It's a new year but not a massive amount has changed over here. Does it ever, really? We haven't made any unrealistic resolutions about becoming bikini models and we left things pretty tidy at the end of last year. So really, it's just onwards and sideways for another 12 months.
We do have some things to talk about already though.
Bicycle industry backlogs
If you're not in the industry on a professional level, you've probably still heard about the diabolical lack of parts. Essentially, it's creating backlogs for everyone and we are no exception. We're waiting on tubing, build-kit availability and plenty of other things too. Add in Brexit, a global pandemic and the holidays and it's all been...well...a shit show.
The result of backlogs is some stunted social media updates and forced existentialism about using the platforms at all. If all we are showing are small projects, tampers etc, it doesn't look like we are building frames at all. In turn, does that make us look like part-timers? Does it stop us getting future orders? Urgh. Well. We ARE still building. Our professional insurance renewal reminds us of that every year, as does the fact that our kitchen doesn't play home to a day job-funded framebuilding jig! Long story short: bear with us while we get all the parts we are waiting for, so we can start the list of lovely bicycles we have booked in for this year.
What the August Bicycles build queue looks like
Longer than we're used to but with space for sporadic fun projects interspersed. We both work over here and have our little one at home with us full time. So we stagger the childcare duties according to who is busiest. If we both have a slightly less pressured phase, there might be time for some extra builds but as it stands we have a full year's queue in place.
Small projects are slotted in around everything else. So forks, stems etc have no queue per se. Also, the weirder the better, so what have you got for us?
A big reveal we had to keep secret
Last year we were contacted by two lovely people who wanted to surprise their mum with a custom bike. The rub was that Sara, the recipient, was already booking in with us for something special. Some sneaky emails, information mining and delayed deposit-taking later, her daughters organised and bought the dream custom light tourer/gravel bike. We couldn't post anything about it, because Sara being tiny, she would have twigged it was hers straight away. It's currently awaiting paint to finish the project, but it was gifted over the new year weekend. We never knew Sara was a big softie, but the tears confirmed it!
The frame will take 43mm tyres or 35mm with mudguards. It's a mix of Columbus and Reynolds tubing, got 160mm flat mount bosses, full hydraulic cable-routing for the rear brake inside the T47 bottom bracket and is the size of a postage stamp. Seriously, a Sylvanian Families figurine could ride this thing! It's getting SRAM e-Tap, so the finish is unfussy and clean. We can't wait to get it back from paint for build-up. We'll get some snaps of it then. In all the excitement and subterfuge we didn't want to risk getting any pictures during the construction.
A huge thank you to Anna and Imo for trusting us with such a personal and sweet project. It was one of our all-time favourite commissions and will take a heck of a lot of beating. If for no other reason than it revealed Sara's nickname to us. Sssshhhhh.
A wheely good start to the new year (fucking hell, sorry)
We started 2022 with some Zipp rebuilds. You might think that we are always on a mission to sell you all brand new components but actually, if things can be reused, we much prefer to embrace that. It's part of our sustainability commitments. So, when long-time customer Matt brought over two sets of Zipp wheels with perfectly good rims, we decided to give them a refresh.
Both sets got new Hope RS4 hubs. One set was disc, the other rim brake. New spokes and a thorough clean and everything is ready to go. One thing we realised with these builds is that not everyone realises that we supply tubeless tape as standard, so that's a nice reminder for you.
We also built the wheels for Sara's surprise bike, just before Christmas. They have Hope hubs as well, to match the tapered headset and bottom bracket supplied. DT Swiss rims offer plenty of strength, even when loaded up on an excursion and the whole lot is black, to guarantee paint scheme cohesion.
August #19 came back for a visit
On the opposite end of the spectrum to Sara's bike, which is the smallest double-diamond we've ever built, the largest to date came back for a little TLC. August #19 belongs to gentle giant of a man Steve. A good friend that came from a commission, Steve is always fun to see. Even if it's to put some stupidly tight tyres on for him that take more than an hour. Never again, eh Steve?
His disc road bike need some less disagreeable tyres, a service and a check over ahead of some fair weather miles. We always forget what a huge bike it is, but the proportions still look great. We have another large frame to build soon, so it got us in the mood!
Fuck off feng shui
We've been trying to get the workshop rejig right but something still feels off. Trying to get the right combination of functional, open where we need it etc feels like a mission right now. We are going to address a few spots where the hot woodburner air escapes, but other than that, it's a work in progress. One thing we have decided though is to sell our horizontal mill. With the Bridgeport and relevant attachments in place, we just don't need her anymore and could benefit from some extra floor space too.
The mill for sale is Brown and Sharpe and comes with an invertor to run on single phase electric. It's a plug and play mill ready to go. If you're interested and can pick it up from Norfolk, get in touch.
Rad peeps of the week
All of our Buy Me A Coffee supporters. A couple of you made sure that 2021 ended on a really generous note and as you know, we paid that forward. Thank you.
Mr Williams for popping over and treating us to his brand of mid-life resignation and bluntness. Always a pleasure!
Graham, who is about to undergo his second round of surgery to kick cancer in the arse. You've got this dude.
Andy Ramsdale for finishing his 10,000 miles ridden in 2021 and raising £1,000 for a great cause.
The inventor of ear plugs. With a wittering toddler in the house, we really appreciate the versatility of the invention.
All the companies participating in Veganuary for giving us more junk food options than ever before.
Whoever made this meme that terrifies Mrs. A...
See you next week!