We've been talking a big game about finishing up a commuter for a few posts now and finally, it is 100% done and has gone away for powdercoat. It's not that we like to see the back of our bikes for a while or anything, but it does always feel nice to reclaim some workshop space and just not have to look at the same frame for a little while. Like a holiday for the retinas.
Anyway. This commuter has been commissioned by a friend, for his wife, as a surprise. It is going 'Mr Happy yellow' with matt black details and will be a really tidy little ride. As we've said, it's got unfiled fillets (at the request of the customer) to keep the cost down, but we didn't skimp on the details. We included the usual stainless mounting faces, post-mount brakes, integrated seat collar with light mount, Son connectorless dynamo dropouts, one-off headtube rings and some nice internal cable routing with shaped exits. It all makes for an anything but basic, but still budget-friendly build. For once, no braze-on badges! It's been forever since a frame left the workshop without them and honestly? What a welcome break for my fingers and eyes.
Here she is before being dressed in happy yellow...
Talking of yellow. It seems to be the theme this week as a stem was ready to collect and no word of a lie: we were shocked at the colour. Cue some quick scrabbling with the RAL colour chart to double-check what was agreed and an email to the customer, but phew! Everything was as it should be. The stem isn't off to its new home in the US just yet though, as we are also building a bag rack to go with it, to be finished in the same zingy shade. It's going to look great with the peachy Tomii that it is going on. Very 'peach melba' (apparently).
You've seen this stem naked, so pop back to a previous post for more info. It features a Chris King Inset 7 upper headset bearing cover integrated into it and a Paragon Machine Works handlebar clamp.
We found a little time to squeeze in a tiny project, literally, for our friend Tom. His son Billy has his own signature model Deathpack BMX (not many kids can say that) and we rebuilt him a rear wheel for it. 12" rim, teeny cassette hub and the shortest spokes we've cut in a long time. This build necessitated the use of brass spoke head washers but we didn't want to spoil the stealthy aesthetic, so we chemically blackened them before fitting. In-keeping with the stealth vibe, we used our reflective valve hole decal detailing. In daylight it's next to invisible but shine a light over it and KAPOW.
We build wheels every week but honestly, we know they aren't hugely interesting for everybody. This is a bit out of the ordinary though, so we thought we'd give you a look.
What else? Oh, the website had its refresh finished up this week. Mrs A didn't exactly have any time to spare to do it, so her weekend was sacrificed to mess about with the site because it was "irritating the shit's piss" out of her. She's done a beautiful job and made everything feel a lot sleeker, less basic and after a lot of head scratching, she conquered the mobile readability issues. Lovely stuff Ames. I have no idea what a meta tag is, but I'm sure yours are up there with the best.
How about some big loving now? That's the message that filled our box of goodies that arrived from our favourite gentleman scoundrels over at Hush Money Bikes. You buy a hoody to support your friends and what do you get? A brilliant hoody, two t-shirts, a pair of massive (ly excellent) underpants and more stickers than you can shake a stick at. The recurring message is that Lancaster, Pennsylvania is encouraging people to 'love big and shop small'. Well dudes, we love you BIG TIME and will always reiterate our favourite mesage: SUPPORT LOVELY BIKE SHOPS, NOT JUST LOCAL ONES!
Not a huge fan of your LBS? There's no rule that says you have to support just because of proximity. You know where won't make you feel a knob for buying a t-shirt? HUSH MONEY. You know who will throw you a sticker? HUSH MONEY. You know who else sells boss hoodies and is making shit work? FRONTIER BIKES. Yeah, threw that last one in to make sure you're still paying attention. Seriously though, go give Beth a follow and tell her to get the shit on with live-streaming her spin classes.
We've made some awesome friends in this industry and bemoan the fact that we don't live closer to some of you, almost daily. You never know though. Now the orange dumptruck is out of the White House, maybe we could move to Penn one day. I'm sure Amy is already looking at A-frame houses to buy... Would definitely make getting my Pink Bike Ralph t-shirt fixes easier too...
Shithead of the Week: Could it be the idiot that was too busy talking on her phone to wear a mask in the Post Office? Or maybe our usually delightful daughter for being a tantruming terror at bedtime this week? What about the guy on the bike forum that shamelessly ripped off a well-known bike tooling maker's clamps? It's hard to tell quite honestly. Every day seems to throw up a new contender for the title, though we have some favourites that we often consider nominating for a throwback SHOTW award. Maybe we'll tell you about some of them one day (but probably not).