Handcrafted Excellence, One Bike at a Time

Settling in at the new place.

August 9th, 2011 scottk

 We’ve been out in Belwood for several months now and it’s beginning to feel a little bit more like home. In addition to building bikes, Hugh and Sean have slowly been getting the shop in order. The web updates have been a little sparse these past few months, but we always make sure we get a few photos up on the Flickr page.

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Dave stopped by recently to pick up his new Ti S&S coupling equipped 29er. This bike is going to feel amazing on the trails and still pack down into a box small enough to avoid those pesky airline bicycle fees.

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Dave’s bike features Chris King to Stans hand built wheels, a Shimano XT drivetrain, Eriksen sweetpost and a Fox F29 Thru Axle Fork with a tapered steerer and Chris King 1.5 headset.

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Dave’s better half Mari also got herself a Ti S&S equipped 29er. We will feature that bike in our next blog post.

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Jennie got a new S&S equipped 29er as well. This 29er is made of steel as opposed to Titanium and will be heading home with Jennie to Sweden.

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Boasting much the same build as Dave’s bike, Jennie’s True North features Chris King to Stans hand built wheels, a Shimano XT drivetrain and a Fox F29 Thru Axle Fork with a tapered steerer and Chris King 1.5 headset.

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Marc stopped by with his S&S equipped steel road bike he got from us in January. The smile on his face says it all.

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Stephen got himself a very large disc brake equipped cross bike. When you are this tall, often a custom bike is the only option.

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Here is a photo of Hunter’s new all-purpose road bike. This bike can be outfitted with fast rolling 23mm road tires or larger more durable tires like the Schwalbe’s pictured. The disc brakes will stop in all different weather conditions and the Shimano drivetrain will provide reliable smooth shifting for years to come.

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Finally we have Brian’s new Cross frame. Black on Black with a carbon rear end. This bike is going to look amazing when it is all built up.

Happy Customers and The Big Move!

May 21st, 2011 scottk

 It’s been very, very busy at True North as of late. Normally ‘busy’ consists of designing, building, painting and assembling custom bikes. The last month has included lots of this, but also lots of moving. If you haven’t yet heard the exciting news, True North has relocated to Hugh’s new property near Belwood Lake.We’re really excited about the move, even if it has meant lots of extra work.

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Before we started to pack, we managed to get a few last bikes out the door. Here are Roz and Jeff with their brand new matching S&S coupling equipped touring bikes.

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We brazed on V-brake mounts and repainted a beautiful old Mariposa tandem for the Ducommun’s.

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Marilyn insisted that she a get a photo with Hugh and her brand new touring bike. It’s a beautiful bike and she is quite happy to finally have a bike that fits as it should.

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Anne brought her bike in for a set of hammered Velo-Orange fenders and some Brown Hudz hoods for her brakes. We think it looks really classy.

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Here is John’s new long-reach brake equipped road bike. It’s equipped with Campy Athena 11 speed, Grand Bois tires, Shimano Long Reach Brakes, Chris King headset and an Eriksen post.

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I’ve included a few photos of the move. Our friend Chris helped out with his truck and trailer and we had a bunch of friends show up and help out as well.  Moving lathes and mills and our one-tonne surface plate. Once we have everything organized at the new shop, I’ll put up some photos of the new place.

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Flashy Road Bikes to Subtle City Bikes

March 24th, 2011 scottk

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This white road bike with LSU inspired colours is going to Mike in Louisiana. Hugh and Mike have known each other for a long time and back when Mike was a university student Hugh built him a bike. Unfortunately, Mike was hit by a car last year and not only did he sustain some pretty bad injuries but his bike was totaled. Now that Mike is on the mend, his thoughts turned to a new bike paying homage to his Alma Matter. Mike’s old road bike pre-dates the Bikecad software we now use, so we had to get a little creative with finding his existing bike’s measurements. You can click on the photo below to see the photo-shopped picture he sent us. To give you an idea of the damage to the frame, check out the seatstays. Those were originally straight, they aren’t DKS or Terraplane or anything along those lines; the frame is simply that badly buckled. The old bike now has a special place on Mike’s wall at home.

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For his new bike Mike chose SRAM Red with the Limited Edition Tour yellow graphics. This bike features Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels, a Chris King headset and a very cool Ano purple Salsa Lip-lock seat collar.

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Mike’s (not the same Mike) new mountain bike features the very cool 11 speed Alfine rear hub. We do a fair amount of bikes with internally geared hubs as they just make sense for a lot of people; all the gearing range with the simplicity of not having to worry about derailleurs.

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Mike’s new bike features a Brooks Saddle and a Titec H-Bar for the very best in contact points, as well as a King Headset and WTB tires. My favorite part is the very cool matte green paint job.

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Finally we have Paul’s new city bike. Paul wanted a bike that wouldn’t attract a lot of attention (you’ll note it doesn’t have a downtube logo) but fit great, handle better and would be adept at both city riding and mountain biking. The frame is made out of some very cool Tange Prestige Ultrastrong tubing that we had stored away. If you’re at all familiar with 1993-1995 Kona and Norco mountain bikes then you will probably recognize this tubeset. This bike is equipped with an Alfine hub, Sugino cranks and Avid V-brakes.

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Winter Just Won’t Quit!

March 11th, 2011 scottk

Please forgive the large snowbank in the background of all these photos. All the trees and rocks I normally prop the bikes up against for photos are covered and judging by the snow we’re receiving at this very moment, we’re not going to see them anytime soon.

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John’s new road bike turned out amazing. It features a Columbus Spirit tube set and a matching lugged fork. What really sets this bike off is the beautiful pearl white paint job, the pictures don’t do it justice, it looks amazing in person.

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John’s bike features a mix of Campy Record components, a Chris King headset, Eriksen Ti post and handbuilt wheels with Ultegra hubs and Mavic Open Pro ceramic rims. Ultegra Hubs and Campy components you ask? Not something we do every day, but in this instance John already owned a very nice wheelset but wanted Campagnolo shifting; so with the help off a Shiftmate adaptor, we made it work.

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Jennie’s new touring bike makes use of 26 inch wheels to help her achieve the perfect fit. Smaller wheels increase standover and reduce toe/tire overlap which are two important factors to consider when a bike such as this is fully loaded for an extended tour. This bike features a complete 105 triple drivetrain and hand built wheels with  XT hubs and Ambrosio rims. The Avid BB7 disc brakes will provide powerful and reliable braking for years to come.

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 Jennie decided to outfit her bike with stainless Velo Orange fenders which are not only super classy looking but also plenty useful for mitigating the effects of poor weather.

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Graydon’s S&S coupling equipped touring bike stands in stark contrast to Jennie’s bike. He is far taller than her and therefore had a whole host of different considerations that factored into the design of his bike.First off, this bike is titanium. Every once in a while we get a request to have a Ti frame painted and on this frame the bare titanium shows through around the S&S couplings and on the True North down tube font. Graydon has really large feet and requested very long chainstays in order to provide ample heel clearance while using panniers. In fact the chainstays on this bike are so long that even with a 35c tire and a fender, a full water bottle can still be mounted behind the seat tube.Finally Graydon wanted to use the superb Schmidt SON dynamo front hub to power a light and rear blinker. Hugh welded on extra mounts on the top tube which allow for the wiring to easily attached and taken off when the bike gets broken down for travel.

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This bike features a SRAM Apex drivetrain with R2C bar end shifters and such gems as a Phil Wood rear hub, stainless tubus racks and the ultra rare and super stunning Titanium Chris King headset.