Friday was a good day up here in the North. Finished Patrick’s seat stays on his fat bike and monday looks like i’ll put the seat stay bridge in place, braze on the small tid bits and do the final face/chase/ream to all the interfaces at the head tube, bottom bracket and seat tube. The past few frames I’ve built have been a bit more on the traditional side with elements and 44 DNA slid in for good measure. Patrick’s fat bike sports that 44 Signature look with looped tail and seat tube bridge lending gobs of standover. The seat stays require A LOT of voodoo to get them all in place ‘just so’. These have 3 bends per stay. I start with the bend up at the seat tube, which is measured where the bend should start, then I mark where the bender starts it’s bend (This is typically 1.5″ behind where the actual bend should start). This is measured and marked on both seat stays. I bend both separately at the same time. These are thus matched. The same now happens for the second bend. I keep things in phase all along the way using a lot of patience and experience knowing my benders strengths and weaknesses. I will be making some mods to the bender to make these more repeatable so I don’t have to spend so much time keeping them in phase. So the same thing happens for each of the subsequent bends by having a wheel in place, marking where the bend should naturally fall, visualizing the space between the tire/frame and wheel which is subsequently key for making things flow. I highly consider both positive and negative space created by the tubes forms and lines (must be that ID guy in my coming out!). So by the time I get to the 3rd bend, I am fully visualizing where everything “needs” to be. I often use a few different scraps that have the same bends in them to help me measure where the bend should be so I am not guessing where bends should start/stop. Very helpful to have these bend blanks. Here is the 3rd and final bend: Once both are bent and trimmed, I clean everything up so it’s ready to be welded right out of the jig (with the exception of an alcohol wipe down). Here’s things getting the final miter treatment: And a wheel check for tire clearance. Things look nice and tight! Then on to tacking. Sometimes I start at the dropouts, and sometimes I start at the seat tube. I decided to start at the seat tube this go: Wheel check again after tacking. that’s a necessary step to just double check nothing slipped or moved while tacking. It’s happened – which means gently file off the tack, clean everything up again and then tack again. But piece of mind is a good thing! Much easier to make adjustments now with just a small tack than a fully welded tube. Welding everything up! (my favorite part naturally) And the finished frame (Sans braze-ons and seat stay bridge): My favorite detail on the frame – that seat stay curve matches the curve of the Paragon Post Mount very well.