Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fish's Wolfhound

It was sort of like a trip down memory lane to build a 26" wheel mtn. bike, though for it's owner and intended use it is an appropriate fit. Fish wanted a "fun" feeling bike, maneuverable and capable of taking a beating. The frame has many options and upgrades, almost every reinforcement I know how to do.

Headtube rings, two lap gussets, and a box gusset,...overbuilt?? Well, for a Freeride hardtail a little overkill is often considered just right.

A goofy, yet functional grin,... matches the build kit!! - Just kiddin Fish

Jay Carpenter's build

This was an incredibly fun bike to build, and Jay was a model customer. Jay left out no custom feature, he also put in his time doing research to figure out exactly what he wanted geometry-wise. He had his numbers pretty well dialed when it came time for his build, we discussed his steering geometry briefly, and then we had it, he never second guessed himself.
I actually really enjoy the first step in a build, that being the dialog with the customer about what they've been dreaming of. In Jay's case, this step went by pretty efficiently, and I loved it.
That said, however, I also don't mind taking the time to help the customer figure out something unique. The next two projects in front of me are for customers with whom I've spent some time, via phone and email, to come up with some interesting designs, at least considering what I've done so far. Nothing ground breaking, but a stylish twist indeed, each in their own way. They have been great examples of what I would consider the best way to design, they give me their ideas and I give my feedback as well as ideas of my own. The customer doesn't always agree with my recommendations, but I figure out why and learn what they really want. Establishing this connection is a rewarding challenge, and requires flexibility from both builder and buyer.
Anyway, on with Jay's build:

Jay's Single Speed features a custom option not yet listed on the price page, a wide bottom bracket shell with pressed in bearings, spec'd to the exact spacing for any standard external bb style crank.

Note the slight ovalization of the downtube (above), and the toptube (below)

The fillet on the downtube is purposely small on the bottom because this area will soon sport a box gusset.

It has taken many attempts and a lot of sacrificed material to develop these chainstay forms, even though they look pretty cowboy, they actually do a pretty nice job of manipulating this specific Columbus Zona chainstay. As shown, I made one specifically for bikes with Slider drop-outs.

Ode to the painter:
Keith put a brilliant finish on this frame, as usual, it's pretty much impossible to show it's full beauty in a picture, I think the best way to describe it is, intensely sublime. Keith does an outstanding job on all my frames, that's why I take my work to him. It's my mission statement to put as much as I can into each frame, that means investing in the nicest possible finish. Keith is semi-local to me (about a 30 min drive), which means the frame is boxed and shipped two less times, and I get a face to face working relationship, which can be a rare thing for a one man business. I also know that he is extremely environmentally conscious with the materials he uses, another important aspect of my quality control.

I need to clarify that Tony Perierra crafted this fine fork, I was sent the fork to go with the frame to paint. Not long after I received it I took an order for my fist thru-axle fork, this one set the bar high for precision.

In spite of a shoulder in need of repair, it appears that Jay can still get the wheels off the ground.

This is unfortunately just a "mock up", the steer tube on the suspension fork was a little too short to ride the bike like this. Even though the bike was designed to be rigid specific, it looks pretty dang good dressed this way, A couple builds down the road I'll be doing a bike very similar to this one, but designed around a suspension fork.