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  #76  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:02 AM
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  #77  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:02 AM
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  #78  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:02 AM
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  #79  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:07 AM
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Great Stuff

Dont rember how, but I remember reading about 44 about 2 years ago, think it was the Ted Wojcik connection (as I have a Wojcik tigged road frame). At the time, he had just started building the workshop and I really loved following the build of his workshop. Great reading a bit more about how it all started! Nice looking bikes too!
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  #80  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:52 AM
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I wanted to thank Kris for sharing with us here on the Paceline. Thank you!

Kris, living where you do, getting out for a trail or gravel ride is easy since it's right at your door step. It seems to be a great area for R&D and ride testing, is the "ride" also part of your problem solving/trouble shooting process?


FYI:....

Kris also owns and runs BLACKCAP Studio focusing on product design.

www.blackcapstudio.com

Great graphic design! Here are a few examples.....




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Last edited by William; 03-22-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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  #81  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:53 AM
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A few more....
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  #82  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:54 AM
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  #83  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:54 AM
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"The Ride" is the problem.

Thanks to William and all for letting me share my story with everyone on the Paceline. I love talking "bike speak" so if anyone has any questions, fire away.

@William: When we first moved here from Providence, RI. I owned two mountain bikes and two road bikes (actually a road bike and a converted older frame to fixed gear). I loved riding road and switching between the two although my heart is really on the trail to be honest. But I quickly came to find the extensive and well maintained dirt road network in Southern NH. Our area here is just coated with them. So the opportunity to ride gravel and unpaved roads that led to trails which I was discovering at the time was just too good to pass up. I had purchased my first 29er frame (Surly Karate Monkey) around this time too to see what the talk was all about and ended up selling my two skinny tire bikes because I was enjoying riding dirt roads with big 2.3 tires and drop bars. That opened my eyes to possibilities. But since I first started riding bikes to getting my own mountain bike as a teen, something clicked and I was in hot pursuit of something more.

That "more" was just the literal ride, then searching out specific types of lines and then attempting to find just the right tool for those lines. In school, when I was taught tig welding, I also was given the opportunity to use a lathe which instantly set me on a path to build bicycle components (specifically hubs):





I'd do all the machining, anodize them myself (I was a jewelry major at PSU, which had it's own anodizing setup of all things), then lace them up and go for a ride. The first time I rode one of my wheels with my hub was a step off a cliff in a way taking that first pedal stroke. But it worked! There were a few changes that needed to be made once I rode it and put it through it's paces, but that thrill of making something with which I could enhance my ride experience hit home hard. Frames were a natural progression from here as that really can dictate your ride experience naturally.

Given that I seek out slow, techy, difficult trails, I am constantly listening to my experience on trail and making tweaks with builds. Building bikes for myself allows me to thoroughly scrutinize ideas and new geometry before I offer that to the customer. It also allows me to try new techniques with building and allows me to refine my own technique and processes so I'm not trying new things with clients builds. The client is only getting what I feel confident with and have ridden myself.

A great example of some of what I am talking about above is culminated in this bike:



There's a lot of talk about specific aspects of bikes and recently there's been a lot of discussion about chainstay lengths and 29" wheels. Having built a lot of these types of bikes, and have been refining that ride characteristic I'm looking for, shortening the rear end was in the cards as it really becomes apparent on trail how much quicker and responsive a 29er gets as you shorten the chainstays. Also note that I'm also refining a lot of other angles/measurements in this equation which includes head angle and bottom bracket height. I was (and have been) getting a lot of questions about chainstays and I wanted to have an informed answer when someone asked me what the difference is between a 29" bike with 17" chainstays and say 16.5" or 16". This bike enabled me to feel that out when all other things stayed constant.

I also had never done internal cable routing, so this bike was an experiment with that:







I also started playing with forming the chainstays to increase lateral stiffness under pedal load:





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  #84  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:55 AM
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Continuing...

(Continued due to the 10 image restriction per post):

This proto allows me to change the chainstay length with a range of 16" to 16.8". From this build, I was able to gain the experience necessary to build a bike that can perform with super short stays but also inform myself what specific lengths like and do not like on trail. So if a customer is looking for a specific ride experience, and we've discussed their terrain type I can make informed recommendations that will best suit their requests and terrain they're riding. 16" are extremely playful and allow the rider to easily loft the front end. But in combination with specific head tube angles and bottom bracket drop, I'm able to tune that bike to climb equally as well but do know that with this slightly shortened wheelbase, at speed in tech, will get a bit choppy if it's rigid. If it has suspension, that helps to mitigate some of that choppiness. If you're riding that same terrain and want that quickness with more all day comfort, I'd tend to recommend something in the 16.5" range and tweak the build to match that. But what i did suspect and subsequently found out is that all these numbers all work in conjunction with one another. No single angle or measurement is king. It's a recipe and all the ingredients carry weight and work in conjunction with one another.

The internal cable routing has been requested on all but 2 bikes I've recently done oddly enough since doing this bike. It's more a "look" than anything but when you need to pick up the bike and not grab cables, that functionally from a tactile sense is desirable. The swaged stays also have really helped to stiffen the bottom bracket. A client in Switzerland commented that it's one of the stiffest singlespeed's he's ever ridden (and he's owned a bunch of carbon and titanium SS hardtrails which were known for their stiffness). But the use of .625" O.D. wishbone stays helps to liven that ride up. Some studio shots of that bike:







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Last edited by Fortyfour; 03-22-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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  #85  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:44 AM
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That is awesome Kris! Having the mind set to envision, and the skill set and tooling to realize ideas into real world experiments is very important in pushing the product envelope. Is the "I wonder if..." a question that pops up in just about everything you do?

I also seem to remember seeing some reversible drop outs that you came up with to be able to run geared or single speed. Was this also a design experiment? Also, are you still making hubs?



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  #86  
Old 03-23-2013, 02:40 PM
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Elegant functional aesthetics. 44 Bike is definitely on my list for another rigid SS.
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  #87  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:12 PM
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I like this guy's style. Wish I needed a fat bike...
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  #88  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:13 AM
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Speaking of single speeds.....







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  #89  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:14 AM
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  #90  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:14 AM
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