Saturday, March 27, 2010

Customer Appreciation :: Studio Velo Mill Valley, CA

Northern California is a hot bed of IF enthusiasm, and most of it is due to Studio Velo, our dealer in Mill Valley. Scott, Colin and Chris at SV have been building a community of devoted cyclists based on superior product and service, and a genuine passion for the sport. Last weekend we co-hosted an IF owner appreciation event at the Cibo coffee house in Sausalito, followed by several days of riding out of the Studio Velo shop.

Inside there was unbelievably strong french press coffee, tasty treats and IF swag.

Outside, folks got their pictures taken with their IF's by a professional photographer. Here we have a future IF owner staking their claim.

We followed the coffee and pastries with a "short" ride up Mt. Tam and back down the coast. This pasty white flat-lander was promptly chewed up and spit out the back... the boys and girls from SV ride hard. They have fun, but they do it while riding hard.

Despite the compact crank, I'm still pedaling backwards... been a long winter... wake up call... time to get on the Spring training regimen, or at least bring Sparky next time so that we have a ringer in the bunch!

Beautiful place to ride, so if you find yourself in the Bay Area, make sure to stop by Studio Velo and see Scott, Colin and Chris. They'll give you a professional fit, and set you up with whatever you need. If you're already set for kit, just stop by and find out when the next group ride is rolling, and they'll be sure to ride your legs off.

Thanks Studio Velo, and thanks to your customers as well for being gracious hosts and the best IF ambassadors we could ask for.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stations of the Frame :: Painting

The realm of the color slingers.

Almost all of our bikes pass through the Paint Department (minus the raw titanium and stainless steel bikes). The frames are received sandblasted and prepped for primer. After priming the action begins.

This is one of the two stands used for sanding and masking the frames. Like in welding, the stand area is set up for maximum efficiency with all of the necessary items needed to do the job easily within reach.

Within arms reach is a cabinet containing many of our decals as well as all of the various grits of sandpaper.

Frames in process sit nearby.

This is the paint mixing area. Also the gun cleaning station. It looks like somebody had a little accident.... Clint.
Inside the booth sits all of the paintguns, cleaned and ready to spray. They attach to the shops compressed air system, the air is dried as it is made but the air that is used for painting has to go through a separate purification system to ensure that it is as clean as it can be.

This is the wall that sucks the air out of the booth. The peg sticking out is what supports the frame while it is being painted. When we get our video program up and running I'll be sure to do some videos showing us all at work in our areas.

Every so often the paint residue has to get chipped off of the stand, but it looks kind of cool and organic as it grows. When it gets chipped off it reveals hundreds of layers of paint, it's like holding a rainbow nugget in your hand.

The frames finally get cooked (heated) in the hotbox. It's pretty dark and hot in there. When they emerge they look like they were dipped in glass. Then they have to get unmasked and prepared for shipping.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stations of the Frame :: Welding

This is the land of the TIG torch slinger.

Whether it's steel, stainless steel or titanium it is welded here. Within this station is everything needed to weld up a frame.

This is the welding stand. It is centrally located within the welding station. It is grounded to the welder via the ground-clamp seen at the bottom. The pedal on the floor next to it controls the amperage.

The electrical current has to jump from the stand to the frame in order to bypass the rubber grips holding the frame. It does so via a special grounding clamp and cable. The cable and clamp rotate with the frame as it spins through its welding sequence.

Yes, that is the chuck off of a huge lathe bolted to the floor functioning as the base for the stand.

This is Bertha, she is a Lincoln Electric Squarewave 300 TIG Welder. This older model is great because of its super low starting amperage, this makes for better control of the arc when welding.

Above is the TIG torch draped over the tungsten electrode holder, sharp ones on top, used ones on the bottom. The tungsten in the torch has to be replaced every so often so having pre-sharpened ones within reach saves time.

Also within reach are the various welding wires used to weld the frames. Different alloys and diameters for different bikes and joints.

Also handy are all of the various fixtures, purging units, heatsinks, spacers, measuring devices and hand tools needed to work on the frame.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Steel Deluxe Singlespeed :: 10 Years Old

Today my singlespeed steel Deluxe bike turns 10.

This has pretty much all of the original parts on it from 10 years ago. I have gone through a few chains, freewheels, tires, chains, brake pads, and I think I had to put a new rim on the rear about 7 years ago, but my memory is a little fuzzy going back that far.

Syncros stem with the heavily sought after aluminum top cap (thanks Jane).

Oh yeah... went through a few grips too, might be time for another pair.

XTR V Brakes, Mavic Ceramic coated rims and Tioga Factory DH 2.30 tires.

Added power boost for the rear brakes via a Shimano Carbon V Brake Booster (modified with a hole to access the V brake cable anchor bolt).

XTR cranks with a 5 arm singlespeed conversion kit.

Salsa Ti front quick release skewer.

Old Paul singlespeed droupouts and Phil Wood singlespeed hubs, still smooth as can be.

She's a little bit beat up, but after 10 years of hard riding.... not too bad.

Happy Birthday! XOXO - Tyler.

p.s. Happy St. Patricks Day too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

German Prowess :: 29'er 5 Speed

David's sweet rigid 29'er sold by our man in Germany: Ken Bloomer of

(Ken has some cool stuff on his blog that is also worth checking out.)

This bike just shipped out the other day. It's amazing to see how fast it came to life.

David put a cool contraption up front to keep the chain on the single ring.

He is running a 5 speed rear "cassette" on a Chris King singlespeed hub. the shifting is provided by a short cage Dura Ace rear derailleur, pretty neat and well thought out.

He seems pretty psyched, to say the least.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

St-Ali :: Aussie Coffee Bike

I was apparently unaware that I should have prefaced the initial blog post about this frameset with a ***spoiler alert*** or at least just held off for a little while. I will repost the initial images as soon as the bike is unveiled at St. Ali (maybe sooner). My Apologies to the bikes owner, our shop Cycling Edge and to all of you, our loyal Velovoyeurs. - T.E.

Here we have a sweet frameset and accessories we made for St. Ali, a coffee shop in Australia via our bike shop Cycling Edge.

I hear that their coffee is Divine, the people are superb, and (obviously) their taste is impeccable.

They submitted the artwork and general layout of the design and we executed it: in black and gold.

Custom painted accessories will really round out the build. Above is the painted SLR carbon saddle and below (also custom painted) is the Cane Creek Endurance tubular track wheelset.

Right now the frame and parts are en-route to the land down under, hopefully some shots of the final build will make it to our land up over. (hint, hint.... send us pictures!!)

Some behind the scenes shots of cutting the Columbus MEGA tubing for this one-off project.

As Jamie says: "Put MEGA in front of anything and it immediately becomes cool". Although I can think of a few words that would not be cool with the word MEGA in front.