Monday, March 28, 2016

Merckx Monday

Technically, it's still Monday.  Almost over, but it's still Monday so I'll squeeze this in.  Several months ago, I got an email from someone saying that with my new Merckx tribute frames, I should also have a genuine Merckx.  (If it was you who sent the message, let me know because I can't for the life of me find the old messages.)  I replied that it would be nice, but when would a 64cm or 65cm vintage Merckx ever come up for sale?  Turns out that happened not long after I sent that reply because he sent a message saying that there was a big Merckx on ebay that very moment.  Not really desiring a project bike, I threw down a very modest bid and won.  I want between thinking that was great to thinking it wasn't so great.  Great because I picked up a really sweet 65cm Merckx.  Not so great because now I had to build it up.  I had a few parts and the hunt for just the right parts was really easy.  The parts I wanted just seemed to be there on ebay when I looked.  And they were all reasonable.  Even picked up a 180mm NR/SR crankset.   Pretty much a Super Record build, which seemed appropriate for this 1985 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra.

So, now what to do with it?  Ride it of course.  And then take it down to Paso Robles, CA for the Eroica California event weekend after next.  Wasn't easy getting the time to build a personal bike while all the new frames were arriving, but I got the tires glued on today and will get out on it ASAP.   
Merckx Corsa
The frame has just the right level of used, but still in great shape look about it.

Merckx Corsa

Merckx Corsa
I fit it with a Shimano Dura Ace 13-28 because I have a bunch of Shimano cogs and bodies left over from years gone past and the 28 will help with the 85 miles and climbing on the Eroica.

Merckx Corsa

Merckx Corsa
Simplex Retrofriction shifters.  One of the few parts I've had for years waiting for just the right frame.

Merckx Corsa

Merckx Corsa

Merckx Corsa

Merckx Corsa

Merckx Corsa

(What's playing:  Johnny Winter Highway 61 Revisited)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Frames!

The new frames arrived last week and, damn, do they look great!  I've been busy prepping and shipping frames so haven't had a chance to put up the new info.  I updated the frames and get the goods pages with a bit of new info, but since I'm also working on a brand new website, I didn't want to get too involved in posting info.  Should be enough info.  If you're looking for more info on something drop me a line and I'll get you much better info.

Basic new info on the Monster Cross frames is as follows:
New Pacenti Paris-Brest-Paris fork crown.
Sizing is in 2cm increments from 52cm to 64cm (old sizing was in 3cm increments).
Head tubes are a bit taller to reduce the number of spacers.
What else???  Oh, the crimp on the chainstay is way better looking and still has good clearance for road compact cranks and big fat 45mm+ tires.
And the colors!  Oh the colors!  Pink and British Racing Green
Price stays the same at $595 + applicable sales tax and shipping.

The new road frames also knocked my socks off.  They got the same 2cm frame size increment change from 52cm to 62cm.  Still made to fit big fat 33 1/3mm road tires with long reach 47mm-57mm brake calipers.  And the new orange is a great match to the old Eddy Merckx Molteni orange.  And the new Merckx style panel graphic just knocks my socks off.  Yeah, I know.  I wrote "knocks my socks off" twice (that's three), but dang, I can't wait to build up one of these for myself.  Price stays the same at $595 + applicable sales tax and shipping.

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross V5

Black Mountain Cycles Road V3

Black Mountain Cycles Road V3

Black Mountain Cycles Road V3

Black Mountain Cycles Road V3

(What's playing:  Gerry Rafferty Home and Dry)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dodging The Rain Storms

Before I get too far into this post, a reminder that frames are on the way.  The vessel carrying the frames docked in Los Angeles this morning.  ETA to Oakland where it will unload my/your frames is March 17.  However, I believe the ETA for arriving in Los Angeles was March 10 and it's the 8th today, so it may arrive early in Oakland.  Fingers crossed.

There's also time to get deposits in or simply purchase a frame outright.  There are some sizes/colors that are sold out or are in limited supplies.  If you're on the fence, it might be time to come on down.  There's still good availability on all sizes of road frames, but some of the cross frames are sold out.  Here's what's in limited supply for cross frames:
52cm Pink - one available
58cm Pink - one available
64cm British Racing Greed - sold out
64cm Pink - one available
All other sizes/colors have at least 2 or more available.

And, I do have one 56cm current model cross frame available in Dazzling Blue. (3/20/16 - sorry, this frame is gone)  Someone opted to change the order for this frame to one of the new frames, so it's still available for $535 including shipping.  The only other sizes of current cross frames available at the sales price are 50cm and 65cm.  Road frames are available at that same price in 50cm (light blue), 59cm (orange), and 62cm (light blue and orange).

Now, on to dodging rain storms.  I've been super lucky to maintain my regular riding schedule and not get drenched by the rains that have been continually rolling across Marin.  Sure, there have been periods of some spitting rain, but not the soakers that we've had at night or when I've been in the shop working.  There was that one commute back home, though, that challenged the water proofedness of my commuting rain gear, but my commute is only 5 minutes.  But in that 5 minutes, it dumped.  The fenders on the road bike have been great when riding on rain soaked roads.  

Yesterday's ride consisted of starting off in showers, followed by sunshine, headwinds, threatening skies, and finished off with 10 miles of a 15+mph tailwind.  And then a 10 minute soaking within minutes after getting back home.  It's all good and I'm glad the back/neck pain that cause a riding hiatus has not returned beyond the normal "pain" associated with riding.

Pt. Reyes Station/Tomales/Chileno Valley/Wilson Hill/Marshall Wall/Pt. Reyes Station loop.

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Laguna Lake in Chileno Valley

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Top of Wilson Hill looking towards Petaluma

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Top of Wilson Hill with an encouraging sign

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Verdant hills, puffy clouds, and sun in the appropriately named Verde Canyon

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Lone cow on the climb up the Marshall Wall

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Obligatory photo op on top of the Marshall Wall

Chileno Valley / Marshall Wall
Tomales Bay and Inverness Ridge from the Marhsall Wall

(What's playing:  Peter Frampton Do You Feel Like We Do)


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Renewed Enthusiasm

Sometimes I come up with a blog post title before I start typing and then veer off in a totally different direction than I intended and the title makes absolutely no sense.  At that point, the title gets changed or because I've veered so far afield I save the draft and restart.  Over the years, I've written about a half-dozen blog posts that are now saved as drafts that got so far off course, I couldn't even find a new direction for them.  I look at them and shake my head, hit save again, and then move on to something new.  This post started like that, but, this time, I selected all, hit delete and regrouped.  Take 2.

First, I'm back in the shop after a few days at the NAHBS show.  I didn't take a bunch of photos.  Kind of forgot to because it was nice to catch up with old friends I hadn't seen for maybe a dozen years and see new friends.  It was extra special seeing some of those friends walk away with awards at the show:  Steve Rex for Best Fillet-Brazed Frame, John Caletti for Best Finish, and Todd Ingermanson for Best In Show.  There's plenty of great photo galleries on the interwebs if you search out NAHBS photos.  

One of the main things I came back from the show with was a renewed desire to get out on the bike more frequently than I have.  There are some events I want to do this year that will require a better level of fitness than I have now and more time on the bike is crucial for having a better time riding in those events.  The first one coming up is the Eroica California in early April.  For that, I'm finishing a 62cm 1980 Masi Gran Criterium that I've had for a bout 10 years and building a new to me 1985 65cm Eddy Merckx.  I want to ride the Merckx because it will fit better, but being that I used to do the product development for Masi and Masi is the celebrated marque this year, I may find myself riding that one.  

Other rides I want to try to get to are the Grinduro again and the Lost and Found, both up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.  Others?  Perhaps.  

And I got a new camera - a Sony RX100 M3.  Looking forward to using this more as the detail it brings out is much improved over my current 7 and 13 year old cameras.

Merckx Build Campagnolo SR
Getting parts on the Merckx

Inverness Ridge Morning
Inverness Ridge

Saturday Singletrack
A little cross riding

Black Mountain/Papermill Creek
Black Mountain from Papermill Creek

Vintage Wheelbuild
Eroica wheelbuilding

Drake's Beach
Overlook at Drake's Beach

Nice Wheels
Not quite vintage, but still have bills to pay so it's not all personal wheelbuilding

Merckx Rear Wheel
More parts on the Merckx

Black Cat Cycles
One of the incredible finishes on Black Cat Bikes at NAHBS

Rex Cycles Workshop
Steve Rex's workshop in Sacramento, CA

Pin-Striping
Pin-striping demo at Steve Rex's shop during the Rex/Chris King party

Caletti Cycles
Best Finish at NAHBS Caletti Cycles road bike

Caletti/Giro Hand Painted Shoes
And, of course, you need custom painted to match shoes with your award winning bike.

SOPWAMTOS Award Ceremony
SOPWAMTOS (Society Of People Who Make Their Own Shit) awards ceremony with Paragon Machine Works Mark Norstad, Bruce Gordon, and the Amigos.

Nicasio Reservoir
Some more riding around the (now full) Nicasio Reservoir

Cross Marin Trail
Who lost a shoe?

(What's playing:  R.E.M. First We Take Manhattan)