Archive for December, 2011

So I got the rear end brazed up and mocked up the carbon wishbone seat stay and a rear wheel.  You can see from the images that things came out spot on as far as alignment goes.  Basically I just need to braze on all the doo-dads and clean things up and and it’s off to the powder coater.

Almost looks like I know what I'm doing

IT IS ALIGNED!!!! Aka, auto focus still sucks.



The High Life

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction

So I got up this morning and brazed the rear drop outs onto the chain stays and now I’m getting ready to go for a ride with some racer friends on a relatively warm December day in southeast Idaho and the roads are clear and there is no wind.  I hired a cycling coach that is a pro with a UCI licensed contential pro team and things are going really good with training – this will be the first year since I started riding seriously six years ago that I’m actually losing weight over the winter – so I’m pretty stoked about starting my first season as a Cat 4.  Now the way the coach is working out I’m even thinking Cat 3 might be within reach.  After I get back I’ll braze the chain stays on and the frame will basically be ready to install the carbon fiber wishbone seat stay.  Life is good.  Oh, and my Velominati Gillet (wind vest) and Specialized podium shoes that match my S-Works cycling shoes came in to so I’m pretty much a pimp.

Auto Focus Sucks

I finished brazing up the front triangle tonight and I’ll work on the rear end over the weekend.  I still neet to do a little cleaning and filing of the lugs but all in all I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Looking pretty pimp with the Ritchey fork


Posted: December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Ritchey Carbon Pro cyclocross fork just showed up.  I need it to set up the rear triangle of the bike and get my BB drop and all those kind of measurements right and I didn’t think it was going to get here in time to work on the bike this weekend but it just showed up so it’s on!

So as per the instructions in the book (Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction, A Manual for the First Time Builder) I bought me a cheap little MAPP gas torch for about $60 bucks.  It works fine and accomplishes what it is supposed to but I was only able to get about two and a half lugs brazed up before the oxygen tank went empty.  No biggie but the tanks cost about $10 at the Home Despot so that will be about $30 worth of oxygen per bike.  I also did not like that the flux would get all sooted up before it heated up to temperature.  So I just when down to AirGas and bought me a little Oxy-Acetylene torch for $160 and a little oxygen and acetylene tank for $120 (first fill on each was free).

WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!  No soot and it heated things up WAY faster.  You can really control where the heat is going a lot better with the oxy-ace.  I brazed up the bottom bracket/seat tube and the down tube/head tube.  As you can see from the picture below the results were markedly better.  Less silver all over the place and a much cleaner appearance.  There is a little blob on the bottom point of the DT lug and then a little gap at the point but I’ll just flux and heat up the point and move that blob down there (in theory).

On a completely different note – one issue has been my eyesight.  I’m getting long in tooth and I wear bifocals. But in reality I don’t really use the bifocals and just look over the top of my glasses.  When using the MAPP gas torch the flame wasn’t very bright so I was using my prescription sunglasses as safety glasses.  The problem was that they are not bifocal so I couldn’t get in close to see clearly what was going on.  However, the oxy-ace is lots brighter so I needed to use the supplied goggles and now I can just leave my glasses off and get in close enough to see what is going on.

Anyway, I submit for your approval the foray into using the good lugs and tubes…

Just got to dress that bottom point up a bit.

I guess I’m as ready as I’ll every be so I started on the real deal today.  I spent the day mitering tubes – measuring and remeasuring.  The frame is going to be a 61cm.  I don’t ride a 61cm, I ride a 53cm.  But there is a method to my madness.  I want a little more practice before I plop my rearend down on something I made so  I’m making this as a suprise for someone (I got another guy that is super tall and has a hard time finding bikes that fit him lined up – he just has to buy the tubes and lugs and I’ll build one for him too).  I got online and got the geometry/measurements from the manufacturer of guy #1’s frame so the front triangle will be identical to his favorite bike.  Since I’m making him a Cyclocross bike the chainstays will be a little longer and a longer CX fork will shallow out the head tube a tad but otherwise it shold ride pretty much like his bike.

Below you see the tubes all mitered up except for the ST and DT at the bottom bracket.  I’ll probably finish that up tomorrow (after reading the “Front Triangle” chapter one more time) and then start brazing.

All mitered up and no place to go.

73 degrees

I did up lug number three and four and I think I’m starting to get the gist of things and can see what is going on and understand why now.  I did however go a little overboard on the amount of silver I used this time but I figure too much is better than too little as far as the strength of the joint is concerned.  I think I’m ready to tackle the real deal now so I’ll start mitering up the Columbus tubes and turn to.  I’ll keep you posted on progress.   Wish me luck.

Not too shabby for a noob - I think