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    edoz's Avatar
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    Default Edoz Bicycles

    That's the name that my friends have given this vehicle I'm driving on the road from poser to pro. So far, you've heard from some pretty solid dudes. Guys who've built reputations and businesses, and given their knowledge back to the community. You've also heard from a couple of guys will lead the charge for the next generation. They say all good things come to an end, and that's where I come in.

    Building stuff runs in my family, and I was swinging a hammer in my grandfather's wood shop from an early age. Working on the car with my dad, taking things apart just because and building things I probably could have bought cheaper have been positive experiences for me. I started riding when I was a kid, like everyone else, but when I turned 16 I didn't stop riding like most of my friends. I rode even more, and I never stopped.

    Fast forward many years, and now I'm a professional metal fabricator (wow, that sounds kinda fancy). I happened into the career by chance, lured to Tulsa by a TV ad for the welding school here. As a cyclist and a welder, I eventually had to field the inevitable question. “So when are you gonna start building frames?” I didn't know, but it was a damn good idea:) I heard that question so often it started to bother me. I wasn't, but there was no reason why I wasn't.

    There's a local builder that I am friends with and we'd talked about his frames, and I'd picked his brain a lot and volunteered to help quite a few times. My 'apprenticeship' with him never took off, but I came to a point where I needed a frame repaired so I called him. I'd been racing a Waterford mtb, and I broke the driveside dropout. We talked about it, and since I had set it up as a single speed, he offered to help me put track style dropouts on it. When he saw the frame, he pointed out a crack in the chainstay as well, right behind the bb lug. I called Waterford to try to get a set of chainstays, and even though the stays weren't available anymore Richard Schwinn talked to me about all kinds of ideas to fix it. He ended up giving me the number for Henry James, and Hank just happened to have one last set of stays that he stopped selling long before. It was soon discovered that the Waterford had many more problems, and was a lost cause. So I had no race bike, and no project for these stupid chainstays. What I did have, was a mission. Rich had loaned me his old Paterek manual when I brought that frame over, and I decided I was gonna build a frame. A trip to the Great Oracle at Google introduced me to resources I never knew existed. A whole world of guys sharing their work and their secrets with yahoos like me. I felt like MacGuyver was letting me read his diary.

    I had a garage, and some tools but no welder. I'm a good tig welder, but I didn't have one at home nor the cash to buy one. My boss would have been less that thrilled to see me welding a frame at work. Fortunately, someone at work had a torch set that they gave me for free. Torch, tips, regulators, hoses, and free. I hadn't brazed anything for a while, but I got some straight gauge and brushed up. Now what? Where'd I put that number for Henry James? Hank was super cool, and took all the time I needed helping me pick out a tubeset for my first frame. I scored some 80/20 from work and started building a fixture. I built the frame and fixture together, and sometimes work on the frame would stall while I changed the fixture. I made some dumb mistakes, too. Nothing catastrophically unsafe, just dumb. Really dumb.

    When I got it done Rich told me to bring it over and use his alignment table. It was closer to straight than I ever would have imagined, all it needed was for the dropouts to move a little. I built it up and it rode good. I ordered another tubeset immediately. That was about 13 frames ago.

    Since then I've built a few for me, and I've built a few for a small circle of test riders. I'm settling on how I like to do things and what I want stuff to look like. I hope to hang out a shingle, maybe next year. Until then I just have to trust that it'll happen when it's right, and if it doesn't happen then it just wasn't meant to be. I'm having lots of fun, though:)

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    spopepro is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Hi,

    You say the bulk of your experience is in TIG. If the brazed frames take off, how do you think you would add TIG frames in? I'm assuming you would, so if that's not in your plans, maybe you can talk about why.

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    I still wonder why you don't just weld the damn things together, especially after I brazed my dropouts in yesterday and was instantly reminded how much I hate brass.

    wait to hang your shingle till Calvin's out of school then you can afford to be poor, afford to be poor kind of ironic

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    Hi,

    You say the bulk of your experience is in TIG. If the brazed frames take off, how do you think you would add TIG frames in? I'm assuming you would, so if that's not in your plans, maybe you can talk about why.
    Although I do want to buy a tig machine at some point, I don't really think I'd build many frames with it. I know it would come in very handy for tooling and other projects, but I really don't have a desire to build tig frames. I could see making stainless lugs, or ti h-bars, but probably just as personal projects. There's a lot of industry here, and I can also see a welder coming in handy to do a little contract work if things are slow.

    Most of my influences are fillet brazed bikes. I started mtn biking in the 80's and remember Ritchey, Mountain Goat and the old Salsas. I also watch stuff coming from Pereira, Coconino and Julie Racing Design. It's just a soft spot have, and although the decision to braze was pretty much made because of necessity, I think it was the best for me.
    Thanks for asking:)

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    I still wonder why you don't just weld the damn things together, especially after I brazed my dropouts in yesterday and was instantly reminded how much I hate brass.

    wait to hang your shingle till Calvin's out of school then you can afford to be poor, afford to be poor kind of ironic
    Lol, I lack the powergrid to run a good tig machine, and I've been spoiled using Synchrowaves for years so I can't just buy any little crackerbox.

    Building professionally will be a side gig for a long time, I imagine. Quitting my day job is a long ways off.

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    Lol, I lack the powergrid to run a good tig machine, and I've been spoiled using Synchrowaves for years so I can't just buy any little crackerbox.
    I know what you mean, I keep waiting for Allen to sell me his 200 amp Dynasty. No way could I justify one of those new, even used it would be a stretch.

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    Too Tall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Brother, I respect your focus to do what feels right. Don't stop....ever. Your Kung Fu is strong. Seriously, not kidding about that.

    What if any interest do you have in making some connection to communities you live in?

    Name three artistic influences outside cycling that inspire you. Some of mine for instance are: Marvin Gaye, Mohammed Ali, David Hockney and Peanut Butter...it's just that good eh?

    Demanding ain't I"

    Not done yet.

    This is a very personal service you provide to folks and it's early to ask you to say what might be some framing words to describe your personal philosophy but hey it's the internet!!!!

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Edoz,

    Thanks for sharing!

    What part of the process confounds you the most, especially since you had the metal working thing on lock?

    Favorite build so far?

    Least favorite build so far?

    Where are you located?

    Cheers,
    Baltimore Bicycle Works

    FLICKR

    Natty Boh and Lonestar Enthusiast

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Brother, I respect your focus to do what feels right. Don't stop....ever. Your Kung Fu is strong. Seriously, not kidding about that.

    What if any interest do you have in making some connection to communities you live in?

    Name three artistic influences outside cycling that inspire you. Some of mine for instance are: Marvin Gaye, Mohammed Ali, David Hockney and Peanut Butter...it's just that good eh?

    Demanding ain't I"

    Not done yet.

    This is a very personal service you provide to folks and it's early to ask you to say what might be some framing words to describe your personal philosophy but hey it's the internet!!!!
    Thanks, TT. I have a great desire to be connected with my community. I want to see my bikes at local races, I want to see them at the trails or out on the road. When Carl S said that he sells maybe one bike a year in Bozeman, I thought "That's kind of a bummer". I really like being part of where I am, and the locals have been very supportive from the beginning.

    3 influences? Old cars, I'm not sure how I incorporate that into my work, but I'm sure there's a little hot rod or musclecar in there somewhere. I did think that if I did stock colors, it would be the Mopar colors from about 1970. I had my current mtb painted lime green like my Dodge Dart:)
    Science fiction, I tried to match the curve on a set of seatstays to a picture of the creature from Alien.
    Heavy metal, I think I form my best work bubble when there's some Motorhead or Iron Maiden playing.


    Words to describe my philosophy? Hmmm, Durable would be one, I value that over light weight. Comfortable, I want to build bikes that fit and disappear under the rider. That's about all I can think of, but like you said it's early.

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Nash View Post
    Edoz,

    Thanks for sharing!

    What part of the process confounds you the most, especially since you had the metal working thing on lock?

    Seatstays. I have been hand bending straight gauge for mtbs, and getting both of them the exact same is very frustrating sometimes. I've been known to bend more than 2, just to get a set that matches. Even then, I've had a couple of sets that looked good until I was done with the frame, and then they looked ever so slightly off. At my last race, I rode behind a guy on a ti Titus, and the seatstay bridge was slightly crooked. It made me feel a little better:

    Favorite build so far?
    My last one. A 29er for my girlfriend, and the first one I've tailored for a person from the ground up. I took her position on her other bikes, and their geometries and was able get it just the way she wanted.

    Least favorite build so far?
    #5, a cross bike I built for myself and I made a mistake in the rear end and the wheel is out of plane. I ride it to work every day, so it bothers me every day.

    Where are you located?
    Tulsa, OK.

    Cheers,
    Thanks for asking, btw.

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Hey Edoz,

    You indicated that you’ve given a small number of “test riders” some of your frames to give them a good working over , what feedback have they given you that’s made your frames ride better? Have they been brutally honest with you thus far? How do you deal with the criticism?

    Thanks for your story and best of luck in the future,

    Andy
    "I think I know what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers."

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    You riding "turkey mountain"? Jason has been filling me in along the way with your progress, and watching here, looking good, and you are asking the right questions. What do you want to change the most for your next frame? Categories: Materials, process, fixtures, skills, design.

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpdpayne View Post
    Hey Edoz,

    You indicated that you’ve given a small number of “test riders” some of your frames to give them a good working over , what feedback have they given you that’s made your frames ride better? Have they been brutally honest with you thus far? How do you deal with the criticism?

    Thanks for your story and best of luck in the future,

    Andy
    Some of it has been building with parts I wouldn't have chosen otherwise. A friend wanted Black Cat swinging dropouts. I'd seen them before and thought "meh, whatever" but I did some more looking and they really started to catch my eye. I've since built 5 frames with them, and have 3 more sets in a box for future frames.

    I've also had a couple of "Dude, that's not gonna work" moments. One was a ground clearance issue because I figured head tube height based on the wrong fork and no sag (DOH!) The other was a tire clearance deficiency in the rear.

    Probably the biggest change was an overhaul of my build/alignment procedure and fixture. I built my first 4 and cold set them afterwards. The 4th one was a 29er for a big strong guy. The head tube was a bit twisted, and it literally took 2 people to cold set. It was fine when he got it, but after a few rides he called me and said there were small ripples in the dt and tt right behind the head tube. It looked like an impact, but he didn't remember hitting anything big enough to do that. In hindsight, I think I got it ready to kink when I cold set it. So as I replaced the front end on that bike, I changed the fixture to keep things straighter as I tacked it up, and I figured out a way to check it as I went and braze it into alignment. Since then all I've had to do is minor tweaking of the rear to get the dropouts spaced right. Getting those to come out straight is eluding me. For now.

    Thanks, and I think I met you at NAHBS. I think you gave me a Shamrock coaster when I asked about your Star headset.

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    Carl S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Hi Edoz, you said you hope to hang your shingle in about a year or "when it's right". Do you have an idea of what you will use as a indication it's right, any goals in particular you want to meet before you start selling? Thanks for getting smoked out!
    Carl Strong
    Strong Frames Inc.
    www.strongframes.com

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by vulture View Post
    You riding "turkey mountain"? Jason has been filling me in along the way with your progress, and watching here, looking good, and you are asking the right questions. What do you want to change the most for your next frame? Categories: Materials, process, fixtures, skills, design.
    Yeah, Turkey Mtn has kinda shaped my geometry decisions. Quick steering at low speed and high bb. Dent resistance is on my mind, too. Niner geometry is pretty close, but I've been adjusting it a little.

    As for changes, I don't think I'm going to change anything material wise. I just started using different tubing for seatstays, I went from 5/8" .058 and 1/2" .035 to 5/8" .028 and 9/16" .035. Before the next frame I'm definitely going to work out a bend procedure that is consistent, bending one and then trial and error until I can make another match is bunk. I also want to change the way my fixture holds the head tube, to make the angle easier to set and give me more access to the back side when I tack. Mine holds it from the side, like most fixtures do, but I saw a motorcycle frame fixture that holds the head tube from the front.

    Skills improve every time, but I always want more. My brazing recently jumped up a couple of notches. It's always been pretty decent,(well, there were some pretty sorry practice pieces) but one day last month it was just way smoother. Not Garro smooth, but good enough that I didn't want to sand it. I wanted to leave it alone so everyone would see it. In five years, I'll probably be happy I went ahead and finished it out;)

    Thanks, Wade. Keep posting those tooling pics, I get some good ideas from you. Those curvy frames you've been doing recently are pretty badass, too.

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    Smile Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl S View Post
    Hi Edoz, you said you hope to hang your shingle in about a year or "when it's right". Do you have an idea of what you will use as a indication it's right, any goals in particular you want to meet before you start selling? Thanks for getting smoked out!
    That's a good question, but I'm not sure I have an answer for it. I definitely want to make sure my processes are consistent and repeatable. Getting things the same, every time. I need to add a few more checks and balances, and I'd like to have some sort of surface pate. I also need to be more organized, telling a customer that it'll be another week on his frame because I lost the little baggie of cable stops I bought would be pretty lame.

    I'm planning to get insured soon, like sometime this summer. After that, I'll feel better about building for more people. I'm gonna wait and see how things look at that point, but I think I have enough friends to last through the end of this year. I'm thinking about trying to get one of the new builder spots at NAHBS 2011, since Austin is so close. I'm concerned that it's just too soon for me, but I kinda have to make up my mind before all the tables sell out. It's a bit of a gamble, either I'll get my game together before next Feb, or I'll show up and look like an idiot. Of course, having a spot doesn't commit me to being in business right then. It could be an excellent way to find out what everyone else thinks.

    OK, enough of my internal dialog. That's a fairly vague answer, but from here on out it gets pretty boring.
    Thanks for visiting my thread, and thanks for the seminar. See you in Austin. (Table or not, I'm going)

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    ...I definitely want to make sure my processes are consistent and repeatable. Getting things the same, every time. I need to add a few more checks and balances,...<snip>...
    What are your thoughts regarding how to go about making things more consistent and repeatable? Is it tooling? Better gauge technology? More significant digits on the scale?

    In terms of process are you thinking that more checking during a build; tack/check, tack/check, braze is the answer? I'm sure a combination of various ideas will coalescence, but I'm wondering about the bigger picture too.

    How flat is flat and how straight is straight?

    Thanks,

    Conor

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by conorb View Post
    What are your thoughts regarding how to go about making things more consistent and repeatable? Is it tooling? Better gauge technology? More significant digits on the scale?

    In terms of process are you thinking that more checking during a build; tack/check, tack/check, braze is the answer? I'm sure a combination of various ideas will coalescence, but I'm wondering about the bigger picture too.

    How flat is flat and how straight is straight?

    Thanks,

    Conor
    The tack/check deal has helped me quite a bit so far. I consider it a significant evolutionary step for me. I can get a frame within 1/16" of flat and with usually a little less twist at the head tube. After my cold setting experience, I figure it's better to be a little less than perfect and not have to manhandle it. With rear triangles, I go for perfect. If anyone would like to reply with suggested tolerances at this point, I'd like to hear them.

    Regarding consistency, while I will end up building a bit more tooling most of it comes down to an improved operator. Like with seatstays, I'm closing in on making them match. Eventually I'll figure out what combination of 'insert this far into bender, hold it here and use x amount of force to bend it x far' gets me where I need to be. I think I can calibrate myself with time and practice.

    Thanks for the visit.

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    How do/would you deal with customers whose description of what they want in a bike is rather imprecise?

    For example, if I were going to get a custom frame, I'd bring you my old DeBernardi that's a bit small but has some mods to make it work. I'd tell you that I want my bike to feel like that one, but with proper proportions.

    What's your process of working from an existing bike to creating a new one that's optimized?

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    Default Re: Edoz Bicycles

    I've only done that once, so I don't really have a process yet. It was a learning exercise and a leap of faith on my part, but it worked out beautifully. My girlfriend had a geared hardtail and a single speed that I took measurements from to build her new 29er. Her contact points were the same on both bikes, so I measured those out and made a triangle. I tried to preserve the front/rear bias of that triangle between the axles, and then worked from there. The hardest part was translating the descriptions of each bike into something I could work with. The ability to "boss the rear end around" and that sort of thing. I think customers are going to describe certain traits with different words, and taking those words and turning them into angles and distances is going to be the big job. I guess that why some guys get paid the big bucks, eh?
    If you liked the ride of your bike but it was too small, I think the tubing selection and geometry would be similar. It would then be a case of moving everything to make it fit you. This is the part that I really have to think about a lot. The hard part isn't building it, but figuring out what to build. That's where the internet and the modern framebuilding community really shines. There's so much information available, and so many knowledgeable people who are willing to share. My job is to soak that stuff up and do something with it. When I get good at it, pass it along to someone else.
    Thanks for asking:)

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