As mentioned in my previous post I recently got a new toy at the shop. It’s a Swiss made Interapid test indicator that measures things to +/- .0005 inches. Test indicators are most commonly used to align milling vises on a mills table to ensure that the vise jaws are perfectly parallel to the tables travel. I also use this indicator to measure tube bow. All “straight” bicycle tubing have some amount of bow or bend to them along their length. In the high quality tubing I use this bow isn’t at all noticeable to the human eye, but that does not mean it shouldn’t be taken into consideration when building a custom bicycle frame. I measure the bow by placing the tube in vee blocks on my alignment table. I then use a magnetic base to position the test indicator over the center of the tube and from there I slowly spin the tube in the vee blocks, watch the dial, and mark the highest spot with my beloved blue Sharpie. Some tubes are straighter that others, most measure around .015″ bow at the tubes center. I feel that it is important to make sure the tube bows along the frames center lines. Ensuring that the bow is along the centerlines of the frame is just one extra little step we take to ensure that you end up with the straightest and best riding bike possible.
Lately the frequency of my blog posts have been few and far between. It seems like I only really ever force myself to sit down and write whenever I finish a frame and have photos to share. Things are going to be changing. I am going to make a solid effort to sit down once a week (every week) and share some happening from around the workshop. Sometimes it will take the form of ranting about the latest and “greatest” bottom bracket standard but mostly it will be a few photos and a brief description of whats happening in them.
In other news my latest toy is an Interapid test indicator shown below. It’s awesome. Ultimately it will help me build you a better frame. More on this next week…
About a year ago I took the leap and upgraded my “normal” phone to the Iphone 4S. One of the biggest selling points of the Iphone was the quality and resolution of photos it was able to take. Always having a camera with me in the shop allows me to easily take spontaneous photos that wouldn’t have been taken if it meant pulling my Nikon of of it’s case. I really like the photo below. It is a picture of a touring frame right after the primer stage of paint and just before the color coat was applied. I would never be able to take and easily share photos like this without the aid of modern mobile technology.
I always appreciate customer feedback. Sonja seems to love her new bike. For me feedback like this makes the long hour and hard work it takes to build a custom bicycle well worth it.
Here is what Sonja had to say about her new A-train:
“I’ve put nearly 200 miles on the bike this week, with a lovely 95-mile loop Tuesday. She is absolutely exquisite. What a dreamy ride! She handles smoothly, climbs effortlessly, and feels/fits/looks better than anything I have ever ridden. The gearing is perfect – low enough & high enough for anything I expect to encounter, loaded or light.
I feel so lucky to have such an amazing and beautiful bicycle. I’ll send a couple photos if I ever stop long enough to take them…”