Thursday, June 12, 2008

Frame Update

Some of this will be redundant from a post a few months ago, but a couple of people e-mailed me for a frame update.

I talked to David Cheakas last night. He has the first frame ready for paint. He has the tires that the bike is being built for but needs the fenders from me to make sure everything fits just right. The first frame was going to be 650B and made to fit some Trimlines I have. But when I showed up in Wilmington the roads were so bad I decided the first 650B bike would be made to fit the Hetres. This meant another fork crown would have to be used from the ones I'd already supplied David. So I told David to do a 700C frame first, which can use the Sachs fork crown. I'm leaning toward the Pacenti Bi-Plane crown for bikes using tires as wide as the Hetre (42mm). There aren't a lot of options for tires that wide. Well, there aren't a lot of un-ugly options. The fenders for that tire are 56mm, just a little too big for the Sachs or Long Shen (which is what Kogswell uses on the P/R).

Graphics are the other holdup. I have the artwork but have to have paint masks and/or decals made. I'm undecided about headbadges. Eventually, I'll have some made for people who love them and have to have 'em. I like them, and I love a good one, but I can do with a headtube decal. My graphic art guy gave me the headbadge/decal/logo and downtube graphics in several colors, so the nice thing about using a decal or paint mask for the headtube would be that the graphic color which best compliments the frame color could be used. In any case the frames will be fairly austere with one color paint, headtube logo and downtube logo. Just a simple "Longleaf" on the downtube, or nothing at all upon request.

Here's one headtube and downtube set.


If you're interested you can look at others here. The downtube logos won't always use both colors depicted in the pictures. The shape will be as pictured, but sometimes there won't be any fill color except the paint on the bike, and in other cases the font will be solid instead of two color.

All of that is cosmetic, which isn't to say it is unimportant, but it matters little if the frames aren't well designed and well made. There are other frames that fit this bill, but they are either in very short supply or they aren't sold through dealers, which is why I decided to get my own made. In a nutshell they'll be good versatile frames that fit larger than usual tires and have steering geometry that accounts for larger tires and cargo, as well as integrating fenders, lights, and racks into the design of each bike.

Frames will be made to measure for each rider with internal wiring provisions for dynamo users standard (whether the fork will use brazed on loops or an internal guide is still up in the air--I'm leaning toward brazed on loops). Specific fenders and tires will be integrated into the design, so that even if you don't plan on using any fenders at first you can later add them and they'll fit perfectly. I won't take orders until the samples are finished, I've put some miles on one, and I'm confident all the wrinkles have been ironed out. I think mid to end of August is realistic.


veloChine said...

Love the decals, I would one of those who would want a headbadge. Also love bi-plane fork crowns. Alas as the wife is taking a year off teaching, there will be no funds for a new frame for at least 15 months.

I re-read your original frameset post, and wonder what your thoughts on std light tubing as written in BQ and rehashed on the iBob list. Would that be an option for your semi-custom frameset?


Longleaf Bicycles said...

I don't have time right now to discuss standard tubing vs. oversize except to say I think both have their place depending on rider weight and frame construction.

Standard tubing will be an option on the frames. In fact, the first frame is being made from 531.