Thursday, February 28, 2008

update on build pictures

I just did an update to flickr of the 650b bike build. Still working on the video I took the other day. Well, took another brazing session of the head tube as well. Now, I have too many videos to cut and I am not good at it, so be patient and it will be ready soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A new 650b winter bike being built

The past couple of weeks I have been working on another 650b winter / rando bike. Here are a couple of pics along the way. I took some short clips when I brazed the dropouts too, but those will take some time to edit. Click for more pictures.


Friday, February 22, 2008

riding the 650b mtb

The weather had been nice the last few days although it is still wet and a bit muddy at places, I took the 650B mountain bike out for a couple of rides. As compared to my 29er it feels to have a lot less to deal with, especially around tight switchbacks and muddy spots. It goes around corners very naturally and hold its line very well, turn in on this bike is quick with a 72deg head angle mixing with the F29, G2 (51mm rake) fork. I think I would enjoy tight singletracks on this bike much more than a 29er.

Although it does not eat up obstacles as easily as a 29er (the difference is not big), it is a very good medium between 26er and 29er, plus going back to what I mentioned before, this wheel / tire size is simply a much better equipment choice for certain riders, when combined with a properly designed frame.

The neo-moto rides nice with its big volume, I played with tire pressure for quite a few different settings and was happy to stay with relatively lower pressure. I believe the velocity blunt rim also helped to provide a wide footprint but not create easy snakebites. I bottom out the front tire a few times on sharp rocks but did not get a flat.

All in all, I really enjoyed the last couple of rides, but of course, will test it out further to see what needs improvement.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Review by Gordon - 650b winter bike

As promised from last week, ride report from Gordon. The below is the full text that Gordon sent me, I did not change a thing.

For those who do not know Gordon, he is from Scotland and you will know once he speaks with you. He is an excellent mechanic and works at the north store (Laurel and Mason) of Lee's Cyclery in Fort Collins. If you would like to speak with him direct, visit the store during Friday to Monday, his winter work hours.

Here is what Gordon has to say: 

hi Renold, thank you very much for loaning me the  white rando bike.  It was the the perfect bike for  the time of year  i took it for some longish rides  well long for this time of year  and it performed  beautifully.

I made some minor modifications from the bike you delivered to me , i swapped out the  Brooks saddle  for my own one that has been broken in a bit , i put on a couple of water bottle cages and attached my carridice saddle bag,  changed my pedals and i was good to go.  

My first impression of the bike was how attractive it was with the ornate lugs, custom stem and matching white fenders it drew a lot of admiring glances wherever it went.  i rode it around town for a couple of days when i fist got it to get used to it before going on any big rides. i was struck by how stable the bike felt even with my saddlebag swinging around behind me i was able to confidently ride no-hands while adding or removing clothing, eating stretching whatever. the tires took a little getting used to as they were about twice the width that i normally ride and to be honest i would probably change those out for something a little smoother and narrower like a nifty swifty, especially if i was going to riding primarily on the road. The first decent ride i took it for was over rist canyon ( about a 10 mile climb) and then back to fort collins via masonville about 55 miles, i was nervous about  doing the ride  at this time of  year as there are some icy patches, and a lot of gravel or salt on the roads and it also features some fast twisty descending but i need not of worried, the bike handled really well and the disc brakes helped me stay in control at all times. I also managed to hang with a racer out training on his light full carbon bike on the way up the canyon which was big surprise for me i thought i would get dropped like a stone as i'm sure i was on a much heavier steed.
The only things i didn't like on this ride were the position of the right shifter which was on the top tube and was fine while you were in the saddle but when climbing out the saddle would cause you to hit it with your knee  causing  the  rear derailleur to shift you into higher gears  which would reduce my progress to a crawl, the only other thing that annoyed me was a noise during every rotation of the wheel but i traced that to a low spot on the front tire which i fixed quickly when i got home and was never a problem again.
I also took the bike for some longer rides (around 80 miles) up the poudre canyon and the bike was very comfortable and i could have ridden it all day long had my fitness been a bit better. Another thing i would do if it were my bike would be to put a 48 or 46 tooth large chainring on the crank as this would give me more useful gear ratios as i found i was cross chaining a lot when i was in the big ring.
All in all this is a great bike to ride and one that will give somebody years of great riding in almost all terrains and weather conditions.

As a reference to Gordon's comment, I want to add that he had been riding a full carbon race bike for the past 2 years and he is planning to sell it since he had just acquired an older Tomassini in steel and going back to the roots with down tube shifters and all. I was excited to learn this about 2 weeks ago and knew that he is planning to do the next PBP too.

His comment is very spot on and I think my test of the top tube shifter has just concluded, if I were to do it again, I would either have to move it closer to the head tube or to the stem, but for the next one I am currently building, it will be on the down tube.

A slideshow from before.

Friday, February 15, 2008

more 650b info soon

Yesterday I picked up my 650B rando / winter bike. It was loaned to my good friend Gordon while he was between bikes. I talked to him briefly about some test comments. He was very positive and said he would write something up to post here.
I then went on to return a couple of items I borrowed for use at NAHBS, Heath Garvey of Lee's Cyclery is interested in displaying my bikes on an event coming up later this month. It would be a nice way to introduce YiPsan Bicycles to Fort Collins.
I have been tracking back to happenings during NAHBS and thinking of builders who inspires me. Among all the master builders, his work speaks a lot to me and will serve as an inspiration for my work. I know a lot of people were very impressed seeing his bikes live. 
I would like to thank Darrell for sharing tips openly and sincerely.
Alright, I am heading back to the shop. I started another 650B rando / winter bike. This time with Rene Singer lugset.

Monday, February 11, 2008

NAHBS Post show review

NAHBS came and gone with the blink of an eye. It was a fast 3 days for me, a first time exhibitor. The fine folks at Portland did not just show us how much they love custom handmade bicycles, they also showed us their hospitality, it was impressive.
Before I go on, I would just like to thank the staff of Chris King, for helping out all the exhibitors. In fact I was the last exhibitor to leave the hall last night. I was slow in packing up my 4 bikes and caused 2 of King's staff to wait until almost 9pm to pick them up to head back to their warehouse pending shipping today. Thanks again. Portland rocks.
As for YiPsan Bicycles, it was a very positive event for us. Lots of excitement and compliment for the 650B mtb and the Firecracker fixed gear. My stems also have received lots of demand and I explained to most who noticed them that a nice stem completes the package for a custom bike.
Thank you also goes to cyclelicious, 650B Palace and for coverage. I am sure I missed some, so forgive me if I do, and check back for new update as I get up to speed in the next few days.
Withdrawal symptoms are kicking in and I am feeling the impact of lack of sleep, talking too much, laughing too hard and trying to memorize all the names of the nice people I met the last 3 days. Congrats also to Black Sheep Bicycles for winning the best Ti bike award, fine folks from Fort Collins, CO, my fellow neighbors.
I am now waiting for my flight home and excited and ready to get in my shop and get some new frames made. For those who are near Frederick, MD, and did not come to NAHBS; the Firecracker fixed gear and my personal road bike are on its way to TBE for show / light demo and I am sure Tom would welcome you to stop by to check them out.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 1, NAHBS 08

Day one of the show is over, and I am very excited to have met a lot of industry / press folks and other show visitors. Even though this was supposed to be a slower day with much less people in the show, I did not have much time for lunch or sitting down.

I just updated my flickr pictures and full set of show bike firecracker and 650B mtb is now online. Check it out and see if you like it.

Again, if you are going to the show the next 2 days, stop by booth 618 for some chinese new year treats and say hi.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Live from Portland, it's NAHBS 08

Portland I have arrived. An early morning flight from Denver got us here safe and sound, and I am very excited to get started. I am now at my hotel room (can see the OCC right from my room) Will have lunch shortly and then get into the OCC to started putting my bikes together.

I just noticed that my 650B bike was linked from cyclelicious, how cool.

You know, maybe I just did not sleep enough, I thought I saw Tyler Hamilton on the same flight. Maybe he is here to promote for Parlee?! Anyway, it is going to be a good show.

I also saw a Moots van as we left the airport to head to our hotel, I did not know they are exhibiting, but it would be good to see their stuff too.

A little postcard memorabilia for show visitors, if you want one, stop by booth 618 to check it out. See you this weekend.

Monday, February 4, 2008

seat stay brazing

A short clip of some of my work. This is the brazing of the seatstay cluster of the singlespeed cross bike. I learned a lot trimming down the clip with iMovie and also see that I could have shot the footage better, oh well, next time.

This frame is now at TBE being build up for demo rides.

I intend to make a clip of all major framebuilding sequences, but it will take some time. Check back for more.

Ought to start packing for HAHBS too, see you there.