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Thread: Phantasm Cycle Works

  1. #1
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    Default Phantasm Cycle Works

    Guys, I’m long winded, so I hope not to bore you all. I have to say that I’m humbled to even be taken into consideration on “Smoked Out” and to be able to share my story with so many great builders.

    My name is Jay Clarke and I am Phantasm Cycle Works. I’ve been riding bikes all my life, never even started with training wheels, went straight to a rigid tired bike and pedaled it down the street with Dad holding on to the seat—they were seats back then, I didn’t have a saddle yet.

    As many of you guys, I went through the BMX, Freestyle, road, MTB, fixie, chopper, cruiser, etc. phases in cycling and was “building” wheels when I was just 12 years old. I was always the “wheel guy” and still am in the Dallas area. I calculated the other day that I’ve literally “built a ton of wheels”. That’s sort of cool to me. I just love cycling. As a kid, it’s your first form of transportation and independence and a new bike is as significant as a new car is as an adult, or even a new bike as an adult for some of us.

    I got into MTBing when I was in college in the early 90s because it seemed to combine BMX and road and I loved it right away. My first “DH” trip was on a Specialized Stumjumper FS w/ a whole 63mm of front suspension and canti brakes. It was a hideous green color with gray Umma Gumma tires and grips. It didn’t fit me and I was working at a machine shop at the time and machined a custom stem for it with the letters “Stout” in Snap On Tools font. It was bad ass, must have been all of 140mm long w/ about 15 degrees rise. I started taking school more seriously and MTBing fell onto the back burner for a few years until I got out and I found myself right back on a bike with disc brakes, full suspension, and I was hooked again.

    After a while, I found I was bored with my bike and wanted something else. I tried the single speed thing and slowly got hooked. Then came the first custom, a 26” wheeled Holy Roller SS from Soulcraft. I enjoyed it for a bit but got bored with it too and just wanted to build my own. Hey, so does everyone right? But I figured I was way ahead of the curve with my previous shop experience.

    To expand on that, I worked at a machine shop for about 5 years. Yeah, it took me a while to get out of school, but I was working full time for most of my stint at the shop, supporting myself and just making it in school. I finally had saved up enough money that I could focus on my Junior and Senior years without having a “real job” to pay the rent/bills/tuition/etc. Running Bridgeports and a Clausing lathe was so much fun at and I “learned” how to TIG weld to an extent. TIG was the “machining” of welding to me. MIG was like drill press. I was always fascinated by TIG and tried my hardest to learn it on my own, without any instruction really. I never got great, but I could stick things together and under paint, well, the welds didn’t look all that bad. I learned more there than I did in Engineering School about how to design and build something. I’m one of those engineers that has a background in both and I share the frustration of someone that has actually built something being told by someone who hasn’t that “this is the way it should be done”.

    After school, life got real, I found a “real job” and I’ve been doing that ever since. As mentioned, already bored with my bikes, I saw a new 29er SS frame from DeSalvo that a friend of mine had commissioned w/ Spectrum powder coat. That frame inspired me to finally take the plunge and get serious about building my own frame. I started lurking on MTBR.com, talking to guys that I thought really knew about custom frames because they’d ordered one before, went to the 1st Annual Texas Handmade Bike Show

    in Frisco, TX and met some good local builders and really got interested. Walt Werner of Waltworks had sponsored a “free tubes” contest on MTBR for a 1st time frame builder if they’d document the entire process. I threw my hat in the ring, check out my application here:
    Free Tubes! - Mountain Bike Forums

    So, I lost. I didn’t win—I was certain I’d win and I didn’t. I was sort of defeated until the original guy didn’t get the job off the ground after the 1 year time frame and Walt went ahead and asked for votes and I won the opportunity overwhelmingly—it’s good to have lots of friends that ride I suppose. I was as scared as I was stoked. Now I had to build something and I wasn’t willing to accept that I wouldn’t be able to ride #1 as everyone seemed to advise. No, this was going to be a nice bike and I was going to be able to ride it for a long time.

    As I continued to progress with #1 (BTW, you can search MTBR for “wwtp” and the whole process start to finish will come up), logging each detail, the whole thing morphed from me just building a bike I could ride to something more, something bigger. I was building a “dream bike” for myself I thought. Building my own bike, no matter how bad it was would still be a dream come true. A Phantasm as the thesaurus showed when I typed in “dream” and found the following definition:

    phan - tasm [fan-taz-uhm] –noun, An image formed by the mind and supposed to be real or material;

    That’s what I was doing, I was taking that image in my head and turning it into a frame. Phantasm became a company in my mind, something that I could do as a hobby that kept my engineering and fabrication desires fulfilled.

    So what now? Well, I read the Smoked Out topics and I’m amazed by the way that folks got to where they are now, again, I’m so humbled to be listed with you guys. But there is a common theme, something that I see over and over again. There was a point in time where everyone started to become who they are today as a builder, an event, a culmination of events, whatever, but there is a common theme where they crossed over into that path and started to build on that. It was the foundation that their brands were built on. That’s where I am right now. As I write this (and it sounds like you’ll see this a few weeks after I write it), I am on the eve of closing on a new home. It’s a home with more space, a big yard, and the room for a separate shop so that I can get more serious about building frames. I’ve got three under my belt now and a list of folks waiting to get on my waiting list should I ever start to sell them. It’s been less than two years since my visit to the 1st Texas Handmade Bike Show and now I’ve ridden three frames that I built for myself, two single speeds and a geared road bike. A geared MTB is in the works now and #1 didn’t only look pretty good, but it has more miles on it than two of the Taiwanese steel frames (both broke) that it replaced.

    I’ve met several local builders and have learned so much from each of them. I’ve always been fascinated with the fact that other builders are so willing to share so much about building with each other. It seemed like intellectual property being given away. However, the more folks I meet and the further along I get in my own progression, the more I find myself sharing what I do. See, to me, and I’m sure to many of you, the upping of the bar by another builder forces me to up my own bar and our craft just continues to become higher and higher quality. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to sharing that with other folks that want to ride a Phantasm bicycle.

    I’m not sure how long it will take, or that I’d ever want to do it full time like so many of you, but I am sure I’m a frame builder and I’m so very happy to be accepted as such by other frame builders. I’m not sure if Phantasm will ever be more than a few frames I built for myself, my buddies, or the public at large. I know there is a lot to making it a real business and I’m not ready to do that until I’m 100% sure that I’m ready. Another common theme I read about is folks that started selling too early. I want to be completely blown away by my own product before I charge money for it. I am getting there. #3 turned out pretty good and I’m very satisfied with it. I know I can do better though and #4 will be even better. One of these days, I do intend to be able to say, “wow, I am doing the kind of work I need to do to charge” and I’ll get my insurance in order and start filling the slots on the waiting list.

    Thanks to each of you for taking your time out to be on this forum, having conversation/debate with me on the few topics that I’ve posted on, and to each of you that have reached out to help me either locally and/or via PMs/email/offline. I hope to pay it forward one day when I am more experienced and find someone that is just starting out and looking for some guidance.
     

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Did I meet you when I was in Dallas? I met so many in 2 weeks that I might have incidentally forgotten. If not or if I did, be glad to see you at Austin (in Feb). Just can't swing the Texas show this year.

    Now, I'm not sure that the freedom a kid gets with the bicycle is quite the same as the automobile. The bicycle has no back seat--and is really a dead give-away at the liquor store. Otherwise, yeah.

    OMFG you had to parade around MTBR with your pants down?! Wow, I don't think I would have played that game. I'll go read it before I comment further...but I have a sneaking suspicion what I'll find. zzzip.

    ON the effbee's sharing knowledge, ideas, and resources; I think it's just natural. New guys are going to try different things in the process of definition. And the old crows have defined themselves, so there's no real threat. I'm thrilled that we're able to act on the need to build and can possibly even make a living at it _as_ a soloist.

    Did you find that you take a "non-stock"size or is stock okay? How did you work that out?

    Thanks for joining in the S/O and best of success to you.
    Last edited by WadePatton; 09-29-2010 at 11:31 PM.






  3. #3
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Wow, another framebuilder that types like he has coffee flowing through his veins. I'm about 10 frames ahead of you, if I can figure out how this stoopid rat suck computer works I'll post some pics for the friday night thing.

    dave
     

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    awesome intro.

    what builders have influenced you the most?

    more importantly, do you drink beer and if so, whats your fav?
     

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Welcome aboard! Will have you on the blog today!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Wade, I don't believe that we have met before though we do have a major catalyst in common, Daltex. I'm not saying that I could have gotten to where I am so far without Glenn, but he's certainly helped the process along tremendously. Glenn has been a great sounding board and getting out of my shop and hanging around in his once every week or so has become one of my favorite get-a-ways from day to day horseshit. I'm sure you can relate to that. Like you, he hasn't influenced my design as much as been a good person to talk about my design with and share the ideas before I implement them. Sometime he like them, sometimes he doesn't. Since he's more focused on lugged road and I'm more focused on TIG MTB, we do see bikes differently. But it's just like women, some guys are into tall, some into short, red head, big, petite, whatever--bikes are the same way, the bike is the common theme and we can all appreciate what the other guy is doing even if it's not what we're focused on. I'm sure we'll meet in Austin though, I will be there--not showing of course, just there to see the show and hang out. I can't wait.

    You know, the MTBR thing kept me going. I felt like I owed a weekly update to those guys. It kept my eye on the prize and that was to end up with a nice frame out of the deal. And I did that. There have been many folks that have popped in since that was completed and other builders have even said, "just do a search for WWTP and it'll walk you through start to finish". It's my own web Paterek manual. I even find myself going back through some of those threads to see how I set something up before every now and then. I still get use out of it.

    As far as sizing, I need a longer TT than most. I have short legs for my height and I think I have freakishly long arms after measuring them though they seem to go ok with the long torso so I don't look too much like an ape. I also like a more upright position and that always means longer head tubes so that I don't have to have 2" of spacers. As an engineer, of course geometry is something I really enjoy just in general. I do all my frames in 3D first, have all the components modeled, and assemble them in the CAD system before the print is even made. I tweak the geometry, get a 2D print, and build off of that. One think building a bike in 3D allows (for me) is to really understand the effects that a tweak in one area has in another area--not that BikeCAD doesn't do that--it's just that all the parametric relationships that BikeCAD has built in, the stuff the program is made of under the covers so to speak, I have to build in when I do my own design. It lets me understand what's going on--not that anyone really needs to know that I suppose, but I like knowing it.
     

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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenCT View Post
    awesome intro.

    what builders have influenced you the most?

    more importantly, do you drink beer and if so, whats your fav?
    Darren, I had a Skyway TA (in chrome) when I was a kid. It was my dream BMX frame at the time with the "TA" Totally Aerodynamic tubes back then. I loved that bike. The TIG welds were amazing. The BMXer in me is why I prefer TIG welding over other joinery methods though I have to say, I am coming around with the brazing and wanting to use that more where it makes sense. That said, someone else that does a lot of that is Drew at Engin. If I were going to pay someone to build a frame for me, Drew is up there on the top of my list. I have other "hero builders" too. I keep a picture of Carl's Strong's welds open in my browser at home all the time. I'm sure everyone knows the picture, bike pointed to the right, picture of the seat tube/seat stays/tt cluster welded to perfection. It's beyond excellent, it's just perfection. Dave Bohm makes some beautiful stuff as well and certainly someone I look at and think, "wow, this guy loves what he does". The carved Steve Garro seat tube sleeve I do were inspired by all the carving that Dave does. Obviously, the bike that made me say, "I'm building a frame" was from Mike DeSalvo and PC'd by Spectrum Powder. The Soulcraft was a nice frame and I used the sealed tube method that Sean uses on my first couple of frames. I'm not doing that now, but the first couple got that treatment. Sasha's stuff has always been something that anxiously awaited to see pictures of at NAHMBS before this cyclocross craze blew up. What's funny about the question is that those guys have influenced me wanting to build, but I'd say that I build what I want. I built a sloping TT road frame for myself because I like that more than a horizontal TT. I think the bike looks more like an MTB that way and it functions better to me. I know that's sacrilege to a lot of folks sacrilege to a lot of folks around here, but remember, my focus is MTB and that influences my road stuff too. So I build what I want. What is important to me is that it be functional and nice at the same time without compromising the integrity or design just to look nice. One of my favorite examples of this is the internal hose for the rear brake. Those things clank around off road even when they are zip tied to a couple or three guides on the frame. It's not often, but a couple of clanks per ride is enough. I like my bike to be quiet. The slightest noise that doesn't belong is frustrating to me. The internal hose guide makes the hose silent, requires zero zip ties, just takes 2-3 hours extra to to and looks great. Sure, running the hose through it requires the end to be cut off, but seriously, when is the hose already cut to the right length anyway? It's not any extra work to put the brake on the first time and there's really no reason to take it off unless you want to change the brake down the road/trail and then the hose is going to be too long on the new brake anyway. That's probably making you wish you'd just asked the beer question huh?

    I love beer. Folks call me a beer snob and I think I'm exactly the opposite. I like lots of different beer and no longer have a favorite. A "beer snob" in my mind is someone that can "only drink Bud Light 'cause that Coors tastes like shit and so do all those weird beers". I have a style I prefer and that's either a hoppy Pale Ale or an IPA. I tend to think that it's really not possible to put too many hops in beer. I would stay my favorite brewery is Stone in Escondido. If you are in SoCal, you really need to go there. The food and atmosphere are as wonderful as the beers themselves. They don't use labels, never have, but rather a ceramic coated bottle that looks amazing. It's like sending each bottle to powder coat instead of sticking a paper sticker on it. I've sort of started my own tradition with finishing a frame and popping open a Stone Ruination during the kick back and admire my own work phase. What I've got in the fridge now:

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Torpedo
    Lauganitas IPA and Little Sumpin' Extra
    Full Sail Session Lager and IPA
    Fireman #4 (not my favorite, but Allison likes it)
    Victory Hop Devil and Golden Monkey
    Dogfish Head 60 and 90 Minute
    Chimay Red, Blue, and White labels
    Avery Collaboration Not Litigation
    Magic Hat #9, not sure what I think of this one just yet
    Ska's Hoppus Moderandi

    So it depends on my mood, but those are some of the go to beers. Luckily, we get good beer here in DFW and I still am envious of what folks get out there on the west coast.

    Thanks for the questions.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyclesNoir View Post
    Welcome aboard! Will have you on the blog today!
    Thank you, sir. There is also a Facebook page for Phantasm Cycle Works for those of you interested in following that--I think this is the link (Welcome to Facebook) though I'm not the most Facebook savy guy. I just have it because I kept getting asked if I had one by folks.
     

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    the site is empty :(
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAppyKAmikaze View Post
    the site is empty :(
    Yeah, my "web guy" hasn't really done much with it. I need to ping him again and find out if he ever is going to do anything with it. It really hasn't been a priority because I was more concerned with building frames than making a slick looking website. It seems there is a lot of that that happens with beginner frame builders--slick site with the one or two frames that they've built. I'm hoping to have something on there after the next bike is done because I feel that it will better represent my work then. Of course, feel free to follow on Facebook for now. When the website is launched, it'll be noted on there.
     

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Hey Jay, Glad you're here!
    I liked following the wwtp thread over on mtbr although until now I didn't know the story behind what started it, I didn't realize there was a contest that kicked it off. Knowing this now I have to give you even more props for the job you did on it, It's a long process and you put equal effort into documenting every step all the way to the end.
    I'm still knee deep in some of the basics of framebuilding and my current object of focus is crank/chainstay clearance, whats yours at the moment?
    Anyway, congrats on putting it out there and signing up for Smoked Out.
    Jake
     

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Jay,

    Couple things I have been curious about:

    How does your background as an engineer play into the design and execution of your bikes.

    Your tig skills have improved dramatically, tell me about the learning curve.

    You changed from tig welding your seatstays, to brazing them in. What prompted that change?


    Best of luck!

    GT
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

    "More Frame, less Seatpost"

  13. #13
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    Jake,

    I'm glad you were one of the folks that was following that thread and I'm glad you got something out of it. Hearing that really makes all those hours of documenting the build worthwhile. I've had a few messages from folks that followed that series that said, "I got my first frame built because you documented it so well" and that really makes me happy.

    I like your focus on what your doing. The WWTP frame didn't have the tire clearance I would have liked but had a mile of chainring clearance--and for a single speed, well, that's wasted effort. The current frame that I'm working on has enough tire clearance for a 2.5" tire I'm thinking. It has VERY limited chainring clearance, but I think it will be ok. There's a couple of nice pictures of it in my "#3" photo album on Facebook if you'd like to take a look, which brings me around to your question.

    I'm working on extremes right now. I welded those stays right to the outside of the BB shell as far out as I could get them. I'll probably never do that again as it was a hassle to get the tungsten in there around the PMW heatsink and that doesn't stick out above the shell much at all. But it was as extreme as I could go. The ring almost rubs the stays. I actually put Dykem on the stay and rode it for a hundred miles or so to see if the flex in anything would cause a rub. It didn't. However, I'm still concerned that the ring may touch the powder at some point. But without finding the limit, I'll never know where it is. I folded a frame in the alignment jig "just for fun" one night. I stuck it in there, cranked on it until I was positive it was going to buckle, and then went a little more, just to understand what that feels like and see what happens. The road rig has the tire so tucked on the seat tube that a clamp on der. won't fit--no chance. So seeing how extreme I can be on my own stuff now lets me know where the edge is and back out a bit for folks that want something kind of funky.

    I'm also spending a lot of time with finishing. I spent several hours making my own paint masks, getting the files to the vinyl plotter, getting them on the frame, getting it to the powder coater for color. I'm finding that it takes him a few minutes to shoot the stuff, but it takes me hours to prepare the masks or I end up with something different than what I expected. This frame is going to look good and will be on FNL when it's finally done. I'm very pleased with it.

    Thanks for the question and thanks for the note about the WWTP series. I'm glad you enjoyed that, again, I really enjoy hearing that someone enjoyed that effort. Props to Walt for thinking of it too. It was a gas.
     

  14. #14
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    Jay, it was cool meeting you and thanks again for taking the Cleo's frame to paint for me. I don't really have any questions right now, I think I asked everything when you stopped by. I just wanted to pop in and say hey. Any ideas on what the next one will be?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    In Before the Lock

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    Glenn,

    I think that bicycles have been built for a long time without a lot of engineers getting involved. The structure is very basic (as far as structures go) and it really doesn't change much from the double triangle design, so it's pretty well figured out. So I don't think that being an engineer really gives one much of an advantage (if any at all) in frame building. In fact, there is a thread on MTBR now where engineering is clearly getting in the way of a frame getting built. The guy is clearly bright, motivated, a damn good engineer, and spending a LOT of time and effort over thinking something that really isn't all that hard to do--building a first frame and learning what you think you'll need to do a better job on the next one only to start the process over again. You'd think this guy is going to ride his to the moon though. I digress though... The tubing selections we have today are well engineered materials and folks have a good idea of how to put them together safely for different sized bikes and applications. I'd bet that there aren't many (if any) small frame builders doing FEA to figure out where the butt has to be before the frame folds up.

    Certainly that stuff comes into play with the big box bikes we see today with carbon everything, hydroformed tubes, etc. The engineer in me appreciates that, but the simplicity of a steel tubed frame is still sexy to me. Where that background does come into play is in looking at problems differently. For example, I (contrary to popular opinion) on the WWTP frame decided to cut the top of the seat tube at 45 degrees (with the short end at the back) to reduce stress on the seatpost. To give a little background, during the WWTP build, I was riding a frame that had the slot on the back of the seat tube and broke the frame. The replacement required that the seat post be raised about 1/2" to be at the same spot w/ respect to the BB. Now I prepped that 1st frame as best as I could, ran a hook reamer on the top of it, filed it, sanded it smooth, you couldn't cut melted butter with the top of that seat tube and still, it notched the Ti Moots post just enough that it eventually cracked around the area that it had been stressed from the slot in the rear. It got me to thinking about the problem and how to prevent it from happening again. Steve Garro talks in his Smoked Out about how he "learned" about many different things that led to how his frames are designed and this is just like that--I wanted a better solution to the problem. Cutting the top of the seat tube at 45 degrees creates a nice parabola and spreads the stress out nicely as compared to flipping it so that the taller side is at the rear as you see on many older road frames. So the engineering finally kicked in, I set up a few models, ran FEA on them, and found that the design significantly decreases the stress riser that was there. Was it really a problem? Probably not for most, but it was for me. It's not a big deal on road where posts are shorter, less stressed, but on MTBs with funky geometry and long posts, well, it is a problem--for me. So I believe I solved it and it adds a unique look to that cluster that distinguishes my frames from other frames. Now there are only three of those in existence so only time will tell if in practice that it's a better solution, but in theory, it is and I do believe that in reality that will prove correct as well.

    TIG welding is an interesting thing. I still think at best I'm average as a TIG welder. I'm confident that the welds are 100% safe and solid, that's not the issue. It's figuring out how to make them solid and safe, not cook the tubes, and make them look pretty all at the same time that is difficult. Then on top of that, one must be able to do that in any position, bump around between stays, etc. The pulser was a nice way to help me learn. It immediately had an affect on how the welds looked. I fell in love with it. Now, I tend not to use it as it acted like training wheels and showed me what I was supposed to be doing. So I'm trying to mimic that by just pulsing the pedal. I do find that I switch back and forth though to keep learning. I wish I had a better answer on this topic other than, "just lay some beads". I do find that I braze almost exactly like I weld though so the better I get at welding, the better I get at brazing at the same time--it's just different.

    I still don't have a bike done with brazed seatstay tops, but I'm moving that way. What has prompted that change was initially a contaminated weld I had on the seat tube sleeve on my road bike. It got me thinking about not welding those again. However, I corrected that issue and the frame after that didn't have the problem anymore. However, as I thought about it, it seemed more natural to me. The sleeve is already brazed on, why not braze the stays to that sleeve? The binder is brazed there as well, so the mixed welding/brazing seems a little jumbled to me. So I'd like the entire sleeve to be brazed. It seems like a more natural way and as I've gotten more comfortable with brazing, I don't go to TIG immediately just because I'm more comfortable with it. It's really been an evolution for a number of reasons I suppose. I'm looking forward to being able to start that.

    Thanks for the questions, Glenn.
     

  16. #16
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    Give me malt! Toasted and roasted and chocolatey! with just enough hops to eliminate "meadishness" and thank you sir, I'll have another!

    Sees you in Austin for sure.






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    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    Jay, it was cool meeting you and thanks again for taking the Cleo's frame to paint for me. I don't really have any questions right now, I think I asked everything when you stopped by. I just wanted to pop in and say hey. Any ideas on what the next one will be?
    Eric, it was great meeting you as well and I'm glad that Cleo's frame turned out so nice.

    The current one is at powder this week and will be assembled next week so that's what I'm focused on right now. Also, we did close on the new house and are in the transition of moving so it may be a while before I really get the time to work on a frame. But yes, I do know what the next one(s) will be. I'd like to get a road frame built for Allison and I'd also like to build myself a geared bike as the geared MTB is my last off the shelf bike and obviously, I prefer to ride my own stuff now. I'm hoping to have it done in time for OC 2011 and perhaps finally make all the time checks on my third attempt. It would be even better if that was on my own frame.
     

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Medford, Massachusetts, United States
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Haven't read anyone else's reply to your post so forgive if this is all regurgitation but I don't see how this guy could build anything but a great bicycle.

    All the Best,
    Matt Budd
    Budd Bike Works
     

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    89
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    Quote Originally Posted by MBudd View Post
    Haven't read anyone else's reply to your post so forgive if this is all regurgitation but I don't see how this guy could build anything but a great bicycle.

    All the Best,
    Matt Budd
    Budd Bike Works
    Matt, that's sort of what I thought when I decided I wanted to build one. I didn't believe that it took skills that I didn't already have to get it done and get it done well. I still don't, the difficult part is reaching in the tool box to pull out the right skill and use it then. Some of it is just learning as you go as well. But I still don't believe that building a frame is all that hard to do. It takes LOTS of patience to get right. That was my hardest part, just knowing when to put the files/torch/welder/etc. down and walking away for the evening until I could solve the riddle. I'm working diligently on doing each frame better than the last but at some point, they should be really nice. When I get there, I have to make a decision about doing them just for me or for others. Right now, I'm leaning toward doing them for others but only after I've really got my process nailed down and my work is such that it can easily stand on it's own and not just be a fancy paint job and a website driven thing. The old timers and full timers know that the country has plenty of those already and I don't want to fall into that category. I want my work to stand on it's own before anyone ever pays me a dollar. I'm not sure how long that will take, maybe forever, but that's my goal. Thanks for the note
     

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Dallas, TX
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    Default Re: Phantasm Cycle Works

    I'm excited about these pictures. They represent a lot and represent a major milestone in me being Smoked Out and I felt I'd share these in this thread rather than a Friday Night Lights thread. It was just two years ago that I was at the Texas Custom Bike Show telling folks "I'm going to build a frame" and here it is two years later and I had a frame at the show.

    Trail LED bike lights needed a bike to put some lights on for his booth asked if he could use one of mine. I called the show organizer and made sure that it would be ok if I wasn't passing out literature or cards and he was cool with it. In my mind, it was there for the other builders that I met two years ago to see but it did get some attention from the general public too. This is a no compromise build, everything on this bike is exactly what I wanted on it. In a way, this is "The Phantasm" as it is the color scheme, components, etc. that I'd had in my mind two years ago. Some of the evolved along the way, but it's almost exactly what I'd envisioned.

    I still don't have a lot of detailed pictures as I got the frame back from powder (two tone powder w/ powder clear) at 12:30am Friday, built the bike up by 3am, and had it in the hands of Trail LED by 11am so there was little time for good pictures. The FNL pictures from Friday were horrible looking w/ my cell phone camera and no sleep. I hope to be able to take some nice shots soon and post those up, but having something from the show was very cool.


     

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