Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back from paint!

Well, not really "back" since it hasn't gone anywhere; I was thinking of having it painted by somebody qualified in the art of such things but never actually sent it anywhere. It has been waiting in the workshop for quite a while now so I decided I would paint it myself so that I can finally ride it.

I won't do it again but I am pleased to say it did turn out rather decent.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Man down

Inui just lost 1/2 of it's management and workforce in Copenhagen as of yesterday morning.

On the bright side, residents of the San Fransisco area will now be able to get their hands on some freshly welded steel too!

Inui Copenhagen is of course still alive but things might take a little longer and frames will not be TIG welded anymore but lugged or fillet brazed. Classy!

And here's a sample of inui's production so far:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Columbus Max road frame

I've never owned a road bike. I'm not whining, I don't particularly like road biking... I love the esthetics of road bikes though, especially the curvaceous latest generation of carbon fiber frames. They look elegant and fast just standing. So I decided to build one somewhat in the style.
Luckily, back in 1987, Columbus released a tube set called Max, designed for bigger, stronger riders (not me by any means). To cope with the stresses of these more powerful guys, the tubes were beefed up compared to the norm and feature oval sections aligned with the principal forces. The top and down tubes have a vertical oval around the head tube and then transitions to a round profile in the middle and to a horizontal oval at the other end.
They look really good but are a nightmare to cut to size since they don't fit in the cylindrical tube holders we have!
This is one of the reasons for the lack of pictures lately, I've been filling steel like a possessed man, so much my thumbs hurt sometime. And the build is complicated by nature, as it will/should feature a bi-laminate for the head lugs and fillet brazing for the other joints and seatstays that kind of blend in the top tube line... Should...

It's far from being finished but here are some pics of progress so far:

The top 3 tubes are Max, the other ones not. The short taper chainstays were swapped for a longer taper version.

Top tube and head lugs in their original form. They are meant to fit a 1" steerer tube but, to make things easy, I want a larger 1"1/8, more fitting with the large tubes. 1"1/8 wasn't the standard at the time these came out.

And that's were the fun starts.

And done! Amazing what can be done in 4 days with a needle file!

Chopped down and made to fit a 1"1/8 head tube.
Doing this changed the shape of the lugs themselves were the tubes slide in them. The fit is not quite tight anymore. I have no idea at this point if this will come out as planned and might just have been a huge waist of time... We'll see...

Seat tube to bottom bracket shell. A bit more filling needed to fit around the sockets

Brass tinned joint, nice and clean:

So much for now. Off to the workshop!


The last 2 builds (featured in this post and the next one) have involuntary been kept under the radar. Not that there wasn't any work to report - we've done our fair share of 2am/14hours work days as always! Maybe the will to spend another few hours fiddling with white balance and cropping pictures after these long days was lacking a bit... Who knows...

Enough with excuses though, here is a set of Jeff's completed 29er (for the less bike geeks amongst you, a mountain bike with 29" wheels instead of 26").

That's how they all start:

And then, magic happens.
And one ends up with something like this:

More pictures when it comes back from painting and has proper big wheels!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cynthia's Road Bike

After some hard work, Cynthia's road bike is finally ready to be painted. Before this last step, we stopped by the studio and shot some pictures to show what a raw frame looks like.

This frame really is a combination of all the techniques used in bike building. It has tig welds, filet brazing, steel and stainless lugs, and on top of that, few brazed-on. The whole package !

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maiden ride special

Alright, I hear you complain already "This post is way overdue man!" "Have you guys been slacking off?" "Are you messing up so bad you don't dare putting pictures up?"... a.s.o., a.s.o. ...
I know, I understand you, beloved inui fans, this must have been a long wait.
To apologize, this post is packed full of pics and you'll all get a sticker - once we are so popular we do get to print stickers ;)

Without further ado then, pics of Jeff's build outside of the workshop, rocking and rolling:

The handlebar and stem will soon be replaced by something a lot more elegant. Bars not decided on yet but lugged stem:

After a bit of surgery, trying to get that ovalized seat tube back to a more seatpost hugging shape (successfully) and grafting what was reusable from my old ride (basically just the wheels), my new bike is rolling too! And it rides like a dream! (I'm not blowing my own horn, this was a comment from a totally impartial first test rider :) )



I did mess up one thing though. The fork is good for recycling. I didn't really check the reach of the brake to start with, so they don't actually reach the rim. Which is a bummer when trying to brake. And I didn't drill the brake hole square which positions the whole caliper at an angle which it's not really intended to be at.
New parts are on order and hopefully I can build a new fork that works without altering the whole geometry of the bike...
Try, learn.

Cynthia's road bike is coming along too; it will have fastback seatstays like Jeff's (seat post clamping bolt going through the seatstays) so needs to have steel plugs machined to fit the stays and brazed in place before brazing the rear triangle in place. Pictures are probably easier to understand than words:

And as a side note, fillet brazing is a tricky art to master but we are getting there. Fillet brazed frame soon? Can't wait!