Monday, July 21, 2008


It's starting to look like this Blog is going to be updated monthly and what a good month it's been so far.

For the builds

Jen picked up her new Grognard Cyclo-Cross Bike today. You won't miss this one at the races this fall, or anytime that is. It came together very nicely and I gotta say that FSA chain makes the FSA crank shift very well. This is the first Grognard I've built; Dave was great to work with and does some very fine brazing. Because of her petite size the frames shape was a little funky causing me to use V-Brakes in the rear but with the travel adjuster they feel very good.

Earlier this week Mike Ahrens dropped off a sweet road frame, and if it's ridden as fast as it built up it's going to be winning some races. Flawless frame/component compatibility with a nice groupo to boot. Thanks for the sweet photo Mike.

The Truing Stand got an upgrade.

Both of Stella’s cross bikes were in for some pre-season love, it made for a full on Lobster Fest in the shop

Racing news in my little world has been unbelievable.

Working for the Bicycle Outfitter I earned two podium spots at the USA Cycling 2008 Masters Road National Championships, I did a full tune up on Dawn Neisser of the Protech Racing's Cervelo TT bike that got her a 3rd place finish in the Women’s Master 50-54 Individual Time Trial And for my first top spot as a wrench, John Novitsky of VOS Racing, took home the starts and striped in the Men’s Master 50-54 Individual Time Trial on a set of Zipp’s I re-laced and glued up for him

Over at Mount Snow Vermont at the Mountain Bike National Championships, Mr. Henry Kramer got the win in the Men's Expert 50-54 Cross Country. I built up an S-Works Hard Tail for Henry at home earlier this year but for this race he took his Epic full suspension to handle the rougher course. Before he headed across the country I did a full tune up and fork overhaul for him dialing in all the little things before the race and it paid off.

I just need one of my crosser’s to get some stars and bars and I’ll have a hat trick from the three types of bicycle racing I wrench for.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Work'n, Work'n, Work'n

It's been crazy busy lately, I have enough work at the casa I had to take an extra day off from the Bicycle Outfitter. I do a few side gigs for some friends (and friends of friends... if you need a wrench and don't dig bike shops shoot me an email) but most of the my home wrenching is for the HRS/Rock Lobsters and Mike Ahrens has been hooking me up with a good stream of builds.

Check out Mike's Blog for the latest build I did for him.

16.25 steel rocket, Mike did an awesome group spec. as always. The tube set he used is killer, check out the rear stays and the down tube on this one.

He also fowarded me an email from the lady who I built up the red road frame in March, she already has 1500 miles on it and just completed the AIDS ride from SF-LA with not a single mechanical problem. That's what I love, getting people out riding and loving it.

I need to start getting some miles in soon, I just have no motivation to do any road riding these days. I really want to get back on the dirt but I need to go slow. I have too many concussions from pushing it on the dirt the last couple of years, one more good whack to my dome and I might as well join the Special Olympics. Humm now that I have Sundays-Tuesdays off maybe I'll make Monday a long/easy ‘cross day to force myself to do a little road and some get some easy dirt miles.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Man In The Box

It's scary sometimes how great minds think a like. I was taking some photos of my tool box last night, (I do this occasionally for insurance, history, or just for the hell of it...) when Josh called, he just picked up a Pedros Box like mine. He wanted to see how I had mine set up, so this one's for you Josh.

At the Bicycle Outfitter every mechanic brings in his own tool box. It's pretty cool to see how each guy has his tool box dialed for the types of bikes and style of cycling he supports. Some guys carry everything and the kitchen sink, Jim has a 75lbs beast with drills, dermal, and a built in dolly. Jon's converted camera case is dialed for a full pro build, with back up cable cutters, hacksaws and big old hammers. Dave and both of the Rich's are treasure troves of cool and obscure tools, collected over the years of working in shops, and doing race support.

Mine is the lightest, 48lbs last time I checked. It's dialed for working at races, and events where I shouldn't need the hacksaws and drills; it also works great for the Outfitter because they have those so community tools. I take mine home so I can use it on the weekends, and on Tuesdays when I ride in to work it's breaking the back of El Mechanico.
Anyway... On to the really nerdy stuff

Main Palette

Lip Balm
Key Ring Light
Shimano BB Tool
Phil BB Tool
Phil BB Tool (It helps to have 2 to install a Phil BB)
Shimano/ISIS BB Tool
Campy BB/Cassette Lock Ring Tool
Shimano Cassette Tool (Shimano wo/guide)
Campy Square Taper Crank Arm Puller
Shimano Cassette Tool (Pedros w/guide)
Park Chain Tool
Park ISIS/Octalink Crank Arm Puller
Park Disk Rotor Tool
Campy Peanut Butter Wrench
Park 4-6mm Tri Tool
Shimano BB Tool (Pedros)
Pedros Star Nut Tool
Small Flat Head Screw Driver (craftsman)
Small Phillips Head Screw Driver (craftsman)
1/4" ratchet (craftsman)
Large Flat Head Screw Driver (craftsman)
Large Phillips Head Screw Driver (craftsman)
Easton Spoke Wrench
BMF Flat Head Screw Driver

Main Box (First Slot)

Pliers (craftsman)
Dykes (craftsman)
Channel Locks (craftsman)
8" Needle nose (craftsman)
12oz Ball Pin hammer
Park Quick Link Tool
Fox Shox Pump
Plastic Hammer

Not In Photo
8mm Marzocchi Rebound tool
Bicycle Research Nipple Driver
Zip Tie Nippers

Main Box (2nd Slot)

MSR Ti Fork and Spoon (Mechanic's gotta eat too)
Small Adj. Wrench
Silver Sharpie
Black Sharpie
Small Wire Brush
10mm Sockets
26mm Sockets
Cone Wrenches (with a 32mm wrench)
Shimano Chain Checker
Park BO-2

Main Box (3rd Slot)

36mm Wrench
Lock ring tool
Large Adj. Wrench

Main Box (4th Slot)

Pedros Equalizer Pedal Wrench
Shimano Chain Whip (w/Lock ring tool)
1/2" ratchet (craftsman)

Main Box (Under Yellow Dish)

My Business Cards
Random Business Cards
Small "Red" Lock tight
Chai Tea
Lunch Money
Enduro External BB Tool Shimano
Enduro External BB Tool Campy

Left Palette

2 & 2.5mm L Bend Allens
Random T25 L Bend
Shimano Chain Ring Bolt Tool
Shimano STI Lever Tool
6-8mm Combo Wrenches (craftsman)
Schrader Valve Core Remover
Long Shimano Spoke Wrench
"Stubby" 5mm L Bend Allen
Park 8/10mm Canti Brake Wrench
Whipperman Chain Checker
Park 1.5-6mm Folding Allen Set

In Pouch
Pedro's Red and Yellow Spoke Tools
Shimano Spoke Tools
Mavic Spoke and Hub Tools
Tire Irons
Short "Standard" L Bend Allen Set

Right Palette

Pedro's 8mm Allen Pedal Wrench
Pedro's 6mm Allen Pedal Wrench
T7-T35 Torques Folding Set
Park Cable Cutters

In Pouch
Lots of little bits.


3-10mm Park L Ben Allen Wrenches
9-18mm Craftsman 6 Point Combination Wrenches
Large T25

It's ever evolving as I replace, need or find new, better, cooler tools. I wouldn't count on it looking like this next year.

Well I'm off to fix a bicycle... maybe I'll get a ride in today too.

Friday, May 2, 2008


A couple of months ago Lennard Zinn reported in Velo News that he had successfully used a Campy Shifter with a SRAM Rear Derailleur on a Shimano/SRAM spaced drive train. I thought this was a great idea because for a while Michelle has been thinking of switching her cross bike from SRAM Rival to Campy because she likes the Campy levers better for her small hands. Not wanting to use her for an experiment like this I used it as an excuse for me to guinea pigs myself and build a cross bike I've been wanting for a while.

This is the Frank-N-Bike I came up with.

The bike is built around the now re-built, smashed Campy Record shift lever Mike Creed left at the shop when he stopped by to have it replaced before the Tour of California. It's all Campy "Red" (race grade) guts with a "normal" white body now. I paired it with a Shimano Dura-Ace 7500 right hand brake lever that I used for my left hand brake lever (I just routed the brake cable to the back of the bar and it lined up fine). It's a pretty nice feel too, yeah they are a different shape but they are very similar in size.

On the other end of the machine I have a SRAM Rival rear derailleur pushing and pulling a Dura-Ace 10sp chain up and down a 12-27 Ultegra cassette, mounted on a Dura-Ace hub. I'm about to take it on it's madden voyage to the Baylands, but in it's around-the-block test rides it was shifting like it was built to work together. I think the key is using the Shimano Cassette and Chain together, their hyperglide ramping and chain shape makes for some awesomely smooth shifts.

For the filling in this wacky sandwich I choose to avoid the front derailleur and went with a 42 tooth chain ring on the trusted Shimano Dura-Ace Octalink Crank with the Ultegra BB, with a chain keeper for a little extra insurance.

Now it's testing time to see if this really works under power.

More details later, I'm going to go ride my bicycle

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Structural Art

I think it's fair to say that I have assembled (built) a lot of different types of bicycles. I still love it when I find something really simple, very well done and just down right cool.

Mike Aherns dropped off a new Voodoo Bizango for me to do a build on. Joe Murray nailed the design with this frame, all of the little details are there.

The Seat Stays have a nice hourglass bend to them

They also have crimps in the tubing for a Disk Rotor (and a very Rock Lobster esque Disk Break Tap/Renforcement Bridge)

And the Cassette (and a rack mount braze-on?)

With cool/removable Canti Posts (I'm taking the off for this build, it's going to run Avid Jucy 7's)

While the Chain Stays were crimped for Chain Ring and Tire clearance (but no crimp on the Non-Drive side)

I really love it when they use full run/disk break "Cable Stops"

Who Do That VooDoo Like You Do?

Well I better get to work I have a box-o-parts to hang on this sweetie

I'll post up some better pics with Michelle's camera when I've got it all built up.