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Shop Update

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This week we have completed one frame and are close to completing a second. Eric’s bent downtube 29er is ready to go to paint. Here are some shots of it:


The other frame that is almost complete is Jay’s cross bike. The frame is built and what is left is installing all the braze-ons. We are really pleased how the mono-stay rear end came out. Here are some shots of it:


Texas Custom Bicycle Show #4

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Please do stop by and chat with us this weekend at TCBS #4  – Saturday and Sunday 10-5pm at the Convention Center. We will have our Oregon Manifest bike, several recent customer bikes, and my bike with full CTR gear in our booth.

Oregon Manifest, Part I: Thank You!

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*note: the following contains an insane amount of links to other sites. It took me such a long time to compile them all, so please take a chance and ‘click’. . . I promise that they’ll be a better waste of time than talking dogs or celebrity meltdowns (note also that those things do not, in my estimation, deserve a link.)

Yep. . . Part I. I could have said “one” or “1,” but I’m going to try to keep it as classy as Roman Numerals imply for the sole purpose of matching the event to which this post owes its existence.

A huge thanks goes out to Shannon and Jocelyn for putting on this event. Of all the bicycle shows that happen throughout the year, I truly feel that this one has the greatest ability to change the way cyclists and non-cyclist view the bicycle.

Shannon is the (one of the?) person (people?) behind Super Relax Concept, whose jerseys I saw in an old old old issue of Velonews back when I thought I could be good at racing bicycles. It took me a year or two of searching the internet to figure out the people who had them made so that I could beg to get on their next order. I did and after receiving them I was told they would never ever again open up to people outside of Portland; I’m glad to know they have since changed their policy. Their motto (among others that can easily be taken from their kit): “Look Good. Be nice. Keep Dreamin’.”

We met Jocelyn during NAHBS 2011 which was held in Austin. I think I had emailed her a few times asking about the event, the last was answered by her in person in our booth. It was then that I was sold on going to the event. I may regret the amount of time it took to finish our submission (tackling a bunch of “firsts” is a lot more time intensive than I ever imagined) but I do not regret going. My short conversation with Jocelyn was the deciding factor to sign up. Thank you.

To Rob Tsunehiro (on the right) who let me borrow his wife’s road bike while I was in Portland. His generosity helped me save a great deal of money in shipping and handling fees by not having to bring a third bike to get around the city. Thanks, and congrats on your well deserved second place finish! (WIN!)

To the Judge who, unknown to me, gave a “shout out” to our bike before the ribbon recipients were announced. Shane of Brooklyness has video he’ll send me once I get a chance to write him, but until then I’m suspecting it was Bill Strickland, editor at large for Bicycling and a really handsome, tough-looking man (he looks like he could be an uncommonly refined turn-of-the-century Dutch stevedore, no?), but that’s just a guess based on the reaction to our bike he posted on his blog.

To Greg and Rachel at F3 Designs right here in ATX. I know them from a circle I travel in and asked them to build Katie and I bikepacking bags a while ago. When it came time to decide how the OM bike would carry gear I asked if they could make a racktop/backpack as well as panniers that would look more like their work and less like everything else on the market. An good amount of sailcoth, rubber, and coated nylon later and I had what I needed to carry the requisite items for the 51 mile shakedown-ride. They also make these awesome hats that a) enable me to comfortable tuck all my hair underneath my helmet, and b) keep the sweat off of my face. Bamboo jersey cycling hats. . . who knew?

To Aldo over at Delta Millworks (ATX!!) for making two awesome decks out of Texas Walnut over the Labor Day weekend. They look as amazing as they weigh (which is a lot when you’re riding uphill).

To the people who took their time to document the event and post on flickr. I’ve been viewing a lot from Taylor Sizemore (one of the entrants), Dylan Van Weelden (responsible for the photo above) from Chris King, Jonathan Maus from bikeportland.org, and Anthony Cobb (a student entrant from The Art Institute of Portland) for me to link to. Thanks for covering my ass, otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to show.

A GIANT THANKS goes out to Kellie, Pat, Riley and Oliver R. for letting Katie and I crash in their basement for the entirety of our stay. When we weren’t out doing the bike thing, we were comfortable in a warm and inviting house, hanging out with friends. Thank you so much!

And my final thanks goes to the city of Portland for making me feel pretty frickin’ awesome. What other city in the U.S. could draw a crowd like this to what is basically a one-night museum exhibit on transportation bicycles? Truly inspirational. And thanks for not yelling at me for all the times I forgot to signal my turns. . .

more to come. . .

Shop update

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While, this past weekend Mo was having a blast with our bike at the Oregon Manifest in Portland (I can’t wait for his update from the event). I wanted to update ya’ll on what we have been up to in the shop. First we had John’s bike come back from powder and it really came out great. John got the full TF experience with a custom fork and stem:

I have also been working on Eric’s small 29er which is going to be a unique design for us having a bent down tube for fork clearance.  So I have got the front triangle mitered, tacked and welded up. Here are some shots of the progress:

I also wanted to say I have been working a write up on the CTR race which I finished in 9 days 10 hours 16 mins and hope to have it in the blog soon. It was an amazing personal experience for me that has been hard to put in words. Here is a link to a video that another rider put together which I hope gives you a window into what some of the sections of the ride were like:

http://vimeo.com/28779413

Heading to Portland. . .

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It’s Tuesday, and that means TF will be in Portland in a mere two days. KD will be with me as I present TF’s submission to the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge. Clark and I have lost enough bodily fluids to make an industrial kitchen unsanitary when making this bike, and while I’ve been more mad than pleased during its creation, I couldn’t be happier with the final product.
I must say that I am a little more than a tiny bit worried about what exactly will be required of me at this event. As I type this, KD is looking over the presentation criteria (yeah, like a, uh, legit presentation that will, umm, be evaluated by judges and, uh, stuff). There will be receptions, and swag, and builder’s only events. With so much going on and at such a high production level, it makes a person reevaluate their strict “two showers a week” policy. And maybe I should shave. . . or wear a tie. . . nah, ties never look good with stained white undershirts. . .

Anyway, it is with great pleasure that I present a sneak peak. . . ah hell. It’s two days away! The rest of the pictures can be found here. . . ENJOY!

AntonioGG- TF Gravel Grinder

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I know this is a crappy camera phone pic but its all I’ve got for now. AntonioGG’s gravel grinder is complete. I know the pics don’t do it justice but this bike is awesome. We still need to get in the carbon disc fork for it. But this will be his do-all machine: commuter, dirt-road rider, and could mix it up on the weekend road rides or WC trail laps. My bike is done in the same vein but his is much nicer! I’ll better pics soon.

CTR Tracking Link

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Here is the link to the CTR tracking page:

http://trackleaders.com/ctr

Sit back and watch my blue dot move as I pedal away in the mountains.

Update and Gear List

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A lot has happened in the last week, both in the shop and here in Colorado. Although I have my camera with me here in Colorado, my camera cable is back in Austin, so sorry for the lack of pics.

In the shop, the Saturday before I left we got a new mill, an older Van Norman #12 Milling machine and moved it into place. (Thanks for the help Brad!!)  Mo has been busy working on the Oregon Manifest bike and I believe that it will be going to powder coat soon.

In Colorado here, I have been getting out on the bike each day and getting use to altitude. Believe it or not on Tuesday I got caught in a big thunderstorm (yes actual rain!!) and my gear held up well.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I would put up a gear list of what I am taking on the CTR Race, well here is it all but the food:

Bike
  
Frameset – True Fabrication 29″ Hardtail and Rigid Fork
Drivetrain – Shimano XT
Brakes – Hope Mono
Cockpit – Titec Ti Bar, Ritchey Stem, ESI Chunky Grips, Cane Creek Bar Ends
Seat – Selle Italia Turbomatic 2 , Moots Ti post
Wheel System – Stan’s Flows and Hubs
Tires – Ardent 2.4 (Front), WeirWolf 2.55 (Back)

Load Carrying

F3 Designs Framebag ( Thanks Greg and Rachel the bags work great!!!)
F3 Designs Seatbag
F3 Designs Barbag
Fuel Belt – Small Feedbag
Sea to Summit – Ultra light backpack (For carrying extra food after Buena Vista)

Clothing
  
Waterproof/Breathable Jacket – O2 Rainjacket
Waterproof Pants – Marmot Precip
Shorts w/Chamois – Vermarc / Assos Bibs (one pair of each)
Jersey – Castelli Squadra old Cycle 360
Base Layer Top – Defeet undershirt long / short
Long Sleeve Top   – LAF Winter Jersey
Knee Warmers – Defeet Wool
Arm Warmers – Defeet arm-skins
Off Bike Shorts – Mesh track shorts
Off Bike Tights – REI Poly Tights
Riding Cap – F3 Designs  TF -Cap
Warm Cap – Pearl Izumi Barrier Hat
Over Glove – Manzella Windstopper
Vest – Castelli Windstopper
Full finger riding gloves – Pearl Izumi X-light Gel
Sunglasses – Oakley Racing Jackets Perscription
Helmet -Giro Althelon  
Shoes – Pearl Izumi Enduro
Socks   -Swiftwick 7, Swiftwick wool 7, SL3S Compression

Gear  

Headlamp – Princeton Tec Apex Pro
Light on Front Bag – Princeton Tec Quad (2)
Tailight – Planet Bike Super Flash
Batteries for lights    Energizer Lithium AAA, CR123
GPS – Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
Batteries for GPS – Energizer Lithium AA
Shelter    - Nemo GOGO XL Bivy, Bivy Stakes, Pump, Extra spoke for Bivy swallowtail
Sleeping bag – Mountain Hardware UltraLamina 32 Large
Sleeping Pad – Theromrest Air Core Small
Ear plugs – Simple Rubber (orange for visibility)
Multitool – Leatherman
Bike Multi-tool    - Lezyne 20
Tire Lever – Quick Stick
Tire Pump – Lezyne Mini
Tire Innertube – 29×2.1 (2)
Tube patch kit – Glue Type & Super Patch
Tire boot – Cut Piece of Tire with bead removed
Chain Lube – Finish Line Wax
Power Link  – Sram 9 Speed (2)
Assortment of Zip Ties (QTY – 7) mix of smaller and larger
Large sewing needle
Heavy duty nylon thread   – Small spool
Rope – Multi-Purpose Thin Nylon Cord (15′)
Band-Aids – 2 butterfly style, 2 ‘standard’ size
Swabs and ointment- Alcohol wipes, Antibiotic ointment
Sports Tape (3 meters wrapped around pump)
Duct Tape (3 meters wrapped around pump)
Water Treatment    - Sawyer 4L Purifier System – Dirty bag and filter  
Toothbrush / Toothpaste
Clean Wipes – Cottonelle Wipes (2) 10 Packs
Sunscreen (SPF 50+) – Neutrogena Sport
Lip balm (SPF 15+)- Neutrogena lip therapy
Chamois Cream – Chamois Butt’r 10 Mini Packs
Towel – MSR medium camp towel
Bug Spray – Off – Mini pack of 2 towelettes  
Wallet and Contents  – Ziplock – ID, Health Insurance Card, Debit/Credit Card(s), Cash, Calling Card
Camera – Canon Powershot SD980 IS (with batteries and ziploc bag)
Map  – CTR Databook with Detours marked

Water Storage Capacity – 5L and larger bottle

MSR 4L “clean” water bag hooked to camelback tube
Water bottle 28 oz carry in jersey pocket
Platypus 1L Bladder – spare for quick treatment with tablets

Emergency Supplies
  
Mountain House – 1 – Freeze Dried Meal (500 Calories)
Hand warmers – 1 pack of 2 expose to air warmers
Aqua Mira Water treatment tablets – 12 pack
Mini Bic Lighter
Mini Compass / Thermometer
Whistle

I don’t have a weight on all of it and I know it is not the lightest, but I think it will keep me safe and get me to the finish. I have been training with it all on the bike for the last few months, so I know what to expect riding and hiking with it uphill. Well, as soon as I have my tracking link I will post it up, that’s all for now.

Scott Henry heads to Superweek!

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Here is Scott bike all boxed up and ready to go! Scott Henry flew out to Illinois today to spend 4 days racing Superweek. http://www.internationalcycling.com/?q=schedule For those of you who don’t know, Superweek is 17 days straight of pro road racing in Wisconsin and Illinois. He will be racing his TF road bike with State Wheels carbon wheels. I spoke to Scott before he left and he was debating which bike to bring to race. He said he decided to go with the TF over the BMC because he felt so comfortable on it. Scott mentioned that when racing for 4 days in a row at this level aboard a bike that was made specifically for *him* was the deciding factor. He said it fits him perfectly and it handles so well, even though the BMC would be a tad lighter and a little stiffer.

Getting Close to Go Time – CTR

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July 24 is the date I fly to Denver and then a week in Denver before I start one of the biggest adventures I will ever do. After over ten years of traveling to Colorado each summer to spend a week camping and riding my mountain bike, this year I am lining up to doing the Colorado Trail Race starting on August 1st. The race is a 460 mile self-supported event from Denver to Durango on the Colorado Trail. I have been training and acquiring gear for this race over the past year and I am really looking forward to the experience. I know being from Austin and not being able to train at altitude will limit my performance, but my main goal is overcoming all the challenges that I will encounter during the race ( i.e. altitude, lightning, exhaustion, hypothermia, etc…) and finishing it. Mo will be holding down the fort in the shop starting the 25th and I plan to be back mid-August. I will post up my gear list and tracking information, so you can follow my blue dot before I head out.
-Clark

About

True Fabrication was born in 2005 during a 16-hour car ride home from our annual mountain biking trip to Colorado.

We (Cody, Clark, and Cole) were longtime friends, having spent several years riding, racing, traveling, and training together. During that car ride, we realized that the same idea had been sprouting in each of our minds — what if we built our own bikes? And so it was decided that by the following year, we’d be riding through the Colorado mountains on our own creations. So we got to work.

Over the course of the next 12 months we acquired lots of tools, mastered our fabrication skills, and perfected our welding. One of us attended the UBI’s frame builder’s school, another developed our geometry philosophy, and the third created our logo and branding. Although the original intent was to just build bikes for ourselves, we quickly found that the bikes we were building (29-inch mountain bikes) were not being built by the major bike manufacturers at that time. We started spreading the word about our bikes to our friends in the Austin cycling community, and quickly had a small customer base.

Over time, we’ve honed our skills, and our customer base has grown. We now have customers all over the country, and are pretty busy in the shop these days! So what makes our frames special? We don’t build frames to make a living — that’s what our day jobs are for. We build frames because we love cycling and are passionate about frame building. We don’t take shortcuts. Instead, we take the time to ensure that each bike is designed to be perfect for each customer — down to the very last detail. Each of us can create a custom bicycle from inception to completion, but the combination of our unique talents and abilities makes us a great partnership.

Clark

Clark I’m originally from Canada, but moved to the US when I was young. I’ve lived all over the US, but I always end up back in Texas. I love the people, climate, culture, and riding in Austin.

As with Cody and Mo, cycling is something that is core to me and I never go more then a day or two without a ride. I started racing mountain bikes when I was in high school and then raced road bikes in college. Over time, I worked my way up to racing at the expert/elite level here in Texas. Nowadays, I race less and work in the shop more, but I still try and commute to my “real job” as much as I can.

I also love to work with my hands and build things. I spent eight years working in bike shops as a mechanic and attended the United Bicycle Institute’s frame building school to perfect my frame building skills. My father restores classic British cars and I have spent endless hours working on cars with him in his shop. I credit my father for instilling the need to tinker in me and teaching me to pay attention to the small details in order to build things that last.

Cody

Cody I’m the guy you talk to when you call or email. I handle the information gathering process and then later, the geometry and frame design.

I love riding my mountain bike and I’ve been a competitive racer for 13 years. I’m an Expert level racer who finished the 2007 Texas XC Championship in 10th position and the 2007 Texas Marathon Series in 2nd place. I love racing my road bike too. I’ve been doing the weekly Austin Tuesday Nighter races since 1996. It is so engrained in what I like to do that it has almost become a sacred event. When possible I like to commute to work. I’ve had various “careers” over the years and sometimes I can commute, sometimes I can’t. I currently work in the banking industry.

I’ve been married to the same awesome woman for 7 years and we have been blessed with three active young boys, Judah, Elijah, and Levi. My oldest son, Judah, just learned to ride a bike and has already done his first “Kids Crit” race. I guess you could say cycling is our blood!

Mo

Mo Mo watches Friday Night Lights and loves the Wire. He has a soft spot in his heart for the Oakland Raiders and for Gold and Purple track suits. He likes quill stems, 1″ threaded steerers, horizontal top tubes, and asymmetrical paint designs. He is a super fast runner and he likes cookies.

What We Build

Road

Road Bike

Mountain

Mountain Bike

Cross

Cross Bike

Track

Track Bike

Commuter

Commuter Bike

Forks

Fork

Stems

Stem

Ordering

Wait Time

Our typical frame build timeline is 3 -5 months. This is from the time of deposit to final delivery of the frame. At the time of deposit, we’ll give you a build schedule and a planned delivery date for your frame. A deposit of $300 is required to reserve your spot in our build queue. All deposits are non-refundable or transferable.

Fitting and Design

Our goal is to partner with you to design a frame that is both physically and aesthetically a joy to ride. We prefer to meet and ride with our customers to ensure the best possible design, but fitting and design can also be done remotely (e.g., through email).

At the core of all this is your basic physical measurements. If remote fitting is done you will receive our fit documents and series of questions that will we will use to determine your design. If you’re able to meet in with us in person, we will go for a ride, tour the shop, and then have fit session.

Pricing

Frames: $1275

This is the standard price for all of our TIG welded steel frames (Road, Mountain, Cross, Track, and City). This price includes:

  • Our C4 tubing selection and custom geometry — design-driven custom selection of True Temper, Columbus, Reynolds, or Dedacciai tubing.
  • Hand bent seat stays and curved braces
  • Cable guides
  • Water bottle mounts
  • Rack mounts
  • Wright style drop-outs with a replaceable hanger
  • Disk Brake tab or Cantilever bosses
  • Salsa seat collar
  • Single color powder coat finish with decals (we have a wide range of color options)
  • Polished stainless head tube badge

There are many additional options such sliding dropouts, curved top tubes, internal cable routing, suspension rear-ends, tapered head tubes, and PressFit 30 BB shells. Please inquire for pricing on these and other additional options.

Here is a list of some of the common options (price shown is in addition to base price):

  • SS Dropouts – Paragon Sliders or Rocker: $200
  • Internal Cable Routing: starting at $100
  • Custom paint or powder: starting at $100
  • S&S couplers: starting at $650

In addition to custom frames, we build custom forks, stems and racks:

Forks: starting at $250

TIG welded or brazed steel forks in segmented, uni-crown, or lugged styles.

Stems: starting at $150

TIG welded steel stems in any length, angle, or bar size.

Racks: starting at $200

Front or rear fillet brazed steel racks with wood platforms.

Complete Bicycles

All True Fabrication bicycles are available as a complete bike with professional assembly. As part of the design process we will talk though all of the components that you want or that we recommend you use to build up your frame. We do have direct relationships with many manufacturers and can put together a complete component quote to build up your frame.

Shipping and Tax

Shipping is not included in the price of the frame and will be added to the total. We typically use FedEx ground and will work to get you the best rate. Texas residents will also need to add 8.25% sales tax to the total price.

Warranty

All True Fabrication frames, forks, stems, and racks come with a lifetime warranty for any defects in craftsmanship, and a six-year warranty for any material defects. This warranty policy is valid only for the original owner and does not cover failures or damage caused by abuse, misuse, or rust. Non-warranty repairs are done at a reduced rate and worked into our build queue. Frames should be dis-assembled prior to repair. Repair costs do not include re-assembly of the bike or shipping.

Contact Us

Do you have a question about anything you’ve seen our site or just want more information about our bikes? Use the form below and we’ll get back to you soon.


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