Über bike by David Böhm

30 07 2009

Have you ever noticed that it seems really cool lately to add Umlauts to your name if you make bikes.  Forget the fact that my German/Hungarian roots are three generations old.   Umlauts add instant street creed but I diverge, which you will find is just like me.

Jason Waz at Fairwheel bikes  fairwheel bikes is having a great booth at this years interbike show in September.  We were chatting and he asked me if I would like to partner up with them to make a bicycle for the upcoming show.

Racing bikes have moved on.   Composites are king and we all know that but as crotchity as I am I still find it a challenge and just plain fun to see what one can still do in lowly ol’ steel so I thought,  what the hey?  Lets give it a try and shoot for a bicycle that blends the old and the new.  Lightweight, fun, different!  Plus I have spent near 20 years learning all this metal fabrication.  Seems like such a  waste to ditch it all.

So, introducing Uber Bike.

Concept:   Using the strongest, lightest modern stainless/structural steels create a beautiful high performance bicycle that comes in around 13lbs.  Lugs of course, integrated seat mast/post.   Custom stem, custom ultra-light drop-outs and just about anything else I can think up or have had the idea to do in the last 10 years.  Design theme.   Art Deco predominately.  Color, utilize natural pigments made by hand by grinding various earths and minerals.   Handmade bike-handmade paint.   There will not be a part on this frame which is not a one off or had some serious massaging.

I will start to leave a running build sequence of this frame.   You will notice that I seemed to have skipped a fair amount and miracuously lugs just emerged.   Lots of time was invested to get to this point but I have to keep some things proprietary.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but detailed flickr photo albums and such have made it all too easy for some figure it all out.  Secrets are not necessarily a bad thing.

First the tubing.  The main tubing is from a brand new company.   New to cycling, not new to automotive it is a Martensitic Stainless steel from a company name KVA I meet Joe McCrink, owner at  the latest San Diego Bicycle show

Joe is a a hell of a nice guy.  When I decided to do this project Joe said he could draw a custom tube set for me.  I got it the other day.   Now all the metallurgy is interesting to me but probably boring to a lot of you.  Suffice to say, this is not your grandfathers tubing.  On par of anything currently produced today it is most closely akin to 953 from Reynolds.   I can tell you it dang feels like 953 or more.   How does a framebuilder know a tube is strong?  Only anecdotally.  We cannot test them all but I can tell you I rather miter 100 carbon tubes than one front end of this stuff.   It is the natural order of things.  Nothing in metal is free.   Make something stronger, you have to make it harder.    As the strength of steel tubes has grown so has there hardness until it has reached a point of being nearly as hard as the tool we use to cut it.   Luckily I have multiple mitering setups, one being an abrasive system.  Abrasive belts don’t care about hardness.  I can tell you my hyper-expensive cutters where not happy going through this stuff.

So I won’t give it away too much, cause I still don’t have it all thought out but here is what I have so far.

There is lots more already, but check out my flickr page.

Bohemian Bicycles Flickr page

I have a couple of things to do at the same time but this is a priority right now, so stuff will be moving fast.   Or fast for Dave time which is a little like glacial time…..

Over and out.


Been a long time, Yes I am doing “stuff”

17 07 2009

Ah, easy enough to let this blog thing lapse and not procrastinate.

I have been working.  I swear I have!

Let’s see.  I did a few paint jobs, built 150 ft of fence, built a few frames, one complete bike, have another 4 frames to paint, a few on the way for paint, a couple of forks, one frame student completed, restored my plasma welder and have been working on the Uber bike project….But more on that later.

Here are some pics I snapped of various goings on.

So I will try and keep up a bit more. 🙂