Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cross Season, Cargo and Miscellaneous Things

Been a long time since I touched this here blog thing, somehow the actual making of things, paying bills, riding and racing pushes computer time to the back burner. As Steve Garro said, "The haunted fish tank tells lies" and it does.
Since May lots has happened, biggest news in my world was the formation of a new cross team, Fresh Air-Hunter Cycles, Fresh Air ( being the excellent shop owned by long time supporter of the scene Travis T and Hunter Cycles ( needs no introduction.  Great team, good season for me and I am ready for a break and some winter mileage, check out the team Tumblr:

Lots of random things to be covered in this post, here goes...

Latest project out of my shop is the cargo bike below.  Lots of questions from folks on this one, so here is a sort of FAQ on this monster.
Q What is it?
A Essentially it is a Longjohn with the addition of a top tube, an overarm is how I keep thinking of it, and overarm being the thing that supports the end of an arbor on a horizontal milling machine (nerd alert).

Q Why?
A Stronger, potentially lighter and hauls 95% of what a Longjohn does, allows for new and unique carrying techniques by slinging things from the overarm, also and this is big, steers much more "normal" with the two straight steering rods.

Q How much can it carry?
A You will get tired of pedaling it before you overload the structure.

This is the first prototype, next iteration forthcoming. This fine machine is for sale, contact falconer cycles@gmail for info.
 The picture below is of the best thing to happen to my cross bike in ages, Paul Components sweet new Mini Moto brake, shown here on the back of my ancient-by-race-bike standards Hunter, seven seasons and still kicking, steel being real and all.  With disks still in beta for cross and the weather here in the Bay Area rather un-cross like these things are the deal, power, power, power.  Late braking greatness with none of the weight penalty of disks, or the need for a new bike.  Disks are coming for sure but I think brakes like these will always have a place in cross due to the simplicity, low cost and on the fly dial ability. Case in point: at the last Santa Rosa race on Saturday, riders with Avid mechanicals were running out of pad and I was able to dial out the barrels on my Paul's while riding, neat.

The red bike below is something I recently made for a customer of Fresh Air.  Interesting bike in these modern times, a 26" rigid mountain bike with super 80's style geometry.  Primarily it will be a commuter, long and slack and mellow, should slide nice in the dirt as well.  Interesting as it is the first 26" bike other than cargo that I have made, times have changed for sure.

Lots going on in the background of this photo, you can see the cargo bike fixtured on the table through the rear triangle, our shops lathe, shipping boxes for my shop mate Matt Feeney's rack empire ( and our lovely fluorescent lighting. Would be nice to have some trees to photograph bikes in but all the ones in the neighborhood are confined to little holes in the sidewalk.

With the world ending tomorrow (or not....) I want to thank some folks who have been helpful in myriad ways in the development of my tiny little empire. In no particular order:
Rick Hunter for 15 years of cross support, inspiration, fabrication and design advice and sweet bikes
Wade Beauchamp, ( badass welder, built my first complete bike in his shop
Matt Feeney, aforementioned  mastermind of Pass and Stow racks, shop mate, smart guy.

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