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Thread: Spooky Bikes

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorotomas View Post
    Mickey,

    I was checking some of your posts in the Velocipede salon and on Frank the welder blog. I see you are building an aero tube road bike, That sounds super cool, Could you tell me more about it, the tubing, weights ETC. that sounds like a new road bike for me!!

    By the way, it was great yesterday how we went through my new Darkside geometry. All this process has been excellent, I can wait to get my hands on my new frame.


    Jose.
    Jose-
    We have tools and tubes to build all sorts of bikes with aero tubing and there are a few tt and track frames that just fell onto the list. As far as we're concerned an aero-style roadbike isn't all that difficult to build. Obviously aerotubes are a little heavier and we have to work a little harder to make them stiff but the end result, depending on tube selection, is a frame that would likely weigh in the 2.5 to 3 pound range to make it as stiff and strong as we would like. That's lighter than one of those metal Cervelos by a good margin.
    Frank is working on a super-ultra awesome project frame for shits that he plans on putting a bagillion hours into. He did lots of the fabrication on the DeLoreans from Back To The Future so there is already a lot of aluminum time machine experience to work with.

    You just have to remember- the frame is an incredibly small percentage of drag. A good position and some shoe covers goes a lot farther than a funny looking bike when it comes time to go against the clock.
    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenCT View Post
    mickey-

    talk to me about the peoples pint. i was there once with eddieB and it was awesome. can you bring some to d2r2 pls?
    The pint is a local establishment that just happens to be fucking awesome.
    They've been in business for about 10 years now. One of the owners rides an ex-Mavic ssc Scott with Chorus 10 and a ratty old Seven with M950 xtr. I save 20% every time I ride my bike in and now they open at 11am everyday with a rad brunch menu. It's toddler friendly.
    Most of the ingredients in the food are grown or raised within 60 miles. On the average night thy produce one bag of trash. They serve lots of good mead too.
    The Tofu Curtain/Happy Valley cred is pretty deep.
    It's a refreshing counterpoint to what appears to be the tiresome and perhaps mor"fancy beer" movement. I don't pay more than $5 a pint and neither should you.

    They brew awesome beer. Across every style of beer they brew something competent and earnest.
    I'm especially fond of their bitter, their porter and their absolute fantastic Local Ale. The local is made 100% from Hampshire and Franklin Country ingredients. It tastes like what it's made from. Awesome.

    I don't think that's what you're interested in though.
    Last edited by suspectdevice; 04-21-2011 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Telephones aren't computers.
    mickey.denoncourt

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Mickey,

    What is your stance on ISP on your custom aluminum bikes?
     

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    Mickey,

    What is your stance on ISP on your custom aluminum bikes?
    I like it, FTW thinks it's bullshit.

    He's right- but I'm still putting both an ISP and PF30 on the next bike MTB we build for me.
    mickey.denoncourt

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by suspectdevice View Post
    I like it, FTW thinks it's bullshit.

    He's right- but I'm still putting both an ISP and PF30 on the next bike MTB we build for me.
    Why does he thinks is Bullshit?

    I promise to get rid of my Ridley Scandium if you build me an ISP, PF30, level top tube Skeletor that I can put a taper ENVE fork on!

    Jose.
    Last edited by Lorotomas; 04-25-2011 at 02:57 PM. Reason: cant spell
     

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    We just made a last-minute change to the chainstays to bump tire clearance up to 28c on the new Skeletors.



    I think people will be stoked on that!

    -m
    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    That is fucking awesome. Been able to use 28c tires is just perfect for Costa Rican rural roads. Is it too late to get a 54 top tube one?

    Jose
     

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Jose,
    We only have a few 54 and 56cm frames left. If you might want one I reccomend putting down a deposit here.

    I'm really excited to get your Darkside finished. Their is nothing cooler than building a full-on Ruta race bike!
    mickey.denoncourt

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Saw something on FB regarding dealer packets? Wanna get into that a bit?
     

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    Saw something on FB regarding dealer packets? Wanna get into that a bit?
    Another long reply-

    In an effort to keep Skeletors in constant production and nearly as ubiquitous as Cannondale CAAD bikes as well as making some fucking money we're trying to build a better dealerbase with clearer, more consistent information, pricing, availability and point-of-purchase materials as well as more "hard" traditional media based marketing.

    We've never bought a magazine ad. We've never had a review in a domestic magazine. I've never sent out a press release. All of our marketing and promotions has been based on word of mouth, race results and a LOT of social media. There is vast un-tapped market potential waiting out there and with more sales and production capacity we might be able to turn new cats onto our jive.

    Over the last few years we've had some great relationships with a dozen or so shops. Because(and I'd like to think that Spooky and Gaulzetti are a big part of it) knowledgeable consumers have started to embrace aluminum again it is becoming more and more attractive to have a well-priced, kickass USA made high-end frame to sell to customers who don't want a big 3 bike. We have dozens(!) of bikes in NYC for example at the moment and not a single dealer. That has to change! Our production mtb frames are priced competitively with a brand like Niner.

    In the MTB market at this time there is a dearth of "alternative" domestically based brands that offer a full-range of differentiated bikes that can be positioned against the major brands. Our flexible fabrication abilities, excellent product and multiple vendors and reasonable pricing make us a viable high-end brand for a shop that can't afford or doesn't want to be committed to a Trek or Specialized. We already offer superlative production road frames. With only the smallest bit of dealer support we can deliver MTB and CX products to dealers that are just as well priced and kickass as the Skeletors.

    I've become very good friends with the people that run the local Trek/Niner dealer and we've started working on merchandising etc... to make the bikes work well on the floor, shit like that, one sheets, PRO jazz goes a long way on the floor.

    Knowing that there is a little bit better organization over here I'm hoping that the dealer program will work smoothly and will integrate well into our current production plans and long-term brand objectives.
    In my ideal world we'd build a fairly healthy dealer base and then "sell" our wholesale sales channels to a distributor.

    To build the FS bikes that I need to be able to race DH and Mega/Enduro races we need to be able to pre-commit a few dozen frames before we run them.
    Building value as a production brand and then selling-off the distribution of production bikes wholesale to a distributor will help to significantly improve my quality of life- hopefully it will give me more time to ride and develop bikes and focus on building custom bikes with FTW..
    Because Frank is Frank and he's been building bikes for 30 years it takes about 10 man hours to fabricate a relatively complicated custom tig frame and a little less time for something straightforward. It would be really fun to capitalize on that capacity.

    I can't manage, nor do I care to manage the logistics of shipping more than 2 frames a week right now and I'm already paying beer to a local mechanic to assemble completes with my current workload and the que is already firmly at 2 months and growing(unless someone is willing to pay a premium).

    Trying to make a little more time to work on the custom/small production/ race shop end of the business is important, especially because it's more fun than worrying about selling production bikes all day.

    I'm behind on bringing bikes to paint/facing/chasing/boxxing/shipping so I need to make sure I can nip that in the bud asap. We first started offering custom bikes about three weeks before NAHBS. It's nice to see that the demand for custom bikes exists already.
    Before I lose my shit trying to manage what is effectively becoming two different bike companies(and I can barely manage one right now) I want to make sure that we have more feet on the ground trying to sell our bikes than just me and my keyboard.

    One thing that I'd really like the time to do would be design custom paint and graphics for the made-to-measure bikes and have a skilled painter spray them fancy-like. I like graphic design and I'm not half bad at it so it'd be damn fun to get paid for it.
    Art takes lots of time, but I figure $2300-$2700 is about the going rate for a full-bore custom painted bike these days anyway. I'm not sure if that compensates for the extra time, but I'd like to find out!

    Basically-
    Once the world fully shits the bed I want to make sure that we can build enough bikes here in the CT river valley to support a decent lifestyle for myself without relying as heavily on production bikes which tie up immense amounts of capital that ages while frames sit around for a few months.

    btw-

    Anyone on here who is interested in getting some dealer information should PM me.

    -m
    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    I mentioned this in an email, Mickey, but for what it's worth we'll do our part here in Chicago. The new stuff -- especially the Havocstaff -- is very promising. Hoping that there will be a similar dealer arrangement for the CX bikes once they're sorted out.
     

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Fucking awesome. I think there is huge potential, especially in the Northeast, for you to cash in on the "Handbuilt in USA" goodwill that Cannondale decided to piss away.
     

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Sent you a Private Message
     

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    You know what's sweet?
    The power of Facebook, Vsalon and Twitter garnered us 6 new dealer inquiries yesterday from one tweet. Thanks for being awesome y'all!
    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Mickey,
    If it's not a rude question. where do you source your aluminium tubing from and do you purchase in large quantities? In the past I have built quite a few Easton 7005 and Scandium frames but reliable stocks have all but dried up. 7005 is more suitable for me as I can do the heat treatment in house, we don't have the industry here in Australia to make it viable to send off frames to be heat treated. What precautions do you have to take to get your product back in the same state it went out in when out sourcing procedures?
    I think there is still a market there for alloy framesets and especially like yourself with that "Made in USA" decal, not sure why it isn't more popular as it is a beautiful material to work with and can build into a very dependable product.
    Bill
     

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Making stuff in Australia seems to suck from what I've seen. Bummer for y'all.

    I get our 7005 tubing from Nova, Fairing and out the back doors of various organizations(defunct or not) that I'd rather not name.
    We've started using a lot of T4 straight gauge tubing and squishing and gusseting it to meet our needs for the heavy-duty mtb frames. A straight gauge aluminum XC frame weighs 3 pounds. A 4 pound aluminum frame is 100% indestructible so our design parameters for those frames give us a bunch of leeway.

    In the near future we may have been offered the opportunity to design a new 7005 MTB and road tubeset for one of the domestic importers as their house brand. I hope we can make that happen soon for the health of domestic frame building. Drawing stuff sucks- I sure as hell can't/won't do it.

    I'm hoping between our efforts with the distributor and the pressure we've been putting on Bell Sports/Easton there may be better sources of 7005 material for domestic custom frame builders soon.

    The Easton brand that exists in cycling has no connection to frame tubing. It's a long and complicated problem that is perhaps too difficult for me to explain- but there is a tiny bit of momentum going on in the marketing end of Bell Sports/Easton to help finance a run of tubing for Nova and/or put pressure on a tubing mill to run the more modern Easton tube profiles in minimum order quantities of less than 1000 pieces per tube. It will be a hard battle- and it really will require participation from many parties.

    If it were possible to draw 7005 aluminum domestically I wage we would have found a way to start drawing some tubes for ourselves. Unfortunately 7005 material is too costly to produce domestically due to high levels of nasty chemical necessary in the quench pots that anneal the frame tubing between draws. The ductility and elongation properties of 7005 often mean that 7+ quench cycles are necessary for a tube with an aggressive butt profile.

    If we can get our total quantity of custom aluminum frames high enough to justify we might be able to afford running our own 6061 tubes in a mill in CT. The economy of scale is hard to manage on that front as, as far as I can tell, we are the only people on the east coast and one of less than a handful of people nationally that build custom bikes out of 6061 tubes. We've got a sweetheart deal to run 6061 tubing- but even the cost of raw materials alone is far beyond the scope of my finances.

    As you hinted- the heattreat process for 6061 is very difficult to accomplish on a small scale. The fires of hell, some bb and headtube cones, a widget to measure OLD and most importantly, a big axe handle take care of the pre-aging/post annealing alignment process on a specific alignment rack that FTW built at the heat treat facility he subcontracts his heattreating to. After that alignment process the frames finish aging and are then are finally re-aligned on Franks huge motherfucking table at the shop, ideally within 8 hours but usually within 12 hours of the end of the aging cycle.

    FTW has built 15,000 6061 frames or therabouts, at this point it's very routine.

    I've had more than a few 6061 frames to post-age align in my days. It's fun!

    For 7005 frames I use a powdercoat oven. Easy.




    There are many bright possibilities for the future of 7005 tubing for small builders but it will take a united voice from the fabricators to capitalize on the small amount of momentum that is currently rolling.



    Hope this has supplied some amusing obfuscation.
    -m
    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Pretty neat pictures post-ride pre-strip for painting. I love Lumberjacks


    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    Mickey,

    I remember meeting the old Spooky crew at Mt. Snow back in '94 (or may have been '95- it's all a blur) and thought they were onto something really cool. My friends and I had just started our own company Real Design after leaving Onza- those were exciting times and I can certainly relate as to the struggles of running a small company. I hope to possess one of your wonderful machines someday and will certainly spread the word- I wish you all the best.

    And the latest Weekly Commercial Times is flippin' awesome- it immediately made me think of The Consumer's Song-

    Jerome
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes



    I've been hoarding Real chainrings since you guys went out of business. I have ramped 5/94 and 5/110 36t rings that might just last forever. I got both of them second hand 10 years ago and the 110bcd one has been on my slalom bike for~5 years. Trusting a really old chainring enough to do 1400watt gate starts says something.
    Lots of people moved through ONZA over the years- or so it always seemed to me. How many iterations of ownership and management did Onza have before CaneCreek disposed of the brand?

    -m
    Last edited by suspectdevice; 05-23-2011 at 05:45 PM.
    mickey.denoncourt

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    Default Re: Spooky Bikes

    I think I still have a bunch of chainrings out in the garage- I'll have to take a look to see what I've got. :)

    Onza was a trip. The original owners Dan and Dave worked together at Tioga, started Onza in the late 80's and were hugely successful making bar ends. I started working with them on the side in '92 (mostly working on the clipless pedal design) and then was hired to work in R&D in '93. I think Onza held on for another two years after I left and then was eventually sold to maybe GT and then Dia Compe? Super Cycles Group in the UK owns the Onza name now.

    When we started Real I didn't want to be involved with the money side of the business- I just wanted to make the best parts I could and make them in the U.S. My official title was Creative Director and later Vice President (whoop de doo.) I was in charge of initial product design and for lack of a better description, company image. This meant advertising, packaging, catalogs, t-shirts, show booths, etc. I also wrote all our product instructions, did some small prototype machine work/fabricating and manufacturing sourcing. Real was a lot of fun and I still keep in touch with a couple of the guys I worked with. For the most part we made some pretty decent parts that worked well. After I left Real it was sold to American Bicycle Group.

    Jerome
    Last edited by Honus; 06-01-2011 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Way too much information.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

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