Saturday, February 26, 2011

Joe's road bike...

Seems the cross bike has been the big hit. However, it's the road bike that is probably my personal favorite. I'm a roadie at heart. Can't help it. The simplicity of the road bike and the ability to leave my door, hit the road, and cover miles and miles of open road through the hills of Marin and Sonoma Counties is just too big of a thrill.

Today's featured bike is Joe's road bike. Joe's over 70 years young and puts in a lot of time in the saddle. I barely recognize him in civilian clothes. Put him on his bike with his high-vis jacket and I can spot him from miles away. He wasn't too picky in the choice of parts for his bike with the exception of black parts and low gears. What I came up with was this 53cm beauty.

Joe's bike 2

Joe's bike 4

Joe's bike 5

Those are Conti 4-Season 28's and SKS P35 fenders - plenty of clearance.
Joe's bike 6

Joe's bike 7

Joe's bike 8

Joe's bike 9

(What's playing: ABBA Knowing Me, Knowing You)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nick's bike...

File this under "whoa!" If it was a surprise to me when a Kenda Karma 1.9 fit in the stays and fork of the Black Mountain Cycles cross frame, it was a shock when Nick shoehorned WTB Nanoraptor 2.1 tires in to his frame and fork. I wouldn't go so far as saying this is now a 29"er, but... I would still prefer to run mine with moderate size tires and with more clearance. But, Nick's rockin' some fat tires in his. Here's a picture of his bike, a like to his flickr page with more photos, and some words Nick had to say about his new bike.

"We usually ride these trails on rigid ss 29ers but lately I have been having fun with the challenge of riding off road fix. Tonight was no exception. The bike performed flawlessly! The icing on the cake is the fit! The longer headtube is exactly what I needed that the xcheck did not have. I am so happy with this thing! I am also glad I got the brown. It is understated and classy and just looks like it belongs in the woods!"

Thanks, Nick!

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross

(What's playing: KWMR Swimming Upstream)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bill's, Ken's, and Bruce's cross bikes...

Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Three days. Three cross bikes. Three different builds. Three totally cool bikes. Bruce came over from the East Bay to pick up his bike that will be used for mixed-terrain rides in the bay area. He stopped by the shop the week before on the Valley Ford 200k brevet to talk about the build and so I could get some measurements off his bike. He came out yesterday afternoon, picked up his bike and promptly took it out for a little spin. Upon returning he was quite pleased with the ride making the comment that it rode a lot like his Ebisu and would also make a nice bike for riding brevets. Bruce's bike got built up with a Shimano 9 speed drivetrain and Panaracer Pasela tires. Bars are Salsa Woodchippers with an inch cut off the end of the drops. He brought out a well worn Brooks B17 seat to perch atop the seat post.

Bruce's Bike 001

Bruce's Bike 004

Ken's bike was picked up today. I built this one up to replace an old Bianchi cross bike that he had pretty much ridden into the ground. Ken puts in a bunch of miles commuting and has several Paris-Brest-Paris rides to his name, including his most recent one completed on a fixed gear bike. Read "The Hardmen" to understand Ken. Ken's new bike is built with 105 ten-speed STI shifters on 46cm Salsa Bell Lap bars, 9-speed XT rear derailleur, and a SRAM 11-32 ten speed cassette. White Industries hubs and a new old stock front tire he had squirreled away round it out.

Ken's Bike 012

Ken's Bike 014

Ken's Bike 015

Ken's Bike 019

And today, I finished Bill's bike. It's getting shipped to New York tomorrow. This one turned out great too. SRAM 10 speed bar end shifters with a SRAM X.9 10 speed rear derailleur and a 12-36 cassette with Apex compact cranks. Pretty much a #2 cross kit. The shifting is super smooth. This is one kit I am leaning heavily on installing on my cross bike. Bill went with a set of Ragley Luxy bars. I also cut 1" off the end of these to make it easier to get to the shifters. I don't quite understand why the Woodchipper and Luxy bars have such a long drop section. Bill also opted for one of the new Brooks B17 seats in Mandarine. He also went with the Kenda Karma 1.9 tires.

Bill's Bike 024

Bill's Bike 028
(someday when I'm desperate, I may start drinking those Mickey's)

It's tight in the fork, but there's okay clearance for the Karma 1.9. I need to try those Bontrager 1.7 tires sometime.
Bill's Bike 030

Bill's Bike 025

For all the photos that aren't included here, you can go to my flickr page and see them all.

(What's playing: not a darn thing - the sound of frogs outside is the soundtrack tonight)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Or mudguards. I made my road frame so that it could accept direct mounted fenders and think it looks really nicely finished with a set of aluminum fenders. So does the owner of the first build, Ten. The fenders will likely be called into action soon since it's raining pretty good out there and is supposed to be wet through the weekend.

The silver, hammered fenders look great.
tenfender 001

tenfender 002

tenfender 003

tenfender 004

tenfender 005

This also gives a nice look at the champagne paint color.
tenfender 007

(What's playing: Etta James Take It To The Limit)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's in the stand...

Special treat, Jacquie Phelan's Columboham came in for some much needed care. In the care of Jacquie's beloved Cunningham, I do not mind playing second fiddle to Charlie when he's got too much on his plate with other projects.

Columboham? A mix of "Columbus" and "Cunningham." The frame was made from Columbus tubing at a time when Jacquie was sponsored by Columbus and a suspension fork company. The frame was designed around a suspension fork. The parts are pretty much standard fare. I didn't have to get into the bottom bracket as it is grease guarded and, according to Charlie, has some unique things going on inside. What it really needed, though, was a cleaning, fresh cables, and new bar tape. It also needed a new fork because the previous one was roached. The stanchion tubes were deeply scored and, well, it just didn't function.

Here's some before and after photos.

colomboham 001

You might say the bar tape is a little worn out.
colomboham 002

colomboham 007

Those pulley wheels were also replaced. They were just "slightly" worn out.
colomboham 008

The dent in the top tube isn't from the bar-end shifter. I heard it was a random act against the bike.
colomboham 009

Charlie modified the cable hanger from an old WTB brake bridge/cable hanger made for old Judy forks and installed it on the fork arch.
colomboham 010

Drilled out Unicanitor saddle
colomboham 011

The RM-3 bar is the designation given to the Ibis drop bar. Made by Nitto, it also has a Specialized sticker. How convoluted is that? Ibis designed, Specialized probably arranged production at Nitto.
colomboham 012

colomboham 013

The aluminum shield does a great job to keep the brake working perfectly during adverse conditions.
colomboham 014

One of the few 'hams that doesn't have bearings pressed directly into the frame.
colomboham 015

Brake cable routing. No mistaking which side is "down" on the cam.
colomboham 017

(What's playing: KWMR Hump Day)

Road build kits...

I've added three different road build kits for the Black Mountain Cycles road frames. Both champagne and orange in all sizes are available. Here's the link or you can look up at the tabs and find "Road Build Kits."

Even though the new low-geared doubles are geared pretty low, sometimes folks just need lower gears. This build kit is inspired by a local rider who will be getting something similar later this week. He'll be getting even lower gearing because, heck, when you're in your 70's and your knees ain't what they used to be, you needs you some low gears. Pictures of that bike later.

(What's playing: Democracy Now! on KWMR)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First cross build...

This is Kat's new bike. I pulled the parts off here previous bike and installed them on a 53cm orange cross frame. It's always nice when the parts transfer so nicely. It was doubly nice to see that the Dura Ace road triple crank fits perfetly with a perfect 45mm chainline. It's the double road 53/39 with 43mm chainlines that are not compatible. It's all about the chainline. Modern external bearing cranksets can't be modified for a wider chainline like old 3-piece cranks can. However, this Dura Ace triple worked perfect with the stock bottom bracket. Sweet!

katcross 001

Those were the last of the great looking Dura Ace cranks.
katcross 002

Just enough clearance.
katcross 003

And the first generation XTR canti brakes are among the nicest brakes.
katcross 004

This Dura Ace rear derailleur for triple crankset is also a favorite of mine.
katcross 005

Five more builds to go this week.
katcross 006

(What's playing: Electric Light Orchestra Strange Magic)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Road frame - 1st build up...

It's interesting that with all the demand for my cross frames, the first build was actually a road frame. This one went to my friend Amanda (the second build will be a cross bike for her husband, Ken). Amanda is the one responsible for the champagne-like color on the road frames. Good thing I listened because, so far, all road frames sold are champagne. She was also insistent on silver components. Going all silver is not that easy. Sure there are plenty of silver parts still available, but getting the right parts for a custom build took some doing. In the end, the bike weighs 20lb. 5oz. with pedals. I think the frame weight was 3 lb. 15 oz. Should have written that down.

Here's a rundown of the basic build of her 53cm road frame:
SRAM Apex shifters w/ Rival rear derailleur and an Apex front
Shimano R600 compact crank
SRAM 11-32 cassette
Shimano long reach brake calipers
White Industries 28h hubs and DT RR415 rims with DT Revolution spokes and alloy nipples (wheels weighed 1460 grams)
Continental 4-Season 28 tires
Within the next couple of days, it will also get a set of Honjo fenders as well.

She's already got some time on it, including some dirt path riding and says it's a great riding bike. Sure think it looks great too.



White Ind.


ten 010

ten 011

Road frame build

(What's playing: Natalie Merchant Build A Levee)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

They're here...

A little late posting this info here. Hey, I've been busy! Big thanks to my friend Gloria, who drove up from San Francisco to help put the frames away - and get the shift cables on here neat old fillet-brazed Ritchey Timbercomp replaced. And thanks to Geoff for the burritos and beer.

I was informed by the trucking company that the driver would be at the shop at 9:00 a.m., but decided to get to the shop at 8:30 just in case. Good thing, because the driver was there waiting when I got there. By 10:30, all frames were stacked in the shop and by the end of the day the frames being shipped had labels fixed and were ready for pick-up. Now if I can only get FedEx to actually pick up the frames...they missed their scheduled pick-up yesterday. Sorry to the guys waiting for frames. Pretty sure they'll be picked up today.

Also did an inspection on some frames and they're good to go. I'll be building five of them within the next few days and will post pics of the first builds. You guys who are building up your own, please send photos of Black Mountain Cycles frames in the wild.

It can't all be wine and roses, however. There was a small item missing from the cross frames. Seems the horizontal dropout adjuster screws were missing. I've got some on order and will get them included with each frame. Minor, slightly annoying issue, but easily resolved.

Again, big thanks to everyone who ordered a frame from me! Pretty excited to see them built up and ridden.

Frame arrival
Frame arrival

Loading them in
Loading in

Loaoded in. Road frames on the right half, cross frames on the left half.

(What's playing: KWMR and Democracy Now!)