Machine Bicycle Co.

handmade bicycles.

My first 123's race. - Brian Lynch

Kyle WardComment

I hadn't felt like that since my first PIR races as a cat 5- it was a feeling of, oh crap, what did I get myself into. Starting with the end, I got popped off the back with 3 to go. Shit! But I still see this as a win because I know I can ride with these guys- I just need to be smarter. 

I burned a couple matches on the first few laps, which I definitely didn't need too, I had some excess adrenaline. I settled in a bit and focused on holding a couple wheels. With 10 or 11 to go I put in another individual effort, probably at the wrong time...I was tired and the peloton started to surge. I barely hung on, but with 9 to go, the pace mellowed a bit, and I got my legs under me again.

 At that point I rode alongside Pete (a team-mate) to say, "hey, it feels great to be here with ya'll". I fell out of my comfort again as the peleton tried to bridge up to the break(s), and I was near the back on the final straight, and with the wind, I just fell off.

 

Watching the finish, I can't believe the field splintered that much- that was crazy! This tells me it was a hard race for a lot of guys, and I know there were a bunch of DNFs as well, which makes me feel even more confident. All in all, this was a great experience and I can't wait until next week!

 

WILT:

 

1. Even within 123's, there is a wide spectrum of talent. Might they go to a 1-2 only at some point?

2. I can ride with these guys...

3. ....as long as I am smart about it.

4. Riding with an army (more than just 2 or 3) teammates is the bomb.

Leave you in the... poo? By Pete Seelig

Kyle WardComment

The bike racers who show up for a rainy April race at Portland International Raceway are a hardy bunch.  Not only does it require a fine coordination of life's obligations... it also necessitates a grit-the-teeth mentality that can be lost on those who opt out on the rainy days.

Tuesday, April 14th 2015 was one of those days.  Looming large on Doppler apps across the city was the sign that precipitation was a certainty.  Each participant mentally tallied the gear required to overcome the soul-crushing race efforts ahead, while simultaneously stealing themselves for the real danger of hypothermia.

Throughout Portland, in parked cars outside of multiple places of work, gear bags waited, brimming with all the prerequisite kit.  And cycling through the minds of the racers who toiled at their day jobs was the fear of the efforts ahead, the fear of getting popped off the back, the fear of letting a teammate down when it was their turn to work, and the fear of not achieving a top level performance.  Adrenaline spikes hit hardest in the desk chair.   

Something else was going on.  Something also less than ideal.

For geese had been busy.  They had been wondering freely around the race venue all of that day, and the weekend prior, consuming whatever geese consume on their brief layover between warmer weather and... Canada?  They were Canadian after all.  Big, gray, hungry, Canadian geese.  Thousands of them, dotting the grasslands that boarder this perfectly flat, perfectly smooth, 9 cornered gem of a race track the local racers refer to as PIR.

The Canadian geese do not seem to hold the pristine tarmac in particularly high a regard... as they shit all over it.  

The amount of poop they deposit on the blacktop is unbelievable.  It lays there, a tootsie roll on every square foot of track, like so many landmines.  Yet with no real threat.  Just a slick spot, ready to affix itself to a tire for a fleeting moment, with just enough staying power for 1/4th of a wheel's revolution.  The inevitable next stop is the jersey and face of the following racer.   

All the poo will vanish, however, by race end.  It can't be helped.  One can not dodge that much poo.  In fact, it becomes one of the variables of the evening; how to slide one's bike through poo covered corners, as tires try to hold a line while simultaneously peppering any following racer with goose feces. 

Some wear hats to mitigate spray.  Some treat their glasses with chemicals to shed poo water faster as it builds in front of the eyes.  But, many will simply plan for an evening of racing while never swallowing, lest goose doodoo be ingested.  

Just leave the jaw slack, let the rain/poo water mix rinse in as breaths of oxygen are consumed, and drool out whatever is left.  Not pretty.  But effective. 

The race went fine. Early season fitness was tested.  Breaks went, and were pulled back, and then stuck.  Sprints were contested.  Won and lost.  And, fun was had. 

In the end it was the geese who were victorious.  If it was truly their plan to be-speckle the racers with their excrement, then they were blowing up fist bumps from here to America's Hat.  Their feces was worn home, washed mostly from kit, and found by some in the strangest of orifices even days later.  Call it a bit of avian redemption.  A comeuppance for having to dodge all of these spandex warriors on a perfectly wonderful, rain-soaked Tuesday evening. 

Dedicated to the dedicated

Kyle WardComment

It's always a pleasure when customers stop in to visit. It is especially exciting when it's Scott Peterson.

Who is Scott Peterson?

• A board certified Orthatist & Pedorthist out of Bend, OR who serves the needs of professional and Olympic athletes.

• Also a bike racer (and a good one too) who knows his work first hand.

Why should I know Scott Peterson?

• Simply because Scott is awesome and an inspiring individual. 

• But seriously, because knowing any of what Scott knows about bio mechanics and transporting yourself across this earth (by foot or by bike) will help you not only prevent injury but improve efficiency. 

• If you race bikes or not I would consider being a customer of Cyclesoles. For yourself, for life!

For me (Machine) my work stems from my passion and it is a constant evolution of design to improve. To the point where my customers don't have to think about it. So we're "dedicated to the dedicated". Scott, who I refer to as Scott "Soul-Shredder" Peterson is someone I look up to and inspire to be like. He is certainly someone who I depend on to put that Machine through the rigorous testing.

Sharing moments with Machine.

Kyle WardComment
 
Moments to capture with Machine. No Images? Click here
 
 

Machine Bicycle Co. 

We're going on our 2nd year. Waa-Hoo! 

• I wanted to send a special thanks to our customers of last year for all the support. We couldn't have done it without you.        -Kyle

• Also, we have an exciting year ahead of us. But first some reflection on the year past.

 
 
 

That was then

• Officially opened the doors in February. The dream has been 2 years-a-brewin. 

I set up the website. Which will always be a work in progress.  

I made some bikes.

Did a few races and plugged into my new community (a bit) - was reminded I'm out of shape

• Made some more bikes.

• Had to pick-up shop and move in September.

• Made some more bikes.

 

This is now

We're sponsoring team Dr. Will Bar.  Also will be racing with this great group this year.

Finally have a T-shirt designed, "Solo Bird"  One more soon.

All signed up for NAHBS 2015. Excited to be a part of the North American Hand-built Bike Show.

• I truly look forward to building each bike as they each teach me so more than just how to build a bicycle.

 
 

And a special thanks to my family for the encouragement and support. 

 
 

Falz Fork spec

Kyle WardComment

As frame builders we should be useful in the information regarding these Machines. After I had a couple people ask me what the specs were for the Falz, I decided to indulge an Interwebs search for myself only to find variations of numeric values for this, "Falz" fork designed by Dario Pegoretti. The first bike I put a Falz fork on was designed originally with an Enve and I got no feedback in the form of "this is much different" Because the specs are pretty close.

Any way I decided to take one of these forks to the land of point plotting and took some orthographic measurements. I've had the bones-of-the-thing in CAD for determining crucial dimensions so I figured drawing the actual fork might be useful for the general populous. Plus, it's nice to know real numbers as opposed to the 'data' some guy with a tape measure attempted to extract from his bike while trying to hold it upright. I have no problem being a source for information as I've learned more recently that their is a huge need for it. Feel free to ask "your local frame builder" questions they are more than qualified to either know or find for you.

Recovering a saddle

Kyle Ward6 Comments
 Im by no means a pro at recovering saddles but I wanted to share the learning journey with you. I had an old Specialized Toupe from my racing days and it was worn out. I want to use it for a show bike and the colors will be the basis from which the bike gets painted.

Im by no means a pro at recovering saddles but I wanted to share the learning journey with you. I had an old Specialized Toupe from my racing days and it was worn out. I want to use it for a show bike and the colors will be the basis from which the bike gets painted.

 These little tabs came right off. Actually they didn't, I had to cut the melted plastic from underneath. When they injection molded these, they made little pins that went into holes on the saddle and melted them in. The piece was made like a clip too.

These little tabs came right off. Actually they didn't, I had to cut the melted plastic from underneath. When they injection molded these, they made little pins that went into holes on the saddle and melted them in. The piece was made like a clip too.

 The liquid leaf paint I used is metallic and in my experience metallics aren't the best for these little airbrushes because the hole that the paint comes out is so tiny the flakes can clog it, or at least prevent good atomization. You can get different size needles and tips too. I wasn't concerned since these things are small.

The liquid leaf paint I used is metallic and in my experience metallics aren't the best for these little airbrushes because the hole that the paint comes out is so tiny the flakes can clog it, or at least prevent good atomization. You can get different size needles and tips too. I wasn't concerned since these things are small.

 I feel at home doing this type of work (gluing foams) so I just start working like I know what i'm doing so pardon the caption if it's not what you're expecting. I'll try to be informative but not boring. I wanted to add some cushion because the old stuff had seen better days and because I wanted a nice new surface to glue the sweet "Kermit the frog green" I chose. I used 40 durometer which is pretty soft, two layers of 2mm. The Barges contact cement is what I used when I worked in the Orthotic industry and it's great for this application.

I feel at home doing this type of work (gluing foams) so I just start working like I know what i'm doing so pardon the caption if it's not what you're expecting. I'll try to be informative but not boring. I wanted to add some cushion because the old stuff had seen better days and because I wanted a nice new surface to glue the sweet "Kermit the frog green" I chose. I used 40 durometer which is pretty soft, two layers of 2mm. The Barges contact cement is what I used when I worked in the Orthotic industry and it's great for this application.

 The contact cement for those of you who don't know works by applying it to both surfaces and allowing it to dry for five minutes (up to 4 hours it says but who waits that long?) 

The contact cement for those of you who don't know works by applying it to both surfaces and allowing it to dry for five minutes (up to 4 hours it says but who waits that long?) 

 By laying the material on the table the way I did and applying the complex curve item it sticks on the high parts. From there I work the material on working out from those contact points. Oh, in this picture you can see the holes that the plastic tabs use to indicate.

By laying the material on the table the way I did and applying the complex curve item it sticks on the high parts. From there I work the material on working out from those contact points. Oh, in this picture you can see the holes that the plastic tabs use to indicate.

 Here's a top view of what i looked like once I got the foam applied to the whole surface. 

Here's a top view of what i looked like once I got the foam applied to the whole surface. 

 Rough cut with an exacto. My preferred Exacto is the one they call OLFA 5019 SVR, it's awesome. It's small and I can turn the blade over cause I'm a lefty. (you can see it in the picture before this one on the left)

Rough cut with an exacto. My preferred Exacto is the one they call OLFA 5019 SVR, it's awesome. It's small and I can turn the blade over cause I'm a lefty. (you can see it in the picture before this one on the left)

 After a bit of a cleaner cut I used a sander. Ideally I would use a bench belt sander but since I don't have one I had to make a compromise by using a flap wheel in a drill (then clamped it in the vise so it was stationary) After this picture I made a bit more in efforts to slim and refine it.

After a bit of a cleaner cut I used a sander. Ideally I would use a bench belt sander but since I don't have one I had to make a compromise by using a flap wheel in a drill (then clamped it in the vise so it was stationary) After this picture I made a bit more in efforts to slim and refine it.

 An important part was to remove the original cover careful enough to salvage it so you have a good template for tracing. I guess it's not needed but it makes things a lot easier.

An important part was to remove the original cover careful enough to salvage it so you have a good template for tracing. I guess it's not needed but it makes things a lot easier.

 Here's that exacto. I cut just inside the line so I didn't have sharpie to clean afterwards

Here's that exacto. I cut just inside the line so I didn't have sharpie to clean afterwards

 When glueing this stuff it always curls in like this so its a good idea to have something to weight it down near by. Also use multiple layers of glue because it gets absorbed. and you want good adhesion here.

When glueing this stuff it always curls in like this so its a good idea to have something to weight it down near by. Also use multiple layers of glue because it gets absorbed. and you want good adhesion here.

 I filled the back clips with neon dyed epoxy. I love contrasts of similar color. And her are a few pictures of the finished product.

I filled the back clips with neon dyed epoxy. I love contrasts of similar color. And her are a few pictures of the finished product.

Understanding how your bike handles.

Kyle Ward3 Comments
Trail80rake.jpg

A lot goes into how your bike feels when you ride it. One of the most important things in how your bicycle feels is how it handles. That means the effects the bicycle has on how you and it move together through space. Like a working Machine. The single most important thing in how the bike handle is the trail.

If their is an imaginary line through the center of the steering tube (Steering Axis.) all the way to the ground and also one vertical through the spindle/axle of the front wheel. (All the way to the ground)

The difference between these two points is what defines "trail". Trail affect steering as you lean the bike to the left or right, the steering axis moves in that direction, and the wheel follows. It pivots on the point of contact with the road.

 

Trail also affects how the bike holds a straight line. It works like a wheel on a grocery cart, which goes in the direction it is pushed. This is why it is called “trail,” because the wheel trails along behind the steering axis.

Generally when dealing with 700-C wheels, a trail of about 56mm will give a frame set "neutral" handling.  While cornering, a neutral handling bike will have neither a tendency to climb out of a turn nor have a tendency to dive into the turn, it will simply hold the line that the rider sets up unless further rider input is applied.

Decreasing trail below the neutral range has a couple of effects. The first thing a rider will notice about a "low trial bike" is that it appears to resist turns. It requires more physical effort to get the bike to lean into a corner and more effort to get it to straighten up. The second thing that you will notice is that while cornering at higher speeds, the bike will have a tendency to climb out of the turn on its own. Finally, you will find that the way the bike responds to rider input is affected by the speed of the bike. At lower speeds, a low trail bike will have a tendency to want to go straight and do so on its own. What you will find at higher speeds (over 30mph) is that a low trail bike will become less commutative with you. The front wheel will feel as though it is wandering a bit and that feeling of knowing where the tire contacts the ground disappears. 

Increasing trial above the neutral range will cause opposite effects. At lower speeds, handling response will be light and easier. Commonly mistaken as quick. During cornering, the bike will have a tendency to drop into a tighter arc than the rider might have intended. Finally, speed's effect on handling is reversed. While low speeds give a light feel during handling maneuvers, high speed sets up a very solid front end feel. Resulting in a hard to turn bike at higher speeds. 

Although high trail frame sets give safer (more inherently stable) handling than low trail frame sets do, high trail frame sets are still inconsistent in the way they respond to rider input. Interpreting from the basics above you can see why we usually aim for neutral trail. It does not require the rider to consciously hold a bike down during hard cornering, nor does it require different rider input depending on changing speeds. The consistency of neutral handling is optimal for riding with others, both in recreation and in racing. Foreword is the way we want to go, fighting any other direction is inefficient.

What is to be said about all of this? Knowledge is power really. As a consumer, you should be educated on this phenomena because the big companies like to use marketing psychology and cover their bases. They usually offer the different feels knowing that if you test ride and pick up on these feelings that cause inherent reactions your bound to choose one. It is hard to know if the people you buy them from know the purposes for each style bike and whether they put you on the right one or not but you should know your goal and purpose for riding. It is ultimately you who can benefit.

This is why I would recommend buying a bike from a framebuilder. A large company has so many employees. Not only do they all have to get paid but they are all their to fulfill a different job. The designers design, the engineers are engineers. Do they ride bikes? Maybe. The manufactures create. Do they ride bikes? Maybe, not likely. They have marketing firms trying to appeal not inform. Sales reps that need to make a commission. They usually ride though.

Anyway its a huge machine of working parts. It's great to have soo many, because it'll still run when some of em break. This is why we are machine, the company. So many working parts. Its me. I pour everything into the bike I design and build and ride. Most framebuilders become framebuilders because of love. Id say most of em have a pretty good fundamental understanding of the bicycle. When they begin building their first bikes they quickly learn everything they need to to make that bike better. The learning curve is steep. I want it to continue.