Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tim's Latest Bike

As many of you know, I've got a LOT of bikes! The latest count is nineteen and a half (the half is a unicycle that I still need to master), and to the left here is the latest.

What sets this bike apart is that I built the frame myself! Some of you may recall, quite some time ago, I went away to United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR, to learn how to build bicycle frames. Well, the bulk of the work was done there in class, but there was still a fair amount of clean up filing and basic frame prep, and then painting. For a variety of reasons, the process too a lot longer than I expected, and even ground to a halt a few times (motivational malaise). But finally, in the last few months I've gotten more energy and threw myself at several projects, assembling several bikes I hadn't gotten around to, and then finally getting this bike finished.

My basic intent was to design a bike for long distance, loaded touring, for both on road and mild off road use, such as the C&O Canal, one of my favorite places to ride. The design borrowed heavily from my 1986 Miyata 1000 touring bike, but I made a few changes. The most noticable was building in clearance for bigger tires with fenders... the Miyata takes 38mm wide tires, but this bike should handle 42mm with fenders. My idea with that was to get a little more cushion and traction for off road use. I've done the Canal with the Miyata twice now, and it was just dandy, but I wouldn't mind a little bigger tire.

The other major change from the Miyata was the use of slightly larger diameter tubing for the top and down tube, with thinner walls. I did this partly just to see how it affected the ride, but with the notion that it might produce a slightly lighter frame that is just as stiff as the Miyata. It's too early to tell about that yet, but we shall see.

Anyway, I'm really excited to finally have it up and running. Several folks have taken it for short spins, and the reviews have been favorable! I sure like it. And in time, I hope to be able to build some more frames, both for myself and others. I'll keep you posted.

To learn more about the bike, and to see more pictures, go to my personal blog:

Which has links to my Flickr album as well.

Or come on by the shop to take a look at it. And if you are fairly tall, you can even take it for a spin.

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