Kids Bikes – Jason’s 26er and Polina’s 24er

It’s time to post a little write up on two recent frames that I built for my kids. My son is 11 years old and my daughter is 9, and it was time to upgrade their rides so we can ride together on our local mtb/gravel trails. They both participated in the design of their bikes, including color selection of the frame, racks and frame bags. Thanks to Andrew from ATM Handmade Goods for designing the frame bags for their bikes.

My son got 26er mtb from our Hunchback line with long seat stays and bent top tube, and my daughter – 24er Troika with curvy frame lines. Both builds are set up with Shimano XT drivetrains, Velocity wheelsets, hydraulic disk brakes and powdercoat finish.

Jason's 26er

Polina's 24er

Philly Bike Expo 2015

Vlad Cycles is heading west to Philadelphia again!  We will be exhibiting our bikes at Philly Bike Expo on Nov. 7-8.  The exhibition will be held at Pennsylvania Convention Center in the heart of downtown Philadelphia.  The show will be spectacular featuring talented frame builder on the East Coast of USA.  Here is a preview of what we will be bringing to the show this weekend.

 

 

Stan’s Steel Dirt Road Bike

Stan is practically my neighbor and our kids go to school together.  He told me that he used to ride a lot and wanted to start riding again.  We talked about the benefits of custom frame versus mass-produced frames and different types of frame materials that are utilized in the bicycle construction such as steel, aluminum, carbon fiber and titanium.  Each of these materials have different characteristics, however, all could be shaped into similar quality ride by a frame builder.  The major thing to consider here is the price of the material, its weight and durability as well as geometry and proper fit of the bike.  Also, wheels play major part on how the bike feels and rides.  Although, steel is “real” and steel frames offer the best balance of cost, weight and durability as well as its unique more forgiving ride qualities due to properties of the steel, there is no clear choice what frame material is better or worse.

Stan’s bike frame was constructed around the fork (built-in house) geometry with axle to crown measure between cross and road bikes and clearances to accommodate wheels with 34 mm tires.  We used True Temper’s OX Platinum steel tubing and Paragon Machine Works’ dropouts and braze on components to build the frame.  Internal cable routing for derailleurs and brakes housing.

The bike is equipped with Shimano Ultegra 6800 group and hydraulic disc brakes, PRO cockpit components and cyclocross/gravel Rolf Prima ECX disc wheelset with hand-made 30c Challenge Strada Bianca tires.

I am a little behind on this post.  Stan was riding this bike for about three months now and this is what he had to say after his first ride:  “Just tested 22 miles.  Awesome bike.  Runs great.  Need to adjust saddle.  Thank you.  Bike is insane!!!”

Enjoy the photos of the bike and stay tuned for a next post on our dirt fat bike.

Vlad

 

 

 

Rigid 29er/CX Flat Bars Bike

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Cyclocross bike with flat handle bars?  Well, rider wanted a custom frame and fork with Cyclocross geometry, however, no drop bars.  The bike is going to be used half of the time on-road and half of the time off-road, primarily hardpacked dirt.  No long distance rides or bombing down steep mountain hillsides.  In addition, frame required to have lots of stand over, disc brakes and stand out from the crowd.

To achieve above objectives, we fabricated bent top tube and bent wishbone seat stays for extra stand over and desired aesthetics out of 0.035″ aircrcaft 4130 chromium-molybdenum steel alloy tubing.  Down tube, chain stays, head tube and braze-ons were supplied by True Temper, Columbus and Paragon Machine Works.  We prepared the tubes to run internal cable routing for cleaner lines.  As usual, Vicious Cycles did a great paint job on the frame and fork.

Frame was built with CX geometry.  We fabricated steel fork with 395 mm axle to crown measurement and 47mm rake with clearance to run WTB 40c Nano tires.  Currently, bike is equipped with Rolf Ralos XR 29er wheel set and Clement LAS 33mm tires.  Clement LAS tires allows speed on road and hardpacked dirt due to its file tread, and cornering on off-road due its small side lugs.

The bike’s drivetrain is a combination of Shimano CX50 (cyclocross) and Shimano Deore XT 10-speed (mtb) drivetrains.  Shimano CX50 includes crankset, front derailluer and two 46/36t chain rings.  Deore XT parts consist of 10 speed cassette, rear derailluer, shifters and disc hydraulic brakes.

Mission accomplished, and that’s why we do what we do…because we love it!  Thanks for checking in and enjoy the pictures.  Visit Chicagoathlete and Oldglorymtb for more coverage on this bike.

Stay tuned for more on our next Road/Gravel project.

Vlad

 

Post Gran Fondo Race

Hi All,

It’s been more than a month since Gran Fondo New Jersey race and here are few pictures from the 107 mile race on the Troika Road frame.  It was a 7.5 hours unforgettable riding experience starting in Morristown, NJ going to the Delaware River and back with over 9,000 feet elevation… my longest ride so far!

 

Happy tratis,

Vlad 

 

Road Race Bike – Gran Fondo NJ

Hi All,

Hope you enjoyed your summer and had your good share of rides and fun.  I’ve been working on the road frame and fork that I wanted to use in the Gran Fondo NJ race, which is coming up next Sunday.  The race starts in Morristown with an amazing route to the Delaware River and back.  It covers 107 miles and has four challenging timed hill climbs with total climbing over 9,100 feet.

The frame and fork are done and bike is completely set up.  I had a twenty mile ride on it and the ride felt perfect.  I used BiceCad Fit advisor to design this frame.  This application allows one to enter rider’s dimensions, which in turn gives an optimal bike size for the rider.  So, every bike is different and is specific for a rider when I build the frame.

I utilized a True Temper, OX Platinum steel tubing for the construction of the front triangle.  This alloy is double butted with tube wall thickness of 0.7-0.4-0.7mm.  In addition, this is an air-hardening steel alloy, meaning it does not lose its strength after applying high heat during TIG welding.

The bike has a lively ride that offers a balance between road feel, stiffness and comfort.  Double-butted tubing dampens some road vibration and offers good feel for the road surface below.  This quality is what leads many riders to experience the sense that a steel bicycle is an extension of the rider.

The frame is TIG welded and has internal routing for shift cables and breaks.  I built a segmented fork with 1″ steerer tube.  The frame is powder coated and has custom Jen Green’s head badge.  I installed a Sram Apex group set with white finish and ten speed drivetrain.

Check out some pictures of the bike and stay tuned for an update on the new Road Disc/Di2 project for my old friend, Dr.  Eduard Burt, DC.  He is an avid cyclist and a great health practitioner.  Take a look at his blog for cyclists on how to lower neck and back pain here.

Vlad

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Dexter’s Single Speed 29er-Black in Black

Another single speed frame was finalized.  Dexter chose to build his frame with Reynolds 853 air-hardening steel tubing and Paragon rockers adjustable dropouts.  The geometry of the bike is suspension corrected.   It will have Fox, 100mm travel, tapered steerer fork.

The frame was powder coated in black matte color by Coast2Coast.  Dexter wanted to have black color frame with black decals.  I was a little skeptical of his choice, but in the end it came out really cool, stealthy looking frame.

Here are few pictures of the frame and a happy customer.  Thanks for checking in!

P.S.

New project, road frame, is in the works for Gran Fondo New Jersey 107 miles race.  Stay tuned!

Vlad

 

Vlad’s Single Speed 29er, part 1

As the Spring is here after the long and brutal Winter, I’ve started to work on my own single speed 29er.  I am using Reynolds 853 butted/heat-treated and air-hardening steel tubing and my favorite Paragon rockers adjustable dropouts.  What is interesting about Reynolds 853 steel alloy is that strength of the steel is actually increases after cooling in air post welding.  I am using Reynolds’ bent downtube for better fork clearance.  The bent down tube allows me to use a shorter head tube as well.

To complicate things a bit, this build will be with shorter chainstays than my earlier frames.  The effective chainstays length will range between 410 – 422mm (16.1 – 16.6″), which is possible due to adjustable dropouts.  So, for my longer rides I will set the chainstays at the maximum length by moving the inserts of the dropouts, and for the rides with lots of switchbacks and climbing I will set the stays at the minimum length; or I will find a perfect spot between the range mentioned above.  The shortest chainstays that I rode on 29er were 17″, so I am interested to see how this bike will handle on the trail.  In addition, I am experimenting with Anvil’s bender by adding nice curves to the seatstays. 

The geometry of the bike is suspension corrected around Fox, 100mm fork.  It will have 44mm Paragon head tube and adjustable dropouts that allow chain tensioning to run a single speed drive train.

Thanks for checking in and enjoy the ride!

 

Dino’s Single Speed 29-er, part 2

Although this Winter was unusually cold and long in New Jersey as it would never end, it seems to finally start caving in during the first week of March.  I have not been riding during this Winter much, but I am hoping the weather is going to cooperate and let me go back on the trail.  One good thing came out of this winter is that Dino’s SS steel 29er frame is all finished, just in time, as the Spring is slowly coming our way.

The frame is welded using Dedacciai Zerouno tubing, Paragon 44mm head tube and Paragon Rocker adjustable dropouts.  The frame is suspension corrected for the Fox 32 29er, 100mm travel, taper steerer (1 1/8″ – 1 1/5″) fork.  Rigid fork could be used as well with 480mm axle to crown measurement.

New frame and fork fixtures arrived from Anvil and I am super excited about that.  The upcoming project will be done with Anvil’s tools of course.

Check out the photos of Dino’s frame and stay tuned as new 29er is in the works.

Happy Trails,

Vlad

Dino’s 29er, part 1

It’s been six month since my graduation from Metal Guru bicycle fabrication school and I am working on the 4th frame since the school.  Doesn’t seem too much, but considering that I have a full time job, things are moving along according to the plan.  During these six months I acquired Bridgeport mill, Sputnik’s main tube/stays mitering jigs and Anvil’s tube bender.  In addition, I just ordered from Don Ferris his Journey 3.1 Frame fixture as well as other cool staff to make things done quicker and with better precision.  I am currently selling my Bringheli frame fixture, so if anyone is interested here are the links to listings on Ebay and Craigslist:

The frame I am working on right now is for my friend.  He wanted a single speed 29er to run it with fox suspension fork.  I am building this frame with Dedacciai Zerouno tubing, Paragon rocker adjustable dropouts and 44mm Paragon head tube.  The frame has been tacked already and below are few photos of the build process.

In addition, Jen Green from Revolution Cycle Jewelry just redesigned my Troika head badge.  It is totally cool!  The inspiration came from Dubossarsky and Vinogradov artistic duo.  Here is the preview of the badge:

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Stay tuned and happy trails!

Vlad