The Hincapie Gran Fondo in Chattanooga was a great first race on the disc frameset. I received many comments on the build and received a bunch of good advice and encouragement from other framebuilders and companies who were at the event (thanks Lightweight Carbon and Slica!) To most people I talked to after the race, wood just seems like a novelty. Clearly, they stand out from every other bike. But that's not the point of these frames. They perform in a different way: by riding smoothly while remaining surprisingly light and stiff.
Spring is definitely here in Tennessee. Time to start putting some miles on the bike and explore some quiet back roads! With all of these rough roads and gravel roads, there definitely will be a gravel/adventure bike in the near future. I think that wood is the perfect material to soak up the rough roads. If you're interested in a gravel/adventure/touring bike, just let me know!
The disc frame is almost road ready; it just needs, well, everything except the frame. I'm planning on building up the frame with Sram Red eTap and Enve bits all around. Safe to say, it's going to look good. Keep your eyes peeled for the official start of production which is coming soon!
Hours are spent programming the CNC router, after endlessly designing the frame in CAD. Still, the CNC router can only do so much. It's not exactly the "silver bullet" in making a wood bike. There is still a lot of handwork involved in the building process. Engineering is only half the game; the other half is being skilled in putting your hands to work in shaping the frame exactly how it should be shaped.
For me, the framebuilder, this is also the most fun part. Yes, the CNC takes care of the majority of shaping, but the shapes and curves still pop out after running sandpaper over them. It's really like seeing the bike come to life.
Flat mount disc brakes are clearly where the bike industry has headed. Since we want to use the best of the best components, our frames need to be compatible with these parts.
Designing flat mount dropouts for a wood bike presents many more challenges than you might first expect...that is, if you want them to be seamlessly integrated into the frame. Part of what Montauk Hardwood Bikes is trying to do is make everything as seamlessly integrated as possible with the wood structure. That means dropouts, which can easily be overlooked, need a lot of attention. And lots of attention we gave them. CNC'd from 6061 aluminum, they nest into the chainstays perfectly and precisely.
I'm super excited to start the building process on our new road disc frames! After months of planning and prep (mainly focusing on CAD, design for manufacturability, and CNC testing), the work is paying off. Good things take time I guess.
Months and months of prep are finally starting to pay off. There's lots of new bits going into the road disk frames, from carbon fiber head tubes and bottom brackets, to custom dropouts. More to come on that.
For now, check out the first cuts on the CNC. They're looking really good!