March 23rd, 2012
(For those who like reading about cancer and poop and dying and stuff, this will be a post about bicycles)
Yesterday I finally got all the parts together to build up a bike that I’ve been working on for the last several weeks. It’s sort of a special one. It was purchased as an anniversary present for the customer by his wife. Very sweet, I thought. She gave me carte blanche to do whatever it was that her husband wanted. When I emailed him to find out what that was exactly, he sent me this picture..
So I got to work.
I’m being a little coy. There was more of a conversation than that.. but not too much more. The customer made it pretty clear that he was up for letting me explore. There were a few criteria. Front disk brake.. single speed.. he liked the raw steel.
I sent him back a picture at some point and said, “I’d like to build you the bike that goes with these bars”.
He was game and Thunderfucker 5 emerged!
The seat clamp and top cap were particularly fun little details to make. I got a lathe in the late summer, and it has opened up a whole world of possibilities. The threaded side of the seat clamp is sleeved with steel so that it’ll be less likely to strip if someone really GRONKS on it.
The bars are quite comfortable, and not spongy like the Billsam bars proved to be. It’s a little scary to make an integrated bar stem combo since you are loosing the ability to adjust. The bar angle is set, and if you don’t like it, well, start over! If the stem length is wrong, you can’t just run out and get a new stem. There’s a reason that we tend to use separate parts! BUT if you get it right, it’s pretty sweet. (the verdict is still out, of course, but the unnamed client is the same size as me, and I find it all very comfy!)
I used the singlespeed dropouts that I designed for sliding interior mount sliding disk brakes. I used two drive side drops since a rear brake was not requested and I removed the fender and rack tabs. I like the feel of these guys.. little monsters. (a movie about putting on the faces over here).
A fun project. I will be sad to see it go (particularly since I am looking for a bike with a saddle for myself at the moment! Hmm…)