Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rob's Christmas Frame!

I had to keep this one under wraps for a couple weeks so I wouldn't ruin the surprise!

This was the first Ellis I've ever built without ever talking to the intended rider. Rob's wife called me this past summer to see if I could build a frame as a surprise Christmas gift. It was a bit tough not being able to discuss the bike with him, but Sydney did a remarkable job of tracking down drawings from Rob's other frames and sometimes sending along his wish lists of ideas for future bikes. One of the notes Rob had made to another builder was his hope that the new frame would reflect what that builder's specialty was. Going on that, I built what I would consider an archetypal Ellis.

I submit it for your approval!

We decided early on to have the fork chromed like last year's NAHBS frame, I suggested that we do the chain stay in 953 to evoke the 80's chrome look without the cost of a full 953 rear end.

Of course the Ellis "team" paint scheme was a no brainer.

If you've been watching the blog, you may remember these lugs from Chad's tri frame post. I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag too early, so I just put up a couple close ups of the raw head lugs and seat lug as a teaser.

Jason's masking on the head tubes just keeps getting better, and he was no slouch to begin with!

I'm really starting to like this seat lug.

Polished 953 chain stay with a slight "bump" for chain ring clearance.

Check out the masking on the chain stay bridge reinforcement!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dec. Happenings

Once again, I'm struggling to keep the blog up to date! I'll try to fill everyone in on the latest goings on at Ellis.

This past weekend I had a rare Sat. off from Ben's, so I decided to ride the Milwaukee Santa Rampage. I hooked up with Jason at his shop, and riding along were his friend Jay, and Jon (of Jonny Cycles) from Madison. I had the camera battery all charged up and ready, and I then proceeded to leave it in my backpack after getting all my warm clothes on. So, unfortunately, no pics Santa Rampage. Suffice it to say, it was a blast riding around Milwaukee with about 200 other folks all dressed as either Santa, elves, or other festive critters! I was the buzz kill guy in a red cycling jersey, as I hadn't planned ahead much for the ride and it ended up as a spur of the moment decision to ride. Next year!

As for Ellis Cycles, I finished up Caitlin's frame last week and dropped it off with Jason last Sat.

All the tubes mitered up and ready for the fixture. I hadn't done any work yet on the fork crown, and was noodling over how to make it hang with the frame stylistically. I worked out a cool pattern that's pictured below, and it ended up being one of my favorite details on this frame.

The head and seat lugs are a set of Silva? lugs I got from Ceeway a while back and I've been waiting for a project to use them on. They're for standard gauge tubes, and very minimalist, except for the bands on the head lugs. I carved them back a bit and added the circular cutouts that are becoming one of my favorite motifs.

Of course, the Inspector had to make an appearance to check things out.

A shot of the head lugs and fork crown. The crown is a Long Shen LC 17, and it starts out with two symmetrical points on the side. I decided to add the circular cutout and make the points a bit more asymmetrical to mimic the lower head lug. Unfortunately, I don't see this lug set listed at Ceeway any more, but I may have to ask if he can get them for me. For smaller frames, I really like this pattern and look.

Finally, the seat lug, with some tidy sidetack seat stays. If you look closely, you can see the stainless waterbottle boss I added on the inside of the stays for mounting a rack. Caitlin wanted the flexibility to run a rear rack, but this way when it's not mounted, the mounts are not nearly as noticeable. Plus the stainless bosses won't get chipped and rusty from taking the rack on and off. I added stainless washers on the dropout eyelets as well.