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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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

 

Oleg’s Cyclocross Bike

Oleg wanted to start cycling after his shoulder injury that made him almost quit one of his favorite sports, volleyball.  He asked me to build him a custom bicycle frame to make sure that the bike will have correct fit considering his past injury.  However, Oleg wasn’t sure what type frame he needed.  So, we started a conversation.  After learning what type of riding he wants to do, I suggested to him to build a Cylclocross (CX) bicycle.  CX bike resembles a road bike, but it has larger clearances for tires that allows to ride off-road, and slightly different frame geometry with a slacker head tube/seat tube angles and fork’s longer axle-to-crown distance.  After taking Oleg’s body measurements and then applying them in Bike CAD Pro, we agreed on the design and I started to work on the project.

I used light-weight True Temper’s OX Platinum steel alloy tubing to build main triangle and Columbus Zona tubing for stays.  His bike has internal routing and equipped with Shimano’s mechanical disc breaks and Shimano CX drivetrain.  In addition, I built for him a custom CX steel fork with True Temper’s fork blades, steerer tube and Paragon dropouts.

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NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show)

NAHBS 2015Vlad 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.

For more information about NAHBS please follow this link:  http://www.2015.handmadebicycleshow.com/.

The frame and the entire build that will be displayed in Lousville is in the idea/design stages.  Stay tuned for more information on what is going to NAHBS.

Happy Trails, Vlad

 

 

From The Philly Bike Expo 2014

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Hi All,

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: Troika Disc Di2Troika SS MTBThe 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:

Ed and 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!

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