A new ride for myself

I haven’t built myself a new frame for over 4 years,I felt no need. But the allure of titanium, some new “standards” and the advent of 29+ got to me. After building the “quiver killer” in my last post, I decided I must have one! So, I built myself one.

Many of the same features exist on this well thought out versatile frame, though mine is decidedly more “trail” and less “tour”.

Tires/wheels: Able to run 29, 29+ and 26×4″fat

Drive train : SS, dingle speed, 1X whatever, Rohloff IGH.

73mm BB shell

44mm head tube

Paragon Rocker dropouts

423mm chain stays, slammed forward (likely 430-35mm with 29+)

Curved and shaped tubes everywhere

Travel limited and tuned Maverick DUC32 for 29+ tires

XO1 crank with North Shore Billet 2x spider. This allows a slightly wider chain-line (tire clearance) and the ability to run a 2nd chain ring in the bash guard position for my preference, a “dingle speed” set up,.

Currently running 29×2.4 until the tire and wheel options I want are available ( Maxxis and Stans 29+). 1X7 (11-24) cassette on a single speed hub with shadow+ and a narrow-wide chain ring. It’s the first real gears I’ve run in a long time. With the trails here still drying out, I haven’t really been able to put it through its paces, but I can tell, I dig the top end speed I’ve been missing.

If you are interested in one this complicated it will set you back $3500

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Titanium 29+/4″fat/Rohloff drive

This one has it all going on:

Titanium 29/29+/4″fat Trail/Bike-packer.

Set up for 1X/SS or Rohloff drive options, all with a standard 73mm BB shell.

44mm head tube

Paragon Rocker dropouts

Curved Seat tube, top tube and seat tubes.

Heavily modified chain stays, curved and ovalized with drive side plate/yoke.

Extra bottle mounts on TT and DT for strapless bag mounting.

With a few sets of wheels, a real quiver killer.

I’ll post photos after it gets (partially) powder coated.

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Titanium offerings

In addition to titanium stems and handlebars AMPeirce is now offering Titanium frames! Pricing is still TBD, but will likely start at $2800 and will have all the same options available as steel models, curves, dropouts etc…

Fusion pass

Fusion pass

 

Tandem, Moto style!

Set up with custom travel limited Maverick duc32  and Knards.P1010127

Not as pretty as the truss fork, but pretty awesome for keeping the front end under control.

We have been riding the thawing Colorado conditions lately, and thus lots of mixed dry and sticky mud, so far the drive-train is unflappable,mud build up has not been an issue at all. loving it!P1010124

stainless steel butterflys / Indianapolis Zoo project

Well, this is what has been keeping Tammy and I quite busy for the last month. We are working with Banner art studio on a art installation for the Indianapolis Zoo. It is a sizable project that has to be done on deadline for their upcoming butterfly exhibit. The project is comprised of (6) sixteen foot tall “tree” or branch structures each with (2) eight foot butterfly’s perched atop, and then another eleven butterfly’s perched all over the outside of the building. All of the structures, are made of TIG welded stainless steel and all of the coverings are made of sewn fabrics (not printed) of differing weights and colors to create a translucent illuminating effect in sunlight. For a vision of the project see: bannerart.com/zoo-butterfly-work-continues-outdoor-exhibit/

Our part of the project is, of course the stainless fabrication. The work is surprisingly much like bike fabrication:

Lots of coped cuts, both mill cut and hand filled… checkP1010068

Lots of TIG welding in compromised positions…… CheckP1010085_1

These butterfly structures are kinda like doing chain-stays, .049 wall 5/8″ diameter SS tube to…. well, OK it’s schedule 40 pipe, but you get the idea.P1010090

The branch sections of the “trees” had to be welded with full structural integrity. That means full penetration, back purged multi-pass welds.P1010070

This is the back-purged root pass on the schedule 80 304L stainless “tree” sections.P1010120

A pile of “trees” getting ready for freight to Indianapolis. Those are 3/4″ thick base plates with gussets, they will not fall down!

Anyone smell slightly cooked fingers? It is fun sometimes to turn up the amps, but I must admit this much of it has worn on me some. Running 200amps for eight hours straight, day after day…..I’ll take the delicate stuff any day. Fortunately what is left to do at this point is relatively light duty…. kinda like head tube top-tube junctions and chain-stays….I tell myself.

First Trip with the New Tandem

P1010016 We hit the road for Lake Pueblo State park, if you haven’t been, you should check it out. 56+ miles of fun flowing singletrack with some technical moves thrown in and best of all it’s dry most of the year. For more info check out Lake Pueblo Trails .org. We usually travel during the week because destinations are less busy, but temperatures in the mid sixties lured us out on a weekend. It was fun to see so many people out on their bikes. We saw kids as young as four learning to ride the trails and groups of much older people ripping it up. Bikers are some of the nicest people.

Now lets talk tech. The new tandem handled beyond our expectations. Our last tandem handled well but the new geometry of this bike is more to my liking. The Knards gripped the trail and even loose, steep climbs were no problem. The big rubber smoothed out trail chatter and even moderate bumps like butter. I had them set up tubeless on Velocity P35s and wasn’t sure how well they would work. Surly tires fit a little loose and p35 rims fit a little loose compared to Stans rims. I added an extra layer of 10mil tape to tighten the interface and the tires “popped” onto the bead as they should. The Knards did burp (mostly the rear) on techie off camber rocks. So we added some more pressure and the problem was diminished but we still got some small burps. I have at least one more trick up my sleeve to help the burping, I’ll update later.

We had never ridden with a rigid fork on a  mountain tandem before. It was great for smoother, flowing trails, but found it a little harder to handle in bumpy corners at speed. The front tire wanted to bounce and I ended up cornering a little slower than with suspension. If you lose control of the front end on a tandem you go down really fast and hard, not fun!  It did make standing somewhat easier without any bobbing. I think I will put the Maverick Duc fork on for singletrack and use the rigid fork for bikepacking.

The Rohloff hub was another first. It shifted so smooth and fast we  weren’t sure that it shifted, but it did. There was a learning curve though. I’m used to shifting while pedaling, while Tammy was powering up the climbs, I was trying to shift, it won’t shift under full load. The Rohloff shifts best w/o load, it only takes a split second to stall pedaling load and there’s the shift, instantly, no grinding no delay… beautiful. By day two we had it down and never stalled on a climb again. I think part of it is breaking the hub in, it got noticeably quieter and smoother as the miles went by.

We tried to get some good pictures but it’s hard when you are on the same bike. Tammy got some fun ones of the dogs running behind us. We hope to do some bike packing with the dogs this summer, so we have them in training, note the doggie boots in the pics. Overall it was a great trip, shorts/t-shirts, lots of riding, swimming dogs and some Dale’s at the end of the day.

happy Copper

happy Copper

 

 

 

Back to work

P1010003So, back to some “real” work this week. Welding up the fittings on a 540 gallon stainless steel hot water tank that I started before the show. It’s for a solar home heating system. Lots and lots of welds on these things. It’s good to keep a home warm with the sun.

This weekend, off to Pueblo to put some real miles on the tandem. It was a long push to get everything in order before NAHBS, Tammy, the dogs and I are looking forward to some riding and days off… Its been a long time.

Getting it dirty…. what it was made for.

AMPeirce tandem testing

AMPeirce tandem testing

Tammy and I finally got out on the new “beast”. We put some flat pedals on and  ran it through mud, slush and snow and it handled great, the big tires and slacker head tube angle are definitely an improvement . We managed to stay on it most of the time. Ever run a tandem in the snow, slush and mud? Great fun, can’t wait to get it on some dry dirt….. but for now the wet will have to do.

Dirty AMPeirce tandem

Dirty AMPeirce tandem

OOps… gotta enter if you want to win.

Ok, My Gaff I thought “Best new builder ” was a automatic entry catagory, it wasn’t. I don’t think I was the only one, as every new builder brought their bikes to the judging area and there was only eight (of twenty) that actually entered. Oh well, live and learn. There were many very nice rides in the category, I had more than a few comments from the public that said there was more happening in the new builders tables than the rest of the show. I hope I’m the only one who made this mistake.

NAHBS: the experience

The BeastWell, it was a long weekend for a couple of introverts, but Tammy and I held up pretty well (actually Tammy got sick on Sat, but  rallied on Sunday). Many thanks to our friend Gary Blakley, he spent Saturday in my booth fielding questions and keeping me company.  The dogs learned lots of new tricks: elevators, automatic doors, and how to “do their business” on a leash. Overall it was a really great experience, very positive response from attendees and fellow builders alike. Lots of good conversation, cyclists are some of the nicest people. Never realized how  many tandem fans were out there. Thanks to all for the positive comments.IMG_0128twins on tandem