By 2009 I made it into the 21st century and embraced Solidworks. The lugs, fork crowns, and bottom bracket shells introduced starting seven years earlier all were made by hand, essentially carving shapes into full scale parts and using them as teeing off points for the casting house. These frame and fork dropouts, aptly named Piccoli Gioielli (that’s Italian for “Little Jewels”) were a two year project. There were so many decisions regarding diameters, interference fits, radii, the shape, length, and rate of speed at which the points and edges would taper – well, it drove me nuts. Ultimately, I settled upon matching 12.6mm for the ideal chainstay and seatstay confluence and a hair above 13.3mm for the fork blades. The rear parts were cast in three angle sizes in order to cover the normal frame geometries one might select. All of the choices were made in the Solidworks software and on the computer screen. Then, 3D printed samples were ordered to ensure full compliance with the cartoon versions. These dropouts have been used all over the world and by framebuilders with very famous names too. That pleases me immeasurably. But I haven’t sat still. There’s something about the current versions (which are already the third iteration of the originals) that talks back to me. I’m not happy with what they’re saying right now. So I may soon put these Little Jewels back into the machine and show them who’s boss again. Stay tuned. Produce shit or die atmo.