Mark's Carbonated Road Frame

Here are some images of a new Carbonated Road Frame built for Wenzel Coaching staff member Mark Payares. With an educational background in Kinesiology and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Mark is definitely a unique client! Mark has extensive cycling experience at all levels including BMX, road racing, track racing, fitting and working with other skilled athletes. I feel privileged to have worked on this project for Mark and I can't wait to hear how it rides after it's fully assembled.
Mark and I had numerous conversations to hone in on the ideal frame geometry for a bike that is responsive enough for crit racing while being stable enough for all around use. That's quite a challenge for any frame designer and I look forward to Mark's feedback in the near future. The frame geometry is tuned for precise handling, immediate power transfer and stability over a variety of riding conditions. Here are the key specs:

Size: 57cm (seat tube measured center-to-top)
Effective Top Tube Length: 570mm (sloping ~6 deg)
Fork: Reynolds Ouzo Pro Carbon with 43mm rake
Head Tube Length: 175mm
Head Angle = 73.5 deg
Seat Angle = 73.5 deg
Chainstay Length = 410mm
BB Drop: 72mm

Featuring Easton 7005 Ultralite tubing and Reynolds stiff carbon seatstays, this frame is very light, laterally stiff and well-balanced. Reynolds offers two versions of carbon seatstays and the stiff version is definitely applicable for maintaining lateral stiffness AND some vertical compliance....carbon fiber is sick! Chainstays are oversized for additional stability behind the BB shell. The frame is custom painted 'asparagus green' with black panels and silver decals. Mom always told me to eat my vegetables....and this frame looks very tasty indeed.


Upcoming NAHBS Seminar

This month I've been very busy preparing for the 4th annual Handmade Bicycle Show which takes place Feb 8-10, 2008 in Portland, OR. Ahrens Bicycles will have a 10x10 booth and we'll be displaying a host of new frame designs. And of course there will be plenty of WiseCrackers for sale for those of us who like bikes and beer.

Don Walker, the show organizer, was looking for new seminar topics and I offered to discuss my experience designing aluminum frames over the last decade. Since the show has a heavy steel focus (no pun intended), I thought it would be great to discuss the benefits & challenges of developing custom aluminum mountain, road and cyclocross frames. Aluminum is a viable, lightweight and highly-tunable material well-suited to racers and enthusiasts alike.

If you plan to attend the NAHBS event next month, be sure to set aside an hour or so to hear about "Aluminum Frame Design Considerations" by Mike Ahrens. Since I'm a hands-on learner, I plan to make the session as interactive as possible. There will be a brief presentation, sample frame components to pass around and plenty of time for group discussion. Hope to see you there!


Ready to Rail

Here are some pics of Steve's brand new Apex hardtail. It's designed around a Fox F100RLC fork and has a full Shimano XT build kit. Steve owns Alta Engineering, a local machine shop that fabricates numerous parts for Ahrens Bicycles including yokes, dropouts and hangers. Now all this bike needs is a fresh coat of mud...