PHAT BOy

There are custom bikes in the world that make you take a second look. There are bikes that make you take the third look. Every once in a while something rolls out that makes you take that fifth look. I said it. Fifth. (After the fourth look it is figuratively classified as "bike porn")
This is the second time Rob Simao has graced the pages of Kustomized Bicycle Magazine. If you scroll back and check out Lady M in the bike features you will see that Rob knows how to throw down serious style. Rob roll the streets of Newark, California which is south of San Francisco on the East Bay. I don't know if it is something in the water or the California sun but when it comes to creating a rolling work of art those East Bay guys have it in spades.
When you hear the name Phat Boy you may think of that bulky and piggish Harley that was supposedly cool in the 90's, or maybe even the Fat Boys which if I remember correctly were some guys that did a stint on Yo, Mtv Raps. It is true boys and girls, Mtv once played music. Why this ride is called the Phat Boy is a question for Rob as it is neither boyish nor Phat. How this bike would be described should be Game Changer. Not one inch of this machine even resembles something that has been done before. Like I said earlier there is so much going on, so many unique and custom lines, and such a great parts list that it will take you a fifth look to take it all in. Luckily for us Rob allowed us to do a photoshoot with this machine so you don't need to take five quick looks as it rolls by. You can just sit in front of your internet machine and check out its beauty for as long as you want.   


Rob called on Matt Rodriguez of Gooseneck Bicycles to roll the tube and get crazy with the buzz box. The custom frame with its high top tube flows gracefully in a full arc to meet the bottom bracket. With a reversed arc rolled into the down tube that also meets the bottom bracket the bike has a very high look to it. Both tubes roll into the head tube where it meets with a Lowlife Bikes Knuckle front fork. Gary of Lowlife Bikes (see a previous article in the builders section) made a very short run of these forks last year and Rob was lucky enough to snag one up and put it to good use. Gary might be talked into another run if the masses contact him with inquiries. Topping off the fork are custom bent bars the flow back towards the seat. Speaking of the frame, attached to the top tube is a beautifully fabricated tank of sorts. Flowing up from the seat it flows towards the front of the bike until it ends in a sharp point.
The bottom bracket shell is filled with a three piece crank assembly and flat pedals. Just in front of the bottom bracket the tube is capped with a polished aluminum bullet adding some bling to the black frame. All the aluminum was milled and polished by Kruz3rMob brother Ray. The chain rolls on the left hand side to a secondary hub sandwiched between sprockets on each side. A wicked perforated metal insert was cut and mounted stepping up the coolness factor even more. It offsets the chain on the right now drive side leading to the three speed rear hub. To actuate the hub is a custom bike chain knuckle design shifter that matches the trees on the front end.              

                   
All that tricked out drivetrain rolls a 24"x100mm rear hoop. Leading the way is a 29er on the front that keeps Rob pointed in the right direction. The big and little selection is aesthetically pleasing and gives the bike the “go-fast chopper” look we all love.
Black is always a bikes best friend. This Phat Boy looks like it was double dunked in a tank of black. The frame, bars, hub, crank set, sprocket, and bars all match with the deep and shiny from World Metal Finishing. To set off the color Rob decided to go bright red for the accessories. The perforated metal insert, wheels, triple trees, grips, and seat frame were all shot in the deep ruby red making this ride eye blistering in the sun. While we are on the subject of paint. Take a look at the tank. It has been airbrushed with a set of wings that tie the whole bike together. This was done by Troy Keough of Kreative Airbrush Design. The wings were subtly outlined with a red pinstripe along with some licks right in front of the tank added as well.


There are always a few things that make a standout bike a show winner. If you can tie those things into something you love than that all the better. In Rob’s case with the Phat Bob it would be the custom embroidered seat with the Kruz3rMob BC logo as well as the Kruz3rMob head badge.
If you ever want to roll with some of the best of East Bay look up Rob and the Kruz3rMob for some great rides. KBM is waiting patiently for whatever Rob has up his sleeves next. With what he has put out so far it will defiantly be a show stopper.

LOWTIDE CUSTOMS

 

Kustomized Bicycle Magazine keeps tabs on custom bike builders around the world. Some are new guys that are putting out some impressive builds while others have been around for a while and have been putting out innovative bikes time after time. Joe Cavaliere is becoming one of the “old guys” in the fabricator world that keeps putting out some of the greatest rides. KBM was lucky enough to spend some time riding and talking with Joe. We also watched him hand off a completed bike that he designed, built, and delivered across the country to the buyer who was more than happy with his new ride. Joe is also a contestant in this year’s build off which KBM will be covering monthly. Keep an eye on that in the Rides/Contest section. KBM wished Joe all the Lucky in that amazing contest.
(KBM): When did LowTide form and what is your background pertaining to fabrication and design?
(Joe Cavaliere): LowTide was started on July 4th 2012. My best friend and I were at a beach party and he said he wanted me to build him a stretch. I had no formal training just a desire to build rad shit. I started cutting up beach cruisers and stretching them out. Then I met Gary from lowlife bikes. He was diggin’ what I had been building. He asked me to join his build off. I declined several times. I felt I was in no position to try and compete with other builders. At that point I had never built anything from scratch. Gary persuaded me to join. Well my first scratch built bike was a winner.

(KBM): Who originally got you into bicycles and can take credit for your hands-on interest?
(Joe Cavaliere): So I would have to say Gary Sharon from LowLife was the one who got me into building full blown one off Kustoms.

 

(KBM): What is your favorite bike you have built to date?
(Joe Cavaliere): Man I have to say my build off bike from OBC this year has been my favorite. It is called Vlad the Impaler. I built it one handed due to a nasty fight with a cut off wheel.

 

(KBM): There was a steady flow of people around your display at OBC this year and we saw you as one of the top builds for the Young Gun Challenge. How was the whole OBC weekend for you and did you learn anything about the bike culture from the weekend?
(Joe Cavaliere): OBC was insane this year....as you know well over double the amount of people with hella great builds. Sick builds from all over the states including my favorite build from The Others Ohana Chapter member Unko Crayzee. I learned even in competition we are all one big family. The support I received from my fellow builders was amazing. I tried to drop out of the build off but the promoters and my fellow builders were not letting that happen. I was the two time returning champ and had to defend my title. Jimmy Peek came out the victor and I could not be more proud of him.

 

(KBM): If someone hasn’t seen a LowTide frame how would you describe its style?
(Joe Cavaliere): I always say LowTide frames mimic the movements of the ocean. I take waves that I see and turn them into long low one of a kind rides.


(KBM): Is LowTide a one stop shop? Do you build custom bikes that are ready to ride or a series of pieces that can be purchased together?
(Joe Cavaliere): Here at LowTide we can give you whatever you need. If you want a frame or a complete Candy painted masterpiece. We carry our own line of super fat triple tree front ends that are handmade in the USA. We make all our own handle bars for our builds. We carry a full line of custom components to cater to most budgets.


(KBM): What is your favorite style of bike to build: chopper, bobber, stretched cruiser?
(Joe Cavaliere): I have to say my favorite style to build is long low cruisers... If the back tire is higher than your belt.... you’re doing good!!!
(KBM): When not in the shop building bikes what do you spend your time doing?

(Joe Cavaliere): When I am not in the shop it is family time...I love spending time with my wife and daughter. Riding bikes on the beach is always a good time, being in FL we are never far from a fun park. My daughter has turned me in to a roller coaster junkie.

 

(KBM): What is your favorite tool in the shop and what is usually playing on the stereo?

 

(Joe Cavaliere): My favorite tool has to be my roller. It is responsible for making all the cool shit in my head come to life. As far as music in the shop Mostly Reggae but It goes from Bob Marley to Five Finger Death Punch
with a little Wu Tang on the side.
(KBM): If a person hasn’t had access to the settings, tools, and skills like welding, fabrication, paint, etc. What is a good first step to take in learning what it takes to build a project bike?
(Joe Cavaliere): My advice to someone who would like to give this a shot. Weld two pipes together and then beat the shit out of the ground or a tree. When they start to bend instead of break your welds they will hold up to your average rider. Then buy a bike off craigslist build a jig and cut it apart. Redesign it and try to put it back together.


(KBM): What is next for LowTide? Upcoming projects, lines of parts?

(Joe Cavaliere): Man, I am just trying to improve my game and top my last build... I have a line of Diamond triple trees that are in prototype right now. I hope to have available in the next month or so.

You can contact Joe through the LowTide Facebookpage or hit him up on the beaches of Florida.

 

Custom Fork 101

The bicycle fork comes in hundreds of sizes and styles. There are as many forks as the models of bikes ever created. You have standard style on your typical run of the mill rides, the almighty Schwinn springer that we all know and love to the wild like the Rat Trap, Beehive, and Monark. These forks are all well and good for the simple restoration or for the bike your mom rides to get lottery tickets at the local Circle K. But if you want to wow the crowd and be the envy of your bike building buddies then you need to whip something out of the shop that is custom. This is a very basic walk-though of the fabrication of a custom fork. It is based on the standard triple tree design without suspension….we aren’t a bunch of leg shaving mountain bike riders anyhow. If you want suspension then let out a little air from those fat tires on 100mm hoops and call it good.


There are some simple definitions for fork geometry that needs to be considered when building a fork.
Head Tube Angle - The angle of the steering tube measured against the horizontal plane which the tires ride. It is measured from behind the tire, not the front.
Rake - The distance from the centerline of the head tube angle to the centerline of the axle (usually forward).
Trail - The distance from the centerline of the head tube at the horizontal plane to the contact point of the tire on that plane.
The standard bicycle has a head tube angle of roughly 73 degrees. A steeper angle (higher number) will make the handling of the bike more responsive; a lower number angle will offer greater stability but slower and stiffer steering. The average rake is around 2 ½ inches. This is usually the neutral position giving the rider a happy medium between being able to steer well and still having a comfortable ride that won’t be sketchy. If you do the geometry this will give you have roughly 2 inches of trail. You can alter dimensions and still have a good handling machine if you account for those alterations and change other dimensions to equal the dimensions accordingly. 
SOOOOOO, blah blah blah, math sucks and we build custom bikes. I would much rather have a wicked looking fork that may require a little more effort to steer and be cool than the generic one on your mom’s Schwinn. Personally I am a bobber style guy. I am happy with 60-65 degrees of head tube angle, short fork legs and a little more rake than normal (anywhere for 3-7 inches usually). My buddy is all about the chopper style and prefers less head tube angle (45-50 degrees) with long fork legs but only 2 inches of rake. So, my style doesn’t turn as easy as the standard bike but my buddies style turns more easily because of the length of the fork legs (to the point of being skittish). The bike pictured below is 65 degrees of angle and because of the longer head tube the legs are a bit longer than normal. It also has around 2” of rake equaling around 4 ½” of trail.


Enough of all that and let’s get to hacking steel. For this fork we are going with the typical tree design. You can make your own trees if you have a CNC or water jet machine in you back pocket or just order a set like we did. These particular ones came from Cuda Custom Cycle because they fit square tube legs instead of the normal round tube. There will be a review of these trees in the next issue. Round tube vs. Square tube doesn’t affect the following steps so forget I even mentioned it. With trees in hand we started with the drop outs.


Dropouts are the plates welded to the fork tubes where the hub bolts. You can have any design you want but remember the fork geometry listed above. The distance from the welded surface to the axle slot relates to rake and trail. As you can see we cut the dropouts from 3/16 mild steel plate. Cutting a rough pattern with the plasma is the easiest way but we have used cutoff wheels and hole saws in the past. Placing the two pieces on top of each other and tack welding the edges allows you to drill the axle hole, cut the axle slot, and grinding the overall profile as a single piece insuring that they are identical.


Once cut and prepped we bolted the dropouts to the hub we attend to use on this bike. Bolting the dropouts to the hub keeps the dropouts square while making sure the dropout’s distance apart will accommodate this particular hub.


The fork legs were cut from 1” x .095 wall hot rolled mild steel square tube. It is a little beefier than the .065 wall normally use but square tube isn’t as strong as round and we aren’t known for taking it easy on our rides so the added wall, though adding weight, also makes for a stronger set of legs. Remember that the longer the leg the more flex they will have and constant flexing will eventually lead to leg failure. Leg failure, as in “that shit will snap like dry wheat in a tornado”. I have snapped a set of forks way back in my BMX days and it isn’t something I would recommend going through. We mitered the bottom of the legs then welded caps on for that finished look. We also capped the tops of the fork legs because let’s face it, leaving open ends of tube is shoddy workmanship.
Now comes the fun part. We slid the fork legs into the trees. Pushing the trees close to the area where the dropouts will be welded will keep the dropouts and fork legs for warping when they cool after welding. Before we tighten the trees we slid the fork legs against a large and heavy piece of angle clamped to the welding table. The most important thing when building a fork (or a frame) is to keep things straight and square. We measured for square then tightened the trees down. For added rigidity we also ran a piece of tube the same diameter of the head tube into the trees and tightened the clamps.
Placing the dropouts and hub assembly on the fork legs and taking several measurements with a micrometer will get the hub placement square with the fork legs.


We tack welded the dropouts to the fork legs in four different places and allowed them to cool. Rechecking the measurements for square is mandatory as steel has a tendency to pull towards the weld while cooling. Any small adjustments necessary at this point can be done with a ball peen hammer and checking the dropouts for square yet again.
Happy with the measurements we final welded the dropouts jumping back and forth to avoid excess heat.


 Pulling off the top tree and moving the bottom tree to its approximate location we measured for head tube length. We chucked it up in the chop saw and cut it to length then broke all the sharp edges on the belt sander.
Using the ACS Main Drive head set we assembled the fork using the provided instructions. See the review of this head set in the Reviews section of this month’s Kustomized Bicycle Magazine.
Well, there you have it. This was only the basics of fork fabrication that you can use when fabricating your custom fork. This was also a very basic fork. The same principles apply when creating any type of springer fork as well. Stay tuned to upcoming issues. We are designing a leaf spring fork and possibly another girder style fork in the future.

RUST BILLY

Who says rust can’t be classy?
Humans are a simple animal. It doesn’t take much to grab our attention. Flashy metal flake and tons of chrome catches the eye. Why do you think bass boats are coated in metal flake acrylic inches thick? The other side of the spectrum is a cancerous coating slowly eating away bare metal and if left unattended will eventually send the steel back to the earth from which it came. But….rust also makes one think of simpler times, reminds one of the bare basics in life, and if looked at closely it is a beautiful display of color and shapes.
I met up with the owner of Rustabilly a while back. The frame design was very different from what I have been seeing lately. The tractor seat caught my eye. Checking out the bike I noticed it is single speed. So yes, this bike is a tractor. Rusty, large, and would chug along at a slower pace for days. Upon closer inspection you will notice that this isn’t rusty junk tube welded together. There is very innovative and “next gen” engineering going on here. Let’s take a closer look.


Tudorbuilt Bikes is responsible for fabricating Rustabilly. The custom handmade frame has a double down tube. This isn’t the typical side by side double downtube though. The tubes are set front and back. From the neck running back is a high back setup that flows down into the saddle area. The straight tube lower, intermediate, and chain stay tubes give the bike a more industrial look (think Workman trike) which is a pleasant change to the “every tube needs to be rolled” current fad. Note that this frame is long and has some girth to it. It looks tough enough that it would survive a hit from a trash truck.
The front and rear hoops are everyone’s favorite 26” X 4” wrapped in sweet rubbery goodness of BOA-G white walls. In the front you have a fork / handle bar / steerer tube all tied together and slung low. The bars sweep far to the outside for that comfortable hand location while you are plowing through the fields (not literally, figuratively). The end of the bars are encrusted with a set of Vans grips to keep your hands stuck to the wheel and feeling the waffle.
Like I said there are details galore. Check out the fork dropouts welded up to the bottom of the custom made forks. The forks also house the mount for a custom headlight set that was made from some Peterbuilt exhaust tube.


The drivetrain consists of a standard one piece crank with some Nirve pedals. It took two and a half chains to get to the rear hub and back and Rustabilly sports a longboard wheel to keep that incredibly long chain from bouncing around. Like I said earlier it is still running a single speed but when you are this long and low speed isn’t really necessary. The builder keeps saying it will get a Shimano Nexus 7-speed with a jockey shift but I think it is on the low side of the “To-Do” list.


To fill the gap in the frame an insert was made out of a nice grainy chunk of would I can only imagine was pulled off a barn. Tudorbuilt then did some hand cut pine scallops and stained and cleared them to match the bike. On top of the panels were custom Tudorbuilt plasma cut logos.
Any bike is only as good as the seat you ride on. Wanting the ultimate in comfort while still fitting into the rest of the bike a tractor was liberated of its seat. Yes, a tractor seat. They are huge and heavy but were made for some poor farmer’s ass to be in day and night. Super comfy to say the least.
Speaking of matching the bike a very special an super top secret mixture was brewed and sprayed onto the raw steel frame….five times I have heard to obtain the color and grain on the patina. Once the parts were cured the parte were taken to John Sindle at Majestic Paint. John laid on the clear until the rust actually was shining in the sun like a new Cadillac. Ron Hernandez in Arizona was asked to dig out the long haired brushes and proceeded to pinstripe every piece of this machine.


Expect to hear more from Tudorbuilt here in Kustomized Bicycle Magazine. We have seen a few non-public photos of things to come and we can say they defiantly know how to build bikes of all styles.
The owner is also taking part of the Custom Bike Build-off this year and KBM wished him the best of luck.

 

Review: Mission Transit Cranks

Long gone are the days of fishing a single piece crank through a bottom bracket shell doing your best not to hit the fresh paint with the chain ring while your greasy mitts are trying to keep the bearings in place. Then you have to thread on the bearing race with still greasy hands....which way did it rotate to tighten again? This isn't 1974 and we aren't riding some clapped out jalopy of a bike cobbled together with pieces of some junker acquired from the local big box store. We build cool bike and want cool parts. We did some testing and shopped around for a 3 piece crank recently. There are hundreds of manufacturers, styles, and prices. Setting up an Excel spread sheet we had categories as follows: Fit, Weight, Price, and Coolness Factor. Of course Coolness Factor is subjective but the others are not. There are many super light aluminum cranks that are at least two bills. Almost as many as some super cheap cast steel cranks that weigh in the same as a four door Honda. Neither of these things are in our best interests.
After buying a few different sets and doing a hands on comparison we are delighted to find a good crank that your significant other wouldn't castrate you with for breaking the checkbook in half.
Mission BMX is from the creators of Kink Bike Co. Mission started out as the OEM components brand for Kink then decided to expand its line to offer am affordable quality product for high end BMX riders.
So a new set of Mission Transit cranks set sat on the bench. They set comes with the crank arms, spindle, two sprocket bolts, and two pinch bolts. They have a 175mm crank arm length which is pretty standard in the bike world. The first thing I noticed is that they were about a quarter of the weight of the solid cast crank also sitting on the bench. My frame is already a pig and adding weight unnecessarily wasn't something I was going to do. This is thanks to the tube design versus the solid cast crank arm which gets them to weigh in at 37.5 oz. (without spindle). The tube is seamless Chromoly which means it’s about as strong as you can get.
The top of the arms have a 19mm eight splined design to fit the spindle. The pinch bolts in the set keeps the crank arms firmly attached to the spindle. Speaking of the spindle it is also forged Chromoly and quite the beefy piece. You are going to have to have your bike ran over by a loaded down garbage truck before the spindle breaks. One the other side of the crank arm is a 9/16" pedal boss to fit any newer style pedal. Personally I am surprised anyone even make 1/2" pedals anymore. You will notice that the bosses’ aren’t welded on perpendicular to the crank arm. They are angled a bit and kick the pedal out to a proper distance from the frame. The set is the typical right hand drive to fit 99% of the bikes out there. They come in Black, White, Red, Purple, and Blue and also have a set of spacers to be used depending on the sprocket you use.


It took all of fifteen minutes to do the install and five of those minutes was trying to get Suicidal Tendencies to play on my IPod with greasy hands. Fit and finish was perfect. Everything was a slight press fit meaning there would be no wallowing out of splines and the threading on the pedal bosses were prefect. I got the arms seated on the spindle with a couple of taps with the trusty rubber mallet and tightened up the pinch bolts. Also, all the bolts that come with the set have a wrap of thread locker already on the threads. This saved me twenty minutes of having to search for the blue thread locker that probably fell off my work bench and got kicked under my tool box during a late night mash session of cutting tube on the chop saw for a new frame....I still haven't found it.
The best part about this three piece crank set is the price. You can pick up a set for fifty bucks. That is only sixteen dollars more than the cast steel set that weighs a bus load more and $150 less than the top of the line super high tech sets on the market. We have to save money where we can to afford those custom paint jobs and double walled 26" x 100mm hoops.
Pros:
Light weight
Tubular construction
Easy installation
Price
Cons:
Colors beside white and black don’t seem to be in stock 

Want to see what else Mission BMX has on their website? Check out www.missionbmx,com.

 

REVIEW: Cuda Custom Cycles Square fork triple trees

There are three reasons to purchase parts for your project. The first is because you can't fabricate something yourself which is no big deal. Not everyone can do everything all the time. The second is because you don't have a water jet or mill in you back pocket just waiting for some new design to magically get programmed in to said waterjet or CNC machine. Or in my case I need it right now because I am going against a really tight deadline and just don't have the time to CAD everything up, send to my machinist, wait for them to buy stock only to have it sit around because they have more lucrative things to do then my typical one and two piece bicycle part projects.
Building a square tube frame is no joke. After all the time and effort of piecing together a square tube frame the last thing you want to do is have a set of standard round forks throwing all the lines off. We showed you the basic steps in building a standard triple tree fork so go back and check out the Tech section if you haven’t already.


I starting asking all my contacts if anyone was making a set of triple tree forks for a square tube fork leg. A few fabricators said they were but currently out of stock with no date when the next shipment of trees were coming in. Luckily I heard through the grapevine that Cuda Custom Cycles was waiting for a shipment from their machinist and could have me a set of trees in less than a week. "Hell yeah" I yelled, get them in a box as soon as you can and get them shipped.
Cuda Custom Cycles offers two sizes currently. They have a 5" (135mm) set $135 + shipping and a 3 5/8" (100mm) $125 + shipping set. Made from 6061 3/4" aluminum plate they are cut via water jet. The fork leg holes are cut a bit oversized for 1" square tube to fit some paint, chrome, or powder. These are the details we love to see. There is nothing worse than getting parts back from powder just to start carefully removing the powder from places so things fir together. The trees are tumbled after cutting for smoothness before being machined for the three clamp cuts and three pinch bolts. These trees accept a 1 1/8" head tube to fit most later model frames and headsets. These trees are also fabricated in the good old U.S. of A which is always a plus.
We built a set of forks for a bike project having several local bike fabricators stop by to check out the project as a whole as well as the triple tree forks we were building. We asked them their opinions and took notes. The conclusion is that the trees do exactly what they are supposed to do and look good doing it. We measured out the head tube to leg dimensions and found they were pretty close. Water jet isn't nearly as accurate as a CNC or Bridgeport but these are bicycles and not part of the space shuttle. They come raw which may seem a little rough for those who don't buy parts in their raw form.

Finishing will be required if you are going for the super bling look of your custom ride. During assembly we noticed a few things. The pinch bolt on one side do not seat as low as the pinch bolts on the other side. The counter bore looks as though it wasn’t cut deep enough. Also the cuts are not in the same location from side to side. See the picture below.

You probably won’t be able to tell once assembled. How many people are checking out your new super fly custom ride to only notice details like this. But KBM is for builders and we do tend to notice these things during assembly. We also noticed that just because you order a set of 5" trees doesn’t mean you can fit a 100mm wheel. This project has 80mm hoops and they fit perfectly. The tire sits between the legs with just enough room to adjust if needed. A 100mm hoop will never fit.

Our last issue is that the hardware is all standard and not metric. I don't have anything against standard hardware. I have many vintage American bikes that have all standard hardware (Except those damn engineers at Schwinn 50 years ago that thought it would be funny to make thing off standard sizes). A huge majority of bike hardware is metric now days and having to carry two sets of wrenches in my pack shouldn’t be necessary. Speaking of the hardware it looks to be stainless so oxidation won’t be an issue. Keeping it shiny is always a great thing.


Pros:
Fit and Function
Stainless Hardware
Unique design and style
Cons:
Pinch Bolt counter bore depth
Sizing doesn't mean wheel width
Standard hardware   
We look forward to seeing what new products Cuda Custom Cycles will bring to the masses in the future. They were easy to contact and was able to ship really fast and provided shipping information on the fly.                                                                                                                      
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cuda-Custom-Cycles/376579622530793

 

Custom Builders Challenge 2016

Kustomized Bicycle Magazine has been keeping up with those involved in the Custom Builder’s Challenge. If you don’t know about this contest then here is the Skinny. A group of builders were hand chosen by the contest runner Gary Sheron of Lowlife Bikes. The build off started the first of this month and will go through the end of February whereas the builds will be released at OBC in Las Vegas (date yet to be released). These are the best of the best from the “old dogs” of builders with some young blood mixed in.
Some of the builders have been nice enough to give us updates to publish monthly. 
Randy Blackledge: “Not much to update you on the build off bike. Getting parts together little by little, day job is busy right now, but should slow down sometime next month. Then it's all hands on deck.”
Chad Morgan: “Well, the shop looks like a bicycle crime scene with chalk outlines all over the work bench and floor. Concept is set in my head and the tubes have begun to be chopped. As money allows, I have been ordering parts and they are arriving daily. Hoops are currently basking in the California sunshine getting a secret spa treatment. That's it from me. Nothing magical happening. Just a lot of thinking and planning at this point.”
Danny Hazlewood: I haven't bent one tube yet. I'm on a build for a customer right now that I need to finish. After that I'll start the fabrication on my build. I do have a name for it. It's going to be called "Jester". I'm starting to get parts for it. I have the tires...29 front, 26 x4 in the rear. A few other secret parts. I can't wait to get started. Thanks for having me in your magazine. Much appreciated! Until next month.”
Joe Cavaliere didn’t send a quote but sent me a few text messages showing off some new parts straight off the Bridgeport.  He is going all out this year and just the custom parts I have pictures of are so one off that I am adding them to my bike porn picture stash. I wish I could show them off but have been sworn to plead the fifth. 
KBM didn’t hear from the rest of the builders this month….They are probably deep in the bowels of their build places and can’t come out until they run out of welding wire.
Stay tuned for an update in next month’s issue.