What’s New?

by | Feb 2, 2010

For those who wonder about the small world I live in, the one that extends past the wall outlet, the power cord, and the all important wifi area, I recently took some pictures of the front room at the Worldwide Headquarters. As I once described it, the front of the studio is a cross between the gun room at Purdey’s and a scene from Are You Being Served, with a little ’80s Bijan on Rodeo Drive thrown in atmo. See the complete set of pics here in this gallery.

Just today, I shot some images from one of the two back rooms where the actual work gets done. Those images are uploaded and live here.

Now – on the subject of porn. Who among us does not appreciate good looks, fine design, and tasteful photography? For the two reading who don’t, please leave. Otherwise, I would like to point the rest of you to a sub forum of a message board where the best and the brightest from amongst the framebuilding trade routinely opine and share their resources and experience. The best part about this online community is that every Friday the participants paste in an example of what is being currently worked on (or over). Pals and peers like Dave Kirk, Curt Goodrich, Carl Strong, Steve Garro, and Darrell McColluch regularly post alongside other industry cats like Engin Cycles, Mickey from Spooky Bikes, Conor from Vendetta, and many others too numerous to mention in a single email. Please check out the following link, look through all of the recent Friday Night Pics
threads, and enjoy the porn.

If you have time and are so inclined, please also surf around the entire board. The home room for all of this iis a place called Velocipede Salon. I have spent time on a few message boards over the years, and atmo the V place is the best community on the net. The combination of framebuilders, industry mavens, current and former bicycle racing luminaries, along with many consumers, bike messengers, advocates, and professional from many backgrounds makes for the most interesting
discussions and debates going.

Now, about the book. I hinted at this a week or three ago, but now will formalize it. A book from Images Publishing called Custom Bicycles: A Passionate Pursuit is now available. The subject is the handmade bicycle and the craftmen involved in producing them. The list of cats who are exposed in this wonderful book numbers near fourty. Christine Elliot and David Jablonka interviewed a wide cross section of commercial framebuilders who attended the 2008 North American Handmade Bicycle Show and followed up with questionnaires and requests for studio photography, and produced a lovely, large format (it’s 240 pages, with most framebuilder getting 3-4 per brand. Can you say OUCH!), book that will ooze of information, factoids, excellent graphics, and mouth watering bicycles.

My last bit of information to pass along regards Columbus tubing, specifically the Spirit For Lugs (SFL) steel set that was hardly a blank sheet of paper only 5 short years ago. I am proud to have collaborated with Dario Pegoretti to help conjure up a specific design for every tube on the bicycle frame, such that using them as a set, and joining them by hands, using lugs, would allow those (of us) who remain steadfast that steel, along with the handbuilding process that many are trained in – and have spent generations perfecting – could continue to practice our art without the unwarranted stigma that our material of choice was from a bygone era. Despite that being far from the truth, the perception is that nonferrous materials are the stuff of legend, and that steel frames went out with film cameras and floppy discs. The SFL set (which I light-heartedly refer to as PegoRichie) allows all framebuilders to make a light, strong, completely dependable frame that has all of the salient features that have long since been associated with steel, yet with the metallurgy and tube guages that allow it to rival its CF and Alu counterparts in terms of weight, while surpassing them all in the durability department. The best of all worlds atmo. As I mentioned over the past few weeks, a recent goal of mine was to approach being Ground Zero for the SFL tubing in the US and I have been working hard with the folk at Columbus to make it happen. Yesterday, I had a wonderful visit from Mauro Mondonico from Gruppo (the parent company of Columbus) and we worked out many of the details needed to get all of the distribution started. I have been using this PegoRichie tubing on every frame here since 2005 and am committed to getting the material into the hands of as many US framebuilders as possible. I’ll update this in the next few weeks.