new tools and solutions that compound production and suck up much more time than a simple redesign shown on paper. … Read more

OneUp Guts

Our buddy Ben Land is back with some intel. Ben was working with me to get the Skynet Frame Fixture sorted out and proven. Since, he’s done a few more bikes and his work has improved significantly. Still, like me, Ben actually rides bikes. This means that shit breaks. In this case, he blew up … Read more

100 mile test of the X1

Now that the TIE Advanced X1 is out in the wild, it needed a proper test and in a way that I prefer to not, a long long suffer fest where it could be measured for performance. This bike is designed to be pedaled very hard and cover a lot of ground. Philip Norman is … Read more

2021 TIE Advanced X1 All-Road

It’s been 2 1/2 years since the PVD T-47 Airspeeder shifted my understanding of what a narrow gauge bike could do. That bike is still well ahead of what anyone else is doing but I’d found it’s limitations and ways to improve it. During COVID, most of my riding has been on my all-road bike … Read more

The SKYNET Master Plan

“Skynet IS the virus.” – John Connor Just over a month ago, the SKYNET chassis fixture project was announced. An open source bicycle chassis fixture that exceeds in capability over anything that can be purchased. It would be based on the PVD Cyberdyne System fixture but significantly more accessible and affordable. Since then the design … Read more

Adjusting for an offset change

I have a feeling that there’s going to be some discussion about math on the internets very soon so I’m going to start with something fun and maybe useful for a lot of people in the current era. I was on a ride yesterday where so many of my ideas come from. I was thinking … Read more

Super Ultra

Most steel tubing sold by the major brands is truly terrible for modern bicycles. The tubes were largely specified back in the 1970s for hobby builders to replicate road racing bikes. I’ve been asking tube suppliers for years for better tubes to select from. I’ve generally been ignored. Years have gone by like this. Back … Read more

The more things change, the more they’ll never be the same

I’ve been so busy over the past year and a half. I’ve done and incredible amount of work on my designs and tooling but still don’t have a finished bike to show for it. New fixtures, new designs, new everything. The new normal is ‘new’. In the background recently are projects that are large in … Read more

SKYNET

Last March, early in the COVID-19 lockdown, I set out to design and build a new frame fixture for myself. This was need-based on many levels. I wanted something amazing. Something better than anything I could buy. A fixture for a new way of doing things. The result was the PVD Cyberdyne System. I still … Read more

The cutting tool problem and Park tools

Bicycle framebuilding is a particular simple craft. Connect a few bits of material together and strap some wheels to it. What makes good framebuilding difficult is everything that happens around the build. One of the harder issues to get up to speed on when making bicycle frames on a small scale is the lack of … Read more

Forks and Facts

I live in a world divided into small fractions of a millimeter. Often, I spend a great deal of time freeing up just 1/2 of one and feel like a conquering hero. It is my struggle. I was recently sourcing some forks for the all-road bikes that we are about to do. It had been … Read more

Jump Ramps and Kickers

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…. (FS rocker shot 1/2 second late. Porter Square, Cambridge MA. 1986) A child of the 1970s, I grew up playing on cheap plastic skateboards. In the early eighties, the new boom in skateboarding and my young teenage years were a perfect storm setting me on … Read more

Why mullets

Hang around any mountain bikers that don’t understand bike geometry for very long and you’ll be sure to hear about the magic of mullets. A 29″ (622mm, business) wheel in the front and a 27.5″ (584mm, party) in the back. It’s amazing how this silver bullet has caught the eye of the retail market. The … Read more