Saturday, March 31, 2007

Movin' on up and into spring!

Things have been a little hectic in the shop lately. Between paint scheduling hassles, NAHBS, and having to find a new shop space I've been a little frazzled. If you have contacted me by e-mail or phone lately I apologize for being a little slow with the response.

Anyway...winter is finally over (I hope) and spring is here. I've solved my paint scheduling issues, recovered from NAHBS, and best of all we have found a new shop space. I've been moving around quite a bit in the 5 years I've been building frames, and so far every move has been good. I started out in the basement of the Yellow Jersey. Andy Muzi was very helpful and I would have never gotten started building frames without his influence. Great guy, and without a doubt the most interesting person I know. I quickly outgrew my corner in the Yellow Jersey basement so I worked out a deal with my friend Jeff to work in a warehouse space that he had. While the space had a great central location (which is nearly impossible to find for cheap in Madison) it was unheated and lacked water so as you can imagine it was a tough winter. Jeff also owns a bike shop in town, Revolution Cycles. When he moved into a new larger shop awhile back I graciously took his offer to work in the back of his shop. Since I've been at Jeff's shop I've acquired allot of new equipment and have found two more people to share the space with. Now our 300 sq ft shop is just too small for all of us (sometimes there will be four of us working...and its annoying to bump elbows when your filing!). After a little searching Ahren and I found a great space. Ideally we would have liked to be more centrally located but since Madison isn't much of an industrial city there isn't much space that's suitable for our needs. We finally settled on a space that's a 5 minute bike ride from our current shop so its not too far out.

The new address will is 4235 Argosy Court, Unit A. Madison, WI 53704. We're moving tomorrow (April 1st). After we move in I intend to actually keep regular hours as I will no longer be working any of my other part time jobs (bike courier and bike mechanic). Who knows....maybe I'll even be able to take a day (or two!!!) off every week.

The new space is huge (1500 sq feet) and I'm not sure we know what to do with it all yet...but I'm sure we'll fill it up quick enough. Here are some quick photos of the space:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

ZR Cycles

My assistant/shopmate/friend Zack Reilly has been making a few frames lately. Here is his latest that he made for our friend Mark (the Spark):

This frame is to replace Marks Cinelli track frame that was stolen (or maybe re-claimed depending on who you talk to). The frame Zack built is way cooler than the Cinelli.

See more of this one here:

And more of his bikes are here:

Zack has been working a little for me over the past couple years. If you have a Jonny Cycles frame there is a good chance he mitered some of your tubes, machined your crown race, and polished your stainless lugs.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More NAHBS photos?!

Brad from Dirt rag took allot of great photos at the show. You should check it out as its the best collection of good photos I've seen so far:

Brad took some great photos of my new cross frame, which I just built up last night and am riding to Milwaukee later today (in road bike mode....its spring not fall):

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fixed Gear Gallery Interview

If you haven't checked out the Fixed Gear Gallery in awhile, you should. Dennis has been doing allot of great things with the site: The forum is quite active, there are lots of interviews and articles, the schedule for the third annual Fixed Gear Symposium is up (its going to be even better this year!), and of course there thousands of photos of fixed gear bikes.

Dennis and Bill from the FGG were out at the Handmade Bike Show. While out there they took lots of photos and did lots of interviews which are all here:

They're not done and are still adding photos and interviews daily. A couple of days ago they just added the Jonny Cycles section, which includes an interview with me. I haven't listened to the interview yet (I hate listening to myself) let me know if it was good or bad! Here is the Jonny Cycles page:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

3Rensho frame repair

I do the occasional frame repair, but since I'm always busy building frames I turn down allot of repairs or forward them on to the Yellow Jersey here in town as they are much faster. Usually I just do stuff for friends, or more often now friends of friends, or stuff that really interested in. Awile back Roberto contacted me and wanted me to replace the downtube in his 3Rensho. Usually I reccomend against such large repairs since its a fair amount of time (and thus money) to replace the tube, and then there is the whole re-paint that has to be done. In this case it was a fairly rare frame (large 58 cm 3Rensho track frame) and it had a good story to go along with it so we decided to repair it.

Aparantley while the bike was locked in NYC a thief attempted to steal it by cutting through the downtube. Fortunatley he was caught in the act, but unfortunatley he had already cut through the downtube. !?

Some photos of the repair in progress:

After fresh new paint, good as new...or maybe better than new?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

back from NAHBS

I'm finally back from the show. All bikes are accounted for and the final piece of lost luggage arrived yesterday. It was great having Jason at the show with me as we could take turns watching the table so we could both get around and check out all the other exhibitors.

I was quite happy with the show and consider it a successful trip. Talked to lots of people, made lots of new contacts, sold some stuff.... I didn't win any awards, but I really didn't expect to. I was happy to have some of my favorite bikes at the show but with the exception of the pink bike (which should have had its own category) none of them were overly flashy attention getting bikes. I was happy to see that my favorite exhibitor (Carlos) won an award. It was also great to have a booth next to ANT. I met Mike and Betsy last year and it was fun to chat with them again. I purchased a copy of Richard Sach's new photo book which is great....everyone should have a copy!

Here is my unofficial awards list:

Tony Pereira of Pereira Cycles ruled the show with the most awards. Three. Best MTB, road, and fillet brazed.

Brian Baylis won best lugged bike and best paint job

Calfee got best carbon

Roark got best Titanium

Ahearne best town bike

Bohemian best Tandem and Peoples choice award

Bruce Gordon, best of show.

Best new builder was won by Carlos Martell of Maldoror Cycles.

Dario Pergoetti was awarded the "Presidents" choice award.

"Framebuilder of the Year" award on the table of Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles.

more photos:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Jasons bike, Yohei, and a very full booth

So I shipped a bunch of bikes 2nd day air to San Jose. They shipped out on Monday and most of them arrived except of course Jason's track bike. Jason of course hasn't been quite himself without his bike...until today (Saturday) when we finally tracked down his bike at the DHL sorting facility 20 minutes. When the box arrived Jason tore it open with his teeth (really!) built it immediately, hugged, licked, and kissed it.

Yohei from Japan also stopped by today. He visited last year and was again really enthusiastic about the bikes. I wish there wasn't so much of a language barrier so we could chat more...

In addition to Jason's bike arriving Rickey also brought his bike by for display so we now have 7 Jonny Cycles frames in the booth!

Saturday at the NAHBS

Brian Baylis and Carlos (Malodoror)

Jason turned me on to Carlos who calls his bikes Maldoror or Sir Maldoror. After looking around his stuff is some of my favorite. Carlos works with Brian Baylis (sort of an apprentance arrangment). I'm really into how Carlos has a similar style (same painting methods and similar construction being in the same shop and all) to Baylis but has taken it furter to make it his own thing, in fact I think Carlos has some of the best new style at the show that is entirley all his own. I took alot of photos of Carlos' stuff and Baylis so you can compare and contrast. Both great stuff. We hung out with Brian and Carlos friday night at the Clarion hotel, which of course was fun and interesting conversation (or course Jason did most of the talking) First the bikes from Carlos:

More on Carlos (including an interview) at the fixed gear gallery.


Around the corner to Brian Baylis' booth, excellent lug thinning and paint!