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Introducing the Speedvagen Integrated Cross Stem Collaboration with ENVE

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Introducing the Speedvagen Integrated Cross Stem Collaboration with ENVE

If you follow @thevanillaworkshop on Instagram, chances are you’ve already seen this project unfolding. Over the years, Speedvagen has been working with ENVE on their Integrated Cross Stem. This stem’s unique integrated front brake routing replaces the traditional cable hanger and the associated flex, weight, chatter and unsightly lines that come with it. Personally, I kinda liked my Funky Monkey but I’ll go with the Speedvagen mantra on this one: “Take away everything that isn’t essential and refine what’s left”.

I just installed the CX Worlds 2013 Commemorative stem on my already dialed Geekhouse Mudville and it instantly feels more patriotic. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending the CX Worlds but at least I can ride the shit out of this stem. Although, I will be missing the bourbon!

Pick up one of the CX Worlds 2013 Commemorative Speedvagen Integrated Cross stems here and the standard Integrated Cross Stem here.

Check out the technical info below and more shots in the Gallery.

Why Clear Coat Over Raw Steel is Bad

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Why Clear Coat Over Raw Steel is Bad

Photo by Nao Tomii

“Ooooh. Wowwww. So pretty! Can’t we just put a clear coat on it?”

This is what came out of Lauren’s mouth when I showed her photos of her Icarus Porteur. What came next was a very simple conversation that many frame builders have with their clients on why this isn’t a good idea. We’ll use this photo from Tomii Cycles as an example, only because it’s the most recent, clean fillet photo I’ve seen on my Flickr feed.

I’ve heard just about every frame builder complain about the double edged sword that is fine fillet brazing. With social media becoming a powerful tool for builders, they expose a precious part of their process: bare fillets. If you’re a master at finishing, you take pride in your pinhole-free, smooth fillets. They’re evidence of a lot of precise work and while they look great raw, they need to be painted.

Why? Oxidation. Rust destroys steel and the only thing that keeps it from forming is a primer. If you simply clear-coated or clear powdered a frame, it would rust. Even in a matter of weeks it would be present. For the longevity of a steel frame’s lifespan, it needs to be properly primed and painted. Don’t forget to Frame Saver, either!

“But what about those fillets? You can’t cover them up!” Well, good fillets and good paint go hand in hand. You can cover bad fillets with good paint but they’ll look like shit. If your fillets aren’t smooth, or show the profile of mis-mitered tubes, paint will not cover that up. You don’t see the bad fillets being macro photographed now, do you?

A good builder doesn’t need to use filler and painters love them for it. It makes their job easier and the paintwork shows. Simply rub your finger over a fine fillet braze to feel the difference. Or watch the light reflect off the paint as it coats the shorelines. The best thing for an immaculately-finished fillet frame is a great coat of paint.

While Lauren was initially a bit bummed that her pretty, raw frame would be covered with paint, after explaining this, she understood. Especially after I showed her examples of exceptional paint covering exceptional fillets. So as a public service announcement for your builder, don’t even bother bringing this up! I’m sure they’d rather save their energy to discuss paint options with you.

Death Spray Custom Kills All

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Death Spray Custom Kills All

I’ve been posting about Death Spray Custom for as long as David’s been putting his work online. He’s one of the most famous bicycle painters and it’s not because of his lug or box lining. David’s work is heavily inspired by automotive, motorbike, Razzle Dazzle and anything else that can be applied to a complex curvature. There’s a great interview up on CycleEXIF, so head over and check it out.