Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ashton's Uber Custom Machine

Hey there folks.
Here's the newest bike to come out of the factory.
Its got some details to it that required a lot of time on the
machine tools.

A Campagnolo Hiddenset head tube, a custom slip fit bb30
bottom bracket shell, internal hose routing,
and a split-able belt drive dropout.

The part that the pivot bolt runs through is separate
from the rest of the dropout. The original dropout had the
top of the flange shaved from the eyelet, and it now nests
within the part attached to the seat stay.

The paint turned out pretty slick too.

The manufacturers of the belt drive said that it
wasn't possible to have a 16 1/2" chain stay on a
29er and run their belt. well, here it is.

I'm not making another one though.
Don't ask.

For the last week I've had, not just a song,
an entire record running through my head.
Good thing its a really good one.
Karp's Self Titled LP (yes, it's called "self titled lp")
is either one of the best records you've ever heard
or its just unintelligible noise and screaming.
you'll love it or hate it, if you don't love or hate it already.
Sorry none of those were moving pictures.
If that's what you demand, then here is 29 1/2
minutes of live action.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Factory Works Racer 2

Black Cat's hotshot racer, Greg Martin, asked for two bikes in his campaign for glory this year. He ended up with a "regular" Black Cat (short stays, snappy handling) and this, something a bit more subdued for the 24 hour style racing he does.

On this frame we stiffened up the front end and over sized the head tube to allow one of those new fangled forks with a tapered steerer using Cane Creek's new headset. Slightly longer, and more comfortable chain and seat stays will give his mind and muscles a break at hour 23.

Ample clearance for tires, mud, sticks, broken spokes, or anything else one might encounter in a 24 hour grovelfest. I'm usually loathe to make a bicycle that is so specific, but since he's got a frame that takes care of the usual duties, and because he does do so many extended days (and nights) in the saddle, I figured I'd make Greg a bike that lets him do what he does, and get out of the way. Good luck Greg.

There are many dichotomies present in building bicycle frames. Finding swoopy, flowing, eye pleasing lines for a frame, but keeping the results to tolerances measured in thousandths of an inch. Finding an aesthetic that is yours but allows for seamlessly mating others' components. Etc, etc, etc...

I like to explore these dualities in paint. Rigid, hard lines requiring some technical savvy, juxtaposed next to something that seems to happen more spontaneously. Somehow the parts that seem to be the most "natural" are the hardest to pull off.

It's fun to try and walk that line.

This last Wednesday night, the Obits
and the Night Marchers played. These guys,
ladies and gentlemen, know how to write
good rock and roll music, no doubt.It was a
Wednesday night and the crowd was well,
a crowd on Wednesday night. Too bad, as
the potential for greatness with those present
was through the roof. I, personally, have
witnessed greatness involving these same people.
I could start an entire weblog devoted
to the greatness stemming from the San Diego
punk scene. Thinking about it, I could
start a weblog for each band individually,
there is so much greatness.
I won't so I'll have something for future
posts, though.

I will mention Drive Like Jehu.
Members of each of the above bands were involved
and the results were above and beyond
what would be fair to compare anything else to what
those people did in the past, or will do in the future.
Too many good ones to list, but here's some favorites.
I was lucky enough to see the greatness in person
several times. That sparkly silver Les Paul mesmerized
me. Shrieking and squealing one second, belting out
some of most unlikely catchy loud chords the next.
I don't care what you say, Danny, Yank Crime's (the second
album of two) ten minute long songs are brilliant,
and wonderfully loud.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

White on White

One of my favorite painters has always been Jasper Johns, so i was very happy to tip the hat to Jasper for Julio Rodriguez, in Austin, Texas. Julio wanted something that suggested a watermark.

Word of the day is: subtle.

I don't do a very good job of brand identifying via logo recognition (or sometimes logo visibility for that matter). It's a bit more interesting to change it up. After a run of logo stencils is used up, its kinda nice to retire that font. Everybody goes through fazes, right?

The translucent squares overlapping was Julio's idea. It took a couple tries to get it right, but in the end came out rather splendid. Thanks Julio.

White finishes are pretty hard on fillet brazers. It's the color that shows everything. No place to hide. The most minor flaw in the sanding can result in a shadow that immediately draws the eye. Gotta be on your game when you're finishing a bike that'll be painted white.

Hey gang, are y'all interested in the music I post here at all? Not that I would stop if you weren't. This post's pick is My Bloody Valentine. My favorite, by far, of the "shoegazer" bands of the early nineties. I listened to Loveless a lot back then and continue to these days. Not exactly subtle, mind you, but there are so many layers to the music that it almost becomes nuanced noise. Does that make sense?
Here and here are couple videos with reasonable audio. "Reasonable audio" may not be the word for it... for some folks out there.