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Ron’s Bike

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.


The Travelling Ti Show

February 12th, 2009 Hugh

 We are starting to run out of space in our front room as bikes reach completion and await the arrival of their new owners.


One such bike that we’ve just finished is a pretty sweet Ti Triathlon bike. This bike took a bit longer to finish as we had to wait for a bunch of the new Dura-Ace 7900 to show up, but it’s definitely been worth the wait.


Since there was already a bit of red on the fork, and a bit on the stem, and a bit on the saddle, we decided that we might as well just carry on the theme. The red King headset, Crank Brothers pedals, Salsa skewers and seat clamp round out the package nicely.


The best part about this bike might just be the fact that it comes with S and S couplers. These allow the owner to break the frame into two to allow for easy transport. Once it is packed into its case it is well within the limits for airline baggage, so it only takes a few flights to recoup the investment.


When I was building this bike, I took the chain out of it’s package and was pleasantly surprised at what I found; a quick link! I think Shimano may have been the last hold out, but fortunately they have seen the light and made the switch. Thus far it is only offered on the 7900 chain but if we all cross our fingers and repeat “Trickle down” three times fast, maybe we’ll see it on all their chains in the near future.


Along with the last of the new Dura Ace, we’ve also received a few forks we were waiting on. We have two Reba SL’s, a Fox F80 RlC and a DT Swiss XMC 80. These are your awesome, really awesome, and way past awesome options when it comes to 29er suspension.


So with that, it’s back to work, the next project is a Columbus Spirit Road frame


Nose to the Grindstone

February 9th, 2009 Hugh

 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.


Busy, Busy, Busy!

February 5th, 2009 Hugh

It’s been quite busy at the shop this week. We have about a dozen Ti frames we’re trying to get done and the shop has been transformed into a bit of an assembly line.

Lots of Ti


Since every frame needs a set of wheels, there is a lot of wheel building going on as well. We have Phil Wood Hubs and XT hubs ready to be laced.

Hubs and Spokes

And then laced and ready to be trued.


We’re huge advocates of the bicycle as a means to slow down and see the world around us and as such we make our fair share of Touring and Sport touring frames. However we’re not above pedaling down the road as fast as possible and a nice set of carbon deep dish wheels often aids in that pursuit. I just finished gluing up some Conti Competition tubular tires to a set of Zipp 1080 wheels. I noticed the 1080’s were a popular choice in the Time Trial at Road Nationals this year as it was much easier to handle in the crosswinds than a disc. Wind often comes into play in both Time Trials and Triathlons and the less energy spent wrestling your bike down the road means more energy exerted on the pedals.