Norikura ‘Shine On’ benefit ride. Holding the trusty Toge Warrior after completing 2 days and more than alot of meters of climbing over several mountains. Only Mikio and I were on fixed gear. We rode in the advanced group which turned out to be a painfest of severe attacks and hairy descents through some of the most beautiful country ever. When you weren’t battling out for king of the hill, you could take a couple of quick breather strokes and see the local charm!
I setup my bike a little differently for this ride:
1) GS Astuto Alpine Fixed Gear Wheelset – less than 1000gr the pair. For sure I had the lightest wheels among all the riders.
2) GS Astuto ergo bar set. Very comfy for climbing – shallow drop and wide top section lets you really sit back and grit hard!
3) 44 Chainring – battling mountain passes all day gets to be a cruncher. So I ran primarily a 44×15, then swapped to a 44×21 when the going got super tough and my muscles were jellified.
4) Brakes! Needed to be legal for this ride – so I installed some old Modolo Kronos levers and Shimano 105 brakes with DiaCompe plates. Used our special compound pads to prevent any issues with the full carbon rims.
This is how you roll on the roads, my friends!
I had our fabricator send me one of our welder ‘spot check’ samples. This is a simple test that tests the quality of fabrication and welding. The goal is to be able to examine the fabrication and welding procedure to spot any inconsistencies and also use as a QC tool for the welders. All of our fabricators are certified welders and keep their skills at top notch. Take a look at the images below so you can how the welds are produced on the bike frames we sell.
This is a close up of the joint detail. The tubes have not been burnished or polished so we can see the slight discoloration of the weld. This discloration is one of the important keys to grading Ti welding. A Silver or Straw color is preferred. If the weld is out of range and inert gas not properly applied, then the discoloration may tend towards a blue finish.
This is an image looking into the tube. You can see a small hole which is used to allow full circulation of the shielding gas. In addition you can see small spot weld on the top which is used to hold the cap. All of our welds are conducted with full internal shielding and use of a trailing gas shield. Looking at the weld penetration we can see that it is uniform and again coloration is within the ‘Straw’ allowance. This shows a nearly textbook perfect weld.
Now looking into the 90 degree tube. Here is where we can inspect the miter and also the weld penetration. Any gap in the miter will result in a weakened joint. And its particularly important to maintain a very consistent weld to avoid either ‘cold welding’ or ‘mottling’. Our tubes are CAD/CAM machined, then checked many times during the construction process for a perfect fit. Only a perfect fitting miter will result in the strongest frame. Combined with high quality welding and you will create a frame that is as strongest and durable as possible.
That’s it for now! I just wanted to post this to show the quality of workmanship and how we approach the building of every frameset.