Thursday, August 16, 2007


The color in person looks like butterscotch. The photos were taken in the shade because it was too sunny to get good photos. This is the frame that's pictured earlier without paint. I apologize for the poor formatting so far. I'm still trying to learn how to move images and text around.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nuovo Richie Series

This is the first frame I've built with the Nuovo Richie Series lugs. I like them. This frame is built around Paul Racer centerpull brakes. Hence the canti posts in the unusual position. The Paul brakes work great and allow for fat-ish tires and fenders. Those requirements ruled out even standard reach brakes and the customer didn't want cantis. Racers to the rescue. The steerer is threadless and obviously is still at the stock length. It will be shortened during assembly.

The next pictures show close ups of the lugs after brazing and clean up. They have been thinned and sanded smooth.

The photo of the seat lug shows the braze on for the tail light behind the seat tube. The light is an LED blinky light that I make. It's very bright and yet it's attractive. The light weighs 31 grams and is waterproof. Pictures of that some other time.

The fork will have braze ons attached to the fork blades for a custom front rack. I'm still working on the rack. Once the platform is completed then I will know where to put the mounts. In addition to the fork blades this rack will mount to the front of the Paul Racer brakes. The rack will secure the front of the fender, hold the headlight and on occasion a handlebar bag.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fork alignment

Fork alignment is very important to me. I think it's as important as frame alignment. Unfortunately with the prevalence of carbon forks, fork alignment has become less important to many builders. Forks are taken out of boxes and stuck onto frames and as long as the wheel centers up between the blades all is golden. Well not really. Many of these forks have the drop outs pulled to one side or the other of centerline. So even if the wheel centers up between the blades the wheel will not be vertical. Since carbon forks can't be cold set there's nothing to do about it. The builder could return the fork and some do. But many don't. Many don't even have the tooling to check. Also there's a whole new generation of builders that have never even built a fork and are largely unaware of this issue. That bugs me a lot. Maybe too much. Anyway, I make my forks and I'm passionate about it. The first picture shows a fork on my Marchetti fork table. The steerer is held parallel to the table surface. The square is placed on the blades by the crown to make them perpendicular to the table surface. The black gauge at the drop outs has a dial to symmetrically set the pointers at the desired width. In this case 100mm. You can see that the gauge can move up and down the vertical shaft. The V is placed on the steerer and that sets the gauge at the centerline height.

The second picture is a close up of the gauge between the drop outs. This is to ensure the drops are spaced equidistantly from the centerline. There's more steps to aligning fork after this. I haven't taken photos of them but maybe will sometime. The other steps are to H-tool the drop outs to make sure they're parallel. The square is put into the drop out slots to confirm the crown isn't twisted. A properly dished wheel is then put in the fork to confirm the wheel is centered between the fork blades. Lastly the fork rake is measured to confirm it's to spec. When all of that has been done, then the wheel is truly vertical and the fork will truly perform as intended.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Jet Vent

Jet vent is framebuilder slang for internal routing. In this case it's the rear brake that's internally routed through the top tube. The first picture shows the mitered top tube and the stainless steel tube that will be brazed in. You can see it's bent on each end and on the top tube one of the openings for the stainless tube is visible. The bends are so the tube passes through the middle of the top tube. This prevents the tube from hitting the top tube and making an annoying metallic "clink" sound whenever the bike runs over a bump.

Here's a picture of the stainless tube inserted in but not brazed.

The third picture is of the tube brazed in with the flux still there. I took this picture right after turning off the torch. I braze one end and then let it cool before brazing the other end. This reduces any possible issues with jet venting thin top tubes.

The fourth photo shows the same thing as the third but after the flux is soaked off.

The last photo is after the end of the tube has been shaped and the excess silver has been sanded off. The shaping is done with a Dynafile which is a hand held pnuematic belt sander. It makes quick work of it and yields great results.