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

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


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


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

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


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