Old 03-27-20, 12:54 PM
A Roadie Forever
79pmooney's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,596

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

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merziac, good work! Your vision, Andy's ideas, inspiration and love. Dave's excellant work.

Most of you know, I love working with Dave Levy. He is the framebuilder who will take on almost any challenge IF you can convince him it is needed and you are serious. The range of the bikes (and non-bikes; he's also a first class machinist and engineer - race car fittings, wheel chairs, ...) is amazing. I love going there just to look at what's lying around!

Like you, I brought an old steel bike that fit super to him and told him to make the ti bike I'd wanted for 18 years based on that super fit. (Univega Competition. Same fit as the Fuji Pro I raced and loved.) We tweaked the geometry - higher BB, the Univeaga was a pedal scraper, slightly longer TT, slightly steeper HT so I could drop down from a 130 to a 120 stem. (God's choice. Us old racers all know that.) Then the tweaks that are just me. Flipping the rear wishbone (that is a longtime TiCycles trademark as well) so the rear brake is forward of the seatstays. "Braze-on" for a DT top mount Superbe shifter. (Dave insisted on the HT "braze-ons" so I could go index later. 12 years and I haven't touched them yet.) Oh, and 1' steel steerer! Dave tried to talk me into 1-1/8" Sometimes I wonder if I should have. But then, the day will come when I put on a Nitto Pearl. Just take the fork to TiCycles and have them thread it. Easy! Nitto Pearl in "12 cm". God would be pleased. (And God certainly knows that the fact it is right despite saying "Pearl 11".

Dave's also made my quite different fix gear (with conventional fastback stays like a track bike), modified and did numerous repairs on my Raleigh Competition, repaired my Trek winter bike (manufacturer's defect) and made unusual parts for the Mooney (and a little minor cleanup on that well ridden and worn frame. He also built a new fork for my fix gear in a real rush after the original cracked just weeks before Cycle Oregon. Lesson - if you nickle plate high strength steel (here Columbus SP), you MUST heat treat it after to drive the hydrogen molecules out of the steel. Otherwise, those huge molecules are like gravel in the mortar of a brick building that's going to see minor earthquakes. I lucked out..Last ride of that fork was a 2000' elevation training ride for CO. At the high point with all of that descending to go, I couldn't get the chain tension right when I changed to the little 13 tooth cog. So I nursed the bike down slowly with a very loose chain instead of flying into my favorite bend and shutting down hard to take the tight, banked corner at 30. Got home with the front of the bike bucking every time I touched the front brake. There were cracks running around half of the two fork blades. Dave made the replacement very fast (after having to order 531) on a very conservative crown. I got see the old fork after he cut one of the blades off. The braze around the inside of the crown? Except for the matte finish of braze that had never seen a tool, file sandpaper or eyes, it was a perfectly uniform radius all around. Wow!

Dave took the fork to a forensic materials engineering professor at the local PSU. Learned of the need to heat treat after nickle plating. Talked to the plating outfit. They knew well about the heat treat but it was another $30, They said nothing and didn't do it. (TiCycles no longer uses them.) Current fork just got repainted with the bike name (Jessica J). For years,it bore model shop enamel that Dave sprayed the day before I took it to ride CO. Perfect paint job! But model shop enamel is not what you paint custom bikes with for a durable finish!

Long story, yes. But of another framebuilder who, like Andy, loves bikes and loves to see them ridden. (And I think he invests a little good luck in the bikes he works on. Jessica decided to give me mechanical issues when the fork she was saddled with had only few miles and hours left before it was going to break. Second major fork failure for me. First nearly killed. Current is as conservative as it gets and Jessica seems to love it. May your "Strawberry" be so blessed with good luck and keep you safe!)

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