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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. . .

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!

STEMS!!!

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Hey all. . .
- Happy Memorial Day. . . hope you have fun memorializing. . . .
- Summer has come to Austin. . . those who say “finally” either live in A/C or are insane. . . as for me, I say “Let’s move to Saskatoon.” Not only is it way cooler, but who can’t get behind a city whose flag promotes “Commerce, Industry, [and] Education?”

- More time should be spent in the shop in the coming months, and we’re already ahead of our personal timelines for certain projects. . . one of which is
- STEMS! Yep, as I mentioned awhile back we would be making stems, not just for fun, but for PROFIT!! That time has come, and all for the low low price of $150. That’ll get you a custom length stem similar to the one pictured (1 1/8″ steerer, 1 1/4″ bar clamp, custom length and rise). All 4130 steel with the exception of the faceplate which is 6061 aluminum.


Powdercoats beside black and other deviations from the norm can be done, but there will be an up-charge (contact us for details). While I didn’t weigh this one, I’m fairly certain it’s on par with a Thomson, so you may be saving a few grams PLUS you can get it in that so hard to find 153.713229 length that you need to complement the 95mm headtube on your Golden Ratio bike. PLUS PLUS look at how good it looks just doing its job!!!

- June is National “Update your Business’s Website Month” and in that vain we have recently hired someone to do just that. My eyes bleed eye blood whenever I check my email so we thought it best to find someone who knows what they’re doing behind a keyboard. Look for us to let you know when it’s actually done here on this blog as what we have now is so out of date I can’t even laugh about it. (NOTE: it’s worth a peek if you wanted to know what websites looked like during the Ford Administration, so for all you high schoolers wrapping up your term papers on “The History of the Internet,” feel free to use our site as a primary source. . . just be sure to print out pictures on the dot matrix currently being used as your bathroom step stool).

Branching out. . .

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Or maybe stemming out. . . not sure if that makes sense, but my desire to be punny makes me want to at least try it. Anyway, as you may or may not be able to tell from the title, TF is on the cusp of expanding their offerings. Our hope is that in the near future we will be able to offer stems to help round out the custom bicycle experience. Here’s a shot of the setup:


It’ll be a 1″ quill stem, 90º, 25.4ø stem clamp and 120mm in length. The stem is going on lugged Trek re-furb that we may or may not be putting more braze-ons on (that’s a weirdly constructed sentence, no?). And in case you didn’t see it well enough in the first picture, this should let you know where the stem will eventually end up.

There’s way more to tell about life in the shop as of late, but it wouldn’t make any sense without pictures (which I have yet to download from my camera). What would make sense to tell you (and is probably best without pictures. . . maybe) is that we have recently signed on to compete in the Oregon Manifest Contructor’s Design Challenge in Portland, OR this September. I would be doing the event a disservice by trying to explain it here, so please check out the link (as well as this one, the personal blog of the brain behind the event and the Super Relax Concept) and just know that we are more than excited to be involved in this event. More on all that (and pics of the finished stem) next week, I promise.

>Hello. . . I’m Mo, and this is my bike

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>As followers of this blog have probably noticed, not very many posts are done by people not named “Clark.” While this introduction is not necessarily a wind of change, it is, at the very least, to let readers know that there are other people who comprise True Fabrication bicycles. I am one of them. I think now is the time people would usually go into their majors in college or whether they liked long beach walks or river tubing, but I’ll just let you you take a guess as to what I enjoy. . . anyway. . .

I haven’t been a member of the team for very long, but in the short time that I’ve worked here I have been able to eek out a personal bike.

Nothing too special about this one, with it’s normalish angles and parts spec, but for those who know any of the other TF guys you probably know that they like their top tubes sloping and wheelbases short; in that respect this bike is unique (while a classic-looking bike doesn’t fly directly against their chosen aesthetic, it is a friendly jab. . . I just prefer the look of a straight top tube, which is getting harder and harder to find these days). Okay, more pics

One thing that may change for this bike is the fork. . . there’s just not enough clearance for me. . . I’d like to be able to fit 28s, and that’s not happening with this segmented/sleeved road fork (a first for TF!).

Some things need to be blacked-out (headtube badge, stem faceplate, front derailleur clamp), but overall I couldn’t be happier with how the bike came out.

A classic-looking bike deserves classic-looking colors. For me: British Racing Green, Black, and Bronze. . .

Shop-wise Scott’s bike just needs some cleanup after USPS dropped of some small parts we had been waiting for. He’s getting a Team TF paint scheme along with some other bikes that have been waiting for a paint job. . . more to come.

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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