Sweetpea Journey #5: It’s a Bike!

If you didn’t know, I’m getting a custom-made bike from Sweetpea Bicycles. Natalie Ramsland builds these bikes specifically for women, one of just two women frame builders in the United States (the other is Luna Cycles). Many people I know are interested in hearing about the process, so I hope to be blogging about it each step of the way. Read the series here. Now–the fifth installment. Away we go…!

This evening I was at the gallows about to go on at my first choir concert in a bazillion years when I got an email giving me some awesome news.

Wait–I’m getting way ahead of myself. Over the past two weeks, as I have been busy trying to meet some deadlines, Natalie continued her hard work. (During this time, I also found a comic that made me think of her.) You may remember seeing the frame put together, but not yet welded, in the jig. Here we have some welding work:
tacked frame in jig

After the main triangle was together, Natalie started working on the chainstays. Here is a dropout:
brazed dropout-1

Here are the chainstays attached to the bottom bracket:
chainstays mitered to bottom bracket

Here’s a better photo of just how the dropouts go into the chainstays:
dropouts in slotted chainstay

After welding it all together, Natalie gave it a spit shine until it gleamed:
right dropout all shined up

Oh! But now we’re getting back to tonight’s exciting email. The photos aren’t as snazzy, but the news really is! Natalie worked really hard the last couple of days to get the seatstays on:
seatstays on

And then–OH then! She trimmed down the head tube, putting some fancy-yet-stylish reenforcing rings on it, trimmed the seat tube, and put on the seat lug. Meaning….HEY! That’s an honest-to-God FRAME!
ready for the lil' bits

That’s right, kids! That is my bike frame! Yeeeee-haw! It needs some finishing touches before it gets shipped off to Colorado(!) for 4-6 weeks to get powder coated, but this bike is real enough that I want to go read Shakespeare to it and play peek-a-boo.

Next: Natalie puts the finishing touches on the frame. While it is being powder coated in Colorado, she and I get down to nitty-gritty about parts. What chainring to use? Which grips will I have? Does the Nifty Swifty have a cutesy enough name to be on my bike? Oh, and did you notice I didn’t mention what my final color is going to be? Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

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1 Comment

Filed under bicycles, sweetpea

One response to “Sweetpea Journey #5: It’s a Bike!

  1. jdubble

    the nifty swifty is definitely nifty enough to be on your bike. that’s what i’ve got on the mixte and i’ve been super pleased with ’em. now, granted, i have no experience with other 650b tires, but so far, i have no desire to have experience with other 650b tires.

    and i can’t wait to see the final color 🙂

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