February 19th, 2009 Hugh
After a brief February thaw, winter has returned to Guelph. Monday was the family day holiday in Ontario so it was a shorter week here at True North. Hugh took the opportunity to engage in a three-hour road hockey marathon while i took a trip into Toronto to check out the Royal Ontario Museum. I hadn’t been there since they added the new wing to the building, it’s pretty nice, but i think the Bat Cave is still the highlight.
I assembled Ron’s bike yesterday and it’s looking great.
We’re still waiting on the XT cranks, but here is a pic of the bike in it’s near completed state. It is a full XT build including the awesome XT 29er wheels, Eriksen Ti seatpost and DT XMC80 fork.
Slowly but surely we’re making headway into our orders.
If you need me, i’ll be at the sandblast booth for the next little while. I have a few frames to prep and then it’s paint time. The new powdercoating is working out amazing and we just got in some great new colours and a really cool matte clearcoat.
February 9th, 2009 Hugh
Â We’ve been working some long days as of late in order to complete a bunch of our orders. January is typically a month where riders will pile on the hours hoping to build their base with an eye towards the upcoming season. We too are logging the long hours knowing that come spring many of our frames will head out on Trans-Canada and European tours or be called upon to contest the early season road and mountain bike races.
So with that in mind, that last little while has been a flurry of mitering and welding frames.
Here we have Ti 29er with Paragon sliding dropouts that will see use in Ontario Cups and maybe the occasional US100 race this summer.
For the most part we are fans of the Eccentric bottom bracket but occasionally we will use sliding dropouts to give a frame the versatility to switch between fully geared and single-speed applications.
The pile of completed frames has been growing. I doubt Moots has anything to be worried about, but it’s a fair amount of Ti for a small shop like True North. I think the excitement surrounding Carbon Fiber frames is starting to wain and people are again looking for the durability, light weight and ride quality of a well built Ti frame.
This picture doesn’t really do it justice, but after so much cutting, cleaning and deburring, Hugh’s hands were looking a little worse for wear.
January 28th, 2009 Hugh
It has been a whirlwind of activity here trying to master the art of powder coating as well as building frames and taking orders.Â Â The problem with contracting out the powder coating is that most of the existing businesses have only basic powder coating abilities.Â I wanted to be able to recreate finishes as well as Stefan has done for me in the past but with extra toughness.Â After many many hours of experimentation I feel that we are at that high level of quality and toughness.
This in the first customer bike powder coated here.Â It is single speed version of the geared mtb I built for Paul at the end of the summer. Â Â There is a previous post with a picture of that bike.Â This bike has a gloss black base powder, charcoal flames, and clear powder top coat.Â Pretty and very tough.
Pete’s touring frame has been built for a while and waiting for powder.Â This is the same powder the US military uses on their equipment.Â Â It is extremely tough.Â We tried chemically stripping a sample with no luck.Â This bike is being assembled with a Rohloff and mainly silver components.
Jay came and picked up his club bike last Friday.Â We packed up the bike for its flight home to Jordan.Â One of the concerns he had was the amount of sand blowing around in the wind.Â He will have to experiment with some different chain lubes.
I have also been working on Paul’s ti TT/road bike.Â The frame has the ti version of the S+S couplers.Â The lock nut is stainless and the couplers are made of titanium. Â
Â Paul’s frame is now ready for some finishing and cable guides.Â Most of the parts are here so it should be assembled shortly.
October 17th, 2008 Hugh
It appears winter is just around the corner. The long underwear and toque have become standard building attire again. I am looking forward to a very productive winter building season. There are already an abnormal number of builds schedualed for the spring. I have decided to not do frame repairs on non True North bikes. I have done a ton in the past but it just seems to delay getting custom orders out the door. Best to talk to Jay at Winterborne Cycles in Guelph if you need some work done.
Delivery times will be quoted at the time of ordering. I still have a number of spots available for delivery in the spring but I would imagine these will fill up quickly.
We have also been busy working on setting up a powder coating system. Here are a couple of shots of Greg installing the insulation on the curing oven. Looks like it will be operational in a couple of weeks time. Powder paint is perfect for touring and mountain bikes. It doesn’t look quite as pretty as Stefan’s wet paint but it is almost impossible to chip.
Here are a couple of 29ers that just left the shop. They were sweet! Stefan did a beautiful job on the finishing. Both bikes were full rigid setups with Pro Carbon forks and XT drivetrains. Rob sent me a nice email after a few rides “I am just emailing to say that I am loving the bike. It feels fast as hell, and I can’t believe how aggressively I can steer it and still feel stable.”
Here is a picture of Andrew’s headtube. He is getting a lugged fixy frame. I just happened to have a few sets oversize lugs that I acquired from the Gardin clearout a few years ago. These were the lugs that were used on Curt Harnett’s Gardin track bikes.
I also have a start on Mark’s ti crosser and a new show bike. The show bike will be a fillet/lug combo.