Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bicycle Project 2, day 1

I really enjoy bicycles. But 10 1/2 hours is a big day even when you are having fun.

Day one was mainly theory and the depth of immersion is up to your level of enquiry. Dave draws upon your knowledge and experience and takes it up as far as you care to go. Sure some of this are essential basics (say headset angle, rake and trail) but lead to areas so essential but much harder to describe in concrete terms (steering geometry and handling). Separating the hype (say the current trend of stiffness at any cost) from the important issues (handling for the riders weight and riding style, not to mention sizing & geometry) seems to be a big enchilada the independent frame builder. But they are preaching to the converted as we wouldn’t be there if we didn’t believe. Nonetheless, the more you learn the more you come realize how little you actually understood. All-in-all a very satisfying discussion that progressed throughout the day (even over lunch).

Obsolete lugged bicycles from the 1940’s to the 1990’s are an indulgence of mine. And Dave was happy to run this tangent with his own opinions and ideas. A frame builder with a couple of sets of Mario Confente lugs lying around is certainly worth listening to.

On a more practical level you draw up the frame using paper & pencil then Dave does the same thing using a computer program more accurately and infinitely faster (making you wonder why you did it on paper in the first place - ok it’s done so that you can understand the principles behind correct fit and geometry).

More tomorrow

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