Scott just finished up his build of the month. Or maybe build of the every coupla months. Either way it’s really nice and ready to go.

Click me to see

-jared

Chevs, sizing, olde bookes, assorted otherstuffs AND GEEP ! NEW!

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26882203

If that’s not a link, cut and paste it…and thanks to Carrie for the notice. I think it’s fair to say this is the world’s best new animal.

The Cheviot is, could be, might be among some here, the favorite bike ever here, maybe. It deserves some qualifying, but once you’re beyond machismo and looking more and comfytranspo, the Chev is as good as we can do. So was the Betty, basically same thing.

Sizing can be ‘fusing, because there’s no top tube, just a diagatube,  and mixte-sizing isn’t the same as normal sizing because of it. On a top-tubed bike, once the seat post is down to three fingers of height, the saddle’s probably too low for good leg extension.

On a top-tubeless mixte you can go way lower. It may look funny if you’re used to lots of visible seat post, but it’s normal and good (so: Get used to it) on a mixte.

Here are some pix.

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Not even close to being a problemo, in facto! You can ride a 60 Chevy-Yaught even with a PBH of 82.5 and a Saddle height of 71.5. You won’t be showing much seat post, but that’s OK, and even has a nice look about it. Reach to bars is easily dialed with a shorter stem…and with the sweptnback Albatrossers or the even more swept back Boscos, you will easily get a comfy position.

If your PBH is 84 you can easily ride either a 55 or a 60. You can go a bit lower, too, and still clear the top tube. The standover height of the 60 is about 3.5 inches more than the 55’s, so if you have a hard time swinging a leg thru, go with the smaller one. The 60 is a 700C’er; the 55, a 650B’er.  Both ride so well, but the bigger bike with the bigger wheel gives more of a cabin cruiser supreme ride, while the 55/650 rides like a regular fantastic bicycle.

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It’s not like 76 is the only superbamunda saddle height. I/Grant will ride the 60 with a 73.5-74 saddle height, and I’m thrilled and just goofily happy with that.

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On the smaller Cheviots we’d typically say this is too much post, but a tall guy can jack up the bars good and high and still get good leg extension…and besidewhich, this is the biggest ‘viot.

And here’s the same kind of deal with a 55:

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Dang, I should’ve shown more seat tube, but you can see some of the tip of the seat lug there. ———

Pal Jeff brought by a book titled HItting the Trail. Lots of short stories and tips, edited by Dan Beard (old timey woodsman author), and the illustrations and captions and stories are remarkable. I wonder if it’s still around. I’ll look it up. Here are some excerpted illustrations and captions you might find worth a quick look, even out of context.

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While riding a German Shephard (not the kind for whom a new staff  might make a fine gift), no less.

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The caption reads: The odor of beans and rice and burned bacon and unsuccessful flapjacks had attracted an enormous pig.

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In today April 1 NYT there’s a column by David Brooks. It’s not likely to go viral or whatever, but I found it interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/opinion/brooks-the-employers-creed.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140401&_r=0

If that’s not a link, you can google The Employer’s Crede or Credo or something comma David Brooks NYT.

It’s about hiring, and it’s kind of late for here, but I think we’ve done pretty well, anyway. All of our—-NONE of our people here has..oh, just take a few minutes and read it.

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We have some neat things coming up in the next many months. We’ll see, but I think they’re pretty good, anyway.

Here’s the story of our latest custom bike, for Liesle-of-Minnesota. If you click on the images above, captions will appear. This is written on Tumblr. If somebody knows how to make the captions appear automatically, spread the word!

Grant

Liesl’s was the most challenging custom ever, here, for me, for sure, slam dunk. She is sized for a mixte but would have  none of it. She had to have a diagatube, but there was no room for it. She wanted 650B, but adding that to the non-mixte and diagatube meant (and there is NO WAY around this) raising the head tube too high even for me and us here in High Head Tube Land.

She was so patient, which was and is so appreciated. I was probably slightly lazier than usual because she WON the frame, but not a ton more lazy. The delays were 90 percent due to many false starts, and just needing time to work out some of the technical problems. I am really pretty good at that, better than some, and I knew I’d figure it out, and was enjoying the process of believing in a great ending but not knowing the exact path to it.

Here’s where it gets no fun, this blogging part, because if I explain everything it’ll see so obvious, and you’ll naturally think why should THAT have taken so long?

I won’t go thru all the false starts and relevations, but here are some key stepping stones to the solution:

• using a 26-inch wheel (559), With a fat tire, the diameter is still plenty tall, for a good bump angle thing, and it meant a shorter fork, which solved the head-tube-gettin’ too-high problem. She has room for a 55 and fender, which—-makes everything harder.

• skinny twins instead of a normal 28.6mm diagatube. There was no room for the diagatube, and Mark suggested this. I like the diagatube more, generally, for reasons that would become a tangent here, so forget that; but on a small Liesl bike, no problem.

• the megalong chainstays made good rear clearance easier.

I am, we are, all should be so grateful to Mark Nobilette for his super work on this. Like all super duper builders (there are  not hundreds; I’m  not sure there is even a score of ‘em; and maybe not even a dozen, but whatever)—Mark solves problems creatively, wonderfully, and beautifully. He doesn’t just plunk down a functional solution, then hide behind the “form follows function” banner as an excuse for making it ugly. He combines everything good in one, and the twinnies at the head tube, a nd the curve in the diagastays, and always his fork bends, are great examples of that. I am ashamed to say I haven’t yet personally live on the phone or in a letter thanked Mark for his work here, which is so extraordinary, but it is only because I look forward to it, I’ve been up to my ears in stuff, and I don’t want to rush it out there. He is so good.

Joe Bell, too. JB has said that he likes  his frames to pass the 6-inch test, meaning they look good with good eyes half a foot away. That this one does and all of his do, but in describing that, it makes it sound as though from twelve feet away you can’t tell a difference, and I’m saying (and all here would agree) that you can. From 6-inches you can point and say SEE, look at that clean line btw the cream and color…and you can’t do that from twelve feet, obviously. There’s nothing to point out specifically, but there’s an overall crisp deep glow to a JB-painted frame that nudges it up a notch. Don’t be sad if you don’t have one. It’s a snobby thing and in some ways unimportant, in MOST ways, unimportant. What is important, is that there is a guy in Spring Valley, CA who sets his own impossible standards with no regard for what anybody else is doing, and he lives up to them. He  has always inspired me and made me try to be better, and Liesl’s bike deserved its JB jobber..

Keven was saying that Liesl’s bike combined all of our latest best tastes and desires and preferences in one frame, and it kind of does. Megalong chainstays, cool Bosco bars…everything so good. It will look better after surviving several Mpls winters, and I know I’ll see Liesl many times in the next many years, but for sure, in 20 years when I’m 79.5, I’m going to track her down and look at her bike. I wish I could see it in 50 years, but I’m just good, with two o’s.

It’s a Mule Deer. Thanks Ode, Liesl, E..

~D

Keven’s been so busy invoicing Cheviots he needed a lunch-break ride to clear his head and munch some sugar-free chocolate. Jared made the movie.

We built up this demo for some comfy trail cruising out in Shell Ridge. Here’s a quick run down of the build.

  • 60cm Cheviot
  • R14 rear rack
  • Mark’s front rack
  • Sackville SaddleSack medium
  • Albatross Handlebar
  • 1.75” Smart Sam tires
  • cool bell

Will has been riding his 62cm Sage Green Sammy for a couple months now. He’s really digging it and we finally updated his staff bike photos. Check out the early morning Walnut Creek light and his well built Sam.

-jared

Quick snaps from ‘wan trip, and autism, and new fun things maybe

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Could be anywhere except in the sticks. Next pix are more bikey..

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At the bike painter. This is a brand, somewhere.

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There were lots of 2TT bikes at the paint shop, many fancy… this is another non-American brand.

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At one assembly factory, this General Fatigue test.

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Some of our wide crowns being made. First the designs are cast in brown wax—-one per crown. Then the wax molds are melted onto a common trunk, and when a bunch are on it, it’s called a TREE. This is a tree of wax fork crown molds that’s been dipped in ceramic batter—-three or four dippings, to build up a big crust, as you see. The part of it that’s on the bench is a SPRUE, a funnel for the molten steel, but  hold on…

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This is the oven that melts the wax out. The wax flows into an Unseen Bucket, leaving the ceramic molds ready for the molten steel. IF the process interests you and you haven’t seen our short live video on making lugs, it is here.

How Lugs Are Made

If that’s not a real link it’s because I don’t k now how, but if you want to see it, go to

HOME PAGE—Learn—videos—how lugs are made

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This is a bucket of molybdenum, which is the Mo in CrMo (chromium-molybdenum). The lugs are made not of CrMo steel, but a springier variation that also uses Mo (and Si, and C, and other alloying elements). All steel (incl the lugs) is made from Rocks. The base rock is iron ore, which is refined into iron by crushing, then using magnets to lift the iron part out of the other stuff. It’s all simple and fascinating and fun to know that your steel bike is made of rocks. No wonder it’s so good.

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Here’s a neat casting, of course made of rocks, but I bet zero dollars you can’t tell what it is. Keep it internal, I can’t grade papers or emails, but whatever it is or isn’t, it IS juicy. Is any part of any carbon fiber bike this preutiful?

Tomorrow or at least before the end of the week, Dave’ll post more stuff. One in particular will be a hoot.  A gray and cream one!
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AUTISM ALERT:  In the March 9 issue of the New York Times (Sunday only) Magazine there’s a good story about Owen Suskind, the now 21-year old autistic son of his dad-the-author-of-the-story Ron. It’s called Animating Owen, might be available online. My wife read it first, I didn’t have time, so I asked her to sum it up for me, and she said, “No, I can’t, you just have to read it.”     Same goes here, but with autism so common and so not-understood by so many who aren’t personally connected to somebody with it, this story may be your first and last best shot at a peek into that world and a chance for understanding something about it. I don’t know who Ron Suskind is, but man, can he write.

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Some good things are happening here. Nothing huge or easy, no chestful of loot in the lap or anything even close to that; just some good projects we’re super excited about, things that are right up our alley and tend to make life here on the fun side of good. The Cheviot is one of them. Most of us here think it’s our best-ever bike (in qualified ways, but let me enjoy that statement without dragging it down with qualifications. In fact, even saying that took some fun out of it, so to end this on an upnote: In MOST ways, the Cheviot is our best bike. It’s more off-the-track than others, has more potential to do more good for more people, if they just get over the hurdle of, you know, the mixte thing.———— G

Long & strong, new & blue, lotsa lugs, 62cms, 122 links, zero wheelies.

Prototype frame assembled, ready for rides at the shop.

-D

Here is a fun scan of the 1946 Raleigh catalog. There is lot’s of good cycling maintenance related information in here but Oliver G. Pike’s story “Nature from a Cycle” is the clear winner.

Have a read and you’ll know how to summon a Nightingale from the trees on your next ride.

Grant & Dave are off furthering the better good of the company overseas. They’ll be back soon and so will more Blug content.

-jared