General Lee

We just finished putting together Lee's new steel road frame. The finish is raw steel, bead blasted and finished with clear powdercoat. Stickers were applied and then the whole frame was liquid clear coated for protection.

Built with a mixture of high-end steel tubes, this frame is remarkably stiff and agile. It features Columbus head tube and chainstays, Reynolds 853 seat tube, True Temper S3 down tube, True Temper OX seatstays, Breezer stainless steel/hooded dropouts and a Paragon BB shell.

The frame features internal brake routing, braze-on front derailleur mount and rear rack mounts. The down tube has threaded cable guides and brass adjusters from frame builder Dave Kirk.

The extended seat tube is Reynolds 853, 32mm OD, with a short Thomson 30mm diameter post inside. The main reason this frame is so stiff is due to the massive seat tube mast.

Front end geometry is based around an Edge Road 1.0 carbon fork with 45mm rake. The fork was sanded down to remove all decals and the factory clear coat. A matte liquid clear coat was then applied for protection and stealth look.

Future upgrades include a custom King R45 wheelset and Nokon silver cables. Mmmmm, steel is nice.


Learning to Ride

Both of my twin daughters learned to ride recently....very exciting and nerve rracking at the same time because they can't always stop when they need to! They started off with wooden bikes from Skuut and learning to balance was easy for them. Pedaling and braking not so easy. When they grow tall enough I plan to build up some very light 20" frames with baskets, bells, short-reach brake levers and of course custom paint. Seeing my kids ride bikes is awesome.

I remember vividly the first time I rode a bike...it was an early 1980s 20" AMF Hawk and I'm pretty sure my parents bought it at Sears. The color scheme was basically the opposite of this one I found on BMX museum....it was a darker blue with white or silver accents.

Bottle Cap Board

Greg from Carmel (Indiana, not Cali) sent me a picture of the 'bottle cap board' he's creating. I love it and if I was making one, it would be full of Newcastle caps! Cheers.


In Process Now

I'm currently working on a steel road frame for my friend Lee. This frame will have some unique features including an extended seat tube, internal cable routing and of course full-custom geometry. Here are some in process pics from builder Jason Grove in Grand Junction, Colorado. Looking good.

David's Apex 120 Hardtail

I'm lucky to have local rider David as a customer. This is his third custom frame from Ahrens Bicycles, the first one was a custom single speed prototype with sliding dropouts. The second was a similar raw-finished hardtail to this one that was unfortunately involved in a traffic accident and needed replacement.

So now we've built up a modern hardtail capable of handling a 120mm travel fork. This bike is equipped with a handmade King mango wheelset with Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes, Mavic 819 UST rims, Fox F32 120mm fork, 15QR front thru axle, Hope Tech X2 brakes with gold accents and braided stainless steel lines, Race Face Deus cranks and bars, Thomson stem/post, Crank Bros egg beater SL pedals and full XT drivetrain. As shown it weighs in at 24.6 lbs...not too bad for a stout hardtail.

This frame is outfitted with the limited edition white WiseCracker LITE bottle opener. Stickers are color-matched; the native material is silver metallic with custom digital printing (white base coat with gold and mango perimeter outlines) from VC Graphix....sweet.

The rear triangle contains all of the signature machined components. The tapered chainstays are straight gage and provide excellent cornering and climbing stability.

David opted for 'direct mount' shifters to keep the bars looking clean...

Ryan and David putting the final touches on the build.

Tony's New Revolver 29er

I recently delivered a high-end 29er to local customer Tony. Full XTR, Hope brakes, Fox fork, Race Face bar/stem/post, this bike has the best parts money can buy....sick.

Sterling silver head badge is bolted directly onto the head tube.

Signature rear triangle with upper and lower yokes, standard QR dropouts and wishbone seatstays.


New WiseCracker Colors

I'm now offering the popular WiseCracker LITE in natural silver, black anodize and limited edition white. Silver and black run $12 plus shipping and white will run $17 plus shipping....I expect to update the webstore shortly to reflect these choices.


WiseCracker Video

Here is a funny WiseCracker video sent to me by Cycle Jerk who says it's "A forehead slappingly brilliant idea! Great Job." It's really the simplest upgrade you can make to your bike...


Steel 29er Single Speed

Here are some photos of Tim's new 29er steel single speed. It features 4130 chromoly tubing from Nova, Paragon sliding dropouts and a Paragon BB shell. Geometry is setup for a Fox F29 front fork and a 'tall baseplate' from Chris King to aid in fork crown clearance at the down tube. Cable routing is straightforward with hydro-stops only for the rear brake. The seat tube slot faces forward to keep water and mud from getting trapped inside the seat tube. It ships out today to beautiful Boulder, Colorado and stay tuned for the first ride report...

MTB Hawaii

One of my customers just sent me this beautiful pic....this bike was built for him a few years back when he was living in Hawaii. Funny thing is this photo was taken on Mount Tam!



Sorry to hear that the Bike Snob's bars/stem/etc were stolen earlier today.....fortunately the thief left the WiseCracker intact. Click on photo for the post...

Some bastard stole my wife's bike last Fall - karma will come back to haunt these thieves.


Alcohauler Single Speed w/Dual Citizenship

I'm just finishing up a single-speed race bike for a local customer John and it turned out sweet. As shown it weighs in at 22.5lbs and has a mixture of high-end parts from White Industries, Phil Wood, Hope, King and Fox. At the start of the project, John and I worked with Karl at Silicon Valley Cycling Center to optimize the 'race fit' required for this new machine.

John has dual citizenship in the US and Britain and this theme comes to life in the unique color scheme and buildup of this bike. The frame is designed and built in the USA using the finest Easton Ultralite tubing available. It features an American flag on the seat tube and a British flag on the top tube along with black ENO cranks from White Industries and Hope Pro 2 hubs and Tech X2 brakes.

The rear triangle features my signature sliding dropouts which makes it easy to change rear cogs depending on the race course, conditions, etc. Look for John and this bike at upcoming Bay Area races....

Hardtail for Ryan

Here are some pics of my mechanic, Ryan Bontager's new hardtail. It's setup for a 120mm travel fork and will be adorned with pweter King components throughout. Stay tuned for more pics once it's fully assembled....dope.


Sixteen Pounds of Sweetness

The first two months of 2010 have been hectic. Balancing work, family and my passion for bikes has never been this challenging! This blog has suffered as a result but now I'm finally getting back on track.

Pictured below is Nigel's brand new steel road bike. As shown it weighs in at a svelte 16 pounds. The frame is built with a mixture of steel tubes from True Temper and Columbus. The heart of the frame is the True Temper S3 front triangle with its bi-ovalized down tube. Front end geometry is setup for the Edge Road 1.0 carbon fork. The paint scheme is inspired by the new Lexus ISF sports sedan's Ultrasonic Blue Mica color. Nigel designed the custom graphics and overall pro-look....and it looks sweet. Fitting and pro-build by Shama Cycles in Houston, TX.


Bike Snob NYC

I recently sent a WiseCracker LITE to the Bike Snob for review....as usual his commentary is classic and you can check out the full posting here.

My favorite line is below:

"Yes, I am now the proud owner of bottle opener with a bike around it."