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Thread: Richard Sachs Cycles

  1. #1681
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
    I need to do this. Got hurt, burnt out, look at all the expensive techwear and find myself thinking..."Jesus, I just want to ride a bike without stepping into a phonebooth."
    I'm almost on three straight weeks riding a good 40-50 kms a day in man clothes.

    Do it.

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    I just got done reading Grant's admonishments on this topic in his book, Just Ride.

    Its the perfect time of year to go out for a ride in jeans and a sweater.
    "As an homage to the EPOdays of yore- I'd find the world's last remaining pair of 40cm ergonomic drop bars.....i think everyone who ever liked those handlebars in that shape and in that width is either dead of a drug overdose, works in the Schaerbeek mattress factory now and weighs 300 pounds or is Dr. Davey Bruylandts...who for all I know is doing both of those things." - Jerk

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Framebuilding Light ©™®

    When you explain things you rob them of their mystery.
    Questions are far more interesting than answers.
    ~ from California Typewriter

    All This By Hand





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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    T.G.I.T.

    Yesterday didn’t go well at all. It didn’t go. As I’ve grown accustomed to over the decades and many 10,000 hour stints at the bench, sometimes metal doesn’t want to become a bicycle. Won’t become a bicycle. No matter how many tricks or backup plans you summon up. Experiential gyrations don’t work. Won’t work. Calling the metal names is futile. Acceptance is the only antidote.

    Ya I had one get away on Monday. Two days worth of labor jettisoned. The conversation ended with the material having the last word. It was like Stranger Things. Only that the torch I was holding was taken from me and the heat source, the lovely green conical flame, and all my will to lure molten silver alloy rod to here and there – it went sideways. Body English epic fail. Body English as a second language.

    I rue these times but accept them as part of the whole. And as I’ve done so many other days like Monday, I walk away and then return. And when I do, the dance goes like this: I Knoll the ever loving shit outa’ my workspace. Clutter gets vaporized. The floor swept. All windows washed (both sides). And all brazing tools replaced. Ordered new hoses, new tips, a new gas regulator. Cheap insurance. My way. And then I start over again. Again.

    All This By Hand



  5. #1685
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    My Guys

    Let me tell you about my files. Forget about the ones with heft, those above the 6″ rattail types all the way up to 14″ half-round bastard cuts. I mean these. The saviors. The heroes I lean on to make me look good. They enable my work to exhibit a degree of refinement. I know it looks easy when I paste in the heavily edited and carefully chosen images of metal sculpture. I grab these lil’ mofos and it all becomes real.

    There’s very little I can screw up. Few if any holes I can fall in. And almost no zags I can’t instantly transform into zigs. As long as I have these.

    When grasping for perfection gets the best of me, I buy new precision needle files. Sometimes they’re Bahco. This week they’re all Grobet. Swiss files, made in Italy. Barrette. Knife. Flat. Round. Warding. Triangle. Whatever. These fellas are my last line of defense in making a beautiful and tight frame more beautiful and tight. Imelda did shoes. I do files. All in the 6 1/4″ range. All 00 cut. That’s. Fucking. Sharp. Batman.

    Each shape is right for a particular task in my bicycle making chores. Some square up the points on my dropouts. Some accentuate the edges on my reinforcement plates. There’s one that’s only used for seat lug slots. I have a group of these in graduated widths that create the slit on the outside of my fork crowns, And there’s a special batch set aside for making lug shorelines even more crisp than ever. After 45 years, I’m still waiting to try this file.

    I love these little guys. Little men. The new recruits arrived yesterday and I’ll phase them in over the next week or two. The other batch, those in the second image – they’re from the January haul. I have a special place in the garden they’ll be placed. To live out their days with the thousands of others I’ve leaned on through the decades.

    All This By Hand





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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Why

    I work alone, by choice. I’ve mentioned the silence afforded me by hearing no voices but my own. That I don’t have to show anyone anything, nor tell them what to do. I talk about the solitary pursuit. That one tied to creating a standard and then trying to reach it. And then about how the line moves. And that the struggle is real, because of expectations, some actually laid at my feet. I mean, really.

    The one-man thing is a man’s gift to himself. Only he can give it. And when he’s ready, only he can receive it gracefully. With no strings attached. I both gave it and received it in 1975. And I’ve been alone ever since. Well, except for that man I took on and trained in 1982. And that other man I did the same with and for in the early 1990s. Both left skilled and with their own labels. And I’ve been giving away as much of it as I could before and since.

    But I need my space to be my space. No one else gets in. The silence is nourishment. The quiet gives me strength. More than anything, not having to engage anyone at all, on any level, in my working day, allows me the luxury of taking 90 images of this little fellow being a host to an unwanted guest, and then trying to delete 88 of them just so I can make this IG post. That’s why.

    All This By Hand



  7. #1687
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    My Thing

    It may be the only thing here that’s never changed. Something that’s been on my bench since I began. A tool used to make every (single) unit bearing my name. And many that don’t, since I’ve been known to destroy a few. This axle. The skewer that goes through it. It’s the only piece of the puzzle that’s never been replaced, lost, reworked, upgraded. It’s a mid ’60s Campagnolo front hub axle with some cones seized in place. And a QR that I bent (curved) back in the early ’70s before they’d come that way. A relic. And inextricably tied to everything RS.

    This bad boy serves a multitude of masters. It’s a go no-go check for my forks. I use it during dry fits to ensure blades are the correct length. When forks are done, I use it with a square as a way of checking that both blades are in plane. I have other tools. Sophisticated ones that weigh a lot and cost serious coin. But this lil’ gem is part of the process. The process. One that dates back to when we made things with no plug-in parts. And I mean the electronic ones rather than the IC components that came later. Ya there was a time when we (Peter, me, the people back in Deptford) made frames with no power tools at all. Dickensian Era etc etc. We made more units with less effort and everyone was happy. The future happened.

    We have things. We should all have things. Things that if missing even for a moment we’d be lost. For me, life would stop if this axle wasn’t in plain view. Close enough to grab so I could check a fork dim. I wouldn’t even know where to find another.

    PS The fork. That’s the thing that goes inside the head tube. Many know the head tube as part of that later day Y2K question, the one that goes, “How long is the head tube?” The fork slips inside of it and is often seen with a front wheel inserted. You can Google it.

    All This By Hand



  8. #1688
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Numbers From Numbers

    Everything I do is measured. Distances accounted for. Design predictable. Somewhat. But where do numbers come from? Certainly not from the little box you’re reading this on. Numbers come from within. From experience. From within.

    It took me a few years to get it. Because like any FNG starting from zero, my vocabulary was overrun with magazine speak. The angles do this. The bicycle is stiff. It should disappear from beneath you. And if it does, get a Kryptonite Lock (ed. note – they are no longer made).

    I was an early adapter of ignoring the scribes, the road tests, the technical articles. These were conversations I couldn’t grasp. And written in language used more to sell than to inform. My mentorship was served listening to riders. Racers really. To stories told at the dinner table after an event. On the drives home. From coaches. Or anyone who arrived before I did. Or whoever pinned on a number.

    Everything has to be someplace. And the miles let you know where hands should go. Or how high the saddle is set. Or where to place the wheels under and around someone with a particular shape. Morphology, if you wanna sound educated.

    It’s simple after a while. And easy too. Have an open mind. Ride. Or ride lots. Or ride to win. Or just get the app.

    All This By Hand



  9. #1689
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Flowers For Bobbe

    I made these from thin slices of Reynolds 531 fork blades surrounding an off-cut from whatever seat stays were available. They’re all brass brazed to make the petals. Then I’d lay in a spoke (probably a Stella or a Robergal) and create the stem. Finally all are brazed to the stand, a scrap that was on my bench. If memory serves, I bent the sides at right angles to create a pedestal look.

    This was a gift to my mom in 1973. She had it in our living room in Bayonne for decades. Then when she moved to the Jersey Shore, they found a place in her apartment kitchen. Until November. When she died, many of Bobbe’s things became mine.

    I am at a loss for words. Things aren’t a substitute for people. I’d rather my mom were here. But I’m coming to grips with that she isn’t. That she won’t be. Through her possessions, the flowers among them, my mom, her memory, even her scent – these live on. Love is always. That is all.

    All This By Hand



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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Stationery Without Borders ®™©

    Equally at home as a thank you note, a card for that special someone or that special occasion, or simply for sending an invoice. The high balance due always looks nicer when sent with élan (a 20 dollar word meaning energy, style, and enthusiasm.)

    Anyone who’s ordered from me will recognize the identity program shown in the image. It’s a thing. But it’s my thing.

    Make being in touch great again. Use paper. And a writing tool. Grab a stamp. Maybe some confetti. Then just fucking send it.

    All This By Hand



  11. #1691
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Richard_

    The twizzlers are incredible and a nice touch!

    Enjoy the day,

    KJ

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Being Jersey

    I dwell on the past just often enough to not lose myself in it. My two years at Bayonne High School were formative ones. I fell into a crowd several years older than me – but I still thought of them as peers. Ronnie, Dave D, Eric, James P, Lester, Jimmy. Others I could name. I still have the uniform, this frat jacket. Still fits. In almost perfect condition. I have my pledge book too. The fraternity was a thread than ran through us. Connected us. If only for a brief moment.

    Phi Sigma Pi’s origins were never clear to me. By the time I arrived it was equal parts gang, Cool Kids’ Club, secret society, a holding tank for likeminded inner city cats. Most importantly, it was a net that caught maybe at most 12 or 13 guys and allowed a bond to form. A code. An alliance. Everlasting trust. Weekly meetings at Massa’s Bar & Grill reinforced this. To this day, these traits are embedded.

    My memory regarding what we actually did has eroded. But Saturdays were important. Wearing our brown and tan colors, we’d meet on Broadway and 23rd and spend hours hanging out in front of A.S. Beck’s. Maybe a sojourn or two over to the lunch counter at Woolworth’s. And often on weekends, end up at the dances at St. Andrews or Holy Family Academy or even the Jewish Community Center. And of course, most dates ended up in a booth at The Bayonne Diner on 8th Street.

    Why do we save what we save? Remember what we do? The further I get from some things in my life, the more powerful they become. But just some things.

    All This By Hand













  13. #1693
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    If you figure it out don't keep that knowledge to yourself.

    One of my "things" is a '78 RS frame that will most likely never be ridden again.

    But parting with it would be akin to moving favorable memories somewhere less accessible.

    So it remains and occupies a physical space but is certainly not about the physical thing.

  14. #1694
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Deconstructing Precious

    I began using IC parts in the mid 1970s. Somewhat reluctantly. But I used them just the same. They soon became part of my vocabulary rather than some new language I was forced to learn. As a new maker, I resisted the transition, believing something precious was being given up by taking tasks performed by man and using technology to make the labor redundant. Young people, as well as romantic people, and ignorant people too – they use words like soul, and organic. Grabbing an IC component doesn’t preclude these from being part of the process.

    By 2002 I had my own pieces, adding a new one or four every few years. The well was already dry and I needed to ensure my own working days could be fulfilled, and also wanted to put material back into the marketplace and fill that void created around the time the Cold War ended when industry began to eschew traditional methods.

    It’s an ever moving line we chase and try to cross in the making of fine bicycles. An IC part, even the precise and elegant ones I design and make, is just a starting point for that perfect frame. A place to leap forward from. Everything still needs to be touched. My days are filled with as much touch as ever.

    All This By Hand









  15. #1695
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Because Spray Mount ™ Is Forever

    Make it look good. Check.

    Use adjectives sparingly. Check.

    Have an elegant graphic. Check.

    Lowest possible word count. Check.

    Compare and contrast. Check.

    Use “counterpart” in a sentence. Check.

    Mention touring too. Check.

    Use brochure for revenue stream. Check.

    All This By Hand



  16. #1696
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    ABK

    I knolled heavily in anticipation of a visit from friends who hadn’t yet been to Deep River. TLD and I were ready, and the workspace was dialed. But alas, the weather was so bad that I suggested rescheduling rather than driving in such icky conditions and so late in the the day. I will knoll again, hopefully soon, and anticipate once more.

    All This By Hand

















  17. #1697
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Finish Work

    My business model has been an inexact science since Day One. By dint of a prior life, I inherited clients and orders and started without really wanting for much at all. What I did crave had little – no, it had nothing – to do with commissions or a queue. It was about getting to the other side. It took a career at the bench to see it so clearly. The goal was never more, it was better. And I knew early on that better and practice were interrelated. So I became a practice zealot. It became the routine. My making wasn’t as much about finishing something as it was to place every step, and every step of every step, under a lens and pay attention. That’s where better comes from. And then time passed.

    I might get to that last name in 2018. People wait patiently. And one by one I’ve been getting nearer to the end. It’s not literally an end. Think inexact science. There’s a separate folder with orders from folks who weren’t ready, who told me to skip them, or who asked to be placed on that last page in the book. I suppose some day they’ll make a decision. I’m looking at the last page now. Alas.

    And oh – more later.

    All This By Hand





  18. #1698
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Wrapping

    I can’t lay claim to inventing wrap, or even being there in the early days when it was raw, and the stuff of the disenfranchised. Nor do I adhere to any of its conventions. But I do embrace it. And try to put my own DNA in it. Every day is practice. You order, I wrap. It’s a life’s work.

    All This By Hand




  19. #1699
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    On Decorating

    I started drawing bicycles with my name on them in 1969 as a diversion to the life I led as a Peddle School student. My first real bicycle was an Atala. A year later I had a Frejus. The models and components don’t matter. I was hooked. Not hooked as in I wanted to enter industry; that never occurred to me. I was a student. My role was to matriculate and leave one campus for another. Things don’t always line up so that roles can be filled.

    By the time I left school I was taking Bicycling (still a Leete Publication based in San Francisco). Australian Cyclist, a magazine that often arrived four months after its cover date. And International Cycle Sport from the UK. Despite my inclinations to pursue a writer’s life, I was intrigued by nice bicycles. More importantly, the sport got deep into my veins. That people used such elegant machines to race on made me so wet and sticky that no amount of paper towels could clean up the mess.

    When I found myself needing to place my name on a bicycle, there was one standard: it had to be in yellow with a black borderline. That’s how real men decorated. And real men according to my opinion were the fellows in Italy whose names appeared on the frames of every hero (of mine). Sure, I followed the work of those based in England. I knew everything there was to know about French bicycles. And Dutch. Belgian. And bicycles from Denmark and Sweden too. But my own would be made in the mode of those Italians who ruled the roost.

    The seraph outline was chosen from a book a pal loaned me. It served me well from the early 1970s to almost the end of the century. Honestly, once it was on my down tubes, I hated it. But I looked the other way for the first two decades. The letters were yellow, and had that borderline. Little else really mattered.

    All This By Hand



  20. #1700
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Make Scents

    “She traded the north of England for Paris to study under the late perfumer Monique Schlienger in her early 20s, before heading to Grasse, the epicenter of scent, where she spent five years at the prestigious French fragrance manufacturer Robertet.”
    The epicenter of scent. That phrase came gift wrapped and delivered to me last Sunday. The NYT had piece on Lyn Harris, a perfumer from Great Britain. Being the elitist I am, I consumed the article. I want to know this person. Her path. To take her experience and commitment and roll it into my own.

    The Y2K era doesn’t have a franchise on people looking for a shortcut. But we sure hear much about the undertrained and those who’ll take a course, or download an app, and start writing orders. Folks seem less curious about the materials they touch, or its history. They just wanna grab a tool and start swinging.

    I get it. Different times. My admiration goes to those who do full immersion. The intense study. The respect for the long game.

    The epicenter. One place. All the information, there to be passed on. But only to those with a hunger. Or who are ready for it. You can’t go around it. Only through it.

    We’ll all leave a mark somewhere. Some marks will be easier to see, or last longer, or both. Others won’t.

    All This By Hand


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