Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My New Frame!

I got my new frame (geared road bike, click here for the build pics) back from paint yesterday. Because I had to work all day, I didn't get a chance to build it up. But I did Frame Save it, and install the headset. (note: the link takes you to Amazon, but that is just to get you a picture. Go to your local bike shop and have them get you some!) Let me tell you I am totally stoked on this one. There are a couple spots that the braze wasn't totally perfect, or I couldn't file two pieces absolutely flush with each other, and the paint made it slightly noticeable. (I swear it was smooth!) But you have to get pretty close to see it, so I'm OK with it being my own frame. A couple lessons learned. (1) I will probably make the lugs out of two fillet brazed tubes of proper diameters and angles. This would avoid any extra work trying to make the pieces lay flush, and getting the silver to fill any seams.. well seamlessly. (2) Never underestimate paints ability to show off a tiny imperfection that seems just fine when the frame is bare metal. Man that Mr. Paint is just one of those friends that will make you look good if you're on your game, or be the first to kick your kidneys and laugh if you fall down.

And on the topic of the paint. I'm pretty happy for the most part. I took it to Powder Coat Specialists, here in St. Louis. I wanted to keep it local, and I had heard that he does bicycle frames somewhat regularly. The color is exactly what I wanted: a not shiny black (he called it 'Satin Black') Also, there were some tough spots on the frame that he made look better than I would have even hoped for. (a couple tiny pin holes in some non structural welds like the lug add-ons that I couldn't file, and since it was non structural I didn't want to re-heat it just to get rid of them) There are however a few spots that are less than totally awesome. A (tiny) spot or two the paint is pretty thin, and you can start to see the metal underneath, and another (inconspicuous) spot, the paint seems to have small splatters. (which doesn't make sense to me when it's a powder coat, maybe they're tiny bubbles?) But you really do have to go searching for the imperfections, and for ~$100 bucks for the frame and fork, and a few day turnaround, I am fine with it. All in all, it really is pretty good for the money, and if you don't have a few hundred to drop on a paint job, I would call him up. Les is a great guy to deal with, and it really does look pretty good. But if you're really looking for that perfect paint for your classic or new masterpiece, there's just nothing like paying extra, and waiting (a few weeks?) for something like Joe Bell or Spectrum Powder Works.

I'm almost tempted to put a Batman logo on the headtube instead of my own. That, and I'm thinking I should have brazed on some fins onto the top back of the toptube, and detail the edges of the lugs with a red pinstripe. Oh, and I'd have to wear all black, put pointy things on my helmet, and maybe a cape!

....or not
For the most part, I'm pretty damn happy with how this whole thing turned out. And it only took me... yea, I don't want to think about it. Time to ride this thing.

I think the hexagons in the bottom bracket shell are one of those nice details that bring everything together... of course nobody will ever see this. But hey, I know it's there. (and yes, I know this picture is upside down, so is the frame)

Yea, this is where I need some bat fins! And maybe a jet engine sticking out the back.

And of course, a chain hanger. I do believe in these things, and if you ever get a frame from me, it will have one. Sorry, that's one choice you don't get to make. (except maybe for a mountain bike, I guess I could let those slip)

Ok, enough of this. Time to build this baby up and hopefully the rain will let up enough to go for a ride today.

Hit Counters
REI Coupon