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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.


Powder Mania!

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.   The problem with contracting out the powder coating is that most of the existing businesses have only basic powder coating abilities.  I wanted to be able to recreate finishes as well as Stefan has done for me in the past but with extra toughness.  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.  It is single speed version of the geared mtb I built for Paul at the end of the summer.    There is a previous post with a picture of that bike.  This bike has a gloss black base powder, charcoal flames, and clear powder top coat.  Pretty and very tough.


Pete’s touring frame has been built for a while and waiting for powder.  This is the same powder the US military uses on their equipment.   It is extremely tough.  We tried chemically stripping a sample with no luck.  This bike is being assembled with a Rohloff and mainly silver components.



Jay came and picked up his club bike last Friday.  We packed up the bike for its flight home to Jordan.  One of the concerns he had was the amount of sand blowing around in the wind.  He will have to experiment with some different chain lubes.


I have also been working on Paul’s ti TT/road bike.  The frame has the ti version of the S+S couplers.  The lock nut is stainless and the couplers are made of titanium.  




 Paul’s frame is now ready for some finishing and cable guides.  Most of the parts are here so it should be assembled shortly.