Thursday, December 30, 2010

I've been busy at the shop most of this week. The above picture shoes the stainless steel rear drop outs that I'm using on Erin's track bike. They are silver brazed onto the chain stays but not yet to the seat stays. I will give them a high polish when finished and leave them unpainted.
Looking like a bike. The front triangle is complete and I just finished brazing up the chain stays. I've formed the seat stays and slotted them to fit the rear drop outs.
Another view.
This is Maarten (Mar-teen). He is staying with us for a few days. Great buddy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


While most people look forward to vacation so they can relax I look forward to spending more time in my shop. Since this is still a part time venture for me I look forward to the occasions when I can put a block of time into bike building. This is Erin's Track bike. I had ordered parts a while ago and designed the bike but was not happy with the way the parts were fitting. So I ordered some more parts and started over again.

The track dropouts (above) are stainless steel and I'll put a nice polish on them. The pictures you see here are of the work I did today. The bike is going to come out real nice and I'm looking forward to Erin racing it. I will keep the blog up this week and keep everyone apprised of the build.

Above is the seat post lug. I used this type of lug once before. Makes for a very pretty bike.
Stay tuned!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

29er nearing completion

Here are the latest pics. of Margie's 29er. I made some changes to it since the last pic. I had posted. I did not like the way the seat stays had come out so I cut them off and mounted some new ones. Then I added the small brace between the seat tube and the top tube. The seat stays are brazed to both the seat tube and that small brace. This bike should be rock solid on the trail!

In the background of the pics. you can see part of my shop. A homemade sandblast cabinet, my lathe and my mill/drill machine. I love this shop. It's small, so it's easy to heat and when I mis-place my tools it doesn't take too long to find them.

Soon I will be getting back to Erin's track bike. I just got some new parts for that build as well.
Talk with you soon.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Hey All, This is my first spec. bike. It's a 57cm Bowen Classic. I intend to make a limited run of 6 of these in various sizes. It is set-up as follows:
10 Speed Ultegra Drivetrain
105 Shifters
Mavic CXP 22 rims w/Formula hubs
Ritchey Classic Handlebars/stem, 100mm/seat post
Brooks Saddle
Cane Creek Headset
Continental tires
Currently the handlebars are level with the saddle but they can be lowered to rider preference.
Contact me at or call me at 860-836-9765

Hey All,
This was my days work today. cleaning up my brazing and assembling the rear triangle. It's not quite finished but it's darn close. I built this 29er for Margie and I'm hoping she'll want to race it this next season. To the right in the picture is the 57cm road bike I just completed. I'll show some pics. in the next blog of that bike.
Bye for now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Running late

Sorry this is a bit late. I've been busy building up another bike and just haven't had the chance to post. At any rate this is the beginning of brazing Margie's 29er. (Look out Fabian) The front triangle is spot on and I'm looking forward to continuing it this Friday.

Also this weekend I will be working on Erin's track bike and will get some photos on this blog.

Talk with you later!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo Shoot

Well, here I am. My friend Alan Grant from Digital Creations came over and brought all of his gear. (It may not have been all but it was a heck of a lot!) He puts into his photography what I put into my bikes. We spent about 5 hours taking pictures of me doing different things so you all could see me and what I do. In the picture above I am mitering a tube. I know some of you are thinking wait....I thought your bikes were handcrafted? To that I say, they are. A machine is nothing more than a tool. I could be doing this with a file but the miter may not be as precise. So what I have done is mixed a wee bit of technology with old world craftsmanship. (I bet you didn't know I spoke Irish) I should mention that almost all the tooling and jigs that I use I built. I milled, ground, bored and turned almost everything.

In this next picture I'm starting to braze Erin's track frame. I'm using a lugged bottom bracket and brazing in the seat tube using silver braze. To me this is where it all comes together. As you join the tubes it starts looking like a bike. It's always a great feeling when a plan comes together! Well, that's enough for now. I don't want to get you too excited! Come back tomorrow. I should have some more pics of Margie's 29er.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Noeleens beauty!

Finally got around to getting some pictures of a bike I had built for a wonderful woman named Noeleen. One of the things that drives me as I build a bike is to think about how the new owner will use their bike. Noeleen was no exception. Her husband had told me that he would love for Noeleen to ride with him. So I pictured the two of them off on adventures. Noeleen also has some girlfriends that she enjoys to ride with and has already put quite a few miles on her steed.

Noeleen had gone to Benidorm bikes for a comprehensive fit by non other than Jan Tanner. After Jan was done she gave me all of her information and I was able to build a frame that fits Noeleen like a glove. Benidorm did a great job outfitting the rest of the bike with an Ultegra drivetrain and Bontrager stem, seatpost and handlebars.

This bike is outfitted with White Industries hubs laced to open pro rims by Mavic which were all professionally built by Bruce Miller of Berlin Bicycles.
Do you think Noeleen likes pink?



How sweet is this? I picked this up a couple of weeks ago. It's an old Atlas metal working lathe. It's perfect for what I need. It came with all kinds of tooling that I need go through and organize. I used it today on Erin's new Track Bike that I mentioned in the last blog.

Speaking of Erin's track bike I brazed the seatpost to the bottom bracket and mitered most of the tubes as seen below.

I also fitted most of the lugs. Doesn't sound or look like much but it is all very time consuming.

Also this morning I had a photographer come by and he did a photo shoot of what goes on in my shop. I will be posting those pics on my website as well as here. You will actually see some quality photos instead of just my snapshots.

Well that's it for now, see you later!

Friday, November 5, 2010

In the Beginning

The weekend is here again and the fun begins! I spent this afternoon cleaning up the Bottom Bracket casting and starting the lugs.
Normally I start a bike and see it through to completion before I start another one. I'm waiting for the brass rod and flux I ordered from Henry James to arrive so I can braze up the 29er that's in my shop. It hasn't arrived yet so I'm starting the track bike that I'm building for Erin. I'm looking forward to getting this bike in Erin's hands so she can ride like the wind.

I just finished ordering all the parts for the blue bike that I posted here a few weeks ago. It is a 57cm bike that came out BEAUTIFUL! After I build it up I will be offering it for sale. It will be a good opportunity for someone to get a handcrafted bicycle at a good price. I'm outfitting it with a Brooks saddle and a Shimano drive train with Ritchey seat post,stem and handlebars all in high polish.

Tomorrow a photographer is coming over to the shop to take some pics. of me doing my thing. Fortunately he has talent with a camera so you won't always have to put up with my poor pics.

Talk with you soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exciting Times!!!

The last couple of weeks have been very busy in the shop. I bought a Lathe a couple of weeks ago. It's probably older than I am but it's in great shape and it came with lots of accessories.

As I mentioned in the last blog I've built a sweet road bike that I am setting up and will offer it for sale before Christmas. Parts are starting to trickle in. Brooks saddle, Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and classic high polish Ritchey bars,stem and seatpost. This bike is 57mm and I will be building a limited run of six other bikes like it. (In different sizes) It's a good chance to get a quality handmade bike at a reduced price.

I finally finished mitering all of the tubes on my first 29er. I will be fillet brazing this frame. It will be time consuming but I'm looking forward to the finished product and will keep you apprised.
The top right pic. is going to be a very exciting build for me. Although I have made some single speed bikes in the past, this is going to be raced on a track. I'm building this bike for a woman named Erin. Although she's not new to racing (MTB) I understand that she will be new to track racing. This has tubing that has all been chosen for Erin and will have Stainless Horizontal track dropouts by Paragon. Nothing but the best! Very Cool

A couple more parts have come in for that beautiful Sport Touring bike that I built for Gary. His bike will be outfitted with Nitto parts, Mavic wheels and a Sram drivetrain.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Limited Issue

Here's a frame and fork that I just got back from my friends at Circle A. Great paint job guys! I'm going to be building this bike up and offering it as a limited issue. Just 6 of these beauties will be available. Be the first to order yours!

Here's a few pics of my latest build. It's a 29er! This is my first Mountain bike project. I've decided on the fork and ordered the drivetrain. I have to find some nice light wheels and tires. Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A few more pics

Just wanted to include a few more pics of Gary's frame.

Finally, a new camera!

So, it seems like it's been eons since I last posted. As the title says I finally went out and bought a new camera. I've had a couple of new frames that have been back from paint for a while now. I'm going to start with the pics from Gary's bike. He decided to paint it a metallic green with a cream head tube and a cream panel on the seat tube. My friends Brian and Chris at Circle A did a bang up job with the paint. Gary has stopped over to check it out and we're now in the process of buying the components for this beauty. It's been a pleasure working with Gary on this project and I'll be sure to take some pics with my new camera when the build is complete.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tour of the Litchfield Hills

Hey All,

Vacation is over and I'm back in the shop. It's about time huh? I've just started my first mountain bike. A 29er single speed. I'm going to have to buy some new tools for the larger size tubing. I finished designing it yesterday and laid the tubes out on the bench to get it in my mind. I'm looking forward to start cutting and mitering.

My camera broke a couple of weeks ago. I'll have to get it fixed I suppose or buy a new one. These posts are lacking without pictures.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Been away awhile

Hey All,
Sorry that I've not posted anything in a bit. I was away on vacation for a couple of weeks then went with my better half to Mt. Snow VT to watch her race MTB.
I spent a week in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with a lot of friends and we did a lot of Cycling. Towards the end of our stay we did the Tin Mountain Century. A very beautiful ride around Mount Washington.
While I was in New Hampshire some loser hacked into my email and stole all of my contacts and past emails. They then changed my password and set up another mail acct. and had my mail forwarded to them. What scumbags. Now that I've vented......
Just before I left for New Hampshire I visited my friends at Circle A cycle in Providence RI. I dropped off 2 frames and forks for them to work their magic on. As soon as I get them back I will post them. One of these I'm going to set up and offer it for sale on my website. I'll keep you posted. Stay tuned because I will be starting a new frame soon. I will have to go and get a new camera though as mine just crapped the bed.

See you soon,


Friday, June 18, 2010

Last couple of details!

Here are a couple of the last pics of Gary's bike in the raw. I took these right after I brazed them in place. Feel the heat? The top pic is the pump boss located just below the top head tube lug. The next pic is of the chainstay bridge with a boss for mounting a fender. After a little bit of filing and a bit of sanding this beauty will be ready to go to my friends at Circle A Cycles where the guys will work their magic. Stay tuned for pics of this bike after paint and the start of the next Bowen Bicycle.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Getting Excited

That's right! Even I get excited. When I start a bike and I have a box of tubes. I've always been good at being able to see things that aren't there. No, not like I'm hallucinating. I can build something and see in my mind what it will look like when I'm done. This is very handy when you're a fabricator. However, there is no replacement for the real thing.
So in the following pictures you see the real thing starting to take shape.

I spent the day today putting almost all of the bits and pieces on.It was a nice day outside and I kept staring out the window watching the world go by. However when I'm this close to the end of the build it makes me want to work longer to see the finished product.

I just love a classic bicycle. There is nothing quite like it to me.
Gary F stopped in for a few today and took some pics. of his soon to be bicycle. Here is one of them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Marketing Marketing Marketing

Hey All,

I'm splitting my time today between my shop and here on my computer. A friend of mine from Circle A Cycle (Brian) sent me a link that he found with a partial picture of my booth at NAHBS in Richmond VA. Check it out

Two more things. If you need your bike repainted, bring it to Circle A Cycle in Providence RI
They do a great job at a fair price.
If Circle A is not close enough for you, you can bring it to me and on my next trip I'll deliver it.

Also when you check out the pics at the above link and find a picture of one of my bikes. That's my good friend War'n. His actual name is Warren but we all call him War'n. (Try saying War'n. It's kind of folksy, don't ya think?) He came to Virginia with me and was a huge help. We had a great time together that weekend.

Well that's it for now. I'll be back tomorrow with some new pics of Gary's build.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday 5/15/10 Six years and counting!

Hey All,

I had a great day in the shop today and even a better one in the evening. It started as usual at 8am. I needed to do all of the little things that make a frame a bike. Fitted and brazed on the brake bridge. As you can see there is a small boss which is threaded in the center for mounting a fender. Gary doesn't plan on using it right away but it will be there for the future.

Next I brazed on the shifter bosses. These will be used as cable guides because Gary is planning on using STI shifters at this point.

Next was the small braze-on that mounts to the bottom of the chain stay for the cable that runs to the rear derailleur. Sorry for the blurry picture. I also spent time on the rear drop outs making sure there is adequate room for the cassette.

So I bet you're wondering what do you mean by 6 years and counting? Simple. I've been married to my wife for 6 years. Without her support this endeavor never would have gotten off the ground. So...We went out for a nice dinner to celebrate at our favorite restaurant.

By the way....Today is Sunday. I had a great ride with my Amigos today. There were about 20 of us in all. It's so much fun being at the back of a pace line going through the winding roads of western CT. What a site!

PS Soon I'll be ordering a tube set to make my first MTB. It will be a 29er single speed. I'm pumped!