Monday, May 11, 2015

Kit Ordering Window Closing Soon

The window to order Black Mountain Cycles kit closes soon - Wednesday at midnight.  Or is that Thursday at 12:00 a.m. - which is one second after Wednesday night at 11:59 and 59 seconds.  Time is confusing at the midnight hours.  

Anyway, there are a lot of options for jerseys and shorts on the ordering page on the Voler website that are available now until the order window closes in both men's and women's styles.  I'll have some items available in the shop for sale later, but I won't have all of these options.  In fact, I have no idea what I'll have right now.  My advice - get it now so you can get exactly what you want.  

Here's the link to get started ordering.  The production of the clothing is slated for around July 10 with shipping directly after.  Don't delay!

bmc jersey

(What's playing:  Tom Russell Oil Field Girls)

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Bicycle Wheel

You know how after you hear so many stories of someone that, at some point, you start to begin to believe you know that person too?  Even if you've never met them?  That was kind of like how it was with Jobst Brandt.  I never met him.  Never corresponded with him.  But there's a connection.  I bought his book The Bicycle Wheel long ago in the mid '80s.  Read it cover to cover, inside out, many times.  It's not how I learned to build wheels - that was a result of Chuck Hoefer's mentorship at Pacific Coast Cycles in the late '80s.  The two were very complementary in my understanding of the wheel and my love of building wheels.  

Then there all of his many postings on threads.  I never participated in those - not enough time to keep up on that.  But I did read a lot of his posts when I was researching some aspect of the bicycle.  His posts always intrigued me.  Brash, knowing, opinionated, never quavering.  I like to feel that some form of flexibility is good in most aspects of bike mechanics and life in general.  

And then there were the infamous "Jobst Rides."  Rides of 100 miles of more on 70s/80s era road bikes with a lot of off-road riding and a lot of off the road bushwhacking.  Character shaping.  Those souls who braved those rides with him learned a lot about themselves and their abilities over the course of many hours on the bike.  Lessons held tight for these past 30+ years.  

Nope, I never knew Jobst.  But, I've got friends who have some great stories about him.  My co-host on KWMR's Bakersfield & Beyond radio show, Amanda Eichstaedt, used to manage Palo Alto Bicycles back in the 90s and Jobst would cruise into the shop on his big yellow bike and tell her what for.  Amanda writes:

"Jobst was great. It was the Palo Alto Bicycles mail order catalog that hooked me in many ways to bicycling when I was growing up in Tacoma and riding my bike. Many years later I became the manager of Palo Alto Bicycles and Jobst was a frequent visitor to the shop. He was very close friends with the owners, Bud and Neil Hoffacker. Jobst liked to tell me what I should do. It was maddening, but I learned some great nuggets from him. He was the one to explain to me in detail why a person is more likely to get a flat tire when conditions are wet by bringing in some surgical tubing and a razor blade and having me try to cut the tubing both dry and wet - try it. 

He also had the most amazing sweater. He told me the story of his sweater once. His ex-wife had knitted him the sweater out of the most gorgeous green wool. He did not like how the sweater fit so he took it to someone else and had it unraveled and re-knitted. At least that is how I recall the story. I also figured out how to get him off my back when he would come into the shop and fuss at me. I kept suggesting that I come over to his house and help him sort his many slides and photos that were used in the old PAB catalog. All I had to do was try to set a date for the meeting to sort the photos and he was gone like lightning! What a character, with his big yellow bike and long legs riding all over the place. I'm glad I knew you Jobst!"

A poem for Jobst from Amanda:
Big yellow bike
Conundrum, not a word you would use in your book
True rolling resistance
Brown corduroy trousers
Green sweater
Alps pedaling summit shooter
In my shop, the display cases I have came from Palo Alto Bicycles by way of Jock Boyer's shop.  According to Amanda, it's likely that Jobst gave her the flat tire in the wet story over one of these cases.  This link to a Bicycle Retailer obituary on Jobst is a good read - and the comments after the article from people who actually knew him are a great insight. 

I'm glad I knew about you, Jobst.  Jobst died May 6, 2015 at 80 years of age.

The Palo Alto Bicycles display case.

(What's playing:  The Specials Too Much Too Young)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sample Frames For Sale

(Edit:  As of May 10, 2015, all of these sample frames are sold.  Thanks to everyone who picked one up.)

Back in 2000 something, when I was working on getting this shop opened and creating a line of frames, I had a bunch of sample frames made.  Besides the 62cm orange road bike and root beer cross bike I had made and still ride to this day, I had some other 56cm frames made in various colors.  This was kind of a hold over of my Haro/Masi days when I would have samples made in different colors to use in determining what the production colors would be.  

Initially, I didn't want to sell these samples because, well, they were samples.  I sold one early on to a friend who rode it for a while and later, I bought it back.  But after putting thousands of miles on the road frame I still ride and the cross frame that is seeing commuter duty now, I think it's time to sell off the other samples and make room in my limited space shop.  Personally, I couldn't have been happier with how these sample frames ride and how they continue to ride.

So, here's the deal - I've got a few sample frames available.  First come, first served.  A few of these have been sold recently as I pulled them out and was deciding what to do with them.  All the frames are pretty much what the production frames ended up being for the first production, with a couple of exceptions.  None of the frames are heat-treated or have the ED rust resistant coating like the production frames have.  Here's the scoop.  All frames are 56cm.  All frames are powder coated with no clear coat.  All frames can be with our without decals - your choice.  And all frames probably have some sort of scuff of scratch after being moved around here and there these past 6 years.  Nothing horrible, but if you want perfection, these won't fit that bill. 

Road Frame
Road frames are sold out
One lightly used frame and fork in orange $150.   SOLD!
Orange, Silver, or Black (one each) - $250.  Orange frame is sold.  Black frame is sold.  Silver is sold.
How are these different from the production frame besides the lack of heat-treatment and ED coating?
  1. Seat tube is 31.8mm (production is 28.6).
  2. Seat post size is 29.4, but I'll include a shim that will allow you to run a 27.2 post (I've been using one for 6 years with no issues).
  3. Max tire size is roughly 32mm.  Production frames have a slightly longer chainstay and a bit of a crimp to allow larger tires.  A 32 measured tire fits, but not with a lot of side-to-side clearance.  I've run 28 for most of the 6 years I've ridden this frame.
  4. The chainstay and seat stay bridges have no threaded bosses for fender installs.  
  5. I think that's about it.  As I mentioned, I've been riding a 62cm version of this sample for 6 years and it's still my primary road bike.  Gets ridden all over - on road and off.  

Cross frame
Cross frame is sold!
One frame in 56cm in what I called midnight blue.  It's a dark, dark blue with a bit of metallic in it.  $250 for frame and fork.
What's different about this frame than the production frames?
  1. The dropouts are not drilled and tapped for adjusters.  Adjusters are convenient on horizontal dropouts because they let you fit the rear wheel to the same spot every time you remove and install the rear wheel.  But, if you don't have them, you can figure it out.  I've figured it out for the past 6 years on my bike.  
  2. The seat stay bridge is larger diameter than the production frames.
  3. The rear brake cable stop on the seat stay is not set up for a barrel adjuster to compensate for pad wear or cable stretch.  It's a simple cable stop.

Fixed gear road frame 
Black frame is sold.  And now the white frame is sold.
56cm with a 55.5cm top tube.  It's more road fixed gear than track fixed gear geometry, but has a high-ish bb with a 63mm bb drop.  One in white powder coat, one in a semi-gloss black that I think is wet paint.  $250.  Here's some details:
  1. Seat post - 27.2
  2. 1" threadless headset required (not included)
  3. One set of bottle bossed on the d/t
Back when I was doing all the product development for Masi, we needed to create a track frame.  In my mind there was really only one track end that was acceptable - the Campagnolo 1053 track end which were no longer in production.  I wanted that same look on the Masi frames I was designing.  I bought a set of 1053 track ends from someone on ebay years ago and recreated the shape for the Masi frames.  This frame uses the same track end I created for Masi.  One of the things I did at Masi that I'm most proud of - incorporating the nostalgia.  And they still use that dropout today.

 That's it.  If you want one of these, shoot me an email blackmtncycles(at)gmail(dot)com and secure one.  Once they're gone, they're gone. (As of 5/10/15, they are all gone.  Thanks to everyone who picked one up.  Enjoy!)

(What's playing:  Pink Floyd The Great Gig In The Sky)