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

I should have got this tool 10 years ago

I’ve needed this tool for a long time. I knew I did but never really went down the road to it. Moving a nice Kurt D688 vise to my shop from another had me looking at my setup. Much of this late winter has been devoted to improving my CAD models and tooling. Much of … Read more

Airspeeder!

This bike is named after the Incom T-47 Airspeeder. It’s such a badass low altitude combat fighter. It seemed fitting for what this bike is intended for. A flat bar all-road bike that is better in every way than all others in the class. After building the Bird of Prey I was a little sad. … Read more

100×12 should never have existed

Talking with another framebuilder bro today. He seemed to not know about 110×12 hubs and axles for the front of narrow gauge bikes. I got a little bit mad. Everyone should know. The market is currently flooded with fancy 100×12 wheels and exotic forks for road and gravel bikes. Cheap and expensive bikes are the … Read more

Real Fenders

The winter time in Northern California is a great time to really visualize the pathetic tuning skills of most mountain bikers and roadies in the dirt. Regular rain and winter storms cover the ground with water and mud. This extends for 3-4 months. It’s painfully obvious as each rider goes by, on the wet and … Read more

Dutch Masters

I’m not a hipster. Really. I hope not. Anyway, I came across this thing on Craigslist the other day. A De FietsFabriek Bakfiets Classic dutch cargo bike. The ad explained the big problem. It had a broken kingpin but the rest of the bike was otherwise all there. A fix had been attempted that had failed … Read more

Scott Parsley vs the World

I know folks all over and going way back. Social media lets me see some of the cool stuff they do. Every now and then I see something they think up and I’m force to face palm myself. Obvious simple solutions that nobody sees until someone does. A month or so ago, Scott Parsley from … Read more

Actually, you’re not a bike expert

This post is about something few people hear but many need to. You are not an expert on bikes. You aren’t. No matter what you’ve convinced yourself of, you’re not. You make YouTube videos, you comment in forums, you go on lots of rides. Still, you really don’t know a lot about bikes. Everyone in … Read more

GX-OGLE

You may know who Joshua Ogle is. He’s a pretty well known guy from the US bike making scene as he’s been making things for a very long time. One of the reference personalities for sure. Jericho Bikes (long since gone) is what he may be best known for when he was building frames in … Read more

GXP Helicoil

Under normal circumstances most folks wouldn’t bother with such a repair. They would just throw these cranks away. This isn’t one of those circumstances. This is different. I also don’t like to waste money and know exactly what I want. This part will be repaired. (I also like good content here) I have a couple … Read more

PVD 41 to 56 cone

Here’s a cool tool. It’s a replacement #745 Radial Centering Cone on the Park Tool #HTR-HS Head Tube Reaming and Facing Handle. It more optimizes use of the tool for bores from 41mm to 56mm without the need for a Park Tool # 750.2 Oversized Centering Cone Adapter (which doesn’t actually come up to a 56mm … Read more

I don’t make bicycles. I make weapons systems.

This bike was yet another journey into the creative pain cave. It was not something I had wanted to do. It was something I had to do. The war must be fought and we need the best tools. This is the magic bullet that goes around corners. Now, it’s inspiring further exploration in design. This … Read more

Wonder Woman

Some bikes can stop a whole show. At Interbike 2018, the annual US bicycle trade show, that’s exactly what this one did. Over and over you’d hear, “Did you see the Wonder Woman bike?”, “Did you…?” No other bike got more attention. It was an amazing piece of work by Nick Lee Airbrushing. The quality … Read more

Bird of Prey flat bar

It was time to really test the Bird of Prey on dirt and in a more aggressive urban sense. Just a few mountain bike rides on it. Hopefully another few before it gets road tires for getting to work. Enough time for a general fit and gearing. 36t gear and 10-50 gearing to keep it … Read more