Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Black Mountain Cycles frame info...

Here's some basic info on the frame - geometry and info on parts specs that get attached to the frame. If anyone would like more info, just post a comment or e-mail me. Thanks.

Seat post: 27.2
Front derailleur: 28.6
Rear hub spacing: 130mm
Bottom bracket: 68mm, British threads
Headset: Threadless 1 1/8"
Max tire size: 33.3mm without fenders, 28mm with fenders

Seat post: 27.2
Front derailleur: 28.6
Rear hub spacing: 132.5mm (run either 130 or 135 spaced hubs)
Bottom bracket: 68mm British threads
Headset: Threadless 1 1/8"
Max tire size: The frame was designed to fit the Panaracer FireCross 45 which actually measures close to 50 at the widest point of the knobs, but was not designed to fit a 29" tire. Besides, a 29" tire is for mountain bikes and this is a cross bike.

Click on the chart below to view a larger, easier to read size.

BMC geometry

(What's playing: KWMR)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Black Mountain Cycles frame pre-order special...

After much too long, my frames are going to happen. I got word that the frame maker has tubing and that they will (should) have frames finished by the end of July. Then they have to go for paint and decals, get boxed up and consolidated in an ocean container. I'm thinking that sometime around the middle of August 50 frames will be showing up with the remaining 50 showing up 30 days later (half road, half cross). Going to have to find some room in the shop to store 50 frames. Which leads me to the reason for this post.

Maybe I don't need to find a place to store as many as 100 frames in my small shop. Maybe I can pre-sell frames. After all, the idea is to bring the frames in to sell, why not get some, heck, maybe all, sold before they arrive so I don't have to find storage space for all the frames. Hmmm.

So, here's the deal, if folks pay in full for a Black Mountain Cycles road or cross frameset between now and the end of July (or probably before the frames show up on my doorstep) for $600, plus sales tax in California, I'll throw in one of two freebies.

Option 1: Free shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states. If you are out of that area, I'll contribute $25 toward shipping.

Option 2: If you don't need shipping or if you just like option 2, I'll throw in a Black Mountain Cycles t-shirt, pint glass, and water bottle at no charge with your frame order.

If you're on the fence or knew you were going to buy a frame anyway, now's the time to do it to get one of a couple of sweet deals. Payment options include paypal (blackmtncycles(at)gmail(dot)com, credit card (call me), money order, depending on the circumstance, I may even take a personal check, and cash is always welcome if you want to pay in person.

So there you have it. I must say, I'm just a bit giddy at the prospect of having my own branded frames available to sell. After many years of designing and selling bikes with other brand names on them, this is pretty darn cool. If folks have more technical questions on the frames, e-mail or call me. I'm working on some basic tech info that I'll post soon. Hey, it's Monday and I'm closed today. Time to go for a ride on my sweet, steel Black Mountain Cycles road frame!

Black Mountain Cycles road bike

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(What's playing: Willie Nelson Hallelujah, yes, Willie singing the classic Leonard Cohen song)

Friday, June 25, 2010

A set of wheels ready for any occasion...

Maybe a set of wheels MacGyver would ride? This is the kind of wheel that needs to be under 95% of the road riders out there. The kind of wheel that can go anywhere, do anything. It's got enough spokes. It's easily serviced - anywhere. It's pretty darn sexy in its unassuming simplicity. These are going to look great on Mark's Petaluma-made Salsa cross bike.

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(What's playing: They Might Be Giants Twisting)

Yeti A.R.C. Long Travel...

Really nice 95/96 Yeti suspension bike came in for a little work. It needed the cranks and spider to be sorted out to eliminate a wobble and some proper 5mm brake housing installed. What a great looking bike in the classic Yeti team color.

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(What's playing: The White Stripes St. Andrew)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Big bike sale...

Being in West Marin is a challenge sometimes. The biggest challenge is not being in a highly populated area where, if one needs a bike, they just pop down to the local bike shop to see all the bikes and choose one. All the bikes I bring in are bikes I like. I think it's important to have items you sell that you like. However, there are a few bikes that I brought in that haven't attracted their new owner, yet. So, this is a chance for these bikes' new owner to make a connection.

First up is a 55cm Salsa Casseroll. This is a really nice bike. It is super versatile. Performs well as a long-distance rider. Would perform great for a supported bike tour. Great commuter. This is a bike I could very easily own and ride as a road bike or commuter. My one mile commute wouldn't do it justice, however. I wants to stretch it's legs and ride. Here's the deal. This bike was originally $1755. Salsa lowered the retail to about $1495 a while back and the last one I have, a 55cm, I'm going to let go for about $1200. It's got Shimano 105 10-speed with a triple crank. Here's a picture of the bike.

Next I've got a Raleigh Sojourn. It's the biggest one Raleigh offers which they call a 59cm. It's set up pretty nice. It's hella sturdy. Perhaps the neatest thing about the bike is that is built out of the box with a Brooks seat, Brooks leather handlebar tape, it also comes with a Lezyne frame pump, fenders, and a rear rack. It is also a very clean looking bike with no huge company logos adorning it. Just a simple, small Raleigh head badge and top tube badges. Again, this is my last Sojourn and it's price is reduced to $900 down from $1225. A steal. Again, a picture of the bike.

Third up, I've got two Redline Conquest bikes. These are 2009 models and for the life of me, can't figure out why I still have them. They are great cross bikes with a smart mix of components. A mix of parts high-lighted with a set of Tiagra 9-speed STI shifters. Why is Tiagra a high-light? Because they are 9-speed and let you run a Shimano mountain bike derailleur with an 11-34 if you need lower gears. Wise thing if you ride up and down steep dirt roads. The wheels, bar, stem, seat post are all Ritchey. I really like these bikes. I've got two left in either a 54cm or a 56cm. Original price was $1195, but one can be yours for $895.

Last up is a Redline Mono 9. It's a 15" frame and it will fit someone as short as 5'2" as when my son was that tall, he took it for a spin around the parking lot and it fit him just fine. The Mono 9 was a sweet bike that Redline doesn't make any more - Japanese Sanko chome-moly tubing, SRAM X9 rear shifter and derailleur, FSA single-speed crank with guard, WTB rims with Maxxis tires, Ritchey Pro bar/stem/seat post. Just a great package of parts on a super nice frame. This 15" can be yours for $800. The original price was $1050. I've got the original box stashed away and can repack it for shipment to your house.

Alright, that's it. I've got to make some room in the shop in anticipation of my Black Mountain Cycles frames arriving in July (holy crap - that's next month!). Might be early August, though. Call me or e-mail me or come on in for one of these great bikes.

(What's playing: KWMR)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why buy a bike from me...

I was putting together a Salsa Vaya today and thinking why would someone want to buy a bike from me versus any other bike shop. In fact, why does anyone choose one shop over another to buy a bike? I pondered this as I:

Took each wheel off, put it in the truing stand, verified proper tension, roundness and trueness.

Removed each bolt and put a dab of grease on the threads. This includes all water bottle bolts, stem bolts, seat post bolts.

Replaced the stock brake housing with compressionless housing (to ensure the disc brakes have the best possible performance).

Removed the cranks and bottom bracket, smeared grease inside the bottom bracket shell, on the sleeve of the bottom bracket (this ensures that any crud and dirt that falls into the bb shell is captured in the grease), greased and tightened the cups, and then greased the 2-piece Shimano axle before reinstalling and torquing to the proper specs.

Add a few extra headset spacers (better to leave long and cut later than to cut too short) to the headset, grease the entire steerer tube so the bare steel doesn't rust before installing fork and adjusting headset.

Tune and adjust the shifting and brakes like I would do if it was my own bike, making sure each cable is the proper length.

Basically, I build each bike like it was my own bike. I build each bike with the confidence that it can be taken from my shop and ridden hard and long with confidence. I offer free adjustments within a reasonable length of time after the sale. However, I rarely see people since the bikes leave my shop set up properly and dialed in perfectly. I rarely work on my own bike because I don't need to. They perform flawlessly because I set them up that way. And I make sure the bikes I sell perform the same as my own bike. This level of service ain't free. I charge a bit more than the manufacturers "suggested retail price." But no one should ever be sorry or disappointed in the level of performance in a bike that leaves my shop.

In the past, I have had to build bikes or build wheels the morning of or the night before races. They always performed as expected during the race. I apply this to each bike I build knowing that if you are simply going for an hour ride or racing the next day, the one thing you won't have to think about is how the bike is performing.

That's why you should buy a bike from me. I need to toot my own horn more often.

(What's playing: Lucinda Williams Rarity)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steve Potts Expedition bike build...

This one is a bike I could own. A custom titanium Steve Potts "expedition" bike for a local rider. The owner's plan is to ride the rails north and then turn south and ride back through secondary and dirt roads. Sounds like a fun adventure. But you're probably wanting pictures.

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(What's playing: John Doe & The Sadies: The Night Life)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Killer deal from Bruce Gordon...

If you're looking for a touring/commuting bike or frame or a set or US made racks for your touring/commuting rig, Bruce Gordon has a killer deal going on through June. Check out his blog post for details, but a frameset with racks is $795. You can also get a rear rack for $145 and a front low-rider rack for $125. If you are in the market for a touring bike or racks, don't hesitate, now is your time.

(What's playing: Gilbeau & Parsons Sweet Sugar Blues)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Catch up post...

Been pretty busy this week. Repairs and and a little interview my Bakersfield & Beyond co-host, Amanda, and I did this week took up some time. Yep, we interviewed Merle Haggard on Tuesday and will air the interview tonight on KWMR. Tune in if you can. It's going to be fun.

And here are some bikes that recently made their way through the stand.

Fat Chance Yo Betty
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Fisher Mt. Tam - fillet-brazed by Tom Teasdale
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Titanium Fat Chance
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Bernie Mikkelsen road bike w/ Campagnolo Super Record
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This 1929 Mead Ranger got boxed up to be sent off it its new owner.
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Wooden rims
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(What' playing: The Who Won't Get Fooled Again)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Black Mountain Cycles frame update...

Been a while since I've updated my the Black Mountain Cycles frame status. So, here's the scoop. Even though I had initially created a bunch of frames (road, cross, track, 650b mountain bike, 29" wheel mountain bike), I am going to offer the road and cross frames first. Who knows if I'll get to the other frames. Maybe. Some day. The priority is the road and cross frames because those two frames really represent the focus of Black Mountain Cycles: steel frames, clearance for fat tires, ability to fit fenders, clean simple visual appeal, and after riding samples for many months, they are super fun bikes to ride.

Back to the scoop. The road and cross drawings are 100% approved. I had to make some minor tweaks to the drawings for the samples (they were about 95% dialed). I've given a rough order to the frame maker and now the next step is to wait for a delivery date and a final price so I can issue a formal purchase order. I've already provided an informal purchase order and, hopefully, they are using that to begin ordering raw materials and getting everything ready to go. I'll know this coming week.

Regardless of the final quote, the frames will be $600 for frame and fork. They will include seat collars and any other part that attaches to the frame to make it a frame. In the case of the road frame, that includes the bb cable guide (that might seem like a no-brainer, but I've received frames from custom builders where they don't supply the guide or seat clamp), stainless bolts for all braze-ons, and Shimano down tube shifter boss stops. The cross frame will include the two threaded cable stops for front derailleur and rear brake, horizontal dropout adjuster screws, and stainless bolts for braze-ons.

The frames will use a tubeset made by the main high-end tubing supplier in Taiwan. The tube specification will use a light, but not too light, tubeset. I've tested frames with the next step heavier tubeset and the next step lighter tubeset and I think this butted tube profile gives the optimum ride that I'm looking for. The frames will also be heat-treated which is an expensive. I could have gone without heat-treating and a heavier tubeset, but I just love how the bikes ride with this tubeset.

Colors. Colors will be the same as the samples. Orange for road, brown for cross. The brown has a very subtle metallic/pearl sheen to it. The decals will be under a clear powder coat that is nice an durable. I will order a second, limited quantity, color for each model because a few friends asked for a different color. The second color for the road frame will be a classic metallic (but not too metallic-y) champagne similar to an old Masi Gran Criterium I have. The cross frame's second color will be the same orange as seen on the road frame.

Sizes: both frames will be available in 50, 53, 56, 59, and 62 centimeter frames. That's measured from the center of the bb to the top of the seat tube. I'll post exact geometry later.

When? I'm hoping they stick to their guns and I see frames in July. That seems optimistic, but stranger things have happened. I'm going to say July with a qualifier - maybe August.

How do you get yours? Soon, I will be offering an early-bird purchase deal. To folks who have been waiting and want to pre-order a frame, I'll offer a special deal that could possibly include some sweet goodies with the frame price. I'll post this in the coming week. For now, enjoy your Saturday. Hope you get out and ride.

The road bike
Black Mountain Cycles road bike

The cross bike
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(What's playing: Bobby Darin Fly Me To The Moon)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Saturday vintage bike fest...

I wasn't able to make it to the ride, but sure enjoyed the after gathering. On Saturday, a bunch of friends organized a vintage mountain bike ride at China Camp. Plenty of great classic mountain bikes from the 80's and 90's. After the ride, everyone headed out to Black Mountain Cycles for food and beer. Within a stone's throw, there are a couple of great to-go eateries - the Chinese Chuckwagon and the Whale of A Deli. The food from the Chinese Chuckwagon is pretty self-explanatory, but the Whale of A Deli serves up great Mexican food with the carnitas (my favorite) grilled to order and built into a huge burrito (I recommend getting the works and hot, not mild).

What's a vintage mountain bike ride without photos - thanks to Joe, Eric, and Geoff for permission to use the following photos.

Joe (oh, by the way, Joe Breeze showed up on the ride on his '82 Breezer and made the trip out to Pt. Reyes as well - how cool is that!) eats his burrito while Steve Potts talks about an old modified Phoenix single-speed frame.

Steve Potts CCR in the stand.

Pink Steve Potts CCR sporting a Black Mountain Cycles bottle.

Joe's '82 Breezer

Yours truly with a great carnitas burrito

Joe and Steve

Ritchey P-23 twins with Black Mountain Cycles bottles (thanks, guys for rocking the bottles).

Snakebelly tire sporting the marks of age didn't seem to slow Joe Breeze during the ride.

'82 Breezer stem and cable routing

Pre-ride bike check

Gloria, Stuart, Joe, food and beverages.
Pre-ride bike check.

Cunningham Racer

'82 Breezer seat cluster. Joe Breeze was also an inventor of the Hite-Rite.

Thanks again to everyone for making the trip out to visit at the shop, the burritos and the beer.

(What's playing: U2 Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around the World)