Folk Bicycles

handcrafted bicycles that fulfill a need of function and grace

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Andrea's Mtn Bike

So this month I have been working on a whole bunch of things. I finished up an order for Velo Orange just in time for the christmas rush, made some racks for Leslie Kendziera's touring bike (check out, started on a rack for Jay from Planet Bike and his cool IF crossbike/commuter, and just made the first (i think) front rack for Velo Orange. No pictures of that yet, sorry, but I've got some photo's of a mountain bike that I have been working on for Andrea Weiler.

Andrea started racing a Specialized hybrid in a bunch of local mountain bike races a couple of years ago and is thoroughly hooked on it. She wanted a real bike but was unhappy with what she found at all the shops here in Madison. Her partner, Ben, prints the t-shirts for Revolution Cycles, where I've got my workspace set up. When they had come by one day to see what we could do for them Jeff, the owner, suggested she talk with me.

Andrea and I talked for a while about what she was looking for, did a fit session, and with the help of my friend Zac at Cascade Bicycle Studio, came up with a fit for a new bike. In the mean time, I gave her Leah's bike to ride because it was a close match to see what she thought.

Now I've got the bike nearly done. Just have to finish off the small bits. It was tough hand filing the stays, especially since I just ordered the one set, but it came out all right. I've got this fascination with lugged mountain bikes. I've got a late eighties Trek that I found in the trash that I love, and I think the bikes that Mike Zancanato (I know he has a website somewhere, anyone?) has made are great. I wanted to use a part of a lug to reinforce the headtube and downtube, but the angle turned out to be perfect for a lug, so I welded an extension on and brazed it up! I love that it enabled me to add some style to the bike as well. I hope Andrea will like it. I'll add the top part of the upper head lug when I do the water bottle mounts and cable stops.

It's going to get a nice durable powdercoat, but I still need to know what color she wants. Some of my up coming projects are going to be a fillet brazed bike for Chris Kulczycki of Velo Orange, another for my friend Matt, and a lugged touring bike for my sister Jess. Good times!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Put a Fork in it!

I recieved my fork jig a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd show it off. My friend Matt Sheridan (SevenCycles machinist extordinare) designed and fabricated it for me. It is super fantastic, if I do say so myself. I can build anything from a 20" wheel fork to a suspension corrected 29"er. Although the rake adjustment isn't quite what it could be; the rake scale goes to 140mm, but the jig will only adjust to 55mm or so! A little modification and a clamp will help that. I've got it to 64.5mm, which is right where it needs to be for a bike I am preparing for Chris Kulczycki, of Velo Orange.

Here is Leah brazing a fork for her winter bike. She picked up a cool old Herculies and has been working on getting it ridable. The fork had a crack in it so we figured we could just make a new one! Leah has done a bit of jewelry work in the past so the concept of brazing was not new to her, and she did a fantastic job for her first time brazing anything bike related.

So far, it has built two forks. None by me, though. Jon, of Jonny Cycles, did the first one and was very impressed with it. Soon it will be my turn. I can't wait!