We made a new sketchbook. This is the introduction contained therein:
"In our ranks are mountain bikers, BMX racers, anti-establishment commuters, ‘cross racers, e-bike enthusiasts and all the bike types and places in-between. Sometimes, we have a hard time defining who our audience is. Like many of our childhoods, we just don’t fit into any one group.
So who are you?
Perhaps you were the one kid in the neighborhood that knew how to get anyone’s department store bike back up and running with nothing more than an adjustable wrench and a blunt object. Maybe you’re still that kid, just all grown up and holding better tools.
Or you’ve done this all before. Bike shop Service Department veteran, some might say LEGEND. You fear nothing – can’t be told no. You know who Frank Berto is, and have poked some holes in Sheldon Brown’s theories. You know how things are done, and how to do them right—the first time. The UBI should give you some sort of certificate, gratis, ‘cause you’re so pro.
Maybe you’re a total parts geek and you want your bike any way but “standard.” Of course you have a bunch of unreal parts around, just waiting like Excalibur in the stone. That sweet Dura-Ace Aero single bolt stem is going to fit that top tube length perfectly because you have YOUR geometry committed to memory like a Social Security number. That 26.0 Zeus 2000 seatpost isn’t going to fit in the 27.2 frame, but you know where you can find shims. You’ve got to find the perfect cable hanger to put on your headset so you can run those new-in-the-box Onza H.O. canti brakes. You’ve got an XC Pro front thumbie and a 600 “Arabesque” traditional road front derailleur, so even though the frame has top tube cable routing, you can use a clamp & pulley to get that working. With that cassette body in its current state, there’s no way you can slide a full 7-speed cassette on there, so with a splined cog and some spacers you make it a two-speed since you also have a sick NOS Avocet road crank in a double. Guess who’s got the most unique bike in Springfield now? Nice work, pal.
If you’ve picked up this little sketchbook, you likely fall somewhere in between, on a think we like to call the DIY Spectrum. You might be at the point where you fix flats and keep your drivetrain lubed, or you might be taking a break from welding a few tubes together that’ll become your next frame. Once you get a taste for getting it done, there’s no going back. It feels so good to resurrect an old bike, or to make an impossible setup work well. This impulse to problem solve translates to a lot of things we’re sure, and maybe it’s just our bias, but there’s something personally satisfying about building, maintaining and fixing your own bike.
We decided to make this sketchbook because we’ve gone through piles of them ourselves, and writing things down is important. Whether it’s to sketch out new ideas, record your findings, workarounds, geometries, spoke lengths, never-try-it-agains…or just to doodle during that boring meeting at work. Whatever the reason, you’ll be glad you put pen to paper."