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.
Fat Bike, Impaler
This bike was built with twin top tube, custom segmented fork, and custom rear and front racks. Impaler is a theme bike that was exhibited at Philly Bike Expo in November last year. The frame’s front rack was shaped like a spear, to give the entire bike the look of Vlad the Impaler.
The Impaler bike was built as an all terrain type of fat-bike and this particular build has the following:
•curved twin top tube/stays and seat tube
•short 16.7″ chain stays
•177/12mm trough axle dropouts
•custom steel segmented 142/15mm through axle fork
•Velocity Dually rims with I9 hubs and 4.0 Veerubber Mission tires, tubeless
•Shimano XT 11speed/Raceface 30t ring drivetrain and cockpit components
•Powder coat finish
•Custom frame bag made by ATM Handmade Goods.
Vlad Cycles will be exhibiting in the upcoming NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) during March 6-8, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.
We are excited to be included in the world’s number one handmade bicycle show! NAHBS has been rapidly growing since it’s first started in 2005 where independent frame builders from US and other countries display their work to the public and engage with cycling enthusiasts to share their ideas and passion.
The Philly Bike Expo was an amazing experience for us! During two days we met lots of people who were very pleased with our bikes and had to say lots nice words.. We brought to Philly a Road Disk Di2 bike and a Single Speed Mountain bike: The two-day event included about 130 exhibitors, including frame builders, bicycle manufacturers, bike shops, components and tool companies, and cycling apparel companies.
We came to Philly on Friday to set up our table at the Philadelphia Convention Center and then headed to Engine Cycles’ open house to learn more about titanium bicycle fabrication and meet other frame builders.. There we met Drew Guldalian, owner of Engine Cycles; Rody Walter, owner of Groovy Cycleworks and Eric Estlund from Winter Bicycles. Each of these guys has vast experience in the frame fabrication business and inspirational stories of what it takes to become a successful frame builder. We finished our day in the nice Japanese restaurant in the Germantown.
Next day, Expo began at 10am and to our surprise people were already heading to the bike show. The place was busy all day. Later that day we had a surprise visit of the Troika owner. His custom build was finished and assembled just few hours before we headed to Philly from Boonton, NJ. He came all the way from San Francisco and loved his bike! Here is the photo of him checking out his Troika:
Sunday morning we attended Gary Helfrich seminar on Theory and Practice of Titanium Frame Building. I brought with me my 10-year-old son. He was the youngest in the audience and did not get excited until the Russian Submarine picture came up on the screen. The Sub was cut to pieces and sold to manufactures of titanium in China. Gary is the founder of Merlin and is considered to be an inventor of the titanium bicycle frame.
Below are few photos from the Expo, including group picture of the frame builders and my portrait with Troika as well as photos of other bicycles exhibited at the Expo. Thanks for reading and Happy Trails!
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!
New project, road frame, is in the works for Gran Fondo New Jersey 107 miles race. Stay tuned!
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.
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.
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:
I am running my step-pulley J-Head Bridgeport mill using variable frequency drive (VFD). Basically, VFD converts one-phase power into three-phase required for Bridgeport mill. It connects directly to the Bridgeport motor bypassing the Bridgeport reversing switch. I went with WEG CFW-10 VFD model that has potentiometer allowing me to adjust the speed of the motor very quickly. So far I’m happy with my choice, however, I haven’t used it long enough to recommend this particuar brand. The set up of the drive is pretty straight forward. The link above provides good information on how to choose the drive as well as has links to you-tube videos, which explain the drive set up, programing and speed control. Good luck with VFD selection!