Sunday, November 28, 2010

Highest praise...

The highest praise one can ever receive always comes from a source that goes out of their way to seek you out specifically to write a positive note. It was very nice to check out the Black Mountain Cycles Facebook page yesterday and find this note:

"One of the coolest bike shops I've been to EVER. It is a little unusual to me that between Anza-Borrego State Park and Ashland Oregon, the two bike shops we visited both specialize in off road drop bar bikes! How cool is that? Thank you for taking the time to explain & chart a ride for my wife & I when we visited. I am... impressed with the shop, and (Mike?) -the level of professionalism. It is easy to recognize someone who knows & loves bicycles."

I'm totally blown away by the super kind words. But on an even more amazing level, the other shop mentioned that they visited just happened to be Chuck Hoefer's Pacific Coast Cycles, where I worked from 1988 to 1993. What are the chances? It's over 800 miles between Anza-Borrego and Ashland and they visit both Chuck's shop and my shop. Based on other similar happenstances that have happened since I opened the shop, it's actually not so unusual.


(What's playing: X Soul Kitchen)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What a treat...

What a treat it was to have this bike pass through the shop on its way to a friend of mine who is its new owner. What we have here is an Alan that Charlie Cunningham owned in the '70s. He sold the bike in the late '70s to finance equipment that would enable him to start making his own frames and components. That in itself is pretty neat. However, what is even more interesting and outrageously cool are all the custom touches Charlie did to the bike and the parts to make it work better for him. I tried to take pictures of all the custom pieces, but as I was packing it up to send to my friend, I kept noticing more custom bits - the cable stop for the shift cable hidden under the bar tape, the custom aluminum derailleur hanger bolt, the chainring bolts. Not to mention that virtually every single bolt is customized or is aluminum or titanium.

What's a cool bike without pictures? As it sits in this form, it weighs 17 pounds and change. There is nothing drilled out (okay, some bits are carved up a bit).



Backside of chainguide

Even the brake cable anchors are reduced to only the essential.
Brake cable anchor

Campy down tube shifter grafted into the handlebar end.

Magnesium stem with Nylfor upper headset. The lower headset cup is made from a piece of military scrap-yard magnesium.
Mg Stem

Weight savings went as far as running spokes on the short side. Aluminum nut on that brake post too.
Brakes and spokes

Custom drilled Cinelli Unicanitor seat. The steel seat rail were replaced with aluminum rails. Most seat rails are actually one piece of bent steel. This is two pieces which are held in place up front with two tiny screws threaded through the nose and into the end of the rail. Should have gotten a shot of that...
Drilled Unicanitor

Rear rim.
Nisi Rim

Hi-E front rim. 200g, hidden spoke nipples. Very light.
Hi-E rim joint

Hi-E front hub with interesting 1x spoke pattern.
Hi-E hub

Rear Hi-E hub.
Hi-E hub

Super cool bolt on cable stops. This from an era where clips were typically used to secure a full run of housing.
Cable Stop

The seat lug is drilled to act as the cable stop.
Seat Lug Cable Routing

Derailleur area

Probably the most interesting, noticeable feature is the rear derailleur cable routing. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and that's exactly how the cable is routed. Nifty guide fixed to the seat tube.
Cable routing

(What's playing: KWMR Faultline Radio and The Kinks You Really Got Me)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday update...

I'm still working on getting the details when I'll have frames. Everything should be ready. Just working out a couple minor details. Once I have all the information in hand, I'll post it so folks know the scoop.

For now, here's a little what's in the stand. Part of an early '70s Masi resto. Not a full restoration, but a rebuild and clean up to get the bike rideable. The owner wants to save the original tubular wheels and ride on clinchers, so these Campy Record high flange hubs are getting laced into clincher rims.

hubs 004

hubs 006

(What's playing: KWMR's Sunday Celebration Of Sacred Music)