If you didn’t know from earlier posts or other social media, I broke my hip on June 3rd this summer commuting to my shop. My bike washed out from under me in a turn on a wet street and with my backpack and everything I landed just hard enough to fracture my femur. I had surgery and they installed some serious metal hardware that I’ll have for life. I’ve been back in my shop for a little over a month now and I feel great. The first month after surgery I had to spend a lot of time sitting around, but I used that time to nerd out on welding.
I studied up and ordered a TIG welder and the related equipment and got started welding again. I learned TIG in college, but I was never good enough to weld bikes, so I spent a few weeks doing back to back practice welds until I felt comfortable. Now I’ve started welding bikes, and I love it. Where I used to mainly fillet braze bike tubing, I think I’ll mainly TIG weld bikes in the future. It’s a much cleaner and simpler process, and it will facilitate better construction methods. For instance, I can tack weld the tubes together in my jig, check the frame alignment, and then weld accordingly to pull the frame into perfect alignment as I go. The heat from the welding process pulls the frame into and out of alignment, and with a calculated procedure you can make a perfectly straight bike without having to cold set (bend) a bike frame straight after the fact. It’s also much, much faster than fillet brazing, which will allow me to make frames for people more affordably. Fillet brazed frames will still be an option for those who want it, but it will come at an upcharge for all the time spent on filing the fillets smooth.
Right now I’m finishing up a disc brake cyclocross bike with a matching unicrown fork, and I’m also making a fixie with clearances and accommodations for fenders to be ridden in NYC. In the coming month I’m going to make a road frame, a 700c disc brake commuter bike, a 29r frame for myself, and I’m going to start to teach myself to wet paint bikes. If you’re interested in a Cobra, shoot me an email email@example.com and I could have it done for you real soon. A cyclocross bike in time for cross season? Whatever. I’m also planning on building a fat bike in the coming months, but need to make custom seat stays and I don’t have the appropriate tubing bender for that yet.
As always, thanks for following, liking, reblogging, etc. I’m trying to keep fresh content flowing. Definitely follow me on Instagram (I’m roggenbike) if you want more.