Hello again, internet. while there has been a bit of a gap in my blog updates, I have remained quite busy. After wrapping up Emily's bike project, I took on a fork build for my friend Sam, who rides a Surly Instigator. He is looking to commute on the bike this winter and didn't want to have to keep servicing his fancy Fox fork, so he asked me to build him something that more or less maintains the geometry of the bike but has loads of braze ons for the Salsa Anything cages, front racks/baskets, and internal routing for dynamo wiring. Right up my alley!
Here it is, installed and ready to shred. I have a complete gallery in my Projects section, here. It was a fun project and a chance for me to further refine my unicrown fork technique. For this style of fork, I draw my inspiration mostly from Tom Ritchey, who has made some of the most rugged and beautiful unicrown forks out there. I still look forward to doing one in the style of Steve Potts, where the top of the fork is brazed or welded together and then the blades of the fork are silver brazed into them, much as a lug would be assembled. Once I do that, my repertoire of forks will be complete: a segmented fork, a couple of lugged forks, a couple of unicrown forks, and a bilaminate unicrown!
In the new project department, I have taken on another frameset build for my co-worker and friend Karen. It is going to be a mixte, partially lugged, partially fillet brazed, with a rear rack to match and some pretty crafty u-lock integration. Disc brake, 1xn drivetrain, q/r wheels, dynamo wiring guides, tire clearance for up to 650b x 42. Here is my 1:4 sketch of the frame:
Here you can see two possible frame configurations, overlaid. the green is one option: a super traditional mixte design where the diagastruts go from the head tube lug down to the rear dropout intersection. In this case, I would braze the non-drive side diagastrut to a quarter-circular brace that supports the disc brake caliper brazed onto the seat stay. I got the idea from the great and tragically late Ezra Caldwell, who has been a constant source of inspiration for me over the years.
The blue line represents the design that we ended up going with, a modified mixte configuration where the diagastruts will be bent to curve up and meet the seat stays on their way from the rear dropouts to the seat tube. This will allow me to use a seat stay mounted brake tab, and will provide some u-lock mounting real estate. I will make the rear rack to continue the line of the diagastruts up to the luggage platform. I got this idea from Signal Cycles' award winning mite from a couple of years back. I worked with Matt Cardinal of Signal at Bike Gallery in Portland for a while, and his work with Nate at Signal has been a permanent presence in my understanding of how custom bikes should be laid out and manufactured.
Lots more on the mixte as it comes together! With some luck, I will be making the first couple of cuts and miters later on this week. Thanks folks!