The Bikes
The finished bicycle is as unique as the individual. There are no ideal bike types and no ideal bike use but the bike must be designed for the type of use and centered on the rider’s ideals and needs. A rider that wants a cool bike to get to the coffee shop probably does not want a cyclocross race bike and a rider doing regular century rides through the summer months certainly wants the bike optimized for purpose. I enjoy matching the bike design to the riders needs and will work hard towards that goal.

Cyclocross Bike
While I don’t specialize in or prefer any one type of bicycle, I do have a niche for cyclocross bike design. I have been involved with cyclocross racing for many years and closely follow industry trends. Cyclocross frame designs and the completedbicycle relies on little details to perform well, reliably. My frame and fork designs have been ridden or raced successful by myself and friends and continue to be optimized much like the big bike companies do. In my opinion a cyclocross bike must be optimized for the intended racing venue/s. Venues with mud and sand demand a bike with more trail than a flat, dry, fast course.It’s possible to achieve this with two bikes but also with two fork designs. In addition to the steering geometry, the bottom bracket drop, seat angle, and chain stay length have big influences on cyclocross performance but these details are not always driven by the racing condition but rather by the rider’s preference.

Gravel Bikes
An extension of cyclocross bike designs is gravel grinder bikes. I very much enjoy long slow rides on gravel and dirt roads. My gravel bikes are something in-between cyclocross bikes and 29er mountain bikes. Of course comfort is important on long off road rides but the steering geometry and rider’s weight (front-rear)must optimized so that skinny tires bite the gravel and the front wheel does not wash out on fast sections. If the intended use is competitive riding, the geometry will be slightly different than a gravel grinder for designed for comfort but the design goals remain the same.

Frame Building
My primary method of construction used is silver brazed, lugged steel. Occasionally fillet brazing is used if it’s more appropriate for the design. I love the beauty of lugged construction but also feel it’s the most reliable form of steel frame construction. From a structural-mechanics point of view the lug provides an obviouslyreinforcement of the joint and by inspection increases the design margin. I won’t start my own dissertation about why steel. An internet search will provide an enormous amount of information about why steel is a good choice for bicycle frames. The frame components and steel butted tubes available today allow the designer an opportunity to build a frame that will exceed almost any rider’s needs.

© mahall bikeworks 2016