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Thread: Groovy Cycleworks

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Hi Rody,
    Thanks for posting here and hour blog which I enjoy. It's great to see how you approach all the specialty fabrication projects you take on.
    A few questions: Do you have a favorite type of bike to make? Do you do many road bikes? How do you think your personal riding interests and style influence your brand and your bikes?
    Also, how has your experience gone with your pulser?

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Thanks,
    John Caletti
     

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    I'm probably more curious about your handlebars than anything else Rody.

    I think the design of them is actually better than the Jones - you seem to have taken a good idea and leapfrogged it over what was currently available.

    1) How do you deal with liability? What sort of failure rate have you had with them?
    2) What sort of R&D have you done on them in terms of materials, wall thicknesses, destructive testing etc.? Do the specs change with the customer?
    3) Hows the product lineage of them relate to what Jones was/is doing, and how many letters from his Lawyers have you had ;o)

    Keep up the good work you insomniac work-a-holic!
    - Warwick
    FRAMEBUILDING PARTS FOR SALE!

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    "How is the new building coming? Will the new location change how you run the shop (still keeping the light retail end)? " Eric

    Eric,

    The new shop is coming along, albeit at a slower pace than I desire :) It's been a rough summer playing so many tunes at once, but they are all moving forward. It's physical presence really drives home the realization that I'm more than ready to abandon the alleys of my commercial location for the solitude and quiet of it's more country setting. As for the move's effect on any retail sales, I've never been a "bike shop" per se, always trying to support the LBS and direct folks there when possible. That said, I've always had a small contingent of folks who I strive to keep supplied with equipment when necessary; I don't see that changing with the new location. As Steve Garro put when we talked last week, "moving the shop will have less of an impact on the business, than the current location has an impact on my ability to be efficient in the shop".

    John asked... "Do you have a favorite type of bike to make? Do you do many road bikes? How do you think your personal riding interests and style influence your brand and your bikes?
    Also, how has your experience gone with your pulser?

    John,

    My favorite type of bike to construct also aligns with my favorite type of customer...the one who says "I've got some ideas for a bike I'd like to build, but they are pretty crazy". I really dig on unique fabrications that require custom parts, imagination, and make the customer stand back and say "wow, you nailed it!" The unfortunate truth is that rarely do these bikes pay for themselves, but what the heck, they are a blast to play with.

    A builders experience is a large factor in his/her ability to produce a bicycle that meets a customers needs. So too is their personal style. The tough cookie is to be able to set aside those influences for the betterment of the design in the cutomer's favor. I know how I like a bike to ride, how it should feel, look, function...but often, we are asked to produce a product that varies from that personal ideal to fit the desires of the customer. As a builder, we can choose to pass on the project or stretch our abilities and embrace new perspectives. I often find I learn more about design when looking through another's eyes. Now, that's not to say that some of my influence doesn't make it's way into the final package. Customers gravitate to a builder because they feel a palpable connection, like what they do, dig on their vibe. I get to spread a little of me into the frame with every paint job, whether wild or subtle, I evoke a bit of creative energy. I always insure that I derive a bit of fun out of each piece, that's what keeps me motivated.

    Ahh, the pulser. Well, here's the kick...I try to keep my mind open and the skill set moving forward so I can continue to evolve as a fabricator. I'll kick on the pulser every now and then to work on the eye hand coordination with the timing or to see how it can be utilized in a new fabrication scenario. I can see the benefits of the pulser from a material standpoint; lower heat input, uniform penetration, etc... but all are characteristics of welding that are more than made up for with experience under the hood. Add to it that when running free, I can adjust immediately to changing conditions required by the material/environment, and I find myself still using the straight amperage the majority of the time. Ironically, the main issue I ran into with pulser use is health related. Four times a year I head into the cardiologists office to have my defibrillator interogated... it records every beat, looks for irregularities, and logs every intervention delivered. What I found out at a recent visit is that unlike the straight amperage, the defibrillator is picking up on the high frequency pulser imputs and reading them as fast heart beats. Fortunately, I never ran a bead more than a few seconds, so they were never interpreted as a run of V-tach, but if they had I would have gotten wholloped...OUCH! So, needless to say, when I do use it now, I never run the pulser faster than 2 pulses a second and never run for more than 10 seconds at a time. Funny how life makes decisions for you, eh?

    Warwick asked about the bars, so here we go...

    1) How do you deal with liability? What sort of failure rate have you had with them?

    Liability is handled through my insurance, I made a special addendum for the bars as I produce so many of them, so have additional coverage to cover the greater number of product out in circulation. As for failures, I've only had one failure, a Ti bar that I had one of my team riders on. As we all know, the harshest conditions occur when racing, and I've got a few guys who beat the sh!t out of equipment and don't necessarily take good care of it. This rider is what I like to call a fiddle f_ck, constantly tightening bolts beyond recommended settings, swapping components that may not be compatible, etc... This year at the Mohican 100, a very muddy race, his front disc brake pistons had locked up as they could not retract due to all the crud, so what's a racer to do? Answer, he took his front caliper off the fork and wrapped it around the bar. Armed with only a back brake, muddy conditions, and racing in first place, he dove down a downhill at 30+ miles per hour and promptly lost control and ran into a tree at the bottom. The Ti bar fractured at the edge of the Thomson stem, leaving him to ride out one handed. Upon inspection, the bar was crimped prior to the accident from over tightening of the stem plate, and the sharp edges of the stem acted like a victorian guiliteen. Pic below for your amusement.

    2) What sort of R&D have you done on them in terms of materials, wall thicknesses, destructive testing etc.? Do the specs change with the customer?

    The bars were designed in solidworks and put through FEA testing, with an eye towards the leverage placed on the segmented joint, helping determine how long the interface needed to be to provide the stability desired. Much of the material choices were based on previous experience with unheat treated bars, allowing me to feel very confident in when selecting material. The first 100 or so bars made utilized .028 handle sections, and although they did well during destructive testing in the shop, were changed out to .035 when I found that more folks were using these in AM and free ride applications than I anticipated. For the weight penalty, the longevity of the product and safety for others was worth it. I will still make material choice changes for individual customers, most often in Ti pieces. Often I will have large, powerful riders who are looking to thrash that I will increase the wall specs of the center section to better accomodate their desired riding intentions.

    3) Hows the product lineage of them relate to what Jones was/is doing, and how many letters from his Lawyers have you had ;o)

    The product was actually a response to my desire to have a more ergonomic bar than the Jones or Mary offered at the time. It's similarities end there, however, as the fabrication of the Luv Handle is far more complex than either of the two previous examples noted. Beginning with the center section, it is bent in phase to allow for forward sweep, maintaining the same grip to stem centerline as a standard 6 degree flat bar. Doing this accomplished two items; it allowed me to create a piece that would be a strong aftermarket item as it did not require the purchase of a longer stem to maintain rider cockpit dimensions, and it created the offset required to fixture for the steep miter. Moving towards the end of the center section, the one inch material is swaged down to form an oval cross section that increases the rigidity of the bar when pulled upon by increasing the surface area of the joint where it meets the .875" grip sections. A compound miter is made in this section to provide not only the ergonomic sweep but also to allow for 1.0" of rise at the end of the grip section so that when the bar is rotated in the stem, the pressure point of the grip moves across your palm. This was important in allowing folks to find a sweet spot in the grip, thus avoiding undue pressure on the ulnar nerve, allowing for more comfort in long rides or events. Lots of folks ask whey I don't make the bar with a 31.8 center section...short answer is that to swage the larger diameter to meet the grip section creates a dual peak on the material, increasing the stress in that area, shortening the life of the product. Long answer is that the bar is plenty stong in it's 1.0" diameter and I refuse to move to an industry standard created so that poorly designed bars from weaker materials can make it though a couple of seasons...blech!

    As for legal concerns with the bar, I've maintained a level of respect for designs that came before, and have been careful to avoid direct similarities. For instance, one of the characteristics that make a Jones bar his own, is the continuation of the grip beyond the joint, allowing for an additional hand position/stance. Although certainly not unique or original to the cycling world, it is a defining point to his product, so despite many customers requests, I have choosen not to include that as part of my design. It may be odd in today's litigious environment, but I believe that if you are original, honest and respectful, folks will treat each other with courtesey. So far, no letters from lawyers have arrived :)

    Keep them questions coming folks...I'll try to check back often.

    rody
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  4. #24
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    Default monthly bars going out...

    For those of you on the September list for bars, I've done welded them all up; Ti's are shipping out, steels heading to paint.

    A little puddle porn for ya ...

    rody
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Fantastic Smoked Out Rody, a lot of the things you say really resonate with me as a builder.
    So here's your question- what is the one bike or bike related thing you've always wanted to build but haven't done yet?

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    A little known fact: today is Rody's 40th birthday! Have a good one Rody, and thanks for all the good stuff you do :-)
     

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Chauncey,

    I've checked in on the thread, saw your question, and had to log out and think on it a bit. There are many distinct pieces I've got in the works (ie... started on paper/computer, fabrication, then set aside due to customer priorities), but of all of them, the one I'm most stoked on for purely geeky reasons is a titanium springer fork with ti coil over damper cartridge and front axle linkage. I've always loved the 30's Knuckleheads with springer forks, and have had an uncontrollable urge to build a ti fork for a mountain bike with a cleaner design. As a rigid devotee, I'm not ready to surrender to a telescoping sussy fork, but think I could rationalize the springer for comfort. Maybe I'll shoot for Austin :)

    Juan,

    Thanks for the gracious birthday wishes.

    rody
     

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rody View Post
    Chauncey,

    I've checked in on the thread, saw your question, and had to log out and think on it a bit. There are many distinct pieces I've got in the works (ie... started on paper/computer, fabrication, then set aside due to customer priorities), but of all of them, the one I'm most stoked on for purely geeky reasons is a titanium springer fork with ti coil over damper cartridge and front axle linkage. I've always loved the 30's Knuckleheads with springer forks, and have had an uncontrollable urge to build a ti fork for a mountain bike with a cleaner design. As a rigid devotee, I'm not ready to surrender to a telescoping sussy fork, but think I could rationalize the springer for comfort. Maybe I'll shoot for Austin

    rody
    I'm totally with you on the springer. Having been laid up for the past several weeks, I've been spending a lot of time in moto forums and custom chopper sites drawing up some ideas. The trick is to keep the fork looking more Excelsior than Lawill.
    I can't wait to see what you come up with!

    40, huh? Happy belated birthday...too bad you're too busy to have a midlife crisis. ;)

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rody View Post
    Lots of folks ask why I don't make the bar with a 31.8 center section...short answer is that to swage the larger diameter to meet the grip section creates a dual peak on the material, increasing the stress in that area, shortening the life of the product. Long answer is that the bar is plenty strong in it's 1.0" diameter and I refuse to move to an industry standard created so that poorly designed bars from weaker materials can make it though a couple of seasons...blech!
    rody
    Rody for super supreme leader! and happy belated. 40 eh? just 40 more years until retirement yo.






  10. #30
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Yo all Smoked out folks,

    It's been a busy couple of weeks since I last dropped in to say hello. In addition to running two more races for our regional bikies, I put in some heavy time working on the new shop and knocking out a few small projects in between the cracks. Highlights were the completion of building the new solid Hickory doors for the shop (big props to you fine woodworker guys...I don't have the patience to do this everyday), building a segmented fork, starting on a few box crown forks, and painting up a set of new Hot Rod cranks.

    I'll let the pics do the talking for me...
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Hey, Rody - what's the status on the Hotrods? - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Rody

    The new shop looks great. Did you do the layout or farm it out as well. It looks alot bigger that what your working out of now and when's the move in date.

    Larry
     

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Are you doing many of the Hot Rods? I don't see any pricing on your website, but I see you're painting a set.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
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    In Before the Lock

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    What is the square footage on the shop and how long did it take to make? What type of siding is it? Did you design the electrical system.
     

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Rody, I have a question for ya. In your latest blog entry you mention truing a hole saw and turning it on the lathe. Could you share your process for that? I can envision the idea, but my machining skills are still in their infancy so I'm not sure about the specifics.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
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    In Before the Lock

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Rody, great to see you here. Thanks for all your products to sustain all-things-Fat and contributions over at fatcogs.com.

    Kevin Grady
     

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Well, after a long silence, my internet forum absence is over.

    The completion of the shop and maintaining the forward progess of orders has been fairly overwhelming the last couple of months, so I apologize that my forum participation had to take the brunt of the neglect. I hope I'll be able to keep up now that life returns to a sembalence of normalcy.

    In answer to a few of the preceding questions...

    The shop design was soley my responsibility, including the layout, electrical, plumbing, and air systems. Although I did much of the work myself, I contracted with a friend and his employee to keep the work moving forward as I just could not devote all my time to this one aspect of the business...still had to work at the old shop at night while we built the new during the day, and quite honestly, if I wanted to have the work completed by my lease expiration, I needed help.

    Proparc...the shop is 1150 square feet, smaller than my previous space but ample for efficient operation of fabrication, paint, and assembly. The wiring is set up around a 220 single phase service, with a custom rotary phase converter system incorporated. All the wiring is in the walls, as I knew exactly what I wanted, where all machines would go, planned for expansion, and do not anticipate moving the shop again. The shop is equipped with forced air gas heat and air conditioning, uses a butt load of insulation, and the exterior siding is a concrete board for durability. Any more questions, let me know.

    Steve and Eric... the Hot Rods were a project that was embarked upon by Bill and I as an opportunity to get him back into the biz in a managable fashion; a small part that he could work on a bit at a time in the evenings, walk away from the bench, and come back to without feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of a full on custom process. The redesign took longer than desired, and passion faded although customer inquries have not. The future of the product will lie in my lap now, as I plan to offer them in limited numbers. I will be alternating the production of the cranks with bars, every other month, so that I can meet the niche requests without too much demand on my available time for frames. I feel it is an excellent product, offers builders a complimentary piece for complete builds that can be painted to match, and gives aftermarket customers an alternative to mass produced goods that have historically blended together visually. Look to the website after Nahbs for their inclusion and pricing.

    Well, all the time for now, off to finish up the paint booth so I can start spraying color again :)

    rody
     

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Some creative re-purposing from my better half, as pulled from my blog...

    What to do with all those Thomson bags?

    It's a questions that plagues every builder who has the opportunity to use these excellent US products...what do you do with all the nice fabric bags they come in once the component is installed.

    I've got them all over the shop; each reamer has it's own, the Rigid Benders for racks each have them, etc.

    Despite my storage uses, I still had a box of bags left over during the move. As I was sending it to the bin, Kalten rescued them and pressed Christi into service re-purposing them. Thank goodness she has talents I don't, as she was able to create some pretty cool items from my cast offs...

    She meticuously ripped every seam, sewed them back together as fabric, and then mated them with heavy weight Duck canvass and piping to arrive at these functional courier bags and totes. Featuring internal pockets and wide straps for comfort (still waiting for the courier bag hardware), they should serve out another lifetime now.

    Reuse and recycle...yeah!

    rody
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Groovy Cycleworks

    Rody

    Tell the misses those are sweet.
     

  20. #40
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    Thumbs up Nahbs coverage beginning...

    Drew of Engin and I got in on a little press discussing the hand built niche.

    Read more here... Handmade Mountain Bikes Gaining Popularity | MB Word

    @Larry, you got it...she's blushing from the admiration :)

    rody
     

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