Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Somas

We love Soma frames here at VCB.  Over the past 5 years we have built up several so I will now start a series of post on the builds.  The first in the series is a just completed Soma Rush in chrome.  

This gorgeous bike was built as a fixed gear here at VCB for the lovely Kelly McGill by master builder Perry Finley.  She chose a black and chrome look which a creates a dramatic contrast.  The dominant feature of this bike is the HED carbon fiber wheelset.  Not what you would expect to see on a steel frame.

The black contrasting components include an All City track crank, Cane Creek head set, TRP levers accuate Cane Creek dual pivot brake calipers,  and a Profile Designs half link chain delivers power to the rear wheel.

Kelly chose to adapt the quill stem to the more modern threadless stem to match the other bikes in her collection.
     An unusual shot from inside the wheel.
The distinctive Soma head badge, Crane Creek headset and brake.
The proud owner ready to tear up the streets.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rivendell Romulus redo

I acquired this frame set through an eBay auction some 4+ years ago.  It has been built as the closest thing I get to a performance road bike for the last 2 years.  Older Dura Ace square taper 53/42 crank with Phil Wood bottom bracket.  New Ultegra derailleurs, Rivendell silver down tube shifters.  32 spoke Ultegra hubs laced to Magic Open Pros (a $100.00 CL find) wrapped with 35 mm Soma brick red tires.  Dura Ace levers acuate VO CNC machined Gran Comp brake calipers.  Dura Ace seat post supporting Brooks Pro saddle in honey with matching bar tape.  I have enjoyed the bike as built but have been thinking that I would be better served with a compact crank.  I was ready for a make over on this bike so here is what I have come up with.
The first change was a new Ultegra 50/36 compact crank with matching outboard bottom bracket.  Then a new Ultegra rear derailleur to match the look.  New 10 speed cassette and chain.  Then a big step into the present for me, Dura Ace INDEXED down tube shifters.
Brakes have been some of my favorites so they have remained unchanged.  
I had a Lugged stem left over from a build retired so it contributed to the cosmetic side of the make over.
Going from the polished look of the DA crank to the dark finish of the new Ultegra components I decided to go dark on the trim also.  Black Brooks Pro saddle and new matching bar tape.  For storage a VO Bananna bag.  To finish it all off new 33.3 mm Jack brown tires.  
I have had the bike out for 3 rides in the 15 to 40 mile range, usually several climbs involved and first impressions are super.  The gearing makes so much more sense for me and I have to admit I do like the Indexed shifters. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pauls PureFix

PureFix has been a very successful line for us here at VCB.  In two years we have sold almost 100 bikes.  At $350 you get an introductory level steel frame fixie with budget components. I have been planing this build for a while with all premium components. Drive train & brakes are all Pauls Components, rims Velocity B43s, Brooks saddle and grips, Nitto lugged stem and stainless steel straight bar, Cane Creek head set, and Campy bottom bracket.
Pauls Medium center pull brake with Moon Unit straddle cable carrier.  These brakes are as strong as any that I have ever used.
Pauls Pure Crank mated to Campy bottom bracket with Shimano 105 road pedals.
36 hole Pauls High Flange Track Hub laced to Velocity B43 in 4 cross pattern for a bomb proof wheel.
View from the front.  Ahhh the luxury of Brooks leather.
Here the Pauls combo seat clamp and cable hanger can be seen.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DeRosao Nuovo Classico w/Dura Ace 58cm

We have been quite busy through the winter getting stock ready for the spring rush.  Having the shop floor fully stocked gives me time to work on some of the higher end of the collection.  This De Rosa "Nuove Classico" from the late 80's came in equipped with Dura Ace 7400 and mismatched sew ups. 
I took the bike apart then touched a few nicks in the finish.  The bearings were all in excellent shape so all parts were cleaned in solvent before reassembling with fresh lubricants.  Wheels were rebuilt using new Macic Open Pro rims and stainless steel straight gauge spokes.
Panaracer skin wall tires, Newbaums yellow cotton bar tape finished with hemp twine and shellac, and Brooks Swift saddle all work together to complete the "Classic" look.  This is one sweet ride.
Available for purchase @ $2500.00.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Carlton built Dura Ace Huffy

I have been planning this build for over a year now and have been working out the details in my head.  Having finally made all the decisions on components all that is left to do is order the parts and get going. 
Starting with the frame set, a Huffy Catalina.  This model was part of a program intended to move Huffy from a department store bike to a premium line. 
Some details here http://www.carltoncycles.me.uk/details/huffy.htm
I aquired the bike from a junk dealer in Cincinnati OH.  It was part of bulk bike buy where he was adding a few more bikes to fill up my load.  We didn't know what it was only that it had Campy hubs laced to sew up rims.  Don't think I paid but about 100.00 for it if that. I started to strip off what was left of the paint in preperation for the powder coater.  What I found was a beautifull completly chromed  hand built Carlton.  It had been upgraded from the original Williams cottered crank with a 1st generation Dura Ace model and a downtube sticker to go with it. 
My first build up of the frame set was as a 7 seed internal geared rear hub with a double chaing ring in front for a 14 seed bike chain slack was taken up with a Pauls Melvin.  North road bars and a generator hub completed the crusier that was never  ridden.
This build will be a fixed gear birth with as much Dura Ace as possible to honor the 1st up grade. 
I selected High Flange Dura Ace track hubs over a year ago but could not make a decesion on the rims.  Mavic Open Pro..... Velocity Arrowhead.......VO PBR.....????????????????????
Then it came to me in a vision.......Sun CR18s.........in 27" to honor the origonal geometry.  Well with that decision made I ordered the rims, Justin ordered the spokes and the wheels were built.  Clad with Continental Gatorskins (27 x 1.25 tires are 32 mm) and I am stoked about this build.  Parts on order include Nitto Craft stem, stainless steel straight bar, SKF crank bearing.  Brooks stuff includes Swift saddle,  Challenge bag & amp slender grips all in black.  Stopping power provided by Vello Orange Gran Comp 660 CNC machined center pulls to honor the original frame designed for Winnman center pulls.  TRP short brake levers. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Surly Bikes ready for Adventure Cycling!

Spring is fast approaching... Vic's been busy all winter long in the shop. He's keeping more Surly's in stock this season. Here are two offerings ready to ride.

2013 Surly Long Haul Trucker 56cm 700c Smog Silver

2013 Surly Cross Check 58cm Foamy Hospital Green

What we have to look forward to... more day-light - blue skies - warmer tempertures are you ready to ride... stop in... say hi.... browse & socialize looking forward to seeing you.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Gitane 58cm $575.00

                                               Made in France 58cm x 58cm 12 speeds

Campy shifters, derailleurs, stronglight crankset, new chain, english bottom bracket new bearings,Weinmann 605 side pull brakes, mallard hubs, new wheelsmith DB spokes, laced to mavic rims, new SS cables - new yellow brake housing - new yellow cloth bar tape - new Conti tires - new tubes - new cloth rim tape, Alloy stem, seat post, handlebars, pedals, Chrome fork.
This bike has been thru the completed the process... taken down to the frame all parts cleaned - frame polished new grease, bearings, cables, adjusted properly.  It's ready for the rider.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Soma Fabrications "Speedster"

One of six builds using Soma Fabrications framesets... more to follow!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


 Bike has been thru a complete museum quaility restoration process. It is a 58 cm, Reynolds 531 tubes Campy Groupo, Brooks saddle

                                  Zeus was founded by Luis Arregui in Eibar, Spain in 1926