Friday, January 30, 2009

My Kirklee with my Geometry painted in.


Today I just got some pictures of my Kirklee that is a "showroom" bike that just happens to fit me...EXACTLY! hehehe This bike will tell the story of custom frame making. Guru, Kirklee, and Parlee all make each frame for each person to fit them exactly. This sometimes is hard to realize from just talking about it so I had this frame finished in a very special way. The design notes, or CAD drawing measurements that go into each frame for tube lengths and angles were all hand drawn on this frame by Brad at Kirklee and then custom paint sealed it in by Dave Simms.
Its a project bike that shows off what Kirklee can do as well as showing each client what it means to have a custom bike that is tailor made for them.
These are pics of it at Kirklee in week there will be pics of it in Houston getting built up.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting Ready to Race!

Things are moving along, bikes being built, clients getting fitted, and just having some good ole fun doing what I love to do. Usually being so busy on everyone's bike but my own it was time to get myself ready for the weekend. Sunday is a road race in New Braunfels and myself and 7 other team mates are rolling up to race that day. The fun part is 5 of us have decided to HTFU and race twice. The Cat4 race at 9am which is 45 miles and then again at 12:09pm in the 4/5 race which is another 45miles. I have raced twice before in one day...not very well and only in crits which are usually only an hour tops each race. So needless to say this is NUTS but I have been riding 60-90 miles kinda often and maybe it won't suck that bad. To race like I am nuts I need a bike that is nuts! Bring in the Guru Geneo with Sram Red. I LOVE my Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels which are amazing and VERY race worthy. But I own a high end bike shop so its expected that I have the ultra cool stuff right? At least that is what I told myself when I ordered a pair of Edge 68 tubular rims and Tune hubs. They weigh in at 1146 grams and I had to find a tubular tire worthy. I have used Zipps before and loved them. But is there something better? After tonight's ride I think there is. Challenge Criterium Setas. Its a 300tpi tire with a sewn in tube made of silk. Yes silk. I glued these up last night and looked forward to rolling them today but as usual the day got away from me. So off to the West End ride at 6pm. Yes, that is right, I was THAT GUY who shows up on a training ride (in town on the worst roads in the dark) with carbon race wheels...not to mention tubulars made of silk that one cost 4 times as much as most tires. I am quite the bike snob and would totally make fun of some one who does this. So of course as all the guys make the obvious comments...I wind up making fun of myself. Especially since in my rush to leave I grab my flat kit...for clinchers. (right?) On to the ride.
Well I don't know what everyone else was doing but I guess I was feeling good cause I was absolutely flying! Speed was easy and those wheels were amazing and the tires were truly special. I could not believe how easy the ride felt. One, I am feeling pretty good on the Guru these days and with the addition of these wheels its just a whole nother level. It truly felt like I just bought speed. I had a hard time controlling my excitement and just kept trying to go!! Now I am praying for no rain on Sunday cause I can not wait to get out on this bike and wheels and see how it goes.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A long weekend

After a long week and weekend of working and finishing up the last of the 4 Gurus that hit me all at once 10 days ago, I am mentally exhausted and ready for a new week with some new work. Not that I can complain about building such beautiful bikes, but as I also set up the shop to "officially open" soon there is just always something to do. Each bike built takes time and careful thought as the build comes along. In this picture above showing the stem assembly, the owner of the bike and I spent probably 2 hours deciding just the right combo of Nokon cable colors as well as headset and cap configurations as well as some other little bits. I do this with almost every bike built for my clients to make each one as unique as the geometry of the frame its self. Having a custom frame is one thing, but having clients that like to take their bikes and builds to another level is awesome. This Guru Crono above will have some more pics following soon as my photographer was out of town on business. (like there is something more important than this???)
Also I have to drop the news on my own new Guru Geneo and the ride on that. Today was AMAZING and I can't wait to race this year.
See ya on the road...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forget the bikes...this is where it is at

Sleep is something I am lacking as I get everything set up as well as attend to my growing customer base. So I have been at Starbucks so much each day its embarrassing...practically I should just have a Starbucks iv drip here to keep me fixed up. So instead of hitting the 24hour Starbucks down the way from the shop I bought a one shot coffee maker. I can make a cup at a time on demand and pick any flavor I want. Even with being surrounded by all of these fine bikes and components...I think this is the coolest thing ever!
Oh yeah...customers are welcome to it as well. ;-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brett Cole's Crono

Vision, Syntace, Ritchey stem, Silver Shama badge, Gunmetal Deda bar tape.

Here goes another one. In an earlier posting I have a shot of Brett holding the frame when it came in. He since came back for a "pre fitting" to look over the position to cut the steerer tube and the aerobar extensions on his Vision Tech carbon clipons.
Its now done and I am so impressed with how it came out I can't wait for the good camera to archive it...I just had to share tonight. Full Sram Force with carbon brake levers and shifters. Though we did upgrade to the Ceramic BlackBox bb and a KMC chain and some very nice but still all black Jagwire cables. I was more than happy not to have to do another Nokon cabled bike...I love the way they look...but was getting burned out on killing 2 hours just to thread those things all pretty like.
This bike weighs in right at 16lbs and 9oz. With the pic of the Edge tubulars...its down to 15lbs and 4oz. That is just SICK! Not to mention on the prefit this bike is so dead on perfect I can't wait to see this guy nail it at the tris coming up. I can't wait!
More to come on this one soon.

RAmaya Guru Crono....

SHAVE THOSE LEGS...oh yeah and nice bike!
A very happy man...holding the machine that will take away his excuses at the tris coming up!
The Vision carbon race bends and Syntace carbon base bar is one VERY clean combo!!!

Some more pics of the Crono

Pretty nice look of the TRP brakes here...
Nice Gold Chain...along with that super slick power meter the Quarq unit...
Of course Nokon cables...also notice the Tiso Ceramic Pulley wheels.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First ride, and some Shama marathon watching and placing.

Watching the marathon finish...that guy makes it look too easy!

Ok you might not be able to tell in this pic but Richard came over to ride his bike with unshaved legs. This detail almost killed me riding with him...but I let it slide this time. ;-)

Sunday morning...after working some seriously crazy hours the past week and actually loving it...Richard Amaya pulls up to my house for a morning ride. First ride on his new Guru Crono and second ride for me on my new Guru Geneo. Not only are we both on Gurus, but mine is red/white and his is red/black...and we both were rolling the new Garmin computers hooked up to our Quarq Power meters. I must say we were rolling pretty tough. We left the house and headed towards downtown to watch the marathon for a little bit. Besides, Shama Cycles had some tri team members out there racing and I wanted to yell at HTFU! haha
Richard kept wanting to take off and after my last "first ride" with Euan, I wanted to take it easy. I was not in the mood for a hammer fest and I know Rich was itchin to open up that bike. The streets were clear for the marathon and we were able to cruise on down to the finish line with ease. Seeing everyone racing and cheering and supporting was great! At the end of the day, Trent Stephens helped pace Andrew Strong to 3rd place in his AG in the half with Brett Cole right behind him for 4th...then back in 14th place but only 6min behind was Walt Yarrow. Good on guys! Then there were plenty of other FOPs out there who had great races and maybe some with not so great races. We all have those days and hearing the post race stories was great! Its good to feel the race buzz again.
Basically we had a pretty easy falling in love with my Geneo and him his Crono. We both were all smiles on our rockets and can't wait for another great day to put them through the paces. It was a blast and a fun ride having some self admiration on the bike.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Richard A's Crono and my Geneo

Ok, so its WAY too late and I am supposed to be riding with a group at 730am which is in like 4hours.
More on these bikes soon. The red and white one is mine and I can't wait show it off....


Friday, January 16, 2009

Brett Cole's baby

After lunch I had to run home and grab a box that was delivered there by mistake and come on back, and on my way back I get a call from Brett Cole who is waiting at the shop with the UPS guy asking if he can sign for the packages so the UPS guy can go and he can check out his rig. I roll up to the shop and there is Brett with some boxes that he should have ran with...but fortunately for me his bike is worth more than my goodies that showed up today. ;-)

This is the first time I have seen the Platinum and Black together and its stunning. While I fight with the colors and exact components on my own bike I look at this and the parts we are going to build it up with and am just amazed (and a bit jealous) with how good this is going to come out. In the sun light its just....WOW. I can't wait to hit this one up next week. Tuesday will be a pre fitting to know where to cut the steerer tube and the aero bars and make sure everything is on track so when its built its just some minor tweaks. We are using a Syntace carbon base bar and Vision Tech R bend carbon aero there is little room for adjustments after the build. Measure twice and cut once. ;-)

On to the rest...Richard Amaya is pickin up his Crono in a little bit and I have to finish the Quarq install...which is like the EASIEST install ever! Love these things!

Guru Crono for Richard A.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A tale of 4 Gurus...

Richard C holding up his own personal dream machine...
I think I heard angels sing when I opened each box...

So today started off as a good day as any day should when your job is to work on pimp bikes and ride a little too. But be careful what you ask for. I sold quite a few bikes in November. One already came in, then another is coming...but today I received 3 Guru Cronos and 1 Geneo. Mind you its Thursday and I have three clients who have been "patiently" waiting for these rigs to come in. THANK GOD these are triathletes and two of them are racing the Houston Marathon this weekend. Now I only have to build one by tomorrow well as my own...the Geneo is for me! The first one in the rack is for Richard Amaya and he is lucky I like him otherwise my bike would be in the rack right now. ;-)
Richard C. was so pumped about his bike coming in he took time off from work to run down and look at his frame and drool a little. Cool little deal on his bike...the frame is White and Orion (silver) and we were able to find a white headset cap and white spacers to match up to his white Ritchey stem. The pics of this and more on his bike should be pretty awesome!
Still with all I do...I looked at these four gorgeous frames and parts laying in these boxes and felt like a dog who discovered his tail for the first time. I was looking at each frame and parts and just wondering what to do first and how cool this one would look with this and got pretty excited.
I might be here well past midnight tonight and the same tomorrow night...but with having to call this "work" I can't really complain.
And as usual...each bike will get a post on here as it gets built.
Build time....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Agilis upgrade on a Merus

This past summer Walt Yarrow scored his AgeGroup crusher, the Guru Merus. We have tweaked things here and there, but today we just did a nice one. A swap from Ultegra crank arms to Rotor Agilis Crank arms. We had already installed the SABB ceramic bottom bracket and Qrings previously. We are just trying to get that Johnny Cash look on this one I think. I pulled out the scale for kicks for a before and after...and it dropped over half a pound just from the crank swap. The Agilis are very light yet very stiff crank arms. The guy is well over 6ft and to have this large of a Ti rig hitting under 20lbs with training wheels is pretty sweet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just a fun Sunday evening with some friends at Shama Cycles

Look for this Crono build coming soon.
A closer shot...notice the Pink frame on the floor...look small? It is for a woman under 5ft.
A Geneo I sold in my previous life before Shama Cycles. Less than a year old and we think its time for an update... You think its nice now...just wait till you see what we got planned...
(All that I could fit in my camera phone...All Gurus, Zipp, Fulcrum, or Edge wheels. The heaviest bike here...17.3lbs)

So far everyday has been a fun day and I am totally spoiled with being surrounded by just fine bikes all the time. Machines that 4 years ago I was only dreaming about seeing on the road, let alone owning, working on, and selling. I have not forgotten where I have come from and how I got here. That is why sometimes I look around me and just say "wow" and I get all excited like that first time I saw the dream bike section of a magazine or looked at the Tour Edition where they show the bike for each team.
Tonight we had a road race team meeting and I had some bikes here and put them out to show off the latest and to talk upgrades for everyone that is looking at upgrading. Plus it was an excuse to eat and drink with some friends. First year just opening I have 18 men and women flying the colors at Texas road races this season and the best part is I am friends with each of them so its easy to support and sponsor them all cause I would want to anyway. I love it!
So at the end after some empty pizza boxes and a trash can full of empty glass bottles (Helen and Aimee are "trailer" and took their wine back home) I had to take a shot of some of the rigs. Man I can't wait to get the rest of the bikes in for the Grand Opening party. More on that in February. ;-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shama Cycles loves ladies cycling

Ok so this is the ride I wish I would have/could have done. Rolling in the Houston area once a month and sometimes more often there have been women only rides going on. Today was one such ride. 32 girls is what I was told...which is awesome! Yes, it was great that Shama Cycles was represented but really it is just great to know that the women of Houston who race on all the various teams, are here supporting these kinds of rides to help invovle all levels of women cyclist in Houston to ride.
Good job ladies of Houston!!!

Carima Cranks...Quarq to come.

The signature of a Shama build. Laser etched stem caps with matching bolt that takes off the standard 26gram combo and puts on a 6gram cap and bolt is color matched for each bike and looks way better than a sticker on the frame. Just another example of that little extra touch that goes into each bike that rolls out the door here.
And YES, that is a diamond crusted headset spacer. BIKE BLING!
Carima crank arms with a Phil Wood bottom bracket and TA Specialties chain rings...why? Its a 165crank arm that will take a Quarq power meter. Which is on the way.
The bike overall. More to come in future posts and on the website when it gets launched. But yeah, there is alot of little goodies on this one. Its evolved quite a bit over the past year.

Saturday Ride with a final stop at the shop.

Quarq second gen for Agilis cranks from Rotor. 54/42 QRings. long as I don't ride them outside of Houston. ;-)
(The spread...DunkinDonuts coffee, 2 dozen bagels from Panera...gone!)

Chris Lockwood is one of those guys in the cycling community that is rare. He maps rides, plans routes, sets times, picks rest stops, and rides hard. In 2008 he clocked 10,000 miles. you know now how much laundry that must be? haha
He has a blog and an email list of riders that an ad company would envy. Yet every week he picks his route with a come one come all attitude just to have some people join in. He also blogs about it and posts pics he takes during the ride just for fun. Which is what this should be all about. I love this ride every time we do it.

About the ride...what a day. Only in Houston can you roll out of your house at 6:15am in January and start sweating in your warm up which did not 8am a cold front and some rain blew in which took myself and some others by we were not prepared. Starting off I had to rush over to Starbucks for a fix. Ran into some more guys there rolling out, chatted about how out of shape we all are in and how we all have not been riding. Cyclists are the biggest that all just means that they have been putting in time on their computrainers with monster intervals! So yeah today's ride was tough. I swapped my Quarq cranks from the Kirklee to a Guru Merus tt bike. The BBs were the same so it was one bolt off and one bolt on. Piece of cake. Swapped the Garmin over and it was done. So easy! LOVE THIS THING. Also love the part how it was telling me that as we were in a rotating pace line for on 5 mile stretch that as we were fighting to hold 17-18mph into the wind, I was drafting at 280watts and pulling at 380watts. All that work and no speed...that is was a tough stretch...though really the whole ride was tough...I don't remember seeing under 200watts unless we were slowing down to stop.
Today we finished up our EPIC RIDE rolling down Post Oak and about 15 guys rolled into the shop for some coffee, bagels, and BS about how we all just ripped the legs off of each other. It was great, and just fun to start showing off the location and showing everyone what I am doing and talk about some of the bikes that have rolled out of Shama Cycles that were on the ride today.
I think the bagels and coffee will be there more often on Saturday Post Rides

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What is a custom bike?

Notice the BB above with the notes there...that is a beefed up BB area as well. Lets just say to handle my "power". ;-)
But how many carbon bike manufacturers would let you see the frame in the raw? No paint, no fillers, no primer? Just the naked frame. I can count on one had the ones I have seen...which are the ones that I offer at Shama Cycles. Ever seen "other" bikes show off carbon in the center of the tubing but never the joints...whats under that subtle fade in paint job???
Above is the front end, and below is the drive side view...that is a AlpahQ GS40 fork. Not the lightest but its definitely got some BEEF too it.

A custom frame...kinda like tailor made clothing...not only lets you pic the color...but every aspect of the bike that affects fit and handling is up for grabs. Every tube length and every angle affects the over all outcome of feel on the road for each rider. Sorry, but no two people are alike so why are we all riding the same bike? It does not matter you say...then why do we alter our clothes, get custom gold clubs,
To this end one of my bikes will be what I call the "My Geometry" bike. Its a Kirklee and since I am able to work with them and the painter very closely I can get just about anything done I want for myself or my clients. (for a price of course) So instead of having some killer crazy paint job I am going to show off the true art work that goes into a custom carbon frame, the craftsmanship and the exact geometry of that frame. So its getting shot with a pearl clear coat to show off every bit of carbon work on the frame as well as the builder of that frame hand wrote all of the design notes used to build that frame on the tubing. Each tube length, gram weight of each tube, and angle used to the next tube is on the bike. There you can see what it is that I am riding and why that bike is different than say the typical 54cm bike I would normally ride if it was off the floor.
This frame should be back from paint in a week or so...the build...well I am wanting a 14lbs bike again with the Quarq power meter....I think 13lbs and race ready is possible but we will see. I wonder what the Sram Red shifters, Edge Tubular wheels and Tiso cassette will do to drop this one down over my previous Kirklee...OH THE FUN!

Don't get me wrong, there are alot of good complete bikes out there that cost less than what one of these frames cost. I have ridden alot of them and sold alot of them. But when you want the absolute best in what riding a bike can be...custom is the only way to go.

Du The Bear

Trent Stephens rolling into T2 on his Crono in full Shama Cycles glory! That was a fun day. I even raced this one...Eddy Merckx style. (no tt bike just drop bars on a road bike) I can't wait to show up and support the athletes/clients and maybe even race some myseld for 2009!!!

Its coming along....

Boris Flexor standing next to the palm that is going to breath life in thie place
A shot of a Crono with a sexy Zipp fron end.
A shot of the front with some shelving...

So today was a productive one. After some long nights of not fun work it was time to kick in on some fun work. The dumpster was finally delivered and quickly the 9yrd dumpster was already 3/4 of the way full. If I never have to touch another piece of carpet again I will be just fine with that. My good friend Steve dropped by and dropped off two palms with red bases of course. Wow, that really was great of him. Added to the room as well. Then just alot of cleaning and going on (my mom is in town and just had to clean the shop like she used to have to clean my room...moms are awesome!) which the addition of being able to put the trash some where...things are looking better and better everyday. Now slowly there should be some inventory and such coming in and with that it will really start to look like I sell bikes here. But as you can see from some of the has not stopped me from selling quite a few custom rigs as well as doing some fabulous rebuilds and upgrades clients current bikes. Its been great to be busy and not even all the way open yet.

Next on the agenda is waiting on my new Guru Geneo to come in with 2009 Shimano Dura Ace. I can't wait to check that out. There are other Gurus coming in before that...but the Geneo is for me and I can't wait! Even though I make each client wait 4-6weeks sometime for a I feel thier pain! haha

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fun side notes

My left leg was freshly injured at the paint party where the jokes of the male and female mannequins were flying. Since I could not Dorsi Flex my foot and Trent has to nickname everyone and everything...we quickly named the pair Doris and Boris Flexor. So there ya have Doris has some clothes and sitting out proper on the showroom floor.

Photos. Being a photo whore and buying a lot of pics pays off in some great ways. Karen Thibodeaux was looking out for Shama Cycles at a race recently and sent me a great action shot of Trent Stephens getting stripped out of his wetsuit. While someone who does not know about triathlon might wonder why I have a 20x30 framed photo on my wall of a man wearing spandex with my last name on it is having his clothes torn off by a 16year old girl...I will happily be able to explain this great little action shot of my friend coming out of the water getting ready to kill the bike and run on his way to leading almost the entire race and finishing as the first Pro at the Ironstar Half Ironman. That was ridden on a custom Guru Crono by the way....

I just had to add that last part in...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Carpeting, base, and Quarq oh my

Today we (John Cascio) finished up the base on all the walls and even on the cabinets in the shop area...I was all to happy to be busy with other things while he was doing that. haha
So the carpet is done and so is the base and paint. "sigh"
I got to ride the Quarq on Saturday with Helen for a little recovery ride on the Death Ride loop. Two hours later I was done and tired. Helen made me sustain 600watts on a couple of overpasses trying to keep my pride intact. Of course sitting down trying to regulate my breathing to be cool...I look over and Helen probably just stayed back out of pity...
Later she pushed it over an overpass and I found myself drafting and then realizing that she is not much of a draft and I need to HTFU! So I did and got side by side as my legs reminded me of the hell I put them through in the two days before hand. Overall a great fun ride with a great friend. The stuff that makes one remember why we love riding our bikes anyway.
Oh yeah, the power meter. So the install was a BREEZE!! Then the usage is great. I can see my wattage, speed, HR, cadence, distance, and time all at once. Sure its a big computer head...but when I am on the bike and riding and see all this info at once with out having to flip to different screens...I don't care. No one that has seen it so far has said anything about the size of the computer...just loving the look of the cranks and all that it can do with out such a penalty of weight.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quarq Power Meter install

Quarq has been that company that has been teasing us for two years with another option for power that seemed to be great but never came out. Well finally it did and they are opening dealers now as well. Friday I got in the Quarq Cinqo Power Meter and Garmin 705 unit for my Kirklee and Rotor Agilis cranks. After taking care of some client's bikes I was able to look at my own.
The Kirklee was sitting at 14lbs 7oz. Post Install its only up to 14lbs 11oz. Not bad for a power meter upgrade! Mind you I only removed the Mavic Wintech ES computer with cadence.
Pretty straight forward to install and the Garmin is very user friendly. Plus I like the idea of being able to select your display screen format.
I have had a Power Tap and an SRM. Easy to use like the PT and almost as easy to install...when talking about the wireless one. The true staple has been the SRM and this was WAY easier to install than an SRM but with even more display info over the SRM and you still get to use any wheel you want. What a great little meter.
Oh yeah, and it has GPS positioning so you can map routes or see where you are at. I am gonna have some fun.