Archive for February, 2015


Production Value

Try as I might, I’ll be damned if I can come up with an angle for making this installment of Building Bike Frames In My Garage either funny or entertaining.  There’s nothing to distract or amuse the reader: I didn’t maim myself, I wasn’t all goofy on prescription medicine, nothing blew up or caught on fire, and everything that I worked on went together pretty easily.  Without the normal comedic elements of physical injury or embarrassing disclosure, the only things left to the reader are detailed descriptions of how I stick steel tubes together in the shape of a bicycle.  Not a good plan for entertaining my adoring public.  I guess that I’ll have to try and jazz this up with what show business types call production value.  Maybe drop in a picture of a pretty girl.  That always works.  Because without production value all that we have here is just a series of fuzzy pictures of some guy brazing crap in his garage and then posting it on the internet with his iPad.

1.  Still Life With BMX Bike And Lawnmower.  What this first rather obscure picture is attempting to show is that I’ve already been somewhat busy and gotten a head start on brazing stuff.  As in brazing the head and seat tubes to the top tube.  What it also shows is that I need to clean out my garage.

2. Defying Gravity Amid Chaos.  After cutting and mitering the down tube, I did several trial runs at fitting it all together and checking the alignment.  What happened next was that I got out my handy digital level/angle finder and made sure that the bottom bracket was square with (1) the horizontal axis that runs along the top tube, and (2) the vertical axis that runs along the seat tube.  After a little fiddling, it was perfect.

3.  Bottoms Up!  Here’s a shot of the miters inside the bottom bracket on one of my trial runs.  The white tape is a reference point – it marks the spot where the sharp part of the lug lines up to give a 55cm center-top measurement.  Those are not bird droppings on the piece of cardbord that is down on the floor.  That’s spent flux from an earlier session with the torch.  You’d think that I could afford a bigger piece of cardboard, wouldn’t you?  But when you have good aim, you don’t need a bigger piece of cardboard…

4.  Getting A Head.  Moving to the other end of the bike, here’s the lower head tube lug, showing off the cool integrated fittings for the cable adjusters.  You can also see that the top lug has a bit of an extension on it.

Heheheh…dude….he said that his head tube had an…heheheheh….extension.  Maybe its just happy to see him.  

And since I am going to use a threadelss headset on this bike, the fact that the lug has an extension means that I will be able to get away with fewer spacers underneath my stem.

Heheheheh….he said that he puts spacers under his…uh…heheheheh…..stem.

Did it suddenly get a little Freudian in here?  Is one of the side effects of sniffing too much brazing flux an uncontrollable need to channel your inner Bevis and Butthead?  Do I need to clear my head get some fresh air? Can I safely add that the head tube measures out at 140mm? 

One hundred and forty millimeters and damn proud of it.

5.  Let Us Join Together.   Once freed of the jejune compulsion to make thinly-veiled penis jokes, I was able to light the torch and get down to business.  In short, it all went together rather easily.

It was a rare nice day, so I hauled things outside to take a picture or two.



6.  And Finally, Production Value.

The pretty girl is just fascinated by all of this….


%d bloggers like this: