Service: Dropout Conversion

Service: Dropout Conversion

Dropout changes are some of the most complicated modifications that we perform, and they are becoming a more common request as so many vintage frames built with durable materials outlast the axle and brake standards of their day. This is especially the case with titanium frames.

A big part of the complication is the sheer variety of dropouts in circulation. Unlike head tubes, bottom bracket shells, main tubes, and other frame components that have traditionally been widely standardized and used more or less interchangeably on frames across all disciplines (the stalwart BSA English bottom bracket can be found on the vast majority of road, mountain, track, tandem, and even recumbent bikes built over the last half century), chain-stays and dropouts are key frame components made in a plethora of shapes and sizes that were often tied to a specific application or bike type. Dropouts are generally designed for a specific functionality and axle/brake/spacing standard and are shaped accordingly. 

A bike frame’s rear triangle is in turn designed and built around those stays and dropouts. The lengths, angles, and shapes of the chain- and seat-stays are set relative to the interface and dimensional requirements of the specific dropouts. This frame/dropout compatibility ensures that the rear axle is placed in a precise location; changing that location by even a few millimeters can noticeably impact the handling of the bicycle, not to mention creating the potential for interference issues with brake calipers, cassette lock rings, and other component parts that are subsequently designed to reference the rear axle location.

It is easy enough to consider a number of dropout styles when designing a frame, before the tubes are cut. But when it comes to retrofits the details of the original rear triangle design become variables that preclude simply cutting one dropout out and welding another one in. This is especially the case when the retrofit is intended to change the application/format of the frame: from a vertical road dropout to a horizontal track dropout; from a fixed non-disc quick release dropout to an adjustable thru-axle disc brake dropout, et cetera.

Different styles of dropouts -- especially those designed decades apart for different axle, brake, and spacing standards -- rarely have similar shapes, lengths or angles, which ultimately means that the replacement of entire chain-stays and/or seat-stays are often required to keep the rear axle in the same location.

For an example, see the images below, showing the complications with one of our most common requests, converting a traditional 130QR rim brake frame to a 142x12 disc brake frame with the Reynolds R3D flat mount dropout. The impediments to an easy conversion are numerous and obvious.


That said, Yes! we can update your existing frame with dropouts of almost any style!

While it will likely not be simple or easy, we do provide dropout conversion services and are happy to accommodate any requests, including any custom dropout fabrication, chain-stay and/or seat-stay replacements that the retrofit might require. It is also worth noting that some dropout retrofits, especially when tied to converting a non-disc brake frame to disc, offer the potential for not insignificant cost savings when changing to dropouts with an integrated disc caliper mount, eliminating the cost/need for a separate disc brake conversion.

To inquire about converting your specific frame to a new dropout please send an email with information on your bike, along with photos, as well as your end objective and budget.

We are here to help!

Quill Stem Wedges Available In Multiple Sizes

Quill Stem Wedges Available In Multiple Sizes

We now offer four stock sizes of quill stem wedges in our online store:

  • 21.8mm aluminum angle wedge for 1" forks (WEIGHT: 13g) // STOCK THREAD: M8 x 1.25 coarse

  • 25mm aluminum angle wedge for 1-1/8" forks (WEIGHT: 20g) // STOCK THREAD: M8 x 1.25 coarse

  • 28.5mm aluminum angle wedge for 1-1/4" forks (WEIGHT: 27g) // STOCK THREAD: M8 x 1.25 coarse

  • 19.2 mm aluminum conical 10° taper wedge for Cinelli style stems (WEIGHT: 8g) // STOCK THREAD: M8 x 1.25 coarse

If you are looking for something completely non-standard, we can help with that too. Just select ODD/NON-STANDARD Wedge from the drop down menu and enter your details in the NOTES at order checkout.

And don’t forget, we have quill stem draw bolts as well.

Shop Tools: Double Dolphin Fixture for Shimano STePS

Shop Tools: Double Dolphin Fixture for Shimano STePS

TCF-TUBES-Fixture-Shimano-STePS-Double-Dolphin (7).jpg

eBikes are a thing, like it or not. The technology is out in the world and they are not going away. Some grumble about the rapid adoption of motor assist by the bicycle industry, and to many the argument that eBikes are no longer bikes but rather motorized cycles is a valid one. We consider those hairs best split by others and instead choose to accept and focus on the very real fact that for a very large number of people eBikes provide a practical, user-friendly alternative to traditional cars, trucks, and even motorcycles, while at least maintaining the basic idea of a bicycle. (In the case of the electric assist bicycles that require motion and power input by the rider, not electric scooters, which are a different beast altogether.)

As the eBike market has developed the available product lines have been refined and expanded, and one of the most robust and integrated-with-existing-bike-components systems we have used is the Shimano STePS platform. STePS has been available in international markets for a long time and since being introduced to the US a few years ago we have used it on a number of city bikes and cargo bikes with an overwhelmingly positive response from riders.

Mellow Yellow  CarGoAway  with Shimano STePS drive

Mellow Yellow CarGoAway with Shimano STePS drive

Blacked Out  Rando/City  bike with Shimano STePS drive

Blacked Out Rando/City bike with Shimano STePS drive

While the units themselves can be kind of gee-whiz complex, for mechanics and bike assemblers STePS is relatively painless to install and wire up on a frame. It uses the same eTube plug and wiring format as Shimano’s well established Di2 system components, which gives STePS a versatility that few other systems have. The drive can of course be used on its own, but is more robust when paired with a rear Alfine Di2 internally geared hub (IGH) or a standard 1x setup with a traditional full range cassette. The system wide Di2 integration provides for a seamless setup with almost any style of bike, flat bar or drop bar, including customizable cockpit controls — for instance using the left hand shift lever to control the STePS motor and the right hand shifter to control the rear gearing mechanism — and near and dear to our hearts is the motor’s auxiliary output to connect a hard wired head-/tail-light system that can be both powered from the STePS system battery and switched on/off with the push of a cockpit button. The powered light connection also eliminates the need to work with just a handful of options for a front dynamo generator hub and opens up any available hub/wheel manufacturer as an option.

Of course the bicycle industry wouldn’t be the bicycle industry without incompatibility and so it goes that the newer generation E6100, E7000, and E8000 STePS system motors utilize a different mounting pattern than the original E6000/E6050 motors. Hence the need for an updated fixture for locating the motor mount in a standard framebuilding jig.

We made a handful of extra plates when cutting our own shop fixture and found that a number of framebuilders were in need of the same part. Our second small batch is in process now, with a limited number available for sale. Parts should be available to ship early February and can be ordered now, while supplies last. ===>


TiGV Production Fork // Fatigue + Impact Testing

TiGV Production Fork // Fatigue + Impact Testing

As part of our Quality Control process we periodically check production forks against the same ISO 4210-6 test standards that we use during the R&D behind each part or product.

The process covers both fatigue and impact testing and is very noisy.
Fatigue testing involves the application of force with rapid repetition perpendicular to a fork’s axle, to simulate a lifetime’s worth of washboard roads and uneven pavement. Impact testing is meant to show the result of a sudden application of a singular force — like an impact with a curb or a car in the real world — with the goal of preventing a catastrophic failure that would leave the fork completely broken.

The sweet spot is of course in having both the resilience to live a long life in the face of relentless road chatter and a stout construction that, in the case of a sudden and very hard hit, will absorb energy and remain intact to function as designed until a controlled stop can be made.

Our forks are tested on the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association Fork Smasher (official title) and take several hours to complete. Watching the machine run one can’t help but nerd out, and watching the cycle counter roll up to and over 100,000 repetitions during the fatigue test is pretty satisfying.

Did we mention it is noisy?

It is also satisfying, in a far more giddy way, to take a fork that has already gone through the 100k cycles of the fatigue test and watch it pass the rearward impact test. The impact is violent and can easily destroy any under-built fork of any material. (There are different test regimens for suspension and rigid forks, but no distinction in criteria based on materials).

We recently pulled one of our TiGV titanium production forks from our regular QC process to run through the full battery of abuse from the Fork Smasher. This particular fork had been tagged for a couple of cosmetic issues that were extremely mild by most standards but were enough to tickle our OCD, and we were curious to find out if they would have any functional effects.

Reminder: The machine makes a lot of noise!

After completing both test cycles we pulled the fork off of the machine and gave it an inspection. We were pleased to see that the design had functioned perfectly, taking the marathon pounding of the fatigue test like a champ and then absorbing the force of the impact test squarely and without catastrophic failure. The gentle fold deformation at the point where the fork leg curves into the tapered crown is the only resulting damage, and is the exact failure mode we would want to see a rearward impact situation — less than 45mm of permanent deflection with the axle/fork legs remaining perpendicular to the bicycle centerline.

We'll maybe invent some new torture tests and keep beating on this until it breaks... or doesn't. When prototyping our 1.5” tapered titanium steerer a few years ago we eventually got tired of the noise and turned the machine off after a second 100k+ cycles. 🙉




On the topic of changing, non-standard “standards” in the bicycle industry, we share consumer frustration with the wasteful and short-sighted practices of proprietary dimensions, limited functionality, and planned obsolescence that large component companies engage in.

The existence of multiple front axle dimensions has been one of those frustrations. For using 15TA front hubs/wheels with 12TA forks, the PDXTI-12-15-TA Adapter provides a simple, inexpensive, and lightweight solution. Going the other direction — using 12TA wheels with a 15TA fork — is however not as simple.

Thankfully, we are now able to offer a solution for cyclists with one of the many titanium and steel forks that have been built with Paragon DR0049 titanium or DR2051 steel and similar 15TA front flanged/hooded dropouts with threaded axle inserts.

Developed in collaboration with PDXTI and now available in the web store, these threaded fork dropout inserts convert titanium and steel forks with the aforementioned 15TA dropouts into 12TA forks.

At its base this product consists of a pair of externally threaded left hand M22 x 1 inserts, one with a 12mm thru hole and the other internally threaded M12 x 1.5 for 12mm Thru Axles.

Available as inserts only, with traditional QR lever axle, or with lightweight @robertaxleproject thru bolt.

Inserts Only: 22g

Inserts + Bolt-On Axle: 51g

Inserts + QR Axle: 98g

Titanium Production Forks: 2019 Unicrown + New Graphic

Titanium Production Forks: 2019 Unicrown + New Graphic

Heads up for those interested in our titanium production forks — We currently have all models available, with regular re-stocking orders continuing through the fall.


New for 2019, we have redesigned our TiGV and TiPAK titanium production forks to utilize the same unicrown construction as the Ti29+ and TiFAT titanium production forks. The result is a stiffer, lighter, generally more durable fork that has a more refined look than the segmented design.

Not sure what the difference is? See the image below.
Definitely sure what the difference is and have your heart set on a segmented fork?
Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect mate for a 9QR frame and wheelset you already own and want a quick release TiGV fork?
Or you want to use panniers with your Ti29+ fork?
No problem! We are now offering a SEMI-CUSTOM option for all of our forks, meaning you can dial in your part with exactly the features you want.


Along with the redesigned crown we have also updated the logo graphic for titanium forks, switching to a single Matte Etched chevron on the drive side leg for a cleaner, more minimal look. And as always if you’d like paint, powdercoat, or anodized and etched graphics we are happy to do that for you under our SEMI-CUSTOM program.

TCF-Fork-Production-TiGV-2018 (5).JPG

Whether you are cruising recreational trails like the Banks-Vernonia, pushing your limits racing in the Oregon Triple Crown series, or navigating your hometown streets on the commute to work, the TiGV fork will suit you well.


True story: The TiPAK fork’s biggest fans are Salsa Fargo owners, folks converting 29er hardtails from trail bikes to adventure rigs, and bike touring aficionados.

FAVORITE TIRE PAIRING: Schwalbe G-One Speed 29x2.35

Rutted and washed out 4x4 roads. Flowy singletrack. Lost Coast beach rides. Game trails. The Ti29+ is ready when you are.

FAVORITE TIRE PAIRING: Maxxis Chronicle 29x3.0

From Point Barrow to Pismo Beach and every sandy, soggy, boggy, muddy slice of heaven in between, there are few human powered pursuits that rival ripping otherwise unrideable terrain on a fat bike. Get some, and then some!


Mellow Yellow CarGoAway with Shimano STePS

Mellow Yellow CarGoAway with Shimano STePS

Say what you will, like it or love it, the 'new economy' of Internet-based businesses offering delivery and passenger transportation services are changing the urban landscape. Every day there are more and more examples of mobile technology driving modern society (pun intended) ever so slowly away from individual automobile ownership. Uber, Lyft, Amazon Prime, Caviar, and their ilk are turning the tables on the 'practicality' of buying, fueling, registering, maintaining, insuring, and parking a private car in non-rural environments.

Of course this is exactly why CarGoAway is the name of our cargo bike platform. Sure, when the mood strikes you want to be able to load up kids, pets, groceries, mannequins, large vine ripened melons, et cetera and cruise from point A to point B. We all do. But in today's world there's no need to hassle with a car to do those things. You just need a cargo bike!

Available with or without (but better with) electric assist, integrated lighting, longtail passenger seat, and cargo areas in various sizes, our CarGoAway platform is perfect for living a simple, convenient, and practical urban life with a minimal carbon footprint.

Zwei Tandem S&S eTap

Zwei Tandem S&S eTap

Tandems are beasts unto themselves. They have more or less been around as long as the modern bicycle itself, their popularity waxing and waning for a century before a renaissance in the 1970s that cemented the captain/stoker seating arrangement as a thing. (Ironically, 1972 was the last modern Olympic Games to include tandem cycling).

Today tandems are fairly common; you don't see a lot of them, but you've definitely seen them and know what they are. If you've ever ridden with one while on a standard single bicycle you can attest to how remarkably fast they can go in the hands of two competent tandem riders.

Not only is this custom titanium Zwei Tandem build built for speed, it is built for travel. With a suite of S&S couplings this two-person road rocket fits into a couple of regulation size suitcase boxes and checks just like any other baggage. The brilliance of the couplers is nowhere more apparent than on a bike with a SRAM eTap drivetrain; disconnect the rear brake and the bike is ready to disassemble and pack.


This build is outfitted with lightweight carbon fiber components, a Gates Carbon Drive timing belt, tandem specific wheels from our friends down the road at Rolf-Prima, and one of Dave's bespoke titanium forks.

DEALS // MTB Show + Demo Bikes For Sale

DEALS // MTB Show + Demo Bikes For Sale

Summer is in full swing and now is the prime time for MTB shredding. If you've been hankering for a golden opportunity, look no further! 

We are clearing space for new projects and inventory and are offering some of our one-of-a-kind show and demo MTBs to new homes for new adventures with new friends. These bikes are in fantastic condition and ready to shred. Sold as stated at steeply discounted prices.

Semi-Custom Road Disc with Campagnolo H11

Semi-Custom Road Disc with Campagnolo H11

We developed our Semi-Custom program to give our customers expanded options to find the perfect bike for their intended use, budget, and timeline. Just as with our full custom bespoke bikes, we work with our customers to dial in exactly what they're after, from the geometry and materials to the cosmetic finish and build out. To move semi-custom projects through our schedule more quickly we have a trusted subcontractor weld them up in batches, avoiding the 10-12 month lead time of our bespoke frames to get folks out on the road or trail rather than waiting in line.

This fantastic road disc build with Campagnolo H11, Enve Composites cockpit, and equisitely balanced half-flashy-half-classic finish work by Black Magic Paint is the perfect example of a beautiful, high performance, no compromise bike.


Service: Complicated Repair Archive // Lemond Tete de Course

Service: Complicated Repair Archive // Lemond Tete de Course

The motto around the Ti Cycles shop is "Anything Is Possible". If something was made once, it can be made again.

One of the more complicated frame repairs in recent memory was a composite Lemond Tete de Course, half titanium and half carbon fiber, that required a downtube replacement.

Before we could replace the titanium tube we needed to un-bond the top of the frame from the bottom. For this task we called on our friends at Ruckus Composites here in Portland, masters of the art of carbon fiber. 

The carbon sections needed to be out of the frame, but able to be put back in to place to set up the frame jig for welding the new downtube to the original bottom bracket shell and head tube. During this process while the downtube is out of the frame the head tube is completely disconnected, as are the carbon fiber tubes, meaning the frame is almost completely disassembled. Only the chainstay welds at the dropouts and bottom bracket shell remain from the original assembly.

After the new downtube was installed the titanium sections were brushed up to a beautiful shine and transported in a box back to the Ruckus labs for the carbon fiber reassembly. Then the frame came back to us one last time for final detailing and wax anti-fingerprint sealant before heading home to its owner.

"Everyone is impressed with the work and craftsmanship of Ti Cycles, as the frame looks beautiful. Your service and final product was excellent."

Custom Titanium Racks + Bits for Seven Cafe Racer

Custom Titanium Racks + Bits for Seven Cafe Racer

This past winter we had the pleasure of building a suite of bespoke titanium components for a cafe racer project the folks at Pleasant Hill Cyclery in the Bay Area were working on. The overview is straightforward -- a titanium fork, front and rear racks, and pant guard for the Gates Carbon Drive -- but there were plenty of details to sort through.

Starting from scratch we had four individual pieces to fabricate, some of which interface with each other directly, and all of which needed to bolt up to an existing frame built by another shop. Seven Cycles does good work, so we had a solid foundation to build from, and Loc at Pleasant Hill Cyclery was organized, specific, and generally great to work with.

The custom titanium fork is a fantastic piece of hardware. Our 1.5" Tapered, sleeved unicrown design with a solid 15TA dropout and a smart and smooth 58mm of offset. Disc only with the hose running through the leg and mounts for fenders and our front rack. 

The front rack is a sleek, minimal, slightly swoopy mini platform with an internally wired dynamo light mount out front and a standard tombstone bag loop in the back. The legs were specified with a unique and deceptively complicated design element that needed to be square, symmetrical, and pretty but also weight bearing. They turned out great.

The rear rack would also have internal wire routing and a dynamo light mount at the rear. Opposite of the front rack, the rear would have no cargo platform but instead carry saddle bags. Effectively a series of intersecting loops, the rack construction makes for a sleek profile. An additional feature of the rear rack is a set of light housings for LED running lights. We used bullets for oversize chainstays as the end caps for the housings, adding just the tiniest bit of complimentary flare to the rack package's art deco sensibilities.

To tie everything together a titanium pant guard for the belt drive was made to mount discretely to the bottom bracket shell and snugly into the Seven rear dropout, with no additional mounting points required.

A gallery of the component package we built is below, and you can check out the final build out with RuthWorks SF bags and a happy rider here.

Shimano Asymmetric 110 4-Bolt BCD Adapter for 130BCD chainrings

Shimano Asymmetric 110 4-Bolt BCD Adapter for 130BCD chainrings

As urban and utility cycling has continued to transition from a long ignored market to a major driver of retail and aftermarket sales more and more bicycle industry R&D is being shifted from niche race bikes to those with more practical applications.

Many of the urban/utility developments have come in lock-step waves as bicycle components have a high reliance on widespread compatibility. Case in point: as more advances have been made with internally geared hubs (IGH) there have been corresponding moves toward low-maintenance solutions such as the belt drive systems offered by GatesSchlumpf, and Veer.

Today there are of course ever increasing options for urban/utility cyclists, from car replacing cargo bikes to ultra minimalist eBikes. While recent advances in manufacturing technology have seen generally solid improvements in weight and durability of bikes and parts, one area of the urban/utility market that has not kept pace with the wider cycling world is the trickle down of new materials and technology. Even at price points reaching into the thousands of dollars, "commuter" bikes are generally still sporting cranksets that weigh 800 grams or more.

We continue to rely heavily on modern products such as Gates Carbon Drive for offering our customers the best value available. Being able to run the 130BCD Gates chainrings with the relatively lightweight and affordable new Shimano Ultegra R8000 crankset or the higher end Dura-Ace R9100 part would be a great step up from the typical clunky commuting cranks but without the steep price point of carbon fiber parts.

The catch, of course, is that proprietary non-compatibility is as baked into cycling as it is any industry, and the newest Shimano cranks use a stand-alone asymmetrical bolt circle diameter (BCD) that only a handful of aftermarket manufacturers have addressed. Gates Carbon Drive is not one of them, and their Centertrack rings are only offered in 104BCD (for mountain cranks) or 130BCD (for traditional road cranks).

Expanding our line of BCD adapters to include a solution for the Shimano Asym 110 4-bolt system has been on our radar for a while, and a recent custom order provided the necessary push to make it a reality.

Shimano Asymmetric 110mm 4-Bolt to 130mm BCD ADAPTER
Add To Cart

Add To Cart or find out more on the Shimano Asymmetric 110mm 4-Bolt to 130mm BCD Adapter product page.

HYENA XL Titanium Fastback SS MTB

HYENA XL Titanium Fastback SS MTB

Early each year the dead of winter brings the annual North American Handmade Bike Show, better known as NAHBS. From a small start with a handful of frame builders the event has grown into an institution for the bespoke bicycle crowd.

The 2018 event was held in Connecticut, the first time NAHBS has been in New England. The logistics of transporting a commercial display and fleet of bikes that distance made a full Ti Cycles booth impractical, but we did continue our tradition of collaborating with our friends in the industry on one-off show bikes.

For our pals at Gates Carbon Drive we put together one of our XL Hyena MTBs with a bomber build kit. 

This frame utilizes Dave's trademark "Fastback" design with its distinctive big bottomed side profile. The design centers around an extended, continuous, pierced top tube that creates a monostay rear trapezoid (rather than a triangle), pairing the large diameter top tube with shorter seat stays to make for a very stout rear end. Built for riders 6' and taller, the Hyena is stiff and nimble, with short chainstays and slack angles, ready to take on everything from an Enduro downhill to a freestyle run on a set of dirt jumps.

With white knuckle performance in mind, this bike was built out moto-x style with front and rear wheels sized for their distinct roles of attacking obstacles and powerful acceleration, respectively. A 2018 version of our beloved 69er. (More on that in the 69er FAQ)

To dress up the frame we went compact and clean. The Magura TS8 fork is light and smart, not to mention stiff, and is paired on the same handlebar mounted Bluetooth wireless remote switch as the Vyron dropper post for the pinnacle of clean and uncluttered cockpit tech. We also used the venerable German brand's MT8 hydraulic brakes for their wicked light hardware and reliable stopping power. 

Ever faster and steeper trails call for the specially tuned Schwalbe ADDIX rubber, with a 26x2.35 Nobby Nic out back and 27.5 x 2.60 Magic Mary up front, and the rad guys at Stans No Tubes did a purpose-built Flow MK3 matching wheelset on SS Neo hubs.

FSA's MTB cockpit and their new modular Afterburnercranks with a custom 4-bolt carrier for the Gates belt ring transfer the giddyup. Local friends Chris King Precision Components and Portland Design Works make our regular go-to parts and each always has the colors we are after. And hot dang we just couldn't miss with that Selle Italia Flite saddle!

To tie the top shelf build kit and striking frame design together we dipped into the PDXTI design kit and dolled it all up with half a dozen shades of blue, including custom decals for the Magura and Stans parts. It may be pretty but make no mistake, this is one light, tight, and unmistakable trail beast!

Service: Titanium Derailleur Hanger Repair

Service: Titanium Derailleur Hanger Repair

For such a small part of a frame, the little dangly derailleur hanger is involved in an inordinate number of repairs. It is a small piece of material, but it is vitally important, unfortunately located, and relatively fragile.

Most classic frames and some modern custom frames built for confident ballers have contiguous or "fixed" derailleur hangers that are part of the dropout itself. Because it is so vital and fragile, modern mass produced bikes generally have replaceable hangers that bolt on with smalls screws, allowing a failure mechanism that in most cases has no potential to ruin the entire frame. Regardless of the main frame material, these replaceable hangers are primarily aluminum or titanium.

A sensible and practical design feature, replaceable hangers can still be poorly executed. Photos below show one such design; a replaceable hanger made of steel on a high end titanium frame where the mounting holes on the dropout leave precious little material around the edge and have a countersink radius that cuts right through the heat affected zone of the chainstay weld.

The latter situation resolved itself in a crack through the weld, even though the hanger was ruined at the same time of the source impact. We can easily repair the crack, but the original flaws in the design still remain and would surely cause the same result in another crash.

As a solution Dave fabricated a new titanium hanger to match the interface and location of the original, and then welded it all together into a solid hanger far stronger than the original. 

Andy Dahlstrom's GS Flash Team Pursuit frameset

Andy Dahlstrom's GS Flash Team Pursuit frameset

In the nascent days of Ti Cycles Dave built a quintet of framesets for the GS Flash elite track team for the 1992 Olympic trials in Team Pursuit. 

Four of the frames were the same, and the fifth -- pictured here -- was a larger size for Andy Dahlstrom, who would go on to win the Washington State Pursuit Championship and set several records in the discipline.

This frame/fork set is on display in our shop, on loan from the owner Dennis Stuhaug.

Service: YBB

Service: YBB

The Moots YBB system, still in use today, came to prominence two decades ago and saw widespread use by several prominent titanium mountain bike builders. The system is simple, using a monostay configuration with a spring and/or elastomer stanchion up top and vertically compliant chainstays down low to allow for vertical movement of the rear axle. At a time when full suspension designs were often large, complex, heavy, and largely ineffective, a YBB "soft tail" could smooth much of the chatter of XC trails with relatively little fuss. 

With the breakneck pace of modern suspension improvements the YBB soft tail system may seem rudimentary, but it has proven extremely durable and reliable over the years and is an integral part of many great vintage mountain bikes, most of which are still on the trails.

But all things wear out in time, and we have regularly been servicing YBB systems on Moots, Merlin, Litespeed, and other titanium bikes for many years. Generally this consists of cleaning and lubricating the parts still fit for service, or machining a new stanchion, and in the case of Litespeed modifying the Moots YBB guts that are still available to fit in the smaller diameter setup.

A recent Merlin project presented a different challenge; not only did the YBB guts need serviced, the aluminum bridge clamping mechanism connecting the suspension with the rear end had cracked, requiring the machining of a whole new yoke.

As far as we know this is the only Merlin Fat Beat on the planet with a black yoke, made entirely in house.

Shop Tools: T47 Tap Handles

Shop Tools: T47 Tap Handles

T47 taps are a tool we use almost daily. They are neither inexpensive nor readily available. And titanium is hard on cutters. So when one of our taps cracked earlier this year we were less than thrilled. We found no comfort in learning that another titanium frame builder had the same experience the same week. The only good news was that we had broken opposite side taps and thus we now have a spare set.

To protect the investment in a fresh set of taps, Dave made a pair of handles with extra width for increased leverage and rectangular rather than round tap retaining tabs to avoid the point loading of the tap's retaining notches that we suspect may have hastened its predecessor's demise.

We've been using them for several months and they've proven a welcome addition to the wall, and as a bonus we no longer need to switch between T47 and BSA English taps on the same pair of handles.

Service: Cinelli Quill Stem Update

Service: Cinelli Quill Stem Update

Cinelli quill stems are part of cycling history. There are thousands upon thousands of them in circulation on vintage bikes of all types with threaded fork steerers. They're a great part, save for one weird little bit -- the stock Cinelli quill stem bolts use a 7mm hex key and have a 7mm x 1mm thread draw bolt with a tapered nut.

This 7mm business is problematic for a couple of reasons. Virtually no multi tool or standard hex tool set includes a 7mm wrench. There are no draw bolts with 6mm hex fittings and 7x1 thread. Standard 8mm draw bolts have both a different thread size and a head diameter that is too large for the 12mm pocket in most vintage stem bodies.

We of course partially solved this issue with our M8 stainless steel and M8 titanium draw bolts, which have an optional aluminum wedge we machine in house as an upgrade to the clunky cast steel wedges found in many traditional quills. Those bolts both have a 12mm OD head that will fit in the Cinelli stem body, but the M8 threading is incompatible with the Cinelli cone nut and our wedges will not work with the tapered nut system.

To cut through all of these contradictions at once and do the world a favor by slowly removing the oddball 7mm bolts and cones from circulation we are now offering a fantastic update service to make this style of Cinelli quill stem compatible with standard 8mm draw bolts.

You send in your stem, we change the thread size on both the cone anchoring the quill draw bolt and the single pinch bolt handlebar clamp to 8mm and provide 8mm titanium bolts with normal 6mm hex fittings for both locations. 

Yep, you can have a Cinelli quill stem that is both lighter and more convenient!
We are here to help.