There are countless ways to make a steel bicycle frame and countless tools to help you build it. But tools alone won’t a frame make. A builder needs skill, patience, perseverance, and above all, the ability to improvise. In many ways a spring clamp is more essential than frame jig. With this in mind, when I decided to get back into framebuilding recently, I didn’t want to nor financially could spend a lot on fancy tooling. Instead, I tried to focus on a minimal setup emphasizing accuracy over convenience. Here’s a look at my current setup:
It snuck up on me. After brazing some water bottle bosses to the underside of the down tube, I put down the torch and thought about the next step in the process of building Carrie’s new touring bike, but there was no next step. Am I done? I went through my mental checklist and saw tick marks in every box. Well how about that! My fifth frameset finished in ten years. That’s how you spell p-r-o-d-u-c-t-i-v-i-t-e-e.
While spending five months on the road in Europe, I had plenty of time to daydream. Most of my daydreams included the consumption of ice cream. But sometimes I’d think about bikes. In particular, touring bikes, and what I believed to be the ideal touring bike for me and Carrie. I was enjoying my touring bike, but Carrie often described her touring bike with four letter words.
On the menu today was a big helping of kilometers. The kilometers were sunbaked and mountainous and served on a bed of lonely roads with a sprinkle of gravel. This was one of my favorite meals in Spain and perhaps one of the best on our whole trip. Continue reading »