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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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.