Archive for the ‘Bicycles’ Category.

Ivy-T progress


The most important bit of progress is that the bike is rideable, and I’ve been commuting on it for a week.  It isn’t done, it needs a front rack, stem, and tail light (all will be custom), but rideable is a huge step.

It is a nice compliment to Gifford, pretty much the only bike that I’ve been riding for a year.  Gifford is utilitarian, the station wagon of a bicycle fleet.  The Ivy-T is much sportier, currently weighing in around 23# with fenders, battery powered lights, and a frame fit pump.  If I can keep it near 23# with generator lighting and the front rack I’ll be very happy.

Ivy-T in rideable, but not yet finished, form

The Diacompe GC450 centerpull brakes work very well. They almost never squeal, do a fine job of stopping, and are light and nice looking. I'm surprised, but the 27 year old brake pads (never used) even work well.

Brandon Ives did a nice job brazing the lugs (with silver). My fork crown, done in brass, is a little messier.

Here are some photos showing some of the fork building steps.  I don’t have a photograph of the fork raking because I raked these fork blades months ago at Alistair Spence’s shop.  I don’t have a fork bending form yet.

First the crown was brazed to the steerer. This is done first so that I can turn the crown race down on my lathe (easier without the fork legs attached).

I remove the flux and clean up the crown by hand. The aluminum rod sticking out is a part of the fender mount, and works with an eye bolt to keep the fender in place. It will be cut trim at installation time.

Dropouts are brazed in and cleaned up. I made these dropouts myself on the CNC mill.

I use this fixture to check the frame angles and set the fork blade length. The fork blades are uncut and the front axle height is setup until the angles are correct. The difference between the front and rear axle height (142mm front, 150mm rear) tells me how much fork blade to remove (8mm in this case).

The fork blades are not yet brazed during this operation. A dummy headset (made by Alistair Spence) is in place.

seat tube angle

head tube angle

The fork and trimmed down blades are set into the fork fixture for brazing. This is my second generation fork fixture, I'm going to sell these as a kit later this winter.

The blades are brazed into the fork crown.

The flux is soaked off in hot water and everything is cleaned up. The top hole on the inside of the fork crown is open as a vent hole and will be used to run the wire for the front light.

The fork alignment is checked on my alignment table. I had to tweak one fork blade slightly. Rake was left at 63mm.

Finally, here is a photo of the fender mount in use.  I learned about this setup from Jan Heine.  The fork crown is drilled in the back, and there is a blind hole in the front.   A piece of aluminum rod (fender stay) is put into place.  The tension of the fender’s eyebolt holds it in place.  It looks very clean, it is light, and it was easier than making a threaded fitting in the bottom of the fork crown.

Starting on the Ivy-T

Seattle’s rainy fall started today, which can only mean one thing: time for me to build a bike.  In the last year I’ve ridden all but about 200 miles on my new bike Gifford.  I like having a slim stable, but I also kind of miss having a second bike.

A few months ago I posted about getting this frame from Brandon Ives of IvyCycles.  The frame came to me with most of the hard work done (the front and rear triangles were done) and ready for all of the detail work.  I love the detail work, so this is a great partnership.  The brazing that he did looks great, hopefully I can keep a high standard on my part of the bike.

I call this bike the Ivy-T because it is heavily inspired by one of my favorite mass produced bikes, the Bridgestone RB-T, but built by IvyCycles.  The frame geometry is more or less a copy, just resized slightly to fit me better.  We used lighter tubing and better lugs that the original, but it is still Ishiwata tubing (this bike has 019 (8/5/8), the original used 022 (9/6/9)).  I still need to build the fork, but the bike will get a low trail fork that looks similar to the ones on my other bikes.  I’m going to use this fork crown:

Mitsugi Crown from Kirk Pacenti ( The link takes you to the stainless version, but I'm using the normal steel one.

In the spring I was lucky enough to find a set of Dia Compe Grand Compe 450 centerpull brakes.  They came complete with braze-on studs, and had never been installed!  I’d been wanting a set of these brakes since first seeing them on a bike that Mitch Pryor (MAP Bicycles) brought to the 2009 Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show.  Centerpulls never really got my attention before, but I love the way these look.  They are a nice mix of refined and mechanical at the same time.  I watched eBay for a while and never saw any go by, but then these ones showed up on the BOB list.  I jumped on them.  Mitch was very helpful and emailed me original documentation for these which showed where the studs should be installed (the critical dimension is 62mm between the studs, although anything between 62mm and 65mm looks good to me).

Over the last week I made some curved bridges for the frame and brazed on the studs for the rear brake.  Here is are the photos from that process. 

I made this 3" radius bender using a circle cutting jig for the router and some scrap plywood. It was made in two halves with a chamfering bit.

This is what the bender looks like when assembled. To use it I just clamped it into my vise, trapping the end of my 3/8" tubing underneath. I pulled the other part around by hand.

I made this simple jig for holding the studs in place. I took this photo after tacking the studs, I wanted to check alignment before finishing the brazing.

I took this photo just after putting the torch down, but before removing the flux.

The flux has been soaked off. I'm pretty happy with how this brazing looks, I'm really out of practice. You can also see the curved bridge here.

Tons of clearance under these very pretty brakes. They are listed as 55mm reach, but I've never seen a 57mm reach dual pivot with this kind of clearance. The curved bridge hides nicely behind the brake arches.

I was really worried about having the gap between the brake arms be consistent and small. A little misalignment of the studs is barely noticable with cantilevers, but could cause big problems or look terrible with a centerpull.

One final shot of the installation, where you can see how the springs work.

Before installing the bridges I indented the chainstays slightly for increased tire clearance.  I hadn’t planned on doing this originally, but the brakes fit larger tires than I expected (my 38mm wide studded tires fit), and the chainstays were the limiting factor on tire clearance.  These photos are for JimG, who has asked me in the past for photos of my chainstay indenter.

I intend the chainstays on my 3" vise. Sometimes a skinny vise is useful!

Post indention, before bridge installation.

This is what the indenting form looks like. I made it from 5/8" rod, filled down to a reasonably nice shape, and brazed to a small piece of angle iron.

Back to the CdA National Forest

John, Pat, and I had such a good time in the Coeur d’ Alene National Forest in June that we decided to go back this September.  Andre was interested and came along.  To fit the trip into a 3 day weekend Andre and I flew out from Seattle and borrow bikes from John and Pat.  We flew in Thursday night, drove out to the base camp, did a long ride on well established roads on Friday and a short ride exploring side trails on Saturday.  Saturday night Andre and I flew back to Seattle.

Our last trip turned from car camping into bike camping from a conversation that went something like this:

John: How far will we be from the car at the end of the day?
Alex: About 5 miles?
John: Why am I carrying all of this camping gear?  Let’s just ride back here.

This time we didn’t even kid ourselves with bike camping and went whole hog with the car camping.  John and Pat brought along a lot of food for us, two big stoves, a folding table, a pop-up shelter, 4 tents, more sleeping bags that you could imagine, and tons of other gear.  Andre and I just had to bring a little clothing, snacks for the day, and sleeping bags.

Thursday was chilly but it didn’t rain on us.  The first half of the ride used a route that Pat came up with, and took us to the same lunch spot at Magee Ranger Station that we visited before.  We started climbing immediately, but the first half of the climb was a good warm up with about 1000′ gained at 5-7% grade.  The second half was probably twice as steep on and worse condition roads.  The descent into Magee started a bit bumpy, but then we found some nice roads that were great to roll down.

The weather was colder than any of us had expected, but luckily not colder than what we had planned for.  At every stop it seemed like we were adding or removing jackets to keep comfortable. 

After lunch we had planned to follow our June route up to Spyglass Peak.  I was worried about getting that high in elevation and suggested my “wuss route” option.  It looked roughly the same length, but I thought it would keep us 1000′ lower in elevation.  I didn’t check any topo maps to figure that out though, so it ended up having just as much climbing.  It had good views though, and the descent ended about 2 miles from our campsite and kept us off of the only “busy” (meaning 2 cars an hour) road in the whole national forest.

On Saturday we went up what we call “John’s climb”.  We drove out on this road in June and John kept commenting on how nice of a climb it appeared to be.  This time we found it freshly graded and were enjoying the climb up.  Maybe 1/4 of the way up there was an interesting looking spur, so we followed that.  It was gated closed and isn’t used in the summer (only for snowmobiles in the winter), so it was quite grown over and involved some hike a bike.  We found an old building foundation, a tiny dam that must have been used to provide water for the building, and some good riding and hike a bike.  From there we followed a maze of closed roads (some with dead ends) back to camp.  The ride was probably less then 10 miles long, but the slower pace and interesting conditions were a nice change from Friday.

Thanks to John and Pat for loaning Andre and I gear and feeding us like kings.  Andre and I were brainstorming on where we’d take them for similar riding near Seattle and came up empty.  Spokane is lucky to have such a huge and little used national forest just a bit over an hour from downtown.  I’m guessing I’ll visit it again at least once next summer.

Friday’s Route: or GPX
Saturday’s Route: or GPX

Gifford: Powdercoat and Details

This color is hard to photograph. I’ve done my best at getting an accurate portrayal in these photographs. It is a brown with a lot of red in it. The Surly Karate Monkey comes in a similar color.

In this photo you can see how clean the fillets look with paint on them. You can also see the taillight cable getting hidden into the downtube:

The taillight wire comes out at the bottom of the downtube and runs under the chainstay to the light itself. The light is attached to the Rohloff shift box that is also under the left chainstay. In this photo you can also see the Rohloff cable guides (which I think look good now that they are painted) and the adjustment bolts for the eccentric bottom bracket.

I made a mount for the taillight using a stainless steel spoke. The wiring still needs to have the proper connectors crimped on and to be trimmed:

I built a new rack for this bike. It is probably the most nicely finished rack that I’ve built. It works with my Pass and Stow bag (which snaps to the rack) and my Acorn bag (which attaches with Ortlieb hooks to the front crossbar). It is designed to make the bicycle work well with Sportworks bus racks.The bus rack hook that holds down the front wheel can get right up to the fender.

The cable routing for the headlight on the fork was done so that the wiring can be removed without unsoldering the hub connector. The lighting is routed using pairs of hooks which are facing in opposing directions. You can turn the wire 90 degrees to remove it manually, but it won’t do so on it’s own. The hooks were made with 1mm diameter steel wire. There are two wires in this photo, one going from the hub to the headlight, and another going from the headlight to the taillight:

A final full bike shot:

There are some more photos on my smugmug site:

The todo list is getting very short and none of it prevents me from putting a lot of miles on this bike:

  • Custom stem
  • Build up my SON20 based front wheel. That one will be lighter than the current wheel.
  • Trim the wire for the tail light.
  • Make a fender guard so that I can remove the rear rack. It is only there to protect my rear fender from the spring loaded rear wheel hook on my employer’s bicycle shuttle.

This winter has been pretty mild and spring is coming fast. I expect the tone of the blog to change back from project statusto trip reports soon. I already have tenative plans for an overnight ride at the end of March if the weather is good.

Building Headlights

I played with building my own headlight back in November, and just got back into it last Saturday and yesterday. I think I’m done with such projects for now and I’m using this blog entry to document what I’ve done so far.

What I’ve built

I built this headlight yesterday (click for an annotated slideshow showing the construction):

It looks nice, but this is a very basic light with no standlight. The brightness and beam compare well to a Niterider MiNewt USB-Mini headlight. This is good, but not as nice as the brightness on most commercial headlights.

In November I spent a lot of time experimenting with standlight electronics. Thanks to a lot of help from the CandlePowerForum I came up with a circuit that works pretty well:

Here is how the circuit works:

  • Therectifier is the circle on the left and turns the AC generated by the dynamo into Vcc (positive) and ground.
  • Most of the power runs from Vcc through the LED (D)and back to ground.
  • When the supercap (C, marked 10F) is discharged some power ispulled off to charge it. The LM317L is a simple voltage regulator that regulates the output from therectifier down to 2.1 volts (the maximum that the dynamo supports).
  • The ZXCS310 is a LED driver thattakes the power from the supercap (0.8 volts to 2.1 volts)and boosts it up to the power needed by the LED. Using this driver let me get all of the possible power out of the supercap and gave a runtime of around 8 minutes.
  • There is a bug in the drawing, the other side of L should go to Drive, not a mystery 4th pin on the ZTX618 transistor.
  • A more optimal design also has a transistor which watches for Vcc to drop to 0 and then disables the Shutdown pin on the LED driver. This makes it so that the LED driver isn’t running unless you need the standlight (the dynamo isn’t running).

I did a lot of playing with space layout and got a layout that would fit on a 2″ by 1″ board. I never did end up building that board.

I also built a housing for a LED headlight. It would use the same circuit, but 3 LEDs instead of 1. The housing is about twice the diameter. It looks like this:

The wall thickness on that housing is too thick (to make it possible to use screws to secure the front and back). It weighs a lot more than commercial headlights. The idea with this one is that one LED would be the standlight, and the other two would always be on. It should have been brighter than the commercial headlights.

Headlight Beams

All of these headlights use symetricspot lenses as on most battery headlights (like theNiteRider MiNewt series). I don’t like that beampattern too much because if they are aimed high enough to see far down the road then they also blind oncoming traffic.Most commercial dynamo headlights use an asymetric beam whichis brighter at the top than the bottomand which has a sharphorizontal cutoff. That is similar to a car or motorcycle headlight and does a really nice job of lighting up the road in front.

Peter White has a long post with photo comparisons of headlight beams. The Super Nova E3 is a headlight with a spot beam (you can see that it is lighting up the trees and the brightest part isn’t the farthest) while the eDelux is a headlight with an asymetric beam.

The “right” beam is a subjectopen to debate, but I personally prefer the beams of the commercial headlights such as the Schmidt eDelux or B&M IQ Fly. The optics for such beams are hard to reproduce in a home workshop because there aren’t easily available lenses for them.

My Conclusions

I think I’m done experimenting with building my own headlights. Here is why:

  • It takes me about 4 hoursand $15-$20 in parts to build a headlight roughly as good as the $60 Planet Bike one, only it doesn’t have the standlight. Most of this time is machining time to build a housing. I don’t think that time/cost tradeoff makes sense.
  • Building a headlight that is as light, compact,and reliable with the same features as a commercial headlight takes even more time. It is difficult for me to do surface mount electronics with custom boards at home,and those are the features that make the commercial electronics so small.
  • I can’t build a headlight at home with a beam that is as good as the IQ Fly ($92). The IQ Fly is my baseline for a good dynamo headlight.
  • I don’t need a highlight brighter than the eDelux or IQ Cyo. I actually don’t want a headlight brighter than that, I personally don’t think that brighter is always better. I think the best reason to build LED headlights at home is to get the super bright spot beams that are useful when mountain biking.
  • It’s distracting me from my main fabricationgoal this winter (building a bike frame).

I have another project which will use my remaining LEDs (I’m building solar powered lighting for our shed). The supercaps that I bought will be useful in taillights (which I do enjoy making).

If anyone wants to buy my LED optics just let me know. I have 6 L2 OPTX (including adapter lenses) and 3 L2 OPTX 3 that I probably won’t be needing.

It’s too bad that there aren’t commercial standlight circuits for homebuilders. There are tons of tiny driver circuits available for home builders who want to make their own battery powered headlights.

A quiet blog doesn't mean I'm idle

A minor pre-note… Iignored the comments for a while, but I just moderated them and went and answered any questions in them. If you were waiting for an answer you should find one there now.

I’ve been mulling over stuff to write about, but none of it seems like it is worth of a whole blog entry. This is going to seem like a random mis-mash of stuff. I’ll split it into electronics and bike.


My friends Lee and Andrewspent some time here the last month or so working on some racks. I think they are both very cool. Click the photos to see the whole slideshow (both link to the same thing).

Lee’s rack is built around a Seattle street sign (Seattle sells old ones for $5) and is sized to fit a case of beer or a pile of firewood.

Andrew’s rack is pretty similar to a lot of the ones that I’ve built. I think it came out very nicely.

I like teaching people how tobuild these things. Maybe at a later point in life I’ll be able to teach classes on it or something. For now it remains a hobby.


I’ve been working on the jig for my framebuilding. It’s coming along. I think it’s kind of boring for most readers of my blog, so I haven’t been posting about it here (but I have been posting away on the framebuilders list). Some friends disagree and think I should be posting here anyway. I update this gallery often with new drawings and photos, so just bookmark it if you are interested.


Around the holidays at work we got in a batch of new Windows Mobile phone. I got to play with the HTC Diamond Touch, HTC Touch Pro, HTC Diamond HD, and Palm Pro (I used all of them for at least4 days). All run Windows Mobile 6.1. Here are my brief thoughts:

  • HTC Touch Diamond — This is a primarily touch phone with a couple of hard buttons on the side and bottom. The form factor is really nice, it is exactly the same size as a Motorola RAZR when the RAZR is folded. Sound quality is good. I’m not so good at typing on touch keyboards, but this one wasn’t too bad. TouchFlo 3D is kind of gimmicky and yet kind of nice. If you like Windows Mobile and browse more than writing email then it’s a good option. The HTC Touch Pro is the same phone with a fold out keyboard and twice as thick. That makes it uncomfortably big in my opinion.
  • HTC Touch HD — It’s the same size as an iPhone with a much sharper display (800×480 pixels vs 480×320 pixels). It has almost no hard buttons. The lack of hard buttons is it’s big downside, Windows Mobile just isn’t designed for that. As an example you can’t switch between emails in Pocket Outlook without closing the message, moving to another,and opening that one. In contrast any other Windows Mobile phone lets you move between messages with the left and right buttons. The on-screen keyboard is larger and better than the Touch Diamond.
  • Palm Treo Pro– This is the phone that I originally ordered and the one that I liked the best. It is like the T-Mobile Dash with a touch screen. The phone is pretty small,battery life is great (3 days with constant email syncing), and the touch screen provides a better browsing experience than the T-Mobile Dash. It’s the least sexy of these 4 phones, but also the most usable hardware of any Windows Mobile phone that I’ve used.

At the same time that I was playing with all of these phones I bought a used iPod Touch from a friend. The iPod Touch is an iPhone minus the phone (if that makes sense). It still has wifi and all of the features such as the app store, email access, web browsing, facebook, etc. I still can’t type on it as well as I can on a real keyboard (like the one on the Palm Treo Pro), but it’s not as bad as I expected. The App Store is cool and makes finding apps easy. Framebuilders/gadget freaks note — there are some digital level software packages for the iPod Touch which are accurate to .1 degrees and the best one costs around $3. That almost paid for the phone since I had been considering buying a $100 one from Enco.

If T-Mobile had the iPhone it would be a no brainer and I think I’d just switch to it. As long as they are locked to AT&T (which would make our monthly bill much much higher) I’m going to have to be happy with my Palm Pro.


That’s 5 years of personal and work laptops in a pile. The one on top is the newest, and it’s awesome. It is a Dell E4200, weighs just over 2lbs, is plenty fast, has a sharp screen, and a great keyboard. The one just below it is the previous model, the Dell D430 (that’s been my personal laptop for the last 2 years, and what most of these blog entries have been written on). It is also a nice machine, but a 50% heavier and with less battery life.

It’s so much nicer to commute with a little computer like this than the huge beast at the bottom.

A couple of new racks

The first one was made by Mark Vande Kamp and I for his Curt Goodrich bike. It is a low-rider which bolts on quickly for overnight/couple of day type trips. Mark has a touring bike too, but prefers riding the Goodrich. We made special fender mount bolts to allow the quick install to happen even though the bike only has one set of dropout eyelets. I posted about those in a previous blog entry.

The second rack is a minimalist handlebar rack that I built for my IvyCycles. I was going for simple lines and limited joints. The design is copied from an idea that Rory Cameron had about a year back, and it is designed to work well with handlebar bags that have Ortlieb pannier hooks mounted on the bottom (that is why the front cross-bar is a little lower than the platform). I’m using it with my Ravenna bag now and will also use it with an Acorn handlebar bag in the future. My headlight barely fits with this one, so I need to make a new headlight for this bike too. This would be a good design to copy for someone making their first handlebar bag rack and was made with exactly 4′ of tubing.

2008 Cycling Recap

I liked John’s entry on this subject, so I’m copying it. It’s a good reminder of what I’ve done and enjoyed.


The truth is that I probably rode less miles in 2008 than in a long time. I didn’t do any multi-day touring and the current version of my commute is about 7 miles shorter than the one that I was doing in 2007 (but faster and more reliable).

The real riding highlight for me this year was spending the week in Mazama, up in the North Cascades. I biked or hiked or both pretty much every day. Some of the rides were with friends, some were solo. I really enjoyed the scenery, the terrain, and having friends come and visit us. I hope we can repeat it in 2009.

My bike camping was in three overnighters. All were great, and very different from each other. The highlight was a quick jaunt with John Speare from his house to Badger Lake. The route was great and it was great to spend some time with him in person. He is lucky to live so close to such great overnight destinations. I think we’re pretty lucky in Seattle too, but the smaller size of Spokane opens up even more options.

The other two were both with point83. One was Ben Country 3.0, which was a nice overnighter up to Fort Flaggler near Port Townsend. That ride always comes early in the year and is a good reminder of how to bike camp. The ride up was great, somehow I managed to ride solo for most of it even though we had a group of 30-40 people. I really liked the quiet time. The ride home was with Remi (now on a cross country trip in the middle of winter) and really nice too…despite the rain and having drank too much the night before.

On July 3rd we had another camping trip to Green Mountain. What a great location and so close into Seattle (about 25 miles plus a ferry ride from my house). I hope to repeat that trip again this year.

Mark Vande Kamp and I also have a weekly (more like bi-weekly) evening ride which I really enjoy. When the weather is bad we skip it and work on projects in the basement instead. The rides are more social than anything, but they are a nice balance of miles and socializing.


I’ve been on a kick to simplify for the last few years. I can’t say that I’m being terribly effective at it, but this year was one of selling more than buying.

New Bikes

I did pretty well here. I only acquired two bikes,and I built half of the frame for one of them. This one (or one like it,I already have ideas for the second version) is a keeper. I don’t use it every day, but I do like having something that can haul larger loads but which rides pretty much like a hybrid.

The other bike was a mountain bike. Every few years I sell my mountain bike, then have some ride where I could use one and regret it. That happened this year, so I bought one. I don’t even have any photos of it. The IvyCycles is built so that I can use it as a mountain bike, but the fit is really better for the road. I have ideas of how to fix that on the next bike that I build.

Sold Bikes

I sold this Bike Friday Tikit. I owned two of them, but I only need to own one folding bike. This one was converted to a SRAM S7 internal hub and was a great bike. The medium fits me better with drop bars, so I kept it. The Tikit got a lot of use in the first half the year, but less in the second.

The Kogswell was my first low-trail bike and I really enjoyed being a part of the prototyping process for it. I just didn’t use it much anymore since building up my RB-T urban bike and the IvyCycles. It went to a new home and then was promptly stolen. There are only two of these bikes in Seattle (5 in the world, the 6th was painted black) and the other one is almost never used. If you see a periwinkle colored Kogswell let me know where and I’ll tell the rightful owner.

My Trek 630 is on permanent loan to John Speare. This is kind of cheating because it just means that it lives in my office at work. It isn’t in the basement, and that is a step in the right direction.

What does that leave me with?

  • IvyCycles light touring bike
  • RB-T Urban Bike
  • Cycle Truck
  • Tandem
  • Tikit
  • Mountain Bike

I’m building a new bike this winter that logically replaces the RB-T. The RB-T probably isn’t going anywhere though. Not sure what I’ll kick out.


2008 was the year of fabrication for me. I rebuilt my workshop and tripled it’s size, making myself a respectable frameshop. I learned basic machining skills and bought a lathe and a mill. I built the Cycle Truck listed above, built many racks and little bits for myself, taught some friends how to braze, and made a lot of metal shavings. I spent a lot of money on tooling, and hope that I can keep the spending down in 2009.

I think it’s obvious from the blog that I enjoy this hobby. Right now I feel like I’m halfway done with too many projects (building a frame jig, new dropouts on the Tikit, rack for the tandem). I’m trying to finish those up soon and focus better in 2009. My major planned project is my first full frame. It’ll look a lot like the IvyCycles or RB-T.

The biggest downside with this hobby is that it cuts into my riding time. I have a finite amount of free time, and right now fab is taking more of it. I’m okay with that, but hope that in the summer of 2009 there can be a bit more balance.

Non-Bike Bike Things

These aren’t really related to bikes, but they are in my mind. 2008 is the year that I first cross country skied and the first year that we owned a kayak. I really enjoy both. They remind me of bicycle touring. Christine is into both too, which is a big win compared to bikes. I don’t like that both usually start with a car ride, but I can live with it.

In 2009 I’m hoping that we’ll do our first kayaking overnight trip.

Oregon Manifest

This weekend was the Oregon Manifest. I didn’t go to all of the activities, but I was able to go to the bicycle show for a few hours on Saturday. It primarily featured builders from Portland, but there was representation from other parts of the Northwest too.

All photos are here.

Here are some of my favorites.

Winter Bicycles is Eric Estlund out of Eugene, OR. He is building some really nice practical bikes with smart designs and good asthetics. His technique is fun too, he is fillet brazing the bikes and then carving out the head tubes, doing a sort of lugged/fillet/bilaminate style (he called it “Flug”). Eric brazes for Bike Friday too and does a really nice job with the torch.

Mitch Pryor (aka m.a.p. Cycles) is building very nice bikes too. On this most recent project he worked with Lemolo Bags (custom bags made in Portland). The handlebar bag was really nice, and I hope that Lemolo makes a run of them.

TCB Racks is building Porteur racks which are adaptable to most frames. They are bolted together instead of brazed which makes it easier to adjust them to fit your bike. Prices start at $150.

I liked the U-lock holder on this Porteur rack from Ahearne:

This urban bike from Signal had some interesting fender mounting hardware:

Off to get breakfast now, so no more time for updates. The show was fun, and I look forward to next year’s.

bicycle blog tag

Some cycling blogs are playing this tag game with a series of questions about bikes. I was just tagged by John. I’ve also read the same set of questions on Tarik and Kent’s blogs.

I think this tag thing is kind of stupid, but I’ll play along (mostly because John was so polite about it). I also think there is a more interesting subject to talk about which I’ll post later.

Here goes.

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?

My IvyCycles. Basically a low trail bike, moderate sized porteur rack, Rohloff hub, clearance for fat tires that work on-road and off. A frame that is lively and fun to ride. Not too heavy. One bike that can do everything I enjoy doing on a bike.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not? Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

I’m thinking about building a second version of this over the winter. It’ll be the same concept,but 650B or 26″ wheels instead of 700C,eccentric bottom bracket instead of sliding dropouts, and probably fillet brazed. The workmanship won’t be as nice as Brandon’s, but it’ll be a frame that I built. Overall the changes are very minor, so I think I already have that dream bike.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

This is ahard one. It needs to be rural riding in abandoned forests but start and end up in an urban center with good food and good people. Ihaven’t found it yet. If I had to guess on where I’d find it I would say Wellington, NZ.

My dream route would start at a nice breakfast placewith good home made granolaand yogurt. The ride would be around 30 miles/50 km with challenging climbing and descents on a mix of logging and paved roads. It would end with ice cream.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to to do for the rest of her / his life?

hm. meme tax question.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow minded?

John said “fat tire road bike” and I agree. On the other hand I’m trying a mountain bike again this summer, so I guess I ride both. My cycle truck is sort of a mountain bike too.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

I’ve owned three. Great for loaded touring, not so great for urban riding. I like the urban riding. The tandem was the most fun of the three.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?

No. The only competitive cycling that I’ve done are a few cyclocross races. They are a lot of fun, but I am missing those competitive genes and don’t really care about winning. I think that just makes me filler on the course. I also am not a big fan of paying $30 for 30 minutes of riding.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?

Wait, I just had to pick a favorite bike ride and it finished with ice cream!

I’d give up the ice cream. I don’t eat it very often anyway.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.

What does your dream neighborhood look like with respect to cycling?

My dream is a dense enough neighborhood that I can walk to all of my regular shopping needs. There are dozens of good resturants within a 2 mile biking distance. Within 5 miles I can get away from the city and suburbs and into the mountains for good riding. My block might have a community workshop where everyone chips in tools and knowledge and works on projects together.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?

Make lots of noise.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.

I’m ending this game by tagging the three people who I’ve know have played along. John, Kent, and Tarik.