Print PDF

I am pretty amazed at how this project turned out. The entire design of this bicycle was based on what I wanted out of a steel hard tail. It really got sort of strange on my 4th or 5th ride, when I realized that it was doing exactly what my brain and body wanted it to do. I'm starting to just let go of the brakes on the descents, and clean sections of climb that never before seemed possible. Its not the ULTIMATE bike or anything, but I think for a first stab at an MTB, I did alright.


Fox 32 Kashima!



Oh, and speaking of MTBs... I have been invited to join the R&D engineering team at Rocky Mountain Bikes.

This is big news.

I don't even really know what to post about it on here. Basically, I'm going to be scaling back the random acts zany fabrication, and focusing on understanding and developing some of the highest tech bikes the mountain bike industry has to offer. Vallie Components will definitely take a back seat to this. I will still be in my own shop on occasion. I plan on making a few frames a year for those close to me, focusing on the craft of it.

I feel incredibly excited to have joined their team.

Wish me luck!

0 comments... click to read and add yours >>

Pedal Powered Grain Mill

Print PDF

This was made for The Flour Peddler here in Vancouver. Chris provided me with a stationary bike, a hand crank flour mill... and a 4 day deadline! Immediately I stripped the components off the excercise bike to assess the situation and figure out how I was going to mount the mill, and run the chain around a corner. I decided to tackle the only precision part first. Here's a 1/2" shaft drive hub welded onto a plate with a perfect 110mm BCD drilling pattern, to fit a variety of chain rings.


I put a 52T ring on it to give the unit a 15% reduction in gearing as the Country Living Flour Mill people recommend keeping the mill at about 50RPM

finished mill

Next up came the angle iron base, and the dual pulley idler arm. I finished it off with a stainless/acrylic hand guard, some white paint, and a 'foodsafe' baking pan to hold the flour bag below the grinder. Fit for a kitchen I'd say!

0 comments... click to read and add yours >>

Yamaha Enduro 250 Kickstand

Print PDF

Another fun fabrication job. Mike has spent the past year rebuilding this 1975 Yamaha Enduro 250. The last thing it needed was a kickstand tab, as the old one was ripped off the frame in the bike's previous life. The only snag was that it had to be a complete bike before we knew just how and where to orient the tab.

I came up with a tab that is sprung over center, and sort of mimics the shape of the original, but is a bit smaller and more tucked away.

enduro side

With the kickstand in the UP position, it follows the swingarm nicely. As well, the bike is super stable at the lean angle I've given it.


I love the smell of two stroke exhaust in the morning.



0 comments... click to read and add yours >>

Chub Hub with a Saint brake.. on a track bike.

Print PDF

File this under 'Too weird of a job to turn down'.

A while ago I added one of my laser cut sliding disc tabs to Konrad's IRO. I set the spacing of the tab to work with a Broakland spin on ISO adapter on a standard track hub. (42mm chain line). Of course Konrad went and used a Profile hub with a 44mm chain line. This meant he had to run a shaved down ISO adapter in order for the caliper and rotor to line up.

He recently built up a new wheel set with Chub Hubs front and rear. (MTB disc front, and dual fixed rear). The plan was to use a White industries freewheel on the drive side, the spin on Broakland adapter and a Saint caliper on the non drive side. The only problem was that after the wheel built, it was found that there was NO WHERE for the caliper to sit.

It would smash on the spokes, or be too far out, or the rotor would hit the frame. Basically, any way you sliced it, something would smash into something else.  So not only were the huge flanges and spokes in the way, the caliper adapter or caliper body was in the way.

I scratched my head about this one for a bit before deciding to very carefully measure EVERYTHING.

The more I measured, the weirder it got. Until something dawned on me. The Chub Hub has an even worse* chainline than the Profile hub.

Here's a post I found from when the Hive was set to re release the hub:

04-21-08, 12:26 PM
Hey Soil Sampler,
The chainline has not changed from the previous version - it is in fact 44.7mm. In the coming weeks, we will be adding all of this technical info to the website.
>is the chainline the same as the old hubs? 44.5?


Sometimes things get very complicated.

It looked tricky, but not impossible. So I started by relacing the wheel. All the spokes inbound, and 2x to get those crossings out of the flange and caliper's way. Now it looked like it was possible.  If only I could get the caliper to float above the ISO mount on the frame, like a post mount...

Here's what I came up with:


real deal

Its sort of a reverse post mount that sits outside of the frame's sliding ISO tab. This allows near full range of caliper travel before bolt heads start interfering.

The distance from the backside of the caliper to the spokes is a good 0.021" and the distance from the caliper mounting nyloc nut to the rotor is around .028" (given a straight rotor). Plenty of room to work with, right?

above view

The brake works silently, and wheel is solid so I'm stoked.

*Disclaimer: I am not actually dissing Chub hub for doing their own thing here. The width of the shell goes along with the 100mm+ flanges as part of it's design, it just didn't help in this non-standard application.

0 comments... click to read and add yours >>

Quick Spring update

Print PDF

Not sure why I haven't blogged this yet. I've kept pretty busy the past couple of months building my first two bicycle frames. I know this is not a huge feat, but it took some figuring out. So a bike a month for 2 months seems reasonable. All my friends seemed to think that making frames would be inevitable for me, and I guess they were right. Its a new challenge, and with so many steps, I can now see how far from perfection any single frame can be.

VCF01 - 51cm comfort road for my wife, tall slack headtube, a mix of tubing with big chainstays and small seat stays. Its powdercoated dormant blue, which is anything but dormant in the sunlight. I built it with a modest mix of used parts, including new 9 speed Sora shifters.


That turned out alright, and I learned a few quick lessons I was able to apply to the second bike.

VCF02 - A large 650B all mountain hardtail for myself. Its designed to walk the line between xc bike and play bike.


The geometry is based around the newly released Fox 32 27.5" fork. Chain stays are 420mm, seat tube is 530mm, @ max extension the effective top tube is 630mm, and seat tube is 73°. Here's how it sits through the 130mm travel range:

max height, 68.5°, 517.5mm, 40mm, 91mm
30mm sag, 70°, 487.5mm, 50.4mm, 81.4mm
full squish, 75°, 387.5mm, 86.5mm, 48.9mm

It was definitely more challgenging to have to design it around a range of movement, rather than a static geometry. I can see how a proper full suspension bike can take years to design now. I'm pretty confident I got the angles close to ideal on this for my kind of riding, but only riding it will tell. I've got 90% of the tubes on hand to make a second revision in case A) I don't like something about the way this one handles, or B) I break it.

Hopefully I'll have it back from the powdercoaters next week. It is turning a crazy shade of mint (like the old appliances).

My fork and tires are still a couple weeks from hitting the shore however, so I won't be riding it until June probably. That's alright though, because it will give me time to savour the last few rides on my current Kona Unit hardtail before I decommision it.

I'm not taking orders for frames yet, as I still haven't proven to myself that I can weld up thin wall chromoly properly. Maybe soon though.

0 comments... click to read and add yours >>
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »

Page 1 of 8