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

Recent Builds – Fat and Road Bikes

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.

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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.

-Road Bike, Troika:
We exhibited this bike at Philly Bike Expo last year as well, and this roady was built for a college student from Seton Hall University.

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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

 

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 2

My SS 29er is all done and is back from powder coating ready to shred the trails.  Red and white combination looks pretty awesome!

The next project is already in the works.  Stay tuned and enjoy your summer!

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

Assless, Hardass and Ultimate Tight Ass (UTA)

It was exciting to drive to Brooklyn last weekend and even more exciting to stop by Warsaw Concert Hall where the first annual Bike Cult Show in NYC took place.  It was thrilling to meet local bike builders as well as to see their work.  The venue was great and the bikes were amazing!

I have to mention about three bikes, Assless, Hardass and UTA (Ultimate Tight Ass) built by Ezra Caldwell of Fast Boy Cycles that were at the show.  To learn more, watch Ezra’s story in this short film through the tale of his three bikes:

http://vimeo.com/73428297

Below are few photos that I took while visiting Bike Cult Show.  Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Trails!

-Vlad

Troika, Fat Bike Review

I am learning that the process of acquiring frame building tools is very long.  But finally, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  My last jig for mitering main tubes should be arriving after Labor Day weekend.  Also, the conversion from one phase to three phase power for my Bridgeport mill worked out fine.  I am using WEG CFW-10 VFD (variable frequency drive) with potentiometer allowing me easily adjust the speed of the Bridgeport motor.  Meanwhile, I’ve been riding Troika that I built at Metal Guru and can share my experience of riding on the “fat” wheels.

I’ve been test riding Troika mainly in the Tourne Park, little gem of the Garden State, which became my “backyard” mtb park.  This rugged park  is the only remaining undeveloped fragment of the Great Boonton Tract.  This area was purchased by David Ogden, colonial Attorney-General of New Jersey in 1759.  The main entrance of the park, McCarfey Lane, was created in 1767 to haul iron from Hibernia’s mines to Old Boonton where cannonballs were manufactured for Continental Army during American Revolution.

Tourne Park offers a bit of everything for mountain biking: ripping through single track, needling technical rock gardens and roots, leg burning rock and gravel climbs as well as hairy, technical descents.

Troika shows very stable ride downhill over loose rocky terrain because of the larger contact patch with the ground on 70 mm rims and 3.8″ tires that I run at about 7 psi.  The tire pressure and rim width dictate the amount of footprint on the ground.  Hence, the wheels with wider rims and lower tire pressure increase the contact patch, which in turn provide for a more stable ride downhill and cornering.

In addition, Troika does not slip during high-grade climbs over gravel.  I had a non-slipping ascend to the top of the Tourne during test riding.  Troika’s rear wheel equiped with Surly’s Nate 3.8″, 120 tpi (threads per inch) tire with super large knobs sticks to the ground extremely well.  Going over the logs and large rocks is not a problem either.  As I expected, Fat Bike performs as an all terrain bike.  I have no doubts that Troika will even be more superior ride over anything I owned in the past when riding during wet and snow conditions.

Below are few photos riding Troika in the Tourne.

Happy Trails!

– Vlad