Tuesday, January 29, 2013


 How goes it?
It goes well here.

This is a bike for Roger Cook in 
San Luis Obispo, California.

Roger and I worked together at a bike shop
 in San Luis about 11-12 years ago. 
Right as I started building bikes.

He now has three kids and I still build bikes.
 Amazing how time flies.

44mm head tube for them new fangled tapered 
steerer tubes all the kids want these days.

Look close. It's a splittable belt drive dropout.
The kids go crazy for those belts.

 A handful of hand painted
quasi-geometric freakouts.


 You might be asking yourselves 
"What's that seam for in the middle of the seat tube?"
Well, the upper is a seat tube that takes a 30.9mm
seat post which is what all the dropper posts are sized at-
which is what all the kids demand. The lower tube
 is a smaller size (1.25"/31.8mm) to keep the weight down a bit
and so I don't have to make or buy really expensive bending dies 
for every seat tube/post size that comes down the pike.

 Here at Black Cat Bicycles, we do it for the kids.
Thanks, Roger.

Those who know need no intro.
Those that don't already, probably don't care.
Ladies and gentlemen,


Roger Cook said...

Thanks for the great work Todd! The bike rides exactly like I had hoped. I will be putting a lot of miles on this one...

Jim Beam said...

Sweet build, Todd! I thought you said you would never do a splittable belt drive dropout again.....

BTW I lived in SLO for 9 years, from '79 to '88. Guess we just missed each other.

blackcatbicycles said...

forgot to thank you in the post. rectified.

go at 'er with the give'er stick.

i didn't really change my mind, but i came up with a bolt on spider for sram xo and x9 cranks that moves the belt over far enough to clear the chain stays on the short wheelbase 29ers that i make. it works great. check out the pic currently on roger's profile thingy and you can see the spider in action, doin' it's thing.

i didn't live in san luis for long, 2001-2003 or so. the road riding there was some of the best i've ever done, including france, etc. just stay off the roads near paso robles on the weekends as wine tasters and twisty, narrow roads don't mix. they could hand out DUIs like, like, something they give away a lot of, but nobody really wants.

the mountain biking is fun as long as you like rocks. i do.
i know you do too.

Anonymous said...

How do you work out the paintjob? Do you propose it to the customer, and then discuss?

blackcatbicycles said...

it differs.

in the case of the bike posted (the yellow one), tom was very specific about what he wanted. he sent some ai files, we discussed and came up with a plan of how it would work out. in this circumstance, as well as many others, the customer gives me some colors that they like, sometimes what they've liked that i've done in the past, etc. sometimes it's a free-for-all.

in all cases a price is decided upon before we proceed. the thing that really dictates pricing is the amount of masking and the time it takes to create the masking. it can suck a lot of time.

on roger's bike, he said he wanted blue and black with no white. we agreed on a budget and he let me go for it.
i hand painted everything so the only masking needed was for the letters. hand painting saved a lot of time since no masking was needed. a field of grey was put down then i drew what i wanted with a pencil, then went to town with a brush and five or six colors of paint.
if you kind of go with a sloppier, expressionistic hand painted aesthetic then it comes off better than trying to hold rigid lines on a round tube, which doesn't work so well. if you want straight rigid lines, it's better off masked.

Anonymous said...

Good info, cheers Todd.
Among the many builders that do great work, yours stand out with the unique visual design. I'm pulling my hat to your creativity.


blackcatbicycles said...

thank you.

Will said...

God Bless SLEEP!