Friday, April 27, 2012

Back In Black ... Or Something Else!

When the original leather cover on her Terry Butterfly saddle wore out, Marianne decided that it was time to move beyond basic black. Jason Moore at Recovered Saddle helped her pick out this auburn leather to be used for recovering the saddle, and he provided the matching leather bar tape. Jason did a great job restoring this saddle with new padding and finely tailored leather cover.  This custom frame is painted in House of Kolor chameleon green/blue, and this auburn leather also looks good when the bike's blue tone appears.

The opportunity to recycle that favorite, but well-worn, high end saddle is kind of a no-brainer ... why not?  Beyond that, this service from Recovered Saddle opens up a whole new world when it comes to selecting a bike's color scheme.  I've seen too many bikes with poorly matched colors on "not black" saddle and bar covering. I know that this is what happens when one is limited to off-the-shelf tape and saddles, but my eye is drawn to that mismatch, and it kind of detracts from the overall appearance of the bike. For my custom frame customers, selecting the paint typically is a big deal. Now they can extend that color scheme selection to include a complimentary - and matching - color for the saddle and bar cover.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Lug Edition

For an upcoming mixte (step-through) frame project, I needed a lug set which includes the two special lugs to carry the steeply sloped top tube. Despite the variety of modern cast lugs available for traditional frames, there are no non-proprietary lug sets currently being produced for the mixte format. Searching the offerings of old-stock components, I found a set of vintage pressed lugs which, under all that tarnish, showed some potential.

But I never really cared for this Nervex style, and the sockets for the top tube and down tube are cut too blunt to carve any sort of nice point. This called for a major overhaul....

The first step was to square off the end of the down tube socket, and braze on an extension which can later be shaped into a point. In the photo below, the junction has been filed to reveal the fine brass-colored line of the joint.

This lug-shaped-object then was carved to create a new long point, and to remove most of the original Nervex features.

This new overall profile is consistent with the simple lug styling that I had envisioned for this frame. But I wasn't done yet... the shorelines needed refinement, and this lug needed to be thinned.

The photo below shows the brazed lug, sporting a completely new style for this old lug set. Who would ever guess how this lug started out?