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Thread: Signal Cycles

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonymaietta View Post
    Hysterical answers in your NAHBS interview. Thanks for the laugh.
    Thanks Anthony,
    It feels like we've had a pretty good media presence in the past month. It's weird how these things seem to pop up and then disappear without any real pattern. I thought about making some kind of graph that would track when we get interview requests, emails from people who want to apprentice, and bike inquiries and lay it over our web analytics to see if there is any correlation. It all seems so random.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    How influenced are you, if at all, by Vanilla? I could be imagining it, because of the pdx connection, but I see a visual kinship when I look at Vanilla's bikes and at yours. A good thing, IMO...

    Thanks.
     

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by grscha View Post
    How influenced are you, if at all, by Vanilla? I could be imagining it, because of the pdx connection, but I see a visual kinship when I look at Vanilla's bikes and at yours. A good thing, IMO...

    Thanks.
    Thanks for the question. I would say that the biggest influence I got from Sacha was inspiration. Watching him work on his company and seeing his passion and quiet intensity left a mark on me. I look up to him as a builder, but it isn't because I want my company to be like his. For most of my life I thought that bikes were what I was doing while I decided what I was really going to do. Realizing that I could combine all of my passions into this business was a real eye opener.

    I don't make design decisions by looking at what Sacha does, but he is one hell of an amazing designer. I think that our pallets are very similar, I am attracted to green, gold, brown, offwhite, colors with accents of cool blues and reds, but that is just what my eyes tell me to paint a bike. Of course another similarity is that we have our bikes painted by Coat, Sacha's paint shop.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Re posted from our blog, I thought this board would be a good place to share this new bike concept.

    Another cool project that is in the works is a production bike that will be available this spring. I was planning on keeping it secret until they are available, but where is the fun in that?
    The bike is a fillet brazed Columbus steel frame and fork with s-bend stays built around Shimano long reach brakes. These calipers will allow for larger tires and fenders. We will be building all of the bikes in house, and making them available in 5 sizes to start (52-60 in 2cm increments). These bikes will also be built with Richard Sachs dropouts, basically a copy of the old semi-horizontal Campagnolo dropouts that used to come on every Italian steel bike. One added perk to these is that if you want to make the bike single speed, there is enough room in the dropout to do so. The geometry will be fairly sporty. We'll be making the chainstays long enough to work with fenders and bigger tires, but not so long that it rides like a touring bike. It is going to be a great all around steel road bike. These are complete bikes only, available with 105 for $3200. The group is 100% Shimano with wheels that feature 105 hubs, DT rims and spokes, and are built by us. Every bike will also come with a Chris King headset, because we like Chris King. The order process is still being decided on, but essentially we are planning on having frames available at any time. Make a deposit and we will braze on the custom serial number with the customer name and send the bike to the painters. Turn around at paint is 4-5 weeks. We are still trying to come up with a name for this bike. When Nate and I talk about it, we call it a "west hills bike." Any suggestions?

    We'll start selling the bikes at NAHBS in February.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Matt - I did a bad thing and posted in the FNL about your stay treatment on the MTB you posted, but I'll repeat it here: it rocks! Very tidy and it really flows well together. Good job!
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  6. #66
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
    Matt - I did a bad thing and posted in the FNL about your stay treatment on the MTB you posted, but I'll repeat it here: it rocks! Very tidy and it really flows well together. Good job!
    Thank you very much for that. I've been trying to nail that curve for a while. We use two different sized benders, one a little tighter for the top, and a bigger one for the bottom. There are some oldish aluminum Specialized road bikes that I have always thought were just right, and Sean at Vertigo made himself an s bend road bike that i think has perfect bends. I think the one radius s-bends end up looking a bit kinked in the lower bend.

    Thanks for noticing.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Matt -

    I was looking at your Flickr pics yesterday...I really like the way you guys use color. I'm curious about something: with a painted-on logo, what's the process? I assume it's not freehand, for ease of consistent replication; and it can't be old-fashioned stencils with bridges...so how's it done?

    Thanks!
     

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by grscha View Post
    Matt -

    I was looking at your Flickr pics yesterday...I really like the way you guys use color. I'm curious about something: with a painted-on logo, what's the process? I assume it's not freehand, for ease of consistent replication; and it can't be old-fashioned stencils with bridges...so how's it done?

    Thanks!
    Greg,
    Yeah we work with the guys at Coat paint shop here in Portland and they use paint masks to put our logo on the bikes. It is a stencil, but there is no need for a bridge because the masks are cut from adhesive vinyl. after the paint is dry the logo is lightly sanded and covered with a clear to keep the finish nice and smooth. I'm not a bike painter, maybe one of the more experienced painters on the site could give more details. One thing I've wondered with masks, is how dry the base paint needs to be before sticking the mask on...

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    I was about to go off the bottom of the page, so I guess it's time to post some more self promotion here. We are super excited to be working with Ziba as a collaboration for the Oregon Manifest. The design chronicles will be updated on Core77 so you can follow our progress as we find out how ID firms solve problems. It's going to be a lot of fun.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    I was about to go off the bottom of the page, so I guess it's time to post some more self promotion here. We are super excited to be working with Ziba as a collaboration for the Oregon Manifest. The design chronicles will be updated on Core77 so you can follow our progress as we find out how ID firms solve problems. It's going to be a lot of fun.
    hey matt - can you put a finger on what the Smoked Out Vexperience has meant to, or done for, you, nate, and the brand.
    what with sites, and blogs, and flickrs all being used, how has this thread lifted the signal tide? would you change anything
    and/or would you recommend others stick a toe in the V pool? thanks atmo.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    hey matt - can you put a finger on what the Smoked Out Vexperience has meant to, or done for, you, nate, and the brand.
    what with sites, and blogs, and flickrs all being used, how has this thread lifted the signal tide? would you change anything
    and/or would you recommend others stick a toe in the V pool? thanks atmo.
    I am really glad you started Smoked Out. It is an incredible resource of frame builders. I use this place to see what other frame builders are doing. If I have something to add I do, but mostly I read. I feel that I don't add enough to my own blog, so I try to treat this place more like entertainment than business. I have no idea what this has done for the brand. So far we haven't sold any bikes because of anything we've done on V Salon. I try to add content that I think is good for the place because I appreciate it being here, and I want to be involved in the frame builders discussion.

    The stories in this library continue to grow, and it would be nice to see SO grow too. I wonder if once you run out of new people to add, you just go back to poster #1 and put them on the sticky for a month. That way even if they haven't added new content for a while, they have a forum that they can run for a month. Our little companies can go through a lot of change in a short amount of time. I'm sure Signal will look different in two years.

    I just thought of that as I was typing.

    Anyway, thanks for everything you do around here and for frame builders everywhere Richard.
    Seriously.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    News from Signal!

    We are moving into a bigger shop space. We will have almost 4 times as much floor to work with and will be in the same building as a bike shop, two other builders, and a wheel company. It's a pretty raw space, but we are super pumped about the move. With the new production bike now available, we were overdue to find more room. I am transitioning into a full time builder position. Nate is working 3-4 days a week at Signal.

    We'll be having an opening party in the end of April if anyone wants to come. I'll post the dates when they are finalized.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    News from Signal!
    <cut>

    this is awesome news atmo.
    forza.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Matt,
    Congrats on launching the new production bike line. The teal photos look great. Curious why you decided to spec a 1 1/8" fork over a 1" fork? What kind of Columbus tubing are you guys using? With the launch of the new product line and the enlarged workshop, what's your expected production volume? Love to hear your inspiration for doing a fendered bike. Best of luck.
     

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Thanks,
    We are using Zona tubing for everything.
    We went 1 1/8" because there are a lot more stem options for that size. It's as close to standard as bike parts get. If this were a lugged bike, it would be likely 1" because of lug availability.

    As far as expected production volume? I think it's safe to say "more", but we'll have to see. We do have a rent payment to think of every month now, so we need to have more bikes rolling out. We would feel like the production bike is a success if we get 10 out before the end of this year. Thankfully Nate has been focusing more on custom bikes, while I am building production bikes. Having two of us is nice.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    News from Signal!

    We are moving into a bigger shop space. We will have almost 4 times as much floor to work with and will be in the same building as a bike shop, two other builders, and a wheel company. It's a pretty raw space, but we are super pumped about the move. With the new production bike now available, we were overdue to find more room. I am transitioning into a full time builder position. Nate is working 3-4 days a week at Signal.

    We'll be having an opening party in the end of April if anyone wants to come. I'll post the dates when they are finalized.
    Cool news and congrats on the new shop space.

    Please send an invite my way when you know about the opening party. I'd like to come up and hang out if it's alright with you guys.

    Conor

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Thanks for the update Matt. I talked to Nate at the show, but never met up with you. You should know that when I walked around with Susan we both agreed your booth was extremely nice, and example of how it can be done with a 10x10 space.
    Craig
     

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    hey matt - i have been pondering this all day...

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    Thanks,
    We are using Zona tubing for everything. <cut> We would feel like the production bike is a success if we get 10 out before the end of this year. Thankfully Nate has been focusing more on custom bikes, while I am building production bikes. Having two of us is nice.
    a number of 10 doesn't say production in most work environments, and that you are choosing zona makes me think these are also price point models rather than uber-premium or special edition frames of sorts. are you thinking "batch built" or some similar method with regard to turning these out? call me nosy, or a mensch - but i am curious about the business model for this new idea. i did a similar thing in the late 1980s so the production concept always makes my radar. thanks atmo.

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Wow, some action on the old SO thread!
    Thanks guys.

    Conor- We'll let you know and would love to see your smiling face in Portland.
    Craig- Thank you so much. We try to make the trip worthwhile every year and in our minds the booth= signal. So we try our best to imbibe it with what we see the signal radiating.
    Richard- Thanks for the question, I'm flattered that we had your "ponder" all day . I suppose the term production can have many meanings. Just as "custom" or "bespoke" or "made to measure" can. For Signal "production" means there are 5 stock sizes that you have to choose from and two paint jobs and two component groups. We have a size run of unpainted bikes on hand and send the right size to paint when the customer places the order. The turnaround for the customer is shorter and the price is lower. We will only sell these bikes as complete builds to allow for this lower price. We are hoping this will make Signal get more bikes out on the street and put more money in our pockets. Nate is focusing more on full custom bikes and I am focusing more on the "production' bike. We are still learning lessons about what is right for Signal. I am constantly amazed at the attention you give to other builders like us that are just trying to make it work. Thanks for that. We are all ears if you want to spin a yarn about RS production back in the day!

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Signal Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    Richard- Thanks for the question, I'm flattered that we had your "ponder" all day . I suppose the term production can have many meanings. Just as "custom" or "bespoke" or "made to measure" can. For Signal "production" means there are 5 stock sizes that you have to choose from and two paint jobs and two component groups. We have a size run of unpainted bikes on hand and send the right size to paint when the customer places the order. The turnaround for the customer is shorter and the price is lower. We will only sell these bikes as complete builds to allow for this lower price. We are hoping this will make Signal get more bikes out on the street and put more money in our pockets. Nate is focusing more on full custom bikes and I am focusing more on the "production' bike. We are still learning lessons about what is right for Signal. I am constantly amazed at the attention you give to other builders like us that are just trying to make it work. Thanks for that. We are all ears if you want to spin a yarn about RS production back in the day!
    do a search for Strada Immaculata - that's what i called my model. basically these were pre-designed road frames with NO options at all. paint schemes weren't schemes at all - you could get any single stock color off an imron chart atmo. i made them in batches of 2-3 and didn't obsess if the workmanship wasn't first rate because i was selling the inside of the bicycle rather than the outside. part of the motivation for introducing this was that business was slow and i wanted to attract the price conscious consumer. i used the same lugs, crown, and tube sets as on my Signature model, but all the small parts were plug-in or pre-fab. the time devoted to these frame builds net out to 8 hour tasks. i sold about 30 of them and also made the model my team's road frame for several seasons so there are a fair amount of red and white ones out there. i would never have varied from my Signature model if i had the business to support it. i only made the Strada Immaculata frame because i had to. as an independent builder and a creative type, my ideal is to not have to answer to the market, but to make it - that is, make it on my terms.

    the S.I. ordeal lasted several seasons and petered out because i was able to reverse engineer the small dip in demand such that orders for the Signature frame were once again filling the book. your use of the word lesson is relevant; the Strada Immaculata series was a lesson for me, not a framebuilding lesson so much as a business and marketing one atmo. good luck there.

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