Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More details on the U.S. frame...

Not a crazy amount of details, but enough to wet your whistle.  Hopefully.  There are one detail that I want on the frame that will likely take a little time.  I want a head badge for this frame.  My concept for the badge is a photo I took a while back and between converting that to the proper artwork and getting it made will take some time.  But, it's going to happen.  

As of today, I have orders for 56cm and 59cm frames.  I, personally, want a 62cm frame for myself.  This means that there will be production of those three frame sizes first.  And the best news is that there will be one or two of those sizes available for immediate delivery (when they're ready).  If you want to get in on this first production, get your deposit in soon.  Spring is coming and that means new bike season.  

In other news, the Potts 29"er that I built up for a local guy won "Best Tig Bike" at last weekend's NAHBS show.  And that will be the extent of NAHSB reporting found on this blog.  Congratulations, Steve Potts.  

(What's playing:  KWMR Fish Tales)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More US made frame details...

I know disc brakes are all the rage.  I know disc brakes have certain advantages.  I know disc brakes are all some riders have experience with if their first bike was a mountain bike within the last 5-8 years.  I know that I may be losing potential buyers by not incorporating disc brakes on the US made frames.  However, I just can't get excited about disc brakes on my personal cross bike and the fact is these frames are extensions of what I like. 
I've been riding my cross bike for the past couple of years with budget Tektro CR-720 wide canti brakes with KoolStop Salmon pads.  There was never a time when I didn't have enough brake.  Recently, I installed some Paul Components canti brakes on a Rock Lobster - Neo Retro in front and Touring out back with KoolStop Thinline Salmon pads.  On the test ride, I was supremely impressed with the feel, modulation, and stopping power of these brakes. 

After a couple of years of wearing out brake pads on the Tektro brakes on my cross bike, I installed a set of the new Paul Mini-Moto brakes and they further made me less excited about disc brakes.  Love these brakes. 

So, the first detail of the US made cross frames is the brakes will be rim brakes.  There won't be a brazed on cable stop on the seat stay.  This gives a really clean look when riders use the mini-v brakes like the Paul Mini-Moto.  If a center-pull canti brake is the brake of choice, I'll have Paul Components' Funky Monkey available.  This, to me, has the ideal combination of clean looks and functionality.  

That's the brakes.  Tubing will be US made True Temper Versus with Paragon Machine Works dropouts and a lugged fork.  Working on final details of the fork.  Color:  in honor of their Bay Area heritage and the fact the frames will be made in San Francisco for a Marin County bike shop, I'm thinking the color should naturally be International Orange.  You know, the same color as that bridge that link Sand Francisco and Marin County.  If you want to get in on the first run of frames, now's your chance.  Pricing is still looking to be $1600 for frame and fork.

(What's playing:  Faultline Radio on KWMR)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Details coming, but first...

I'm working on getting details out on the US made frames, but have been a little busy this week building two Potts bikes for customers that will be taken to the NAHBS show in Denver next weekend.  I didn't get a chance to take any photos of the 29"er since as soon as I finished, Steve picked it up to box it for the trip to Denver.  It's a classic 29" wheel mountain bike with Shimano XT parts, Fox fork and dropper seat post.  Wheels are No Tubes Flow EX built on White Industries MI6 hubs.  Just a simple hardtail kick ass mountain bike.

I built a Potts 29"er for the owner of the cross bike a year ago or so.  This one came together over the past year, first with the sourcing of the N.O.S. (new old stock) Mavic Open S.U.P. ceramic rims.  These were built on a pair of King R45 hubs (rear hub is the previous generation 10-speed which I like because the dish isn't as severe as the newer 11-speed hubs).  Spokes are Sapim CX-Ray.  A mix of SRAM parts rounds out the build:  first gen Red shifters, Rival crank (48/34) and r/d, Shimano CX-70 f/d, Avid Ultimate canti brakes, Clement LAS tires, Paul Funky Monkey cable hanger.

Potts 29"er

Potts Cross
The seat will find its way to the post at NAHBS.

Avid Ultimate
The fork is a narrowed Type II.

Potts Cross

Potts Cross

Wheels for the Potts cross

King R45


King R45

(What's playing:  R.E.M. Wolves Lower)

Monday, February 11, 2013

And now for something US made...

This is something that I've thought about for quite a while:  made in the USA Black Mountain Cycles frames.  The problem has always been that the minimum requirements are pretty high.  Not that they aren't high for Taiwan made frames, but I have connections there and can skirt the 'normal' minimum requirements.  Luckily, some developments came about within the past few weeks and I'm getting ready to offer a limited run of US made monster cross frames - San Francisco made monster cross frames, to be specific.  

Yep, that's right.  Cameron Falconer and I will be working together to build small runs of the same frames that folks know and dig.  The first frame we'll offer is the monster cross frame.  It will have clearance for the Bruce Gordon 43mm Rock 'n Road tires.  There's reasons why there won't be more clearance.  The main one is I want to ensure that standard road cranks, with their narrower q-factor will fit around the chainstays.  And this is more cross bike than mountain bike.  We'll be using US made True Temper tubing and frame bits from Paragon Machine Works.  

As I get more details, I'll post them up.  Suffice it to say, these are going to be very sweet frames.  They'll come in slightly lighter than the current Taiwan frames.  Cost on the frame/fork is targeted at $1600.  The only rub is that we need to make these in batches of at least three per frame size and I would dearly love to get pre-orders for them.  And because I ride a 62, the first frame size will be 62 and if someone orders a 56, we'll do 56's too.  

It's important to note that these are limited production frames and not custom frames.  We'll be using the geometry I developed for the existing frames.  We'll pick a color for the frames.  And we'll target a lead time of pretty damn quick.   They are going to be bad ass.  More details in the coming days. 

So, who's in?   

A Falconer I built up last week that sparked this new project.

(What's playing:  The Flying Burrito Brothers Hippie Boy)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

OG Gordon...

Bruce Gordon is the Original Gangster of what now folks affectionately call 'gravel grinder' bikes or 'monster cross' bikes.  Back then, the bikes didn't have such descriptive names.  Back then folks either rode a mountain bike, road bike, or cross bike.  Hybrids were coming out, but a hybrid was really a bike that didn't do anything well except cruise on bike paths while allowing the rider to sit bolt upright.  

In 1988, Bruce built the first Rock 'n Road bikes and had the first Rock 'n Road tires produced from a design by Joe Murray.  The industry wasn't paying attention since everyone at the time was focused on producing 'mountain bikes,' which were in their full boom.  In about 1989 or 1990, I built my first (and only) cross bike.  I wanted a Bontrager, but they were a bit more money than I could afford and even the biggest production model was a bit too small for me so I built my own lugged cross frame.  Still have it.  At the time, a cross bike fit 28mm or 32mm tires max.  Mine was no exception.  I do recall wanting bigger tires because I loved how the larger diameter tires rolled on the dirt roads and trails of San Diego and Orange County.  

Fast forward a quarter century and the availability of cross bikes that can fit big tires is somewhat common place.  And in commemoration of Bruce Gordon's first Rock 'n Road, he is offering a limited run of ten 25th anniversary Rock 'n Road bikes, signed and numbered, for $1988 including a set of Rock 'n Road tires.  Pretty sweet deal.  All the details are here

A brief history of the Rock 'n Road.

Here's the Rock 'n Road that resides at the shop that is on loan from Bruce's collection.  This one was ridden for a period of time by local hardman, George Hope.  It was restored by Bruce a while back.  A fresh powder coat finish and some NOS original parts that represent exactly how the bike was built in 1992.  The RockShox Mag 20/21 has a modified crown and bridge to work with the big 700 x 43 tire.  

Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road
Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road
Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road
Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road
Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road
Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road

(What's playing:  The Hacienda Brothers Leavin' On My Mind)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Closed for a couple days...

Quick public service announcement:  Black Mountain Cycles will be closed Sunday February 3 through Tuesday February 5.  Back at it on Wednesday the 6th.  

(What's playing:  Cyclocross Worlds!)