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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.

Beautiful Touring Bike

June 18th, 2008 Hugh

I think this beautiful touring bike deserves a little extra attention. In addition to being custom made, by hand, in Canada, like all True North bikes, I’ll try to show you some of the details that make this custom touring bicycle even more special!

cl_tour_bike.jpgThe bike is a classically styled touring bike with 700C wheels and compact road gearing. The bike is designed for faster touring with light-to-medium loads. The frame and fork will fit 700x35C tires and fenders easily, necessitating cantilever brakes and a slight bend to the seat and chainstays.


cl_tour_3bottle.jpgThere are bosses for three bottle cages. Other than extra water carrying capacity, some people use the third cage to carry a stove fuel bottle, keeping any potential fuel leakage away from the rest of the gear. The black band on the seat tube is a chain catcher, which prevents chain-falls on the inside of the crank, which can really save your day, not to mention the paint!


cl_tour_brazeon.jpg‘Hourglass’ style rack braze-ons provide lots of thread engagement, and do not provide a path for water to enter the seat stays. The threaded insert under the seat-stay bridge (and the matching insert on the chain-stay bridge) provide a secure anchor for the rear fender.


cl_tour_crome.jpgChromed chainstays provide extra protection. Under the paint, the chroming extends over the bottom bracket shell and up the seatstays for durability. Double eyelets ease the mounting of a rack and fenders, and give some redundancy in case of an incident. A 12-27T cassette combined with the 50/34T compact crank provide gearing suitable for the bike’s intended purpose.


cl_tour_dace.jpgAs with all our bikes, parts selection is completely individualized for the customer. We can suggest parts that compliment your intended use and budget, or we can source the exact parts you desire. This bike features Shimano Ultegra hubs and drivetrain with an upgrade to the precise and reliable Dura-Ace shifters.


cl_tour_fork.jpgA carbon touring fork with lowrider and fender bosses is used. With an aluminum steerer, the fork is light, but durable enough for touring. Paul’s Touring Canti’s provide the stopping power. The Paul’s canti’s reliably provide an amazing amount of brake force when they are set up right.


cl_tour_headset.jpgI can’t say enough good things about Chris King headsets. They are pricey, but will pay for themselves in lifespan. The bearings are stainless steel (balls and races) – this makes them essentially impervious to water intrusion. Most importantly, they come in a great range of colours!


cl_tour_paint.jpgWith a custom bike come custom paint. The bike is painted with candy red panels, silver bands and lettering on a candy orange frame. The fork is painted to match and the cromed chainstays are left unpainted. The candy colours are a tinted clear coat that is sprayed over a base (metallic silver). This produces a colour that is deeper and richer than anything you have seen. All told there are five distinct coats of paint on this frame.


cl_tour_wheel.jpgHandbuilt wheels finish of the bike. DT Swiss double butted spokes lace Shimano Ultegra hub to DT Swiss TK7.1 rims. The TK rims are exceptional – they feature double eyelets and a welded seam. These rims are very precise and build a very true, evenly tensioned, durable wheel. Brass nipples are used as the corrosion resistance greatly extends the maintainable life of the wheels as compared to aluminum nipples.

Rohloff Equiped Flat Bar Touring.

May 22nd, 2008 Hugh

Today’s bike is a custom touring bicycle built around the Rohloff 14 speed internally geared hub and Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes. The frame is equipped with with an eccentric bottom bracket to tension the derailleur-less chain. The rear disc mount is touring specific, rotating the caliper out of the way of the rack mount. The frame has a full compliment of braze-ons for rack and fender mounting, as well as triple bottle mounts. The wheels are hand build with Ambrosio Keba touring rims.

nepsis_bike.jpg nepsis_rohloff.jpg nepsis.jpg nepsis_ebb.jpg nepsis_shifter.jpg

Take Apart Touring Bike with S&S Couplings

May 21st, 2008 Hugh

This bike is another custom touring bicycle with the sturdy S&S machine works couplings. The bike comes apart so you can fly with it as regular luggage. The fork is also handmade, with a custom rake and lugged construction. The bicycle is built up with a Campagnolo Centaur/Comp Triple drivetrain and Chorus Ergopower shifters. The wheels are hand built 36 spoke wheels with DT Swiss spokes, DT Swiss TK 9.1 trekking rims and Campagnolo Centaur hubs.

sns_touring.jpg sns_canada.jpg sns_campy_triple.jpg