Thursday, October 18, 2007
On the back of the building, there is a concrete cap over what used to be the coal chute which was used to deliver coal to feed the boiler in the basement. We decided it would be a good place to set a bike and allow it to find a new owner. Sometimes a bike lasts out there a couple of days and sometimes it leaves immediately. A couple months back, we rolled out a 24" wheeled girls mountain bike and one of the cooks form the restaurant next door was out back on his cancer break (I swear people start smoking just so they can take 15 minute breaks twice a day). He started asking what we were doing and we explained the concept. He kept asking how much we wanted for the bike and we told him it was on the donate porch to be taken by the first person who could use it. We must have finally gotten through to him since he rolled it into the storage room of the restaurant.
What I would really like to do is set a camera out and capture the "taking" on film. Do they just stroll up ,pick one out and head home? Like they were shopping at teh local ****-Mart? Or, do they stand there looking over their shoulder waiting for the non-existent law enforcement agents to jump out from behind the fence and yell "gotcha"? Maybe someday.
A pretty rusty 1960's era bike has continued to rust out on the porch for about a week now and seemed lonely so we added to the pile yesterday. A gigantic black Schwinn 10 speed World Sport, a cool gold Miyata mixte bike and a red Raleigh 10 speed were added after a fit of cleaning out the upstairs. Everybody was still hangin' on the porch this morning but around lunch time the black Schwinn had made a break for it. We'll watch and see how everybody else makes out but I am worried about the old rusty Western Flyer.
Friday, October 12, 2007
New T-shirts are shipping on Tuesday so we should have them close to the end of next week or beginning of the next. Can't wait!
The next batch of frames should be hitting any day now. Two are going to Russ for paint and 3 are heading here to the shop. One of the Russ bikes will be done in a pink/white 3 panel team splatter (with 20" wheels) and the other will be purple with hot rod flames. Those will be sweet! The three that we have coming to the shop will be raw so we can get them finished in your choice of colors!
We have been working on the Pugsley prototype details. I have received some of the parts and built up the front wheel which found its way onto the Nontrager. I rode it last night and it was pretty cool. There is one sandy area that I just floated right through.
We've been cleaning out the attic and put a dozen or so bikes for sale on the First Flight Bikes web site. There are a couple of duplicate bikes or ones that are a little more pieced together on there. They would make a nice vintage ride though!
We sold one of our vintage Mountain Goat frames to Scant in England and he is sending it to Russ for the California Yuppie paint.
That'a about it for now. We'll see if this new format is going to work and if so, I'll make it the default.
Friday, October 5, 2007
10/01/2007One of our local guys, Marty, had a frame painted by a local motorcycle guy and it came out pretty nicely. It is a Trek Madone road bike and it was painted black with some wispy green flames, yellow pin striping and some airbrushed skulls. It got me thinking about using a local painter. It would end up saving about $80 per frame in shipping charges back and forth to Russ which would be great. It would also give us a little more control over the colors since those can be tough to communicate via the telephone. I had thought about doing something similar to Marty's frame except with goat skeletons. We could call it the "Goatful Dead"! We might be able to do an "NC Yuppie" paint with the Wright Brothers, tobacco leaves, Dogwood, beach, mountains, lighthouses........... Anyway, there is a picture of the road frame to the right, click to enlarge.
09/28/2007 It has been 7 years since I last attended Interbike in America's armpit. In those years, we have corresponded with a lot of the pioneers of the sport but have never met most of them face to face, so I decided it was time to suck it up and head back out. Here is a brief summary of the show with an eye towards the vintage crowd. Keep in mind, I took the red-eye out last night at 11PM Vegas time and arrived in NC at 9AM Eastern time so I am currently operating on 2 hours of really bad sleep.
Met Jeremy Sycip right off which was really neat since he has made a majority of our Mountain Goat frames. Got to check out some of the neat Sycip bikes as well. We are looking at doing a full suspension Goat through Sycip so I went over to Ventana to talk to Sherwood about the fs kits. Wondered around a bit longer and found Ross Shafer on the prowl again. Ross treated my wife and myself to some fine Mexican dining and a pitcher of Margaritas (mmmmm). I walked the floor with Ross for close to an hour and it was just like walking with a rock star. He freakin' knew everybody! It is great to see such a tight knit community. Went by the Ibis booth but Scot was pretty tied up so off to see the Breezers. Met Joe and his wife Connie (super nice lady) and checked out the new uber-commuter from Breezer ($1900 but way cool). Then off to the chapel of Dirt Rag where CK was holding court. Charlie had a need to go out and find some new info for his weird bike pages so we hit the aisles for half an hour or so. Just like Ross, CK was getting the full on celebrity treatment. We stopped to say hi to RC at the MBA booth. Out to the hinterlands of the "we didn't actually pay for space" advocacy aisle to check the details of the HOF induction with Kay. Got the details and headed to the hotel to wash off a layer or two of Vegas slime......back to the Sands. Alison was racing so her HOF speech ended up being pretty quick. FTW was up next and did a great job (in a suit jacket no less). Sal was off covering some ball-related activity in China so wasn't able to make it (but called Scot Nicol on the phone during the ceremony to check in). Hill followed up with his advocacy award and was obviously more accustomed to speaking in front of crowds. Got to say hi to M. Staab and Scot Nicol. FTW was great to talk to, and again, had a great lady behind him (I'm sensing a theme here)! Pretty much ended the day and headed back to the hotel (body was still on East Coast time so it seemed like it was 2 in the morning).
Back at it the next morning. Caught Kirk Pacenti at the Panaracer booth and took a look at the 650 stuff they are doing (and talked to Maurice form Dirt Rag on his way through taking pictures). Talked about a couple other potential projects with Jeff @ Panaracer. Finally got to go through the Ibis line with Scott and check out a couple of new models (forgot camera at the hotel). Back to the aisles and found CK with Billy Savage in tow. Tried to score a DVD but Billy only had 4 for the magazines. Had a couple of minutes before an appointment so I went to check out the new Shimano parts and, wow, lined up.......Mike Sinyard, James McLean, Ned Overend, Gary Fisher, CK, Billy Savage and Joe Breeze.....signing posters. Nabbed a couple of posters and a DVD and went through the line. Swung by later and Tom Ritchey was there so I cut in line and got him to sign the posters as well. Very Cool. Billy had the movie running a little later but I only got to catch a couple of minutes of the movie there but can't wait to pop it in the DVD player here at home. Got to hang out with Don at the HOF booth a little more and talk bikes for awhile with Shawn from Absolute Bikes. Even talked to a couple of distributors about adding a couple of more products to the Mountain Goat line.
All in all, a great time despite the location. It still amazes me that the legends of our sport are so accessible and genuinely great folks to hang out with.........almost has me thinking about going back next year.
09/24/2007 I finally pulled my Trek Liquid full suspension bike apart which means I don't own a full suspension bike.....which needs to be remedied. Both Chris and Jeremy built bikes with the Ventana rear ends and will build 3", 4" or 5" travel bikes on 26" or 29" wheels. I am leaning towards a 4" 29" bike but still have to make the final decision. Chris is getting back up to speed so I am going to have him do the Pugsley replica. That should be a fun bike to play with and Capt. Dondo was very interested in playing with the bike in the snows of Vermont as well. Might ship it up there and see if we could get it in Dirt Rag.
09/22/2007 Chris has shipped the 5 new Goat frames out, 3 to us and 2 to Russ. The 20" wheeled bike which will be done in the team paint scheme except using pink and white! The other one going to Russ will be a Route 29 in purple with Hot Rod flames. Both of those should be super cool bikes. The other three (three Route 29's) are for sale now. We are going to stock them here unfinished and use the local powder coat guy that we have used before. This way we can stock frames here but allow the customer to choose the color. If we need to, we can also ship them to Russ for custom paint as well. The really cool news for today is that we became trademark owners! I had looked into the process in the middle of last year and found that most lawyers wanted $1,500 +/- to register a trademark. The government charges $375 for the application and most lawyers charged about $400 to file the application and $800 to research the application. I looked at the on-line filing instructions and they didn't look all that heinous so I decided to give it a go. The $800 was to research the trademark and then tell you if they thought the application would be approved. They all mentioned that their approval was not binding since the government lawyers had the final say. It seemed kinda dumb to me to spend $800 to have them advise me when the trademark attorneys would be making the actual decision. It sounded smarter to me to spend the $375 and have the trademark attorneys approve it or turn it down?? I applied last December and followed it through the approval process which was kinda fun. Anyway, we received our official trademark certificate today!
09/20/2007 We picked up a really nice Whiskeytown Racer Lite over the Labor Day weekend. A shop down in Wilmington had the bike and set it aside for us. Wes went to visit his brother and picked the bike up and brought 'er home. I think it is a variation on the Square Boy paint and it is in great shape. The Lite used Tange Prestige tubing and had fillet brazed reinforcements at the head tube intersections as well as on the mono-stay. I think this was only a one or two year model so you don't see them all that often. Click on the thumbnail for more details and pictures.
09/18/2007 T-shirts will probably be after Interbike. Brad got backed up with getting everything out before the show and couldn't get to the shirts.
09/14/2007 I finally published the updates for the droppings page, took the F-K-R out for a ride and Joe had already emailed about the T-shirt contest by the time we returned. Mark checked in shortly afterwards. Joe will get a LTD #3 when we get 'em.
9/13/2007 Sounds like the next batch of Mint built Goats is getting close. Two of them are going to Russ for paint and 3 are coming here for stock frames. We will stock them "raw" so they can be finished in your choice of colors. This should cut down on the lead time and still allow us to offer color choices. We have been getting a good number of inquiries in the past couple of weeks so hopefully a couple will become sales. Curtis mentioned that it would be about 6 months to get an F-K-R now which kinda sucks but Sycip should be at about 10 weeks which isn't too bad. Interbike is coming up soon which always brings the entire bike industry to a grinding halt for a week or two.
09/10/2007 We have sold a good number of the Limited Edition #2 Goat shirt so #3 is on order. Should have them in a week or two. This is our first entirely new shirt design since the others have all used existing artwork. Now for a little contest: first person to read this and email me gets a new Limited Edition #3 in their choice of sizes. Just checking to see if anybody out there reads these ramblings!
09/07/2007 Ordered a set of gold Industry 9 single speed wheels for the "golden" Goat today. This should be a very cool looking bike when it is done.
09/04/2007 Darrell's Goat is in from powder coat and it looks nice. We added a gold king head set and gold Supercross seat post clamp which really brings out the gold flake. The gold decals look like we made them just for this frame. Once we get it build up, we'll get some better pictures.
09/03/2007 Spent the Labor Day weekend with the Boy/Cub Scouts sleeping on the USS Yorktown, a WWII era aircraft carrier. It is in Charleston harbor along with a destroyer, submarine and Coast Guard cutter. You eat and sleep where the seamen did which is a neat experience. It is hard to figure out how they got around in that large of a vessel. All the corridors look the same! Now the submarine was easy, you go forward or you go backwards! wES picked up a nice vintage Whiskeytown Racer while visiting his brother in Wilmington. Once we get her all cleaned up, we'll add some pictures.
08/30/2007 Lots of pictures have rolled in and I posted about 90 of them on our Photobucket account. Check them out.
08/28/2007 Eric and Don made it back to Raleigh OK and Dondo hit the friendly skies this morning.....it is almost scary quiet around here now. I think we had a great year this year. Focusing only on mountain biking was a good idea and the time trials were very well received. It sounds like word will spread which should increase participation next year. Otis said the vibe reminded him of the early mountain bike events which is a huge complement in my book. There are a few ideas that I would like to implement for next year but overall, a very satisfactory year!
08/27/2007 Finally getting back closer to normal. Dondo hung at the shop for much of the day and test rode a few bikes and went snow-globe shopping. We talked about a few possible story ideas for future Dirt Rag magazines so hopefully a couple of those will see the light of day. Dondo mentioned that Mexican food was pretty sparse in Vermont so we headed out to a nice local Mexican place for dinner.
08/26/2007 Last night was the open house at the shop which coincided with bOb's 50th birthday so we combined his birthday bash with the open house. We had a great time sharing some food and drink while checking out the bike collection. Today was the Pisgah Forest bike ride adventure. We headed out in the morning for the 2 hour drive to the trail head at North Mills River. The actual trail is only about 14 miles long but it sure is interesting: a 3.5 mile fire road climb followed by some single track climbing into a spectacular 1,400 foot drop in under a mile. When we went 2 weeks ago to scout the trail, I actually boiled the DOT brake fluid in my brakes and lost the front brake, scary. After the descent, it is a nice rolling trail along a mid-sized stream that you end up crossing about a dozen times. I rode the F-K-R on the trial run 2 weeks ago and the Whiskeytown Racer this trip. The 29" wheels really do roll over some of the baby-head sized stuff and which makes it an easier ride. The 26" wheels definitely scooted up the hills a little easier. If I had to choose one for the trip, I would go 29" but not by a huge margin. Someone must have angered the insect gods since they were out in force. Out of 12 riders, only one made it home un-stung. There were two separate yellow jackets nest plus a downed hornets nest. The first yellow jacket nest was right in the trail on a un-rideable uphill section which made it interesting to get around. Not sure what happened to the hornets next but it was smack dab in the middle of the trail and they were none to happy about it. Otis had a 6:30 flight so we pretty much hit the end of the trail running and headed for the airport. Thankfully traffic was light and we made it in great time. Listening to Otis and Dondo riff off of each other for 4 hours in the car was a great experience. Fortunately, Dondo was still thinking we were riding on Monday and didn't fly out until Tuesday so we get to torture him for yet another 24 hours. Eric an Don head back to Eric's parents place in Raleigh so they can catch flights home. Hopefully the Ranger will be kind to them on the way home.
08/25/2007 The first ever cycling competition at the Itusi Trail was held this morning. Because the trail is laid out as 4 separate loops with some two-way trail, we are limited in how we can race. We decided to do two different time trials and combine the times for the overall winners. The first event was the Technical Time Trial on the 4 mile Hawk Loop. We added 2 sets of slalom cones, a 12' skinny and two PVC limbos. If you skipped and obstacle, you were assessed a 2 minute penalty and if you tried but failed, 10-30 seconds were added to your time. The best times were in the ten minute range which was moving along pretty quickly! The next event was a flat out time trial on the new 6 mile Monbo Loop. This loop has three nice sustained downhill sections and times were quick. After the races, we were treated to lunch while Neal tallied the results. Otis finished first in his age category and Dondo finished six Source Burn energy drinks (and paid for it later!) Bill Grove showed up unexpectedly with his two sons in tow plus Rody from Groovy Cycleworks. They brought some really neat bikes including one of the two surviving Grove Woods bikes (we have the other), a new Grove X titanium frame with Rohloff, a Groove with Rohloff as well as various other Groves. Sounds like Bill might be making a few more bikes so stay tuned. Rody and Bill also designed a new handlebar that shows a lot of promise. wES and I got a set of the bars for each of our bikes and I am looking forward to checking them out.
08/24/2007 Otis and Dondo made it in last night and we took the crew to Lancaster's BBQ. Great Southern BBQ surrounded by the history of NASCAR. The entire ceiling and most of the walls are decorated with car hoods. There is a full sized school bus painted up in drivers colors that you can sit in for dinner and hundreds of helmets, drivers suits, pedal cars and probably about anything else you can think of that has been endorsed by your favorite driver. This is a great place to take folks from out of state so we can immerse them in Southern Culture right from the get go. As a bonus, the food is great. Every year, I send out questionnaires about the festival and Lancaster's is always on the "must do" list. Eric and Don came into town on a single speed which ended up being a Ford Ranger. Somewhere between Raleigh and Statesville the tranny puked leaving them with a single usable gear.
08/23/2007 Otis Guy and Captain Dondo fly in today for the Cackalacky Cup. Dondo was great last year and I hear really good stuff about Otis so I can't wait for everyone to get here. I think wES is going to go fetch them since we are running event registration at the shop tonight.
08/22/2007 Went to the "oldies" concert featuring Def Leppard, Styx and Foreigner tonight. The musical interests of my buddy Dave and myself have taken different paths so were are stuck going to see bands that we saw 20 years ago. Paul Sadoff, of Rock Lobster, called while we were at the show and is not going to make the Cackalacky Cup this year. He broke his hand falling off of his bike and had surgery on Tuesday. The surgeon told him that he couldn't fly so he is out for this years festival.....bummer.
08/20/2007 The Cub Scouts are getting cranked up again for another year and since I got roped into being Cubmaster for another year, my free time will be cut down some........might be a little slower in posting updates here.
08/11/2007 The 17" geared Route 29 is now spoken for so just 3 more left out of this next batch. Sounds like it may be another Hot Rod flamed bike but in dark purple with orange flames......that should be nice! We are going up to Pisgah tomorrow to scout the ride for the Cackalacky Cup. I think the F-K-R is going to make the trip which will be the first really long ride on it.
08/10/2007 We've been getting a lot more inquiries on the Goats this week, not sure where it is coming from but it is nice to talk to folks about the bikes. We've had several serious inquiries and may even get a vintage Goat or two in trade! Darrell decided to get #21 done in black with gold flake to match his Subaru WRX. He is going to add a couple of gold parts to match the gold wheels on the WRX which will make a neat package with the bike on the roof rack. Online registration is now up for the Cackalacky Cup @ http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1472612 Keep in mind that we are down to the last 7 shirts in the first Limited Edition design. If you ever wanted to collect the whole set, now would be the time to start. Once these are gone, that is it for this design. Probably time to start looking at design #3.
08/06/2007 It looks like Darrell is going to just let me toss a quick clear coat on his bare frame and then decal it. Should be pretty unique and once he decides on paint, we'll send it to Russ. We are working on a parts package now but hope to have something going in the next week or so. Pictures soon!
08/04/2007 The downtown road criterium race was last night. It is a really neat evening event that goes right in front of the shop. The promoter said they had about 270 racers participate. It is great to see cycling get a little more attention here in town. We have also been up fitting the Statesville Police Department bikes with new SPD pedal, shoes, lights and sirens. Not 15 minutes after the first bike left, the officer was back telling us that someone had pulled right out in front of him and that he was able to follow him and gave him a good discussion on the merits of cycling!! Sounds like we might have 5 or 6 more guys on "our side" and they carry badges and guns! There is a flier online for the Cackalacky Cup vintage mountain bike festival. Check it out. This years guest include Captain Dondo, Paul Sadoff and Otis Guy, should be a great time.
08/02/2007 The Zanotti-built Goat arrived today in its naked glory. There are some minor detail differences which is OK. The weld quality is very nice! Just need to get Darrell to decide on color. We may end up slapping a clear coat over the bare frame just to kinda mock it up and get a few rides on it until Darrell decides on his final paint scheme.
08/01/2007 We've been talking to one of our distributors about making some Mountain Goat accessories done overseas. They supposedly have a couple of samples being made so hopefully we will see some more stuff in a month or so.
7/30/2007 OK, time to get back in the swing of things! We ordered 4 more Mint-built Goats today. There will be 2 17" Route 29 frames and 2 19" Route 29 frames, one of each size will be geared and the other will be single speed. These 4 frames are being built on spec so if you are interested in one, give us a shout and we can work out the details. We are still playing with the Pugsley prototype idea as well. For those of you not familiar with it, the Pugsley is built by Surly and uses 26 x 3.7" tires on Large Marge rims. It uses rear hubs front and back as well as a super wide bottom bracket to fit around the tires. I've always wanted one to play with and Chris is willing to give it a shot. We also have a Rohloff 14 speed hub here that seems to be an ideal fit for that bike. It eliminates some of the issues with the chain line and front derailleur mounting. We'll see how it goes. Chris is leaving in about 4 weeks and is trying to get these frames built before he leaves. Here are a couple of pictures of Goat #19 being built.
Michael had also send a couple of pictures of his Road Goat before he heads of to do the Paris-Brest-Paris ride in a month or so. Kinda neat Rivendell-ish neo-retro build. Nice hammered fenders and S&S couplers for easy transport.
7/25/2007 Wow, it has been a busy month and I have been really slack about updating! At the end of June, we replaced the store front here at the shop and have been doing nothing but try to finish that project. We aren't done but we are making progress. It looks great and is a huge improvement. Last year, we had two of our 10' x 10' display windows broken and they have been boarded up ever since. We decided to move the store front out about 4.5' to the front edge of the building and finally found someone to do it for us (if anyone is looking to open a business, glass installation in the Statesville area might be good opportunity!). I am heading out of town for a couple of days but will try to very quickly update the Droppings page with the recent Goat happenings. Chris has almost finished our first "Mint" Goat and I do have some construction photos that I will upload when I get home. It looks great so far and it looks like it is already spoken for. We have also started on the 20" wheel Goat which Chris is also doing for us. That is going to be a fun project! I have contemplated doing a Pugsley-type bike with the huge tires on it. They look like a lot of fun and I can't think of a more "Goat-like" bike. Mike is heading off to Paris-Brest-Paris with his S&S equipped Road Goat next month. He sent pictures which I will also try to post upon returning next week. Also had a guy who had been in the shop email us from Iraq. He is currently serving there and is interested in a Route 29 when he returns. He asked about putting the call signs of two of his team mate who were killed by an IED on July 5th on the bike. That would definitely add a lot of meaning to that particular project. Hopefully that one will work out and we'll be able to honor his friends. I promise to do more regular updates starting next week! although the Cackalacky Cup is coming up soon and we'll be working hard on that.
6/20/2007 Here is a quick picture of the new jersey (there is actually a fourth hoof print hidden in the fold). These are the super-nice SWOBO jerseys that we have had embroidered locally. Price will be $129.99
6/19/2007 That's right, after what seems like a year of goofing around with it, we have wool jerseys IN STOCK (just as it turns to 90 degree days outside)! The black ones look better than the green and are probably more "sellable" than the green but we may do a few greens at some point in time as well. We have medium through double x-large in stock and will hopefully be sending them out to patient customers soon. I'll get a few pictures up in the next day or so.
6/14/2007 We have sorted through all of the folks that were interested in making Goat frames and decided to give Chris Zanotti, at Mint Cycles, a go. He has lots of experience through building under the Zanotti and Mint labels as well as some private label brands. Pricing/quality really won't vary from our Sycip built bikes but this gives us another builder to use which may speed up the frame building when Sycip is behind schedule. We are going to go ahead and have Chris build us up a frame to check out and if everything looks good, we may just do a batch to have in stock.
6/10/2007 Wes and I went to Greensboro for the Cirque du Cyclisme today. It is a vintage road bike festival that is now in its tenth year. Dale Brown, of Cycles de Oro, hosts it each year and it draws in a couple hundred folks from across the US as well as England and Australia this year. We have used this event as something of an inspiration for our own Crossroads Festival. Anyway, Mark Nobilette was there and we got to talk to him about the possibility of doing a Deluxe model and he was pretty excited about it. I went home as sent him some specs. Now that the F-K-R is in the bag, I guess that the Deluxe would be the next logical step? We took the F-K-R to show off along with an 1984 Ritchey that we recently got that has a ton of gold plated stuff on it. We got some really positive feedback on both bikes and they were parked right next to a Retrotec and a Sycip motorbikes (and that was the only 4 fat tired bikes in the place!)......kinda cool. 20' wheeled bike is moving along which will be very neat. A fellow fro Raleigh stopped in on Saturday and really took a liking to the F-K-R, might be the first customer F-K-R. I also posted about 30 more pictures of the complete F-K-R HERE.
6/9/2007 For some reason the entire web site wants to be published instead of just the changed pages. It looks like that may have led to the updates not being posted as frequently. I'll have to look into the problem and see what's happening.
6/7/2007 There has been some good interest in the new frames, especially from overseas. We might be working on a 20" wheeled Goat which would be way cool.
6/4/2007 Looks like an older Goat is heading to Sycip for some refinish work. This one has some frame mods plus powder coating. Another one is heading to Russ for a Bamboo paint job, including the forks, handlebars and stem. Should be nice.
6/3/2007 It looks like we have narrowed the potential additional frame builders down to a couple. It has been gratifying to see this amount of interest in our project. Once we get a little closer, I'll fill everyone in on our choice(s).
6/2/2007 The F-K-R is getting some nice feedback on the different forums which is nice to see. Maybe it will translate into orders! The one thread is on MTBR's Vintage, Retro and Classic forum. Check it out HERE.
6/1/2007 Wow, that was a great ride last night. That is really the first time that I have put in a good ride on a 29" wheel bike. With my big 'ole butt, it is a good thing! I was amazed at how nicely she rolled. I'll have to run a rough lap time to make sure, but it sure felt faster.
5/31/2007 The F-K-R is now all built up and looking good. SRAM X-O rear derailleur, X-9 shifters, Race Face cranks, Race Lite wheels, Brooks saddle, Ergon grips.....I'll post a web page for it once I get a chance.
5/29/2007 The F-K-R came today and it is beautiful. Russ picked the perfect green and the cream head tube looks sweet. The fork looks especially nice with the cream panels with Goat heads in them. The painted bull moose bars really complement the frame nicely. Quick frame picture to the right
5/26-27/2007 The Source Burn 24 hour race was this weekend and we had three guys racing. Ross was on a single speed Haro Mary (which we got for him at the last minute after his Specialized Epic AND Trek single speed were stolen.....bastards), Matt rode his Rock Lobster single speed and Darrell rode his Trek Fuel EX. Wes manned the pits for all three while guarding the RV headquarters. We took the pop-up tent and hung out the Mountain Goat shingle with Wes's Route 29, Whiskeytown Racer and my Road Goat. We tossed in the early Camo bike just to show something different. It would have been really cool to have the F-K-R to show but it isn't here quite yet. The Goat got quite a few views and the old oval tubed bike was a big hit. Sometimes it is hard to remember that most folks haven't seen the older bikes. Anyway, Ross finished third in the solo category with 28 laps at about 6.5 miles each. Matt finished right behind in fourth with 25 completed laps. Keep in mind that both of these guys were riding single speed bikes while the top two finishers were on geared bikes. There wasn't a separate single speed category. Darrell finished around 20th which was great especially considering he has only been riding for a little over a year. The Source Burn is a qualifier for the world solo championships. They qualify the top three, so Ross is in and Matt qualifies sine he has participated in the worlds previously.
5/23/2007 We've been working on a matrix showing the different builders with prices and advantages. Not sure what will come out of it but it should be interesting. There were a couple of folks that found out about the project a little later so we may still have a couple of quotes coming in. There were a couple of pretty cool old cars in town for the movie. The movie is set in the 1920's so they brought in a few old Model T's and even an old fire truck. Sam, my youngest, was hanging out so we went to check out the cars and one of the crew let him sit in the car. Kinda weird seeing the police car and hotel labeled as being in Duluth, MN. It was been relatively warm but all of the actors are in wool coats since it is supposed to be in the fall. They even brought in fake dead trees.
5/21/2007 Looks like the final count was nine inquiries about building frames. A couple were newbies so I have eliminated them. A couple didn't carry insurance which makes me kinda nervous. I was surprised by the number of builders who want us to supply the tubing. For some reason, I just picture these places being stocked with tubing but I guess not.
5/17/2007 I would still like to have some stock Mountain Goat frames in stock so I sent out an email to the frame builders list to see who would be interested in the project. We've had five or six quick inquires which is neat. Several of them are folks that I probably wouldn't have contacted since I didn't think they would be interested and a couple of them were guys just starting out.
5/16/2007 This is the last day that they are blocking off the sidewalk since shooting will be in the hotel starting Thursday. It was kinda neat to stand in the shop window and watch the process. They were keeping all of the onlookers back up the block so we had a much better view than most. Some of these people spend the entire day just out watching and there really isn't much to see. Some of our customers have had a hard time fighting through the security to get to the shop. I bet it really has hurt the restaurant next door. The Statesville and Charlotte newspapers have called to get our take on the impact it is having on downtown. I think it is neat to have the production in Statesville but it doesn't pay our bills. I guess when the movie comes out, it will be cool to see familiar sights. The only thing that will be in the movie will be our roof. Can't wait to stand up in the theater and scream "that's my roof!".
5/15/2007 The movie folks brought in a 4 or 5 story crane, pictured to the left, with a rain maker on it today. Apparently, when they were shooting some exterior scenes, it had rained so they needed to have rain to make it consistent with the earlier shots. The rain maker (to the right) had huge sprinkler heads on it and was fed by two fire hoses.
5/14/2007 The George Clooney circus officially arrived today. They are shooting part of the movie Leatherheads right here in Statesville. They are using the Vance Hotel right next to us plus the old City Hall/Post Office building across the street. The state removed the traffic lights at the intersection right below us and blocked off access from the side streets. It looks like almost every parking space with be filled with some type of movie paraphernalia. It looks like the sidewalk in front of the building will have limited access for customers which kinda sucks.
5/10/2007 Talked to Russ Pickett today and finalized the details of the F-K-R paint. Sounds like he'll have it done in about 2 weeks so I need to start gathering parts for it.
5/8/2007 Wes couldn't stand it anymore so he sold his Sycip 29" and bought the orange one that we had in stock. We now officially have 0 bikes for sale.
5/4-5/2007 We took 12 Boy Scouts up to the New River (Rails-to-Trails) Trail and got in a nice 50 mile ride. The trail goes along the New River on the old rail bed and has pretty stunning scenery. Alongside the trail, is the Shot Tower which was used to make lead shot back in the 1700's. They had determined that lead will form a ball when dropped 150' so the built a 75' over a 75' shaft and dropped lead into a cauldron of water at the bottom at the shaft. There was a tunnel from the base of the shaft to the river which was used to retrieve the shot. The trail also features two tunnels of about 130" and 190' long. We stopped and took a picture in front of the longer tunnel which is to the left. These are the 9 boys, mostly 12-14 years old, who made the entire 50 mile length. I'm the big chubby one of the left and my 12 year old, Seth, is in the blue on the far right side. Made for a very enjoyable weekend.
5/2/2007 Sent off a box of current Mountain Goat stuff to Dave (head badge spacer, art work, bull moose bars schematics....) to take with him to Taiwan. It is really difficult to find products that are worthwhile to make. We may try some small things like grips or skewers to get started with and see how it works. When you get into stems, seat posts.......there are so many size options it gets a little scary when looking at the required investment.
4/30/2007 We've been working through a local bike parts distributor to possibly get some Mountain Goat accessories designed and produced. Dave, from the distributor, is heading over to Taiwan soon and is going to check it out and give us some options.
4/27/2007 Jerseys got picked up today and are heading to the embroiderers. I can't wait to see what the black looks like, should be nice.
4/24/2007 Curtis got the mid-tube put in the frame and back to Russ. Progress is being made! Russ has the frame, fork, decals and bull moose bars now and we'll wait for him to do his magic. Still need to come up with a parts kit for it. Couple of different options.
4/19/2007 Since the other jerseys came in, I went ahead and wore the prototype one on last nights road ride. I hate to admit it but that was the first time I rode in wool. It felt really nice after wearing plastic jerseys for so many years. The temperature was 74 we started off and ended up about 10 degrees cooler and it was very comfortable in that temperature range. The limited edition t-shirts are getting pretty darn low in the small and medium sizes. If you want one of those, better hurry. The rest of the sizes aren't doing too bad since we ordered quite a few.
4/18/2007 SWOBO jerseys (plain) are in and hopefully we'll get them to the embroiderer soon. We did 1 medium, and the 2 each in large, x-large and xx-large. Price will be $129.99. If you are interested in a jersey, let us know and we'll put on back for you when they are done.
4/17/2007 Been a little while since I checked in since the family spent the week visiting the in-laws in Florida, made for a nice little break. Picture of the Goat coin is to the left, looks nice! I should have a couple of them in hand next week to check out and put on the prototype F-K-R. Russ Pickett, of AirArt called while I was gone and apparently Curtis didn't put in the mid tube on the frame. We'll have to see about getting that fixed since I really want it to represent the "stock" frame which will have a mid-tube.
4/10/2007 Ordered 7 black SWOBO jerseys today. It looked like the grass green was going to be out of stock for awhile so we decided to go with black. As soon as they get here, we'll send them up to be embroidered. I guess we will lighten up the brown on the Goat a little bit and go with tan colored hooves since black wouldn't show up. Jen is working on the Goat coins and we should have something in the next week or so.
4/9/2007 Talked to Jen Green today about little Goat head coins. We had talked to here before Scott had found the original Goat badge molds about doing new head badges. Since we found the originals, we went with those. Scott has a pretty full plate and hasn't been able to make up the new ones so we'll see what Jen comes up with. For some of here really nice work, check out www.headbadges.com We posted a picture of the bull moose bars on MTBR and have gotten all kinds of "can you do this" questions, everything from fillet brazing to a narrower profile. Once we get to play with these, we'll figure out a "production" bar and maybe allow people to customize them. Guess it depends on the pricing.
4/7/2007 Finally send off the Rock Shox REBA and decals to Russ for paint. Looks like a British Racing green with a cream head tube and the Goat heads between the colors. I think that a couple of cream panels on the fork with Goat head decals will look nice. We decided to put the Mountain Goat decals on the mid-tube with a single F-K-R decal on the non-drive chain stay. It is always tough to figure out all of this stuff without having everything right in front of you.
4/6/2007 Ooooohhhh, bull moose bars are cool! Paul sent pictures of them today. They look nice. I think it will be a really cool retro touch for the bike. Paul is sending them directly to Russ to get them painted to match.
4/2/2007 I've been bugging Paul to build bull moose bars and it looks like progress is being made! He didn't realize that we were building them for a bike.
3/30/2007 Got a new batch of hats in today (with the correct web address!!). The orange is slightly darker than before and looks nice. If anyone is still interested in one of the blem hats, let us know. We have a couple left and they are $9.99.
3/28/2007 Well Curtis send the F-K-R to Russ with another frame so I guess that answers my "where to get it painted" question! Now to decide on some parts and send decals and paint notes to Russ.
3/27/2007 Got about 100 miles on the Road Goat now and I really like the smoothness of the bike. Got rid of the Thomson seat post and put on a Campagnolo with a 1" set back and the helped the fit. I like the Thomson posts but sometimes that zero offset doesn't work for me. I have a long torso and relatively short legs so I guess I need the set back.
3/26/2007 Just figuring out some of the details on the potential Teesdale bikes. It looks like the main difference will be a 28.6 seat tube as opposed to the 31.8 seat post. Tom prefers to build them this way and I guess it will be OK to have something different for the bike nerds of the future to talk about?
3/21/2007 Wow, Curtis is moving right along. This is getting pretty exciting now. I am really liking the lines of the frame, especially the way the top tube flows into the seat stays. I need to see if I can get Scott to get moving on the Goat head caps for the seat stays. That will really be a neat touch if we can pull it off! More pictures from today's progress. I keep checking with SWOBO and as soon as they get the grass green wool jerseys in, we will get a batch of them embroidered. Couple of pictures of #16 in the wild are now on the Gallery page. Sinjin, owner of #16, is also getting into the coffee biz so check him out at Copper Door Coffee. He is just getting set up so it may be a little while until everything is set up and ready to go so make sure to check back in occasionally. Today's music selection is from Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope. Pretty interesting style with a pretty amazing vocal range. I really like the way she changes the tempo around in a couple of the songs. Kinda has a little Tori Amos, Paula Cole, occasional Jewel and early Sinead O'Connor (Lion and Cobra without the anger)? Pretty good listen either way.
3/20/2007 I am getting pretty excited about the F-K-R. It seems like there is some interest in this style of bike and I really like the combination of the old style frame and paint but with the modern components and 29" wheels. It sure is fun to make design decisions since this one has more aesthetic choices than regular frames. I contacted a local bike painter today to gauge interest in the project. It sure would be nice to deal with a local guy and, since this one isn't based on an older Goat paint style, I think it would work to use him. Here are a couple of pictures of the progress so far (click for larger image)
3/19/2007 Curtis called today and is getting started on F-K-R #1. Pretty exciting stuff but now I need to decide on the parts package and paint colors. I am leaning towards a dark British Racing Green with a cream colored head tube with the Goat head transition (similar to the small picture to the left). I really think this fits with the "theme" of the bike plus it does look something like a Goat head and horns. We sent details to Tom Teesdale today to hopefully get some stock frames on the way. If everything works out, we'll have a Goat # 19 Route 29 (17.5" geared), Goat #20 Route 29 (17.5" single speed), Goat #21 Route 29 (19" single speed), Goat #22 Whiskeytown Racer (17" geared) and Goat #23 Whiskeytown Racer (19" geared). These will be raw frames so we can finish them in your choice of colors. We have used a local powder coat guy on 4 or 5 previous projects and he has done a nice job. We also decided to get the single speed frames built without gear braze-ons for the nice clean look but we'll have the braze-ons here and can add them to the frame if we need to. This will give us a lot more flexibility to get the exact frame and color to you but much quicker. Sounds good on paper!
3/18/2007 Sinjin sent me some pictures of his new Goat in its natural habitat and it looked great. I'll get the photos up soon.
3/16/2007 Goat #16 found its way to Colorado today. Can't wait to hear what Sinjin thinks of the bike. I only rode it around the block a couple of times but it sure did ride sweet!
3/13/2007 Finally got the Road Goat out for a ride today. Most of our road riding has been indoors and I didn't really want to subject it to the trainer so it has been waiting patiently. With the earlier time change and the 80 degree weather, it was a perfect day for its maiden voyage. The ride was very smooth and it climbed nicely. Can't wait to get a few more rides so I can get the fine tuning done.
3/11/2007 We've contemplated having Tom Teesdale built a set of frames for us. Tom has made some nice frames through the years for Fisher, Marin, Yokota, Brave as well as a handful of other brands. Get the whole story on Tom's web site. The frames would come to us without paint so that might be a little more effort on our part but we have used a local powder coater who does nice work so it might be OK. It will give us a little more flexibility on colors that way. We'll see how it goes.
3/05/2007 Posted a few pictures of #16 up http://s59.photobucket.com/albums/g304/firstflightbikes/Goat%20Sinjin/ and it looks great. It really is a beautiful bike.
3/02/2007 We've really been trying to get some good photos of #16 and it is TOUGH. The paint is so reflective that we always end up with hot spots on the tubing. We just keep adding more and more lights in different areas but it doesn't seem to help. One of our customers, Barry, tried for about 5 hours and we only got a couple of decent shots. WSOC TV, from Charlotte, was up today to shoot some video of the old bikes for the news. They shot a short interview, 4 or 5 bikes, and Wes riding the 1885 Columbia ordinary. Should be on the air next week and we'll try to post a copy of it.
3/01/2007 Well it looks like SWOBO is out of grass green jerseys for a couple of weeks so we'll have to wait until they are back in stock. As soon as they get them, we'll order our first 6 and get them embroidered up.
2/28/2007 Everything went together great. It is such a pleasure to work with good quality components. This bike kinda reminds me of bikes from 15 years ago: hand made steel frame, anodized parts, smaller component companies (White Ind., Industry 9), custom paint........
2/27/2007 #16 is in the house and it is cool. The flames are very nicely done and look great on the blue background. The stem and fork are both color matched. Can't wait to get it built up!
2/24/2007 Led a trail work effort today at the local Itusi Mountain Bike trail and had right at 60 volunteers. We got a ton of work done thanks the Dirt Divas and Tarheel Trailblazers!
2/19/2007 There is finally a prototype Mountain Goat wool jersey......finally. Click on the thumbnail to the left so view the full sized image. There are also several other details shots: Goat head close up Hoof detail shot Hooves close-up It looks like they will retail for $129.99. The base jersey is the grass green Merino Wool jersey from SWOBO and then embroidered for us by a local company. It sounds like we need to do these in batches of at lest 6. If there is interest, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get some made up. I would guess that we could do it on the black SWOBO jersey as well but would have to pick different colors so they would show up. I like the green, with orange stitching, since it harkens back to the team orange/green paint scheme of the 1980's.
2/17/2007 Joseph sent a nice picture of #18 which is on the home computer but I'll try to remember to post it. Looks like a nice build.
2/15/2007 I drove up to the place that is going to do the embroidery for us and laid out the actual jersey. There will be a Goat head logo (like above except without the border) on the left breast and 4 sets of hoof prints going across the stomach area. We are using the SWOBO jersey in the grass green color with a brown goat and black hooves. I should have the sample in a day or two and then we'll be taking orders. I haven't gotten the final price yet but it looks like $129.99 or so......embroidery ain't cheap! We got in touch with Russ today and #16 is painted!
2/14/2007 And as quick as it came in, #18 is back out the door again! There is one picture on the Gallery page. It was raining so I couldn't go outside to get any decent pictures.
2/13/2007 #18 arrived today and looks great. I really do like the green, it's a great color and you just don't see it very often so it stands out nicely. Got around to taking an inventory of Limited Edition t-shirt #1 and there are only 13 shirts left. If you are interested in collecting the whole set, get on over to the Goat Goodies page and get one ordered! I'll get some pictures up of #18 once I get the decals on!
2/07/2007 Talked to EWR about wool jerseys today. They have finally gotten the minimums down to a dozen or so which is doable. Right now, they only have long sleeve but that would be OK for this time of year. Hopefully, have some artwork soon. Donna, the local embroiderer, also has some sample stuff made up for me to look at. We might have wool jerseys some day! Curtis says the prototype F-K-R should be mid February or so. I hope to get some drawings first to check the details. Got a lead on an original Mountain Goat trials bike from 1988/89 which would be a great addition to the collection (especially since we don't have one). Sounds like a neat bike. Keeping our fingers crossed.
2/05/2007 SSShhhh, don't tell Joe but # 18 is in the mail to us! #16 should be literally any day now. Jeff Lindsay called today to looks for a trike kit to make a Burning Man bike for '07. I think we were able to piece together some stuff for him. It is really cool to be able to be able to do something for "the man" himself. We've been getting some more inquires about bikes and most of them continue to be from overseas people. Kinda fun to try and figure out some of the emails when they are non-English speakers. I can guarantee that they speak/write English better than I could speak their language!
2/01/2007 The old logo shirts came today and they look great!! Chocolate brown with white printing. The back features the original Mountain Goat art work from 1982 with the old school Goat head logo over the front left breast. We had 100 of these printed and won't do them again so get 'em while you can! Right now, we have sizes small-XX-large but some sizes have as few as five shirts available. When we sell about half of these, we will move on to limited edition number 3! Click on thumbnail to the left for a larger image.
1/30/2007 We just set up a yahoo email group for the discussion of new an old Mountain Goat topics. We will also post a newsletter on there as things are happening. To sign up go to http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/i-HERD/join
1/29/2007 Wes just added a few things to the Cafe Press store @ http://www.cafepress.com/mtngoatcycles This gives us the opportunity to offer a few gadgets that we wouldn't be able to offer if we have to make 1,000 of them. Prices aren't great and we only make a couple of bucks on the deal but there are a couple of neat goodies on there and it is a minimal amount of effort on our part. If a couple of things sell, maybe we'll add a couple other designs to the mix. Let me know whatcha think. Pinewood Derby went off without a hitch which was a relief!! Now on to our big Blue & Gold Banquet in March.
1/26/2007 The Pinewood Derby is today and tomorrow for our Cub Scout pack. Somehow, the convinced me to be the Cubmaster this year (I guess being an Eagle Scout may have done it?) and we have right at 100 boys. I added an adult race tonight so we can hopefully cut down on the dads building the cars for the boys. The boys races are most of tomorrow and it is always a lot of fun. Last Monday, I had a "group den meeting" and taught the boys about bike safety and repair. There were about 30 boys there which made it interesting!! Fortunately, I had done the talk for a lot of other groups and remembered what kept their attention and what didn't. Hopefully, they learned at least a little bit. Stephen sent me a couple of pictures of Route 29 #8 and it looks great. I really like the orange color and it looks so clean with no derailleur cables or guides. The '07 XTR crank looks really cool as a single speed crank as well (I guess working for Shimano has its benefits). Check out the Gallery page for a picture.
1/25/2007 You can tell that we are most definitely "small town". There were a bunch of folks "chasing Clooney" and making us promise to call or email them next time he is in. It was front page on the local paper, mentioned in the Charlotte paper and even one of the Charlotte TV crews drove up to interview Wes. Kinda scary. I've done a little preliminary work on the mountain bike book. It will be a boat load of work for very little money but I think it would be neat to do. I've been picking out potential bikes to use and they need a lot of cleaning and I really want them to be as close to 100% original as possible. We often use parts that are pretty close to correct and that works for our purpose but I see this being a little more of a reference book so pretty close doesn't cut it.
1/24/2007 George Clooney did hang out for 45 minutes or so figuring out how to shoot a scene from our room of the neighboring hotel. Seems like a pretty decent fellow along with the obligatory entourage of 30 assistants. He did talk about his childhood bike with the sparkly blue banana seat. Brown t-shirts have shipped so we should have them at the beginning of next week.
1/23/2007 This will likely be our next limited edition (number three) t-shirt once we start selling through limited edition number two. My brother-in-law, Gabi Campanario designed this one for us. Over the years, Gabi has done artwork for the Palm Springs Desert Sun, USA Today and is currently at the Seattle Times. For more of his work, check out http://gabicampanario.com/ Not too sure what color we will do these on but the red does look pretty nice.
1/22/2007 The old school limited edition t-shirts are approved and ordered. We should have them in a couple of weeks so stay tuned. Keep in mind that there are only going to be 100 of these and some sizes will be as few as 5 shirts. These will be the second limited design and all of these will be chocolate brown with the 1982-era art work on the back and the classic Goat head logo on the front.
1/20/2007 We've been looking at doing a book of vintage mountain bikes and wonder if how much interest there would be. I really was impressed with the Golden Age of the Hand Built Bicycle book and would love to do something similar for mountain bikes. In talking to a publisher, he recommended about 60 bikes which sounds like a bunch of work. If we do this, I would try to make the bikes as absolutely correct as possible which would take some doing. Sounds like a neat project though. On a totally unrelated note, they are talking about filming a movie called Leather Heads with George Clooney right here in little old Statesville (at least some part of it). They are scouting locations and are supposed to check out the view from the top of the shop this week. Our big brush with greatness!! I finally got to see the Hearts in Atlantis movie with Anthony Hopkins when it came on TV. We had provided a bunch of 1960's era bike shop props for the movie since the dream of a new bike play a big role in the story. Their prop department was going to duplicate a lot of the boxes and stuff we sent them to "stock" the shop. The shop appears in the movie but only from the outside so none of our props made the big screen. It was a pretty lucrative deal though so I wouldn't mind doing it again.
1/15/2007 The spacers and headset caps are now on the Goat goodies page. Hurry and get one for all your bikes and make your friends jealous. You can see all of the colors to the left. We did pink, gold, blue, red, orange, green, black, silver (with black or red fill) and purple (3D violet) in both the caps and spacers. Each spacer is 20mm tall and they look really nice with a 5 mm spacer on top and bottom in a contrasting color. We did quite a few black one but only a couple in each color so if you want a color, act fast! Ordering info is on the Goat Goodies page.
1/12/2007 Kinda scary, my oldest turns 12 today! Brad, who worked for me from 1995-1999, stopped in today. He has always been a very good rider and is starting up his own bike clothing company. He is also doing screen printing so maybe we'll see about getting him to do some t-shirts. Check it out at http://www.spectrumtechwear.com/
1/11/2007 Headset spacers and caps are now in and they look great. I'll try to get some pictures up in the next couple of days.
1/10/2007 Well, inventory is finally done!! Headset spacers and caps are supposed to be here tomorrow. Got a couple more possible t-shirt designs in that are pretty neat. Once I get them into a JPEG format, I'll post them. There is a web site where you can upload your logo and they will put it onto things like clocks, t-shirts and messenger. They print them up and ship them out when they are ordered which might be a neat way to offer a wider array of goodies without the usual big minimum order?
1/9/2007 For all of you My Space users, check out http://www.myspace.com/mountaingoatcycles
1/3/2007 Probably won't be much new while we work through inventory. I takes Wes and I about 4 complete days to complete and reconcile the count and not much else gets done.
12/28/2006 The Duke Energy Foundation came through with the $20,000 grant so our trail building group can purchase a Volvo mini excavator......exciting times!! Lowes Home Improvement gave us a $15,000 grant to purchase a Ditch Witch SK earlier this year on top of a $5,000 Adopt-a-Trail grant from the State of North Carolina for hand tools. All-in-all, a very productive year for Crossroads Cycling Club.
12/27/2006 Got some pictures of #15 from Japan today, looks like a pretty nice build. I will post a couple of the pictures on the Gallery page. I think we are going to go with a dark brown T-shirt with white lettering for the "old school" shirt. Jeremy sent us a neat Sycip logo clock that is now proudly hanging in the middle of the vintage Goat herd in the work area.
12/23/2006 The last Christmas layaway bikes have finally left the building and there is always a nice moment of calm after the doors are closed. You know that the chaos has ended for a bit and you enjoy the silence before heading home to the family chaos. Hope everyone out there has a great Christmas.
12/20/2006 John, from Fox Racing Shocks, send us some scans of the upcoming February 2007 Mountain Bike Action magazine with four full pages dedicated to the vintage bikes and parts. Unfortunately, the only Goat is in the background of the Grafton pedal shot but our Mantis Valkyrie, Grove Woods Bike, Breezer Series I and Manitou all get the star treatment. Click to see each page PAGE1 PAGE2 PAGE3 PAGE4 It is pretty humbling to be featured the prominently in a national magazine. I remember being a $5 an hour shop rat reading Mountain Bike Action and being amazed at the bikes and parts that folks were able to make. To be in the same pages as these guys still amazes me.
12/18/2006 There was a flyer in the mail today for custom Lizard Skins which might be a good idea with all of these nice paint jobs! We send some art work and will see how it goes.
12/16/2006 We had over 30 people at the store party lasts night and had a great time. #13 was a HUGE hit. The wheels probably now have 3 miles on them from spinning in the stand. Mark was in today to take her home and was thrilled. Fortunately, he got to hang out for awhile this time and check out some of the vintage goodies. It will be nice to get some riding impressions once he takes it out and gets it dirty. Click on the thumbnail to the left to get the full specs along with more pictures. We sent the pictures to our Ritchey sales rep and he wants to get a new Goat once he sells his extra cross bike. I am sure he would put the full complement of Ritchey goodies on it which would make a nice bike.
12/15/2006 The store appreciation party is tonight and it is very nice to have a good herd of Goats for people to drool over. #11 and #14 are now decaled and have head badges. I took a few pictures so I'll add them to the gallery. The purple on #14 really came out great. It is always tough to determine color choice over the phone with instructions consisting of "I want of purple, but not too dark and not too girly" but I think we nailed it. #11 is single speed only with the brake cable routed under the down tube which makes for a nice clean main frame. Alex is supposed to come down and put some part on it soon so I'll get some pictures of the brake cable routing. For now, I'll post some pictures of the bare frame on the Gallery page. Trying to get Scott to send some more head badges since we are down to ONE!! He promises to send them next week. It sounds like #18 is mostly together and we may have it relatively quickly. Jeremy snuck it into the schedule and is going to try and squeeze it into this calendar year
12/14/2006 The Industry 9 wheels for #13 and #16 came in today. I cant remember feeling a smoother front hub and the 6 pawl rear freehub body make for an instantaneous engagement (plus they look really nice!). Security Bike Supply also hooked us up with a next day delivery of the correct front derailleur shims so we officially have all of the parts. We also got #11 and #14 in today so it was a big Mountain Goat day all around.
12/12/2006 #13 is in da house! and it looks great. The fillet brazing really improves the lines of the bike especially around the wishbone. The fork and stem are both paneled in the green and orange and the fork crown is color matched. I had also mentioned to Russ about putting the WTR decal in the top panel and he did it on this one. The Goat head really looks nice on the seat tube as well. This bike kinda corrects everything that I would have done to #1 if I was doing it over. Mark gets the advantage of going second! The XTR parts came in today and are really nice, this is our first full XTR build kit. The Industry 9 wheels are the only thing lacking now. I'll try to get at least some quick pics up today or tomorrow. The wool jersey sample embroidery came today and I think we are making progress. We did order the last batch of the old school logo shirts today to make the limited run of 100 complete. If you want one of these shirts, now would be the time. There are as few as 2 left in some sizes.
12/11/2006 Talked to Russ today and we should have #13 in a day or two which is just about when all of the parts should arrive. This will be a fun build. I'm kinda liking the limited edition t-shirt idea. I think we will start it off with the old style logo shirts. We'll maybe fill in the sizes on those and then not make any more so consider this fair warning, if you want an old logo t-shirt.....now is the time. My brother-in-law has worked for various newspapers (USA Today and currently the Seattle Times) and has done a really neat series of single panel cartoons. He is working on a couple of ideas so it should be neat to see what he comes up with. We will also accept ideas from anyone out there. If you draw up something and we like it, you might just see it on a t-shirt. The first design that will happen will be the art work from the 1982/3 catalog. It is a neat line art drawing and even appeared on some of the early frames as a seat tube and/or head tube logo. Our t-shirt guy is working it up right now. The plan is to get 100 printed in one color in various sizes and destroy the screen. If you figure the handful that we will keep, a couple for the artist and then divide it by 5 or 6 sizes, there will only be 10 or so available per size which means they could go fairly quickly. The artwork for limited edition number 2 (assuming the large old style Goat head is edition number 1) appears to the left. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.
12/08/2006 2007 XTR stuff is finally available to us. We were waiting forever for the dual control levers to come in. With that, we have all of the parts for #13 and #16, except the wheels. Talked to Industry 9 today and the wheels are being built as we speak and may even ship out today. This means we should have everything by mid next week to do #13 and #16 should just be a week or two after that. Can't wait to build these two bikes up........they should both be stunning! Final art is in for the headset caps and it looks good.
12/07/2006 Looks like #18 will be the last frame at the old price. As of right now, Whiskeytown Racer, Route 29 and Road Goat frames will be $1,399. We're working with Sycip to try and minimize the increase but as of right now, that looks to be it. We were going to try and cover some more of our overhead costs with a small price increase but now we have to go with a larger increase and all it does is cover the increased costs of the frames with no additional margin for us to cover expenses. Our "margin" will actually be less now since we are making the same dollar amount on a higher dollar frame.....bummer. We have talked to a couple of other builders to see what our options might be. Finalizing the artwork for the headset caps and spacers which should look nice. Donna is supposed to be sending me a sample of the embroidery for the wool jerseys. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel!! To the left is a letter that we received from Joe in England (WTR #7). It says some really nice things about his bike and it was really nice to receive such high praise from someone with experience on a bunch of really cool bikes (click to enlarge). We found some of the old art work that was used in the first Mountain Goat catalogs and decals and sent it to the screen printer to see if we could make a T-shirt out of it. I've been thinking about doing a series of "limited edition" T-shirts. Maybe do 100 of them and that is all. Might be a fun project.
12/06/2006 This is the note that Wes and I got from the Minister of the church that was helping the guy with the broken frame, kinda neat:
Dear Jeff and Wes,
I just wanted to write you a note and say thanks so much for your help when we were at your store this past Friday with Patrick, our friend who couldn’t hear, couldn’t speak, and yet was riding his bicycle from Florida to Oregon.
There is no way he could have continued without your help. With a broken frame, his bike was too dangerous to ride across town, much less across the country. You were very considerate of Patrick and his needs and condition, even though he was not necessarily trusting of you and had his own ways of expressing his displeasure—at first. But when he realized you were going to help him, and not try to take advantage of him like I’m sure many others have done, he was very grateful and appreciative. And so was I.
Not only did you give him a great new bike frame, you put all of his special “custom” accessories on it, basically taking everything off his bike frame and putting it on a brand new bike one. You knocked a great deal off the price, did not charge labor, and had it ready in just a couple of hours. You were a Godsend to us, and I appreciate it very much.
I wish I could have taken a picture of Patrick as we said good-bye to him at the Rest Area on the west side of Statesville as he began the next leg of his journey, with his backpack, tent, food, and other necessities piled on to him and his new bike.
Perhaps you might appreciate a couple of the things he wrote, as we gave him options of putting him on a bus to Oregon instead of getting his bike repaired. He wrote:
“I have freedom on bike, not on bus.”
“My bike only friend I have on the road.”
You proved that he actually had a couple of other friends on the road. Thank you.
I know the Lord will bless you because of your care and concern for Patrick, and for us.
In His service,
12/05/2006 We should be getting in Mountain Goat headset spacers and top caps by the end of the year. We will have 20mm 1 1/8" spacers with 2 Goat head logos engraved on them. We have done mainly black but will have a couple of each of 10 other colors (several are silver with different color logos). There will also be top caps for 1 1/8 that will have "Mountain Goat" written on them. We'll determine the final pricing when we get them in but probably just under $20 for the set? Should be a neat little addition. The embroidery file actually worked so I should be getting a sample soon. The biggest bomb of the day was an email from Jeremy that our frame prices would be increasing by 50%!!, yikes. I'm not sure what we are going to do now. We had planned on a small price increase to help cover some of the cash outlay for all of the accessories, big decal order, head badges and advertising but this price increase would make the frames close to $1,600 which I would rather not do. I'm checking with Jeremy for options and have put in a couple of calls to a couple of other frame builders. We'll see what happens but it'll probably suck no matter what.
12/02/2006 Wes and I got a really cool note from Joe in England talking about his summer with his Whiskeytown Racer. I'll check with Joe to see if we can post the whole note but he had thanked us for his best mountain biking summer ever and said the he liked his WTR better than any of his previous bikes (which read like a who's who of mountain biking). That note really made our day (and thanks for the Hope disc hub key rings, they are cool). Sounds like Joe might be looking for a second Goat for his herd.
12/01/2006 Since I sent a deposit for the F-K-R prototype, we're going to call in #17. We took an order today from Joe in TX for a Whiskeytown Racer #18. This one is going to be in Team Green with the 853 tubing upgrade and this will be our first non-disc brake bike. A couple of guys from a Winston-Salem church brought a deaf black guy in today who was riding to Oregon and cracked his Trek frame. They had offered him a bus ticket but he had declined. We tried to find a frame that would work but it seemed like every one had some fatal flaw. We finally gave up and stripped a new Trek 3500 and switched all of his parts onto the new frame. Took about an hour and a half but we got him back on the road. He was pretty excited about it!! We wish him luck on the remainder of his journey.
11/29/2006 We got some information on the headset spacers with Goat logos and they look pretty cool. They'd be about $10 each but it would definitely be a nice touch. We'll probably end up trying a bunch to see how they turn out. Still working on getting an embroidery file for the wool jerseys.
11/27/2006 It looks like we are getting close to having Curtis Inglis make our F-K-R prototype. I'm kinda excited about this model since there is more "design" to it and lots of options. I had also talked to Jeremy about doing full suspension bikes similar to the Sycip double dribble and it looks like we can do them easily. Some time we'll sit down and figure out the specs for a Whiskeytown Racer FS but if there is any interest in one, let us know.
11/25/2006 Working with Scott, the head badge guy, to figure out a seat stay cap for the F-K-R model. I think it would be really neat to have a Goat head "coin" to cap it off. We'll see what needs to happen. If it is as cool as I think it will be, maybe we'll make it an option on all the bikes? BIKE magazine had a small blurb on our skin wall Panaracer Timbuk II tires. Maybe we'll start moving them a little faster now? Anyway, there is a new page just for the tires Panaracer Timbuk II tire page. Wonder if there would be interest in a skin wall 29" tire?
11/24/2006 We've been trying to figure out other possibilities for Goat-themed items. Might be able to do some head set caps and headset spacers with the logo? Grips, embroidered saddles..........I guess the list could be endless. The hard part is always the quantities required to get things made. It would be cool if we could get into a distributor or two that could sell product for us. I've made some initial inquiries to see what it takes to get into something like that.
11/23/2006 The embroidery lady has an embroidery file that might work for the jerseys so I went ahead and sent the Swobo jersey to here to look at.
11/18/2006 Finally posted pictures of my Road Goat (click on the thumbnail image for more pictures and description). I am really happy with the results. The paint has just the right amount of "flash" to it without being gaudy. I tried to build it up with just about all silver parts. It seems like everything has gone to black parts lately and I still kinda like the traditional silver stuff on the road bikes. I couldn't find any 31.8mm road handlebars in silver so I took a pair of Ritchey WCS bars and sanded off the black and polished them up. A fair amount of extra work but I like the looks of them, especially with the painted stem. The Campagnolo Racing Triple/Record parts were off of an trade-in bike and were lightly used so I put them on the bike. Never had a triple on a road bike before so that will be a little different.
11/17/2006 Put the decals and badge on #15 and it looks very cool. The white matches the white in the decal so you really just see the outline. Pictures are up on the Gallery Page. Having a hard time finding the XTR dual controls but the rest of the parts are coming together for #13. We also finally found a 29" REBA for #16. They have been tough to find. As soon as it comes in, it's of to AirArt for Hot Rod flames. #16 is also getting a full complement of trick parts including the White Industries ENO crank, Syncros carbon bits and Industry 9 wheels with red hubs and spokes. That one will be fun to build as well. Looks like #16 will be the last one with a silver head badge. I just have 2 more left after that and I am going to keep them in the archives.
11/16/2006 Goat #15 arrived today in it's coat of white. I really like the white and it looks great with the decals. I've been thinking about maybe rotating the "stock" colors on a yearly basis and might include white for next year. I can't wait to see this one built up. Goat #12 is done but we don't even get to see it since Mike lives about 3 miles from Sycip and is going to pick it up there. I hope to get pictures soon. It is fillet brazed with a matching stem and color matched Honjo hammered fenders so it should be pretty. Add in the S&S couplers for easy traveling and it will make a great bike for Paris-Brest-Paris. Lucky #13 is at AirArt now getting the team paint. That should really look stunning on the fillet brazed frame plus the stem and fork are getting orange and green panels. We have been working on getting a complete '07 XTR kit for this one with Industry 9 wheels. This one should be stunning when done and I know Mark is excited (maybe even more than we are!).
11/14/2006 Got the new Dirt Rag magazine today with a nice two page spread about the 2006 Crossroads Festival written by the infamous Capt. Dondo. Nice story with 5 big ole pictures. For all of you that remember the Captain, we may be seeing more of him in future issues as well. If you can't wait, check out www.captaindondo.com
11/13/2006 Richard Cunningham called and was getting a few more details about some of the vintage bikes. He took a bunch of pictures while he was here at the Crossroads Festival and it looks like a handful of the bikes will be appearing in future issues of Mountain Bike Action. Talked to Jeremy today and it looks like the next batch of 3 Goats is working their way to being painted/powder coated. Hopefully the next batch of 3 will be bunched together since they are basically the same frames. It will be interesting to see the white frame. I have always kinda liked white and had considered it as one of the stock colors. Marks bike should be stunning as well with the team reverse splatter paint on the full fillet brazed frame. The Fox fork and Ritchey stem will be paneled as well. We've gotten a few parts for it but will still be waiting for the '07 XTR stuff for another couple of weeks. We've also been gathering some parts for Sinjins bike as well. Can't wait to check out the Hot Rod flames with all of the red goodies on it.
11/10/2006 Got some more Goat shirts today. They were supposed to be the old logo on orange but they did them as the new logo. Looks really nice and I may work towards phasing out the old style since I like these much better. The orange new logo shirts are only in XL and XXL right now and I don't have any more XL shirts in the old logo. Also got some new tie-dyed First Flight shirts and hoodies (cold weather is a comin').
11/09/2006 The December issue of Mountain Bike Action came today and we got a couple of mentions. RC's editorial page is all about ordinary bikes and how he got to ride ours after he installed the tires at the Crossroads Festival. We also get a shout-out on the "Ask RC" page when someone asked about a vintage Sling shot bike. Now I just need to work on getting the Mountain Goats in the magazines!
10/26/2006 This wool jersey thing is harder than the frames!! Apparently, you can't embroider around a zipper which has us re-thinking how to do them. Trying to split "M-o-u-n-t-a-i-n- -G-o-a-t" just doesn't work around the zipper. Might do the Goat head logo on one side and maybe a couple of hoof prints to balance it out? I talked to another local embroidery person and she seemed pretty sharp. I sent her some info an she is supposed to get me some ideas next week. It looks like Jeremy got a batch of wrong seat stays which didn't give us much tire clearance. They were going on to #13 and #16 but he had to order the correct ones. #13 and #16 were being done together since they are the same size and #13 and #12 were being done together since they were both fillet brazed. Hopefully, these 3 will be done in the next couple of weeks. #12 is getting an full '07 XTR kit so we are on the waiting list for the components. Supposedly, mid-November. I think we talked Jeremy into batching #12, #14 and #16 together since they are pretty similar. If it worked, they should be getting started in the next 2 or 3 weeks. We've started gathering a few parts for #16 as we place orders. It should be a really cool bike with pretty much all custom parts including a set of Industry 9 wheels.
10/25/2006 The Road Goat is coming together with a Campy Record 9 speed group. Most everything is silver which looks nice with the red.
10/23/2006 Got the first Road Goat frame in today!! Looks great and I can't wait to build it up. I'll try to get some pictures up in the next day or two. Russ painted the fork and stem to match and added Goat heads on the sides of the fork.
10/19/2006 Talked to Russ today and my road frame is on the way, can't wait to see it! Looks like Jeremy is about 4 months behind on frames right now due to Interbike and a new baby. I guess it is good to be busy but it puts us a little more behind than I would like to be. It seems like calls have been picking up so I guess the word is getting out. There has been a couple of folks mention the Dirt Rag ad which is good. Nice to know it is working.
10/18/2006 We are getting closer to adding another model to the Goat family, the F-K-R (Fat-tired Klunker Replica). We are still working out the design but the stock bike will be a single speed 29" with a classic Excelsior-type look. The tentative design will use the Route 29 geometry with a 1.5" curved top tube that will be pierced by the seat tube. The top tube will end behind the seat tube and become the mono stay for the wishbone rear. The drop outs will be the Breezer style with a Phil Wood eccentric bottom bracket. Both the seat stays and chain stays will also be curved. A "mid tube" between the top tube and down tube will complete the look. Because of the extra work in bending the tubing and the ebb being standard, this one will run a bit more than the standard frames. We are also probably going to do a standard wet paint with a couple of colors (Guards Red and British Racing green maybe) with a cream colored head tube. Right now, it looks like Curtis Inglis will build them for us. He has a ton of experience with this type of frame with his Retrotec brand so he would be an obvious choice for this project. More details to follow.
10/17/2006 Trying to find someone local to do some embroidery on the wool jerseys. Hopefully soon! We've been working with Sinjin to finalize the spec on his Route 29 single speed. He is definitely doing it right with White Industries cranks, Industry 9 wheels and custom Mountain Goat paint with Hot Rod flames. Can't wait to build this one!
10/14/2006 Added the new logo Goat shirts to the web site. These have two colors and cost a bit more but I think they look nice. Check them out on the Goat Goodies page
10/09/2006 We've been working on some type of "retro" bike that has a little more style to it. It seems like 29" single speeds are pretty popular these days so that will probably be the default spec. We'd like to do some curved tubes and maybe something on the order of the old Schwinn Excelsior frames. I talked to Curtis, of Inglis/Retrotec, about the frames today and he seems very interested in the project. Now e just have to see if we can do this and make it affordable. Kinda neat frame to design since there will be a little more "Art" to it. We spent a little time with our 1950's era catalogs today plus checked out a couple of online vintage picture databases. There were definitely some neat frames back then. We will still want to try and incorporate a little "Goatness" into each frame as well. Details as the become available.
10/07/2006 Finalized Whiskeytown Racer # 15 with Yugi, from Japan, today. We are going to do it in white to match the decals. Should look nice with just the black outline of the decals! That makes 5 frames in the pipeline.
10/05/2006 Got another serious inquiry from Japan today. It is kinda a shock that it seems like the bikes are much more appreciated overseas than they are in the USA. It seems like Americans are more interested in the latest plastic bikes and cheapest bike with an XT rear derailleur on it??
10/02/2006 Got the Swobo jersey today. They sure are nicely made and the color is really close to the Goat green. Now lets see who can put the stitching on it! Once we get a sample done, we'll order a dozen or so from Swobo (probably in green and black) and get the going.
09/28/2006 Told Portland Cyclewear to forget about the order and called Tim at Swobo. Super nice guy and he sent us one of their green jerseys that really matches the Goat green and it even has orange stitching!! We'll get that in and shop it around to a couple of local embroidery places. Maybe this will all work out for the better in the long run. I just refuse to spend money with people who have an attitude. Finalized all the details for the PBP bike, should be very cool. We now have my bike at paint and 4 more in line. With Interbike going on, the whole industry is just about shut down.
09/27/2006 Checked in with Portland Cyclewear since he told me that the jerseys would no be done and was literally told to "quit bugging him". I have a real problem with that type of attitude, maybe we can find an alternative?
09/25/2006 Trying yet again to get wool jerseys from Portland Cyclewear. For some reason, they seem to be pretty hard to deal with but claims that they will embroider the jerseys in a day. Can't believe the turn around time but we'll see. We decided to go with the green jerseys which kinda match the Goat green.
09/20/2006 Well my Road Goat is at AirArt for paint now....getting closer. Talked to Rick about the paint details to make sure we were on the same page. We are going to paint the fork red and then add the flames around the crown area.
09/11/2006 Yeah, the new decals arrived!! These are made for us by Screen Specialties who makes decals for much of the bike industry. These are printed under a clear top coat so they should be much more durable. We were having some problems with the black ink getting rubbed off of the edges of the previous decals. It didn't matter on the wet paint bikes so I am not worried about , just the powder coated bikes. I'll be sending out replacements to those folks who may have worn decals. We also now have decals for the F-K-R and Road Goats. I'll need to get a set to Russ so he can paint my Road Goat now!! Oh, we do have thinner decals for wet painted bikes so they won't stick up as much which will be kinda nice. We did lose the orange stripes that were behind the black and gold decals since they made the decal a little too busy. One of those things that looked good on paper.
09/07/2006 I am maybe leaning towards the Nouveau Flames for the new Road Goat. It is pretty neat looking but moderately subtle which should work on the road frame. With all of the small expenses (new decals, seat collars, shipping, advertising...), we are going to have to raise frame prices. We are going to use actual calendar years for our model years (not like automobile "model" years) so that seems to be a natural place to implement the increase. After 12/31/06, the base frames will move to $1,249.99 so consider yourself warned! Any confirmed order, with deposit, before that date will get the current pricing. That gives you almost 3 months to get in line!
09/06/2006 Decals are supposed to be done in a week or so which should be cool. I missed recording the North Carolina Now segment on UNCTV so I hope that they will send me a copy. BIKE magazine called and will be running a little blurb on the Panaracer Timbuk II tires.
09/04/2006 Checking a couple of places for oval tubing for a possible Deluxe model. There is also a possibility of a new fork crown coming out that would resemble the old Ritchey/Bridgestone design which would be very cool.
08/28/2006 The final event of the Crossroads Festival was the Pisgah Forest ride. We went up to Sycamore Cycles where Wes led the ride on some of his favorite trails. Unfortunately, I had to miss the ride since I somehow managed to break a finger at the PINKS race. Added some pictures on Jill's bamboo paint Route 29 and Niels bike with the Austrian mountains in the back ground. Look for those on the Gallery page.
08/27/2006 We sponsored the vintage bike show and swap meet this morning. Turn out was a little on the light side but it looked like the folks that showed up were selling stuff at a pretty brisk rate. Most of the visitors went for a ride at the local trails this morning. We went from the swap meet to the PINKS race at the Signal Hill Mountain Bike Trail. We had some pretty casual "competitions" such as riding the bikes backwards while sitting on the bars, beer shooters and races that began by eating a hot dog straight off of the grill. Prizes were awarded all around and we held the drawing for our raffle prizes. Big thanks to Fox Racing forks, Hawley Company, Tifosi glasses, Cane Creek components, Shimano, Hammer Nutrition, Source Burn energy drink and Dirt Rag magazine for helping us out this year with prizes. For more details on the event, check out the Crossroads Festival page. RC even brazed on the tiring on our 1885 Columbia Model Expert high wheel bike so he could go ride it!
08/26/2006 Had a nice turn out for the morning road ride today. The seminars with RC and Dondo were hugely informative. We got to learn all about the origins of Mantis bikes, Iditabike, magazine editing, product testing.........it was so cool to be able to sit down with these guys and hear all about their adventures.
08/25/2006 Richard Cunningham and Capt. Dondo arrived for the Crossroads Festival and we took about a dozen people down to a local BBQ restaurant complete with the full-on NASCAR theme. Let the festivities begin.
08/24/2006 Looks like I have the final proof for the new decals. These will be printed under a clear top vinyl and should be more durable when put on top of the powder coat. The old decals were wearing pretty quickly along the printed edges. Once we get the new decals, I'll send a new set to everyone who has bought a frame so they can refresh the decals and have a longer lasting set.
08/23/2006 Jill sent us pictures of her new Bamboo painted Route 29 and it is STUNNING! I'll try to post some of her pictures on the gallery page when I get a chance. In the mean time, check out the reaction on the MTBR Vintage, Retro Classic forum and the 29" Wheel forum. Seems to be some great response to the bike. I am glad Jill stepped up and did the Bamboo paint so now I don't have to! Maybe Feathers on the road bike? We've talked about doing a NC Yuppie paint job to complement the original CA Yuppie paint. We could use the light houses, mountains, cotton, tobacco, NASCAR.....we'll see.
08/22/2006 Sent the green Whiskeytown Racer frame, that was built on spec, to Roland in Switzerland today. That makes 4 frames to 3 foreign countries. Seems like folks outside of the USA have a better memory than we do here in the states?
08/21/2006 We've been pretty tied up getting ready for the Crossroads swap so I haven't posted for a bit. Jeremy called today and my Road Goat frame is complete. Now I just have to decide on a color! Too many choices.
08/10/2006 Wow, we got to see pictures of Jill's Route 29 with the bamboo paint. It sure is a great looking bike!! We got to see a couple a quick pictures and hope to have some complete bike pictures soon.
08/09/2006 I would have never guessed that decals would have been the hardest part of the project but is sure seems to be the case. We have found a place to get the decals made but we need to order about 3 years worth at one time. I just want to make sure that we get exactly what we want since we will have such a big supply. The new decal guy will print them under a clear which should be a little bit more durable. We have noticed that the edges tend to wear a little over time.
08/07/2006 UNCTV was in today shooting some of the classic bikes for the TV program North Carolina Now. We got to talk about the bikes and the Crossroads Festival. Some of the questions were a little more about riding so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. It is supposed to air in the week prior to the festival and I should be able to link to the video. I'll post it when we get more definite info.
07/31/2006 Still firming up the details of the P-B-P bike but it is sounding very cool. Mark drove up from Greenville, NC with his family to check out the new Goats and placed an order for his dream bike while he was here. We've decide on the team green/orange reverse splatter paint (same as my bike) but Mark stepped it up a notch with the full fillet brazed option. That is going to be gorgeous!! We've been trying to get ready for the Crossroads Vintage Bike Festival which is coming up at the end of August. It is always a fantastic time but it sure is a lot of work. Can't wait to meet Richard Cunningham and Capt. Dondo. We are supposed to be featured on the UNCTV program North Carolina Now on August 7. They had seen the BIKE magazine article and called to check in. If it airs, I'll try to link to the UNCTV web site so ya'll can check it out.
07/28/2006 Picked up the new Goat logo T-shirts, sports gray with the new logo in black and mustard. These look really nice and I'll try to get a picture up on the Goat Goodies page.
07/18/2006 We've been talking about adding a new Goat to the family, the F-K-R (For-Kasual-Riding). My idea would be to make a 26" wheeled bike with canti mounts, curved top tube, wishbone stays, head tube collars, nice earthy color, Mary bars, rear entry drop outs (for single speed or Nexus hub), fenders, racks........still working out the details in my head. If it sounds like something you would be interested in shoot an email to email@example.com
07/16/2006 Still sorting out the decals. I think that we will lose the orange line behind the decals. They look good on some colors but it limits the decals a little bit. We will also be getting a few decals made for possible future models. Once we approve the art, it will be a couple of weeks for the decals. We talked to Jeremy Sycip yesterday and apparently he has a new baby girl at home...congratulations!!
07/14/2006 Finally got the art for the "new" logo Goat T-shirts. We will be doing gray shirts with a black/mustard imprint and we should have them in a couple of weeks. Other than the wool jerseys, this will probably be about the last Goat promo item we will do. Trying to work with the guys at Portland Cyclewear to get woolies but it has been a long process. Hopefully, it will be worth the effort. Wow, turned 42 today....don't particularly feel older but 42 sure is starting to sound old!
07/05/2006 Goat #10 arrived today and looks great. I need to get the decals and badge on it. #10 is a Route 29 in team orange with Paragon sliders and is single speed specific. Once I get it set up, I'll post some pictures.
06/29/2006 Placed the order for the Route 29, single speed specific with bottom routed rear brake cable. We've also been firming up details on the Paris-Brest-Paris bike which is a lot of fun. As soon as we get a few more details, that will be number Goat # 12. Stephens bike has shipped so we should have it soon (just got the Reba 29" fork today). It seems like the Route 29s are more popular and I have been a little surprised at the number of them that are single speed specific. They sure do make a nice clean looking single speed though. I really like the clean simple lines without all of the cable and braze-ons cluttering the frame up especially in combination with the single color paint scheme and simple decals. I am leaning towards a pearl white for my Road Goat. I have always liked white for a road bike so this might just be my chance.
06/27/2006 Got our copy of Dirt Rag today with our first official Mountain Goat ad. I know what Steve Martin felt like in The Jerk when the new phone books came out! It'll be interesting to see if anything come out of this. We have a run of four months which should give us an idea if we are reaching people. Looks like we have another couple of bikes getting close to getting officially "ordered": a Route 29 and maybe a bike set up to do the Paris-Brest-Paris ride. If we do the PBP bike, we'll be getting a neat old Escape Goat in on trade.
06/21/2006 Talked to Jeremy today and the next 2 frames are finished. The one for our Shimano sales rep is going to be powder coated in Team Orange so we should have it in a week or so. The other frame was sent to Russ for a very special paint job. Can't wait to see it. Unfortunately, it is going directly from Russ to Jill so we won't even get to play with it. She has promised pictures though. Hopefully, we will have our art for the new T-shirts soon and we are working on placing a wool jersey order which will probably be available in August or so. While I was talking to Jeremy, I went ahead and ordered a Road Goat for myself. I am going to use a little beefier tubing than stock but it will be nice to get a Road Goat to take pictures of. I'll just switch the parts off of my Gunnar. Still trying to decide on a color....maybe pearl white?
06/16/2006 Water bottles came in today and they look really nice. I'll try to add photos here and/or on the Goat Goodies web page.
06/15/2006 Still enjoying my WTR. Not too sure about the Hutchinson Bull Dog tires though. I have been struggling to find a good pressure for them. Anything over mid 30's psi and they ride like rocks but when I went a little lower, the burped once. Wes has been trying the same tire with the same struggles. Might be time for a change. Water bottles should be rolling in pretty soon and we have been looking to do some T-shirts with the new Goat logo on them. We are relatively caught up at the shop so we have been working a little more on the wool jerseys. Might have something in the works soon. I think that will probably be about it in terms of soft goods. That would give use wool jerseys, two T-shirt styles, ball caps, water bottles and pint glasses.
06/12/2006 Wes and I attended the Cirque vintage road bike event last weekend at Cycles de Oro in Greensboro, NC. It is primarily centered around vintage road bikes but many of the folks who attend, appreciate mountain bikes as well. Peter Weigle gave a very interesting talk on his involvement with cycling including some really nice mountain bike pictures. If Peter will let me, I will try to post some of them on the First Flight Bikes web site. We did mange to pick up a hand full of early 1980's derailleurs that came out of the Grewal family barn. There were probably 200+ of some of the finest road bikes in the country at the event and they were judged in 7 or 8 different categories. I was pleasantly surprised when a Schwinn New World track bike, that we restored for David C. in Charlotte, ended up winning "best restored" bike. We don't do many restorations and with the quality of the competition, that was quite a nice honor. Dale mentioned that next year will be his last year promoting his event and that he may pass the torch to someone to carry. Might be neat to combine it with the Crossroads event. I have been thinking about getting a Road Goat built to replace my Gunnar. It wouldn't be hugely different but it would be nice to get a Road Goat built up. We just took a bike in trade with 9 speed Campagnolo Record components which might be an inexpensive way to build the bike? We'll see. Got an email from a fellow with a 1984 Escape Goat which would have to be pretty early for that model. It is kinda tough to tell from the pictures but it looks to be fillet brazed but the fillets don't look to have a high level of finish. Hopefully Jeff Lindsay will be able to give us some answers. The owner is interested in getting a Road Goat to participate in Paris-Brest-Paris so that might be an interesting project.
06/09/2006 Joe, from England, sent us a picture of Whiskeytown Racer #7. Sounds like it is getting a good work out and may show up in some English publications. Still working on getting some more decals made.
06/02/2006 Went out for a nice 15 mile ride on the WTR and continue to be impressed with the ride. There is one relatively steep hill on the trail that is tough to climb. I probably haven't made it up the hill in a little over a year and got about 2 pedal strokes away from making it this time. I did manage to burp one of the tubeless tires while experimenting with tire pressure which sure makes for an interesting sensation. The bike sure does start conversations at the trail head, everyone wants to know what it is. Some of the old-timers remember the name and ask a lot of questions while many of the newer riders are unfamiliar with the brand so we get to educate them! Lots of compliments on the paint, especially the color matched fork/stem.
05/28/2006 Water bottles should be on the way to us in mid-June. I finalized the design today and placed the order. They will be 24 oz. screw top bottles in pearl white with a mustard colored band around the middle and one around the neck. The lower band will have the large Goat head logo on it and the upper band will have the web site. That should be about the last Goat item that we do for awhile unless we do wool jerseys. We now have decals, pint glasses, hats, head badges, T-shirts and socks.
05/25/2006 Took my WTR out on the maiden voyage today on a nice 13 mile trail ride. I was using it as a combination shake down cruise for the bike and to make a good GPS track for the new loop on the Itusi Trail. It was a great ride since part of the trail is still under construction. It reminds me of the riding "back in the day" since the trail was really rough and unfinished. You kinda forget how smooth and finished most of the trails are today. The ride of the bike was fantastic. It took a couple of miles to get the feel for the bike and then it just took off......and it climbs like a........well you know! Can't wait to go our and get more miles on it. The Fox fork worked great as well. I have been riding an F80X and just never got used to the platform valving, especially since it was non-adjustable. The F80 RLT is more to my liking, just might be what I am used to?
05/23/2006 Finalized another frame with Jill, from Haro bikes. She is taking one of the Route 29 frames and having it sent to Russ for paint. It will be one of the coolest classic Goat paints but I'll leave it up to Jill to spill the beans. We'll get some pictures up when it is done.
05/15/2006 Finally got mine all built up with mostly stuff that was from other projects. I might try to do some '07 XTR stuff when it becomes available in the fall? Anyway, took some pictures of it beside an original bike (click on the thumbnails below for bigger images). I think it came out great. The materials for batch 2 has arrived so now would be a good time to get in on this batch of frames.
05/2/2006 Hadn't posted for a bit since there hasn't been much to report. I hope to start riding my Whiskeytown this week. I think that I finally have gathered enough part to build it. Scott is making another handful of head badges for us and may be able to make a few of the little Goats that originally appeared on the side of the seat tubes. Might be a cool little addition? We did get a 1993 Mountain Goat Mudslinger in yesterday. It is kinda beat up but we didn't have one so it is a nice addition to the herd. We are getting a good number of inquiries about frames but it is hard to get people to follow through. Looks like we will be putting a series of 4 ads in Dirt Rag starting in the June issue. We'll see if that reaches folks or not.
04/21/2006 Just heard from Niels, from Austria. He was finally able to wrestle them through customs and this is what he has to say:
"nice frames - they really live up to the original goats in my opinion. The 29er is actually quite light for a 29er steel frame and the metallic effect
in the paint is sooo nice. Good work. Thanks!"
Hopefully, we will get some pictures of the built bikes soon!! Should be some impressive backdrops in Austria.
04/12/2006 Well the frames are making their way into the hands of the riders. We just got this nice note from Joe in England "Hello Jeff, what a joy on Saturday morning when I received the box from First Flight Bikes. Once again I have to say you have done a fantastic job on bringing back Mountain Goat from the grave. Jeff Lindsay should be proud of you. The Whiskeytown frame is cool & definitely has the look of the original frames. Sycip are bang on Jeff, & should be congratulated for doing fine work. As soon as it it is built I'll post you some pics." I'll post picture when Joe gets them to us.
04/11/2006 Got a few sample badges from Scott today and I really like them. To me, the size is much better since it fills up the head tube a little bit more, it looks a little more "handmade" and I like the color better than the hard chrome look. There has been a debate and several have preferred the smaller one. Click on the thumbnail to the left and let me know which one you like better. The materials are being ordered for the next batch of frames so they are underway. Still probably and week or two until we will have to lock in the style and size so let us know if you want to get in on this batch.
04/10/2006 Finally got my frame today from Russ and it looks great. I went with the original team paint with green and orange panels with reverse splatter. I went ahead and did the Fox fork and Ritchey WCS stem to match. Looks very nice and I can't wait to get it built up!
04/05/2006 Working on our second batch of frames, looks like five this time.
Whiskeytown Racer, 18", brown (available)
Route 29, 19", orange (probably mine)
Route 29, 17.5", green (available)
Route 29, 16", blue (available)
Route 29, 19", orange, with Paragon sliding drop outs, single speed only, no derailleur cable routing (Shimano sales rep)
We can change the details if need be but this will be a good start. At least we can use this to get the materials ordered. If anyone wants to get in on this batch, now would be the perfect time. We added a 16" Route 29 since they are running pretty big. Weight on the 19" Route 29 was just over 28 pounds, not bad for a 29" steel frame in a large size with stock parts! Need to work on getting some more decals especially Route 29 ones.
04/03/2006 Got the Reba in today for the Route 29 so we can finish it up. Sure does ride nice. I haven't done much in the way of 29 riding but this one sure does handle nice, not nearly as sluggish as I had heard about other 29 bikes. These frames are pretty big so this might actually be my size....very tempting. I'll let it hang for a little while and maybe make it my own if it doesn't sell soon. Our Shimano sales rep was in for a visit today, took the Route 29 out for a spin and walked back in the door with a big smile and said "order me one". Should be pretty cool to have the Shimano rep out showing the new Shimano parts on one of our frames. Should get some attention. Finally took some better pictures of the complete bikes. You can click on the thumbnails here or check the Gallery de Goats page.
03/29/2006 Built up the orange Route 29 with a full Deore XT kit but don't have the Reba fork yet. It sure is nice to be able to put together a bike from scratch and take your time to get everything just right. Beats pulling it from the box and slapping on a couple of parts. Tire clearance is great even with the 2.3" tire but the bottom pull option on the front derailleur only misses the tire by a couple of mm. Since we aren't using it as a bottom pull, we just cut off the un-needed arm and clearance is fine now. Scott is working on casting a couple of head badges using the original molds and is going to send us a couple of samples. It sounds like it might be the older badge which I actually kinda prefer?
03/27/2006 We've got socks! Man they look great, just need to get a picture for the web site. Sent out the first 3 frames today (2 to Austria and one to England). Can't wait to get some feedback from folks and hopefully some cool pictures of Goats in action.
03/22/2006 Investigating a Mountain Goat wool jersey. We had looked at doing a First Flight Bikes one but didn't know that there would be enough demand. I think a Mountain Goat one would sell pretty well though? Been listening to the new Beth Orton CD, Comfort of Strangers, and it is pretty good. It made me dig out her Trailer Park CD though and that is still one of my favorites of all time. Hopefully posting a few pictures of the frames today so folks can get a better look at them. Also started to contemplate the next frame order. Since it is about 2-3 months to get them done it is probably time to get started on them especially if the actual pictures help demand! Some of the masters for the original head badges, fork crown badges, bolo ties.....have been found! Might be able to get some of those cool old trinkets back into production.
03/21/2006 Really need to get the next batch of frames ordered. It is such a crap shoot trying to figure out models, sizes, colors to order. It seems like the Dirt Brown may be the most popular color? Still talking to two different fillet braze builders to see about getting a Deluxe model built. One has tons of experience and one is pretty new. Both seem to have a good grasp of the project and both built very nice frames. Still not sure how to narrow this one down but I need to get something moving.
03/20/2006 Our friend, Wes Stearns, stopped over to take some better frame pictures. He has some real nice camera gear and did the photos for the Mountain Bike Action magazine article and they cam out great! Trying to add some type of registry to the web site to keep track of all of the frames. As much trouble as we have had trying to figure out some of the older bikes serial numbers, I want to try and document our bikes to make it easier for future generations (or maybe nobody cares?). Ordered a build kit for the Route 29 so we can have a built bike in stock. Hopefully have something in a week or so. It is some much nicer to see pictures of an actual bike instead of just the frame.
03/18/2006 Spent a couple of hours putting on decals and head badges. Now I know why Jeremy wanted us to do it, pretty time consuming. Still trying to decide which decals look best on which colors. Might lose the orange stripes behind the gold outline decals when we do the next batch? They look really good on some of the colors but it might be a little too "busy"? I guess that is the problem when you do this, you micro-manage everything. You sweat over things that you normally wouldn't give a second look at. Talked to another guy about head badges to get a few more options. Trying to get the sold frames ready to ship.
03/16/2006 The frames are in!!!!!!!! I am incredibly impressed with the quality. The colors look great. Every time we pull another one out of the box, it immediately becomes my favorite. I am glad we decided to do the sparkle in the clear coat, it is very subtle but really adds another dimension, especially in the sun light. Sent out some emails to the various vintage mountain bike discussion areas and feedback has all been positive. I took one home to work on the decals so I could work in relative quiet. It takes a little time to try and get the decals aligned and figure out where to put them. Looked at a lot of different locations and I think the down tube decals look best about 3/4 the way up the tube and the model names near the seat tube. I think it looks more "balanced" that way. Used the 3M double sided emblem tape to put the head badges on and it seems to work good.
03/13/2006 Got the pint glasses in today and they look great. We decided to just do clear glasses with the big Goat head logo and the web address. I need to get a picture on the web site but they are $4.99 each. Getting close to frames!
03/10/2006 Sounds like frames are on the way to us!! It is so good to be talking about bikes instead of glasses and socks. This means we should have them towards the middle of next week. When I was researching some Mountain Goat stuff on the web, The Mountain Goats band kept coming up so I felt the need to check it out. I sent ahead and picked up The Sunset Tree and gave it a listen, pretty good stuff. I especially like "This Year" and "Dance Music". Give it a listen and if you like it, try and find a cool local record shop and buy it. There just aren't that many good music stores anymore. So even if it a buck or two more, try to give them your support.
03/07/2006 Well we got the goofed up hats back today. They had goofed up the web address on them so they shaved the old one off and stitched the correct one over top the old one. Most of them look pretty good but a few have bad spots on them. We'll pop them out there for $9.99 on the Goat Goodies page and see what happens. The badge thing is going OK. I really like the stuff the Jen Green has done and hopefully she will be able to figure something out another material that is less costly than the silver. It sounds like the cost of the silver is $15-$20 per badge not including the casting, clean up, mold...... I would like to get a lesser expensive badge for the regular bikes and maybe save the silver for a Deluxe (if that ever happens). Hopefully all of the frame builders will be back in the swing of things soon since the NAHMBS is over. I hope you got to see the pictures of the Vanilla trike that was at the show......WAY COOL! We decided to go with the DKG seat collars and they cam in yesterday. Just a fairly simple bolted collar in black but at least it is US made and Dave worked with a bunch of the pioneers of mountain biking "back in the day" so just another small link to the past. It would be cool to have Mountain Goat or a logo on the collar but it looks to be somewhat expensive to get it set up.
03/01/2006 Ordered the pint glasses today......we don't have frames yet, but plenty of goodies!! We have had a couple of more Route 29 inquiries including one lighter weight version that would be more of an all-around type bike. I have wondered about specing a model similar to this. It seems like there is some demand for a versatile frame that could be a mountain bike, commuter bike, cross bike....with just a change of tires and a couple of parts. Maybe someday. AArrgh, Handmade Bike shows bites us in the butt again, no powder coating this week since the SyCip brothers are at the show, looks like next week for Goat with color.
03/01/2006 Wow, just talked to our friends at Fox and they set us up with a small OE account for forks. We are now proud to offer only Fox forks on our Whiskeytown Racers.....now if they would just make a 29" fork, we would be set. Getting set up as an OE account with Fox and Shimano has allowed up to knock $700 off the XTR kit price and actually offer a better level of components....sweet. This will make the complete bike much more competitive and hopefully increase the number of complete bike sales. We are still getting a good number of inquiries about the frames and it seems to run about 4 to 1 in favor of the 29" frames. There has been a couple of pretty constant threads appearing on MTBR so hopefully that will help keep up the interest level. I just can't wait to get frames in so we can really have something to show off!
02/28/2006 Decals arrived and they look great. The head tube decal might be a touch big but I think we are using badges on the first batch anyway. We'll just have to try one on a frame and see when we get them. I did send two of the Goat head decals for the Fox fork though. They looked like they would fit nicely on there. I've talked to several different people about making head badges. There seems to be way too many options! It looks like you can spend a large amount and have a die made which really cuts down on the piece-price or have them hand made which cuts down on the upfront cost but dramatically increases the unit price. We'll see where this leads but I really like head badges. Couple of good leads on guys to built Deluxe frames but everyone is heading to the North American Handbuilt Bike Show so it is kinda on hold until after that is over.....wish I was there!
02/22/2006 Been wondering about the head badges. I think they really finish off the bike nicely but are kinda pricey. The minimum order is 100 pieces and with set up, looks to be about a $1,500 investment. Maybe in the future, but that is quite an investment right now. We do have 10 of the old badges that Jeff Lindsay had sent to us. Might use those on the first run of frames to "reward" those folks that stepped up early? We've got feelers out to see if there are any alternatives out there. Started to set the groundwork for a Deluxe model. I've talked to 5 or 6 builders and have pretty much narrowed it down to two builders that are building some beautiful fillet brazed bikes. I want these to be built be someone who is known primarily as a fillet brazer which narrows the field down pretty quickly. As we get closer, I'll reveal a few more details. There is just too many unknowns right now and I don't want to get anyone's hopes up. Got an email from a German bike magazine that wanted to run a story but needed pictures. As soon as the frames arrive, I HAVE TO get some good pictures quick! OOOOH, Jeremy just send a couple of construction photos. Click on thumbnails below for full sized images.
02/21/2006 Picked up our hats this morning and they looked great........except for the wrong web address, doh! They are going to run us a new batch and see if they can rework these. Socks should be 4-6 weeks. The decals have been a nightmare to deal with. Supposedly, they are done and will be sent directly to us. Talked to Jeremy and he was able to sneak the seventh frame into the first batch which is cool since it is going to Great Britain. My frame is on the way to Russ to be painted and the other should be powder coated next week.....getting close!
02/15/06 Lowes Home Improvement gave our trail building group a $15,000 grant and we bought a Ditch Witch SK500 mini skid-steer with a 4 way bucket and a blades. We have run these before and they are a huge help in trail construction. Response to the Mountain Bike Action article has been pretty big. We have had a good number of folks stop in at the store including one from Australia. Lots of emails as well from people who have older bikes, especially Mountain Goats. Lots of people love their Goats!
02/14/06 Got a sock proof today and I think they look great. I was planning on maybe waiting for a bit until we did socks but the artwork looked so good, I went ahead and ordered them. One for thing we can use to help promote the brand. We've been running a pretty constant T-shirt auction on eBay with a link back to the Mountain Goat web site. It has been bringing a good amount of traffic and hopefully a few frame orders. The funny parts is that we are selling shirts for more than we are asking on the web site. If they would just follow the link, the could by the shirts for less? Oh well. Once we get socks and hats, we can do so auctions with them as well. Finally got up and running with Security bike to get OEM pricing on components which makes our parts packages much more competitive. We updated the web site to reflect the lower pricing.
02/11/2006 Ball caps are being made now so we should have them soon. I put out an inquiry on the frame builders list about head badges and got a couple of responses. Seems like most people recommend the guy who does the badges for Rivendell. We've got about 10 of the original badges so I have to be careful about what we do with the limited number. I also mentioned the possibility of doing a Deluxe frame and asked if any of the frame builders would be interested. I think we ended up with 4 responses. It is pretty amazing what you can learn about someone in a five minute phone conversation. A couple of the guys asked the right questions and seemed very interested and a couple of guys just seemed to be looking for the $$. Apparently Victory Graphics decided that they no longer want to print decals in small quantities for Velographics. Supposedly our order in in process but I never figured decals would be the hold up. Should have been one of the easier parts of the project but I guess that those are the ones most likely to trip you up. We added a seventh frame to the first batch. SyCip had ordered an extra tube set to have on hand just in case it was needed so that worked out great.
02/09/2006 Sounds like my bike is being finished up today (woohooo) and will be sent to Russ Pickett for paint. I'm going to send my Fox fork (best forks in the world and great guys to boot) and stem to Russ to get them color matched to the frame. It is still funny that a majority of inquiries are coming from overseas. I'm not sure if they appreciate the hand crafted frames more than Americans? The Route 29 frames now sound like they will only be a couple of days after the Whiskeytown Racers so not much of a delay at all. There is a cool Route 66 frame on eBay now, should be fun to see what it brings. I posted the Mountain Bike Action article on the web site. Check it out PAGE1 PAGE2 PAGE3 PAGE4 I sent some artwork to Sock Guy to see about maybe getting socks made, might be cool but I'll have to see what the minimums are.
02/07/2006 Checked with our local T-shirt guy about maybe doing some embroidered hats done. He has done our First Flight hats and they are nice. Probably get a couple of dozen made to see how they do. Also touched base with the pint glass guys to maybe get some pint glasses done as well. We have been selling the T shirts on eBay and adding a link to the web site, seems like a good way to get the word out cheaply. Last round, we did some yellow shirts in addition to the orange and gray ones. I need to get pictures up but if anyone prefers yellow, let us know.
02/02/2006 Talked to Jeremy Sycip today and the 26" frames are all tacked up and should be done by the end of next week. Apparently, Reynolds doesn't make a down tube long enough for the 29" frames so we will have to switch it to Columbus, no big deal but it adds a little time to the build.
01/31/2006 Finally got the 2006 parts catalogs so now we can update the parts packages to reflect the 2006 parts. Trying to work through Security Bike to get OEM deals on Shimano parts. There are a lot of hoops to jump through but it may allow us to lower the parts package prices. Got the final decals proofs and they look great. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see a larger view. We finally got our copies of the March 2006 Mountain Bike Action magazines. There is a really cool article about the shop with a small interview and four great pictures by our friend Wes Stearns. It is nice to see some coverage of the vintage stuff as opposed to another 8" travel bike jumping off of some monster cliff. Hopefully, people will take note and let the magazine folks know that there is interest in the older bikes and riding style. We have been getting a few emails from folks who got the magazine before us and might be able to pick up a few neat old bikes for the collection.
01/30/2006 Finally got paint quotes from Russ and posted them on the "options" page. Kinda expensive but they are damn cool paint jobs. We really don't make much of anything on them but it is a cool option to offer and harkens back to the days of yester yore. Posted a few scans from the original Mountain Goat catalogs on the web site to give folks a few ideas of what is possible.
01/24/06: Well the frames are under construction!! Jeremy blocked out this week to work on the Goats so hopefully we will have some finished frames by the end of the week and then send them out to be painted/powdered. The final decals have been approved and I think they look great. I decided to do one set in black/white with no background and one set in gold with orange stripes. The black/white one will go on the orange bikes and most of the custom painted bikes while the gold will go great with the stock brown, green and blues. We got a pretty cool write up on a Canadian mountain bike web site ( http://www.ecmtb.com/people/archives/000254.html ) The new Mountain Bike Action (March 2006) has a nice article in it about the shop. Haven't received our hard copies yet but saw a scan of the article and it looked nice. Maybe there is some interest in this vintage stuff after all?? We have gotten inquiries from all across the globe. There seems to be special affection for the classic US brands overseas. Maybe they appreciate the history more than we do? It will be fun to watch and see where the bikes end up.
01/18/06: Talked to Russ Pickett of Air Art today to try a get pricing for the custom paint options. He even has the original templates from almost 20 years ago, doesn't get any more "authentic" than that. Also talked to Michael, of Velographics, about the decals. He sent a couple more proofs and we are just about there. I think this will be the last round of changes and then I will post the proofs when we get them. Tried to update the options page to answer some of the common requests.
01/12/06: Hey it's my oldest sons birthday today (11, yikes). Happy birthday buddy. Placed the final specs for the first run of bikes. #1 will be a 21" Whiskeytown Racer with Russ paint for myself, #2 is for Wes and will be a 19" Whiskeytown Racer with Paragon sliding drop outs and Russ paint, #3 is a Dirt Brown 18" Whiskeytown Racer and will be our first customer bike (Austria) and probably first delivered since it is a standard finish, #4 is a stock 19" Whiskeytown Racer in Team Green, #5 will be a stock 17.5" Route 29 in Night Blue and #6 will be a stock Route 29" in Team Orange. #4, #5 and #6 are currently available for purchase so let us know and you can be an owner of one of the first bikes off the line! We might be able to change the colors in the next week or so if that is important to you. Should have final decals around the first of next week. Getting close!
01/05/2006: Talked to Jeremy today and he is doing the full size drawings by this weekend and will start building the first part of next week. I have to have the final sizes and styles to him on Monday. Guess I need to send out emails and get some deposits on some of these to make sure we get everyone covered that wants one from the first batch. I really need to get an options page started so I can have ready answers to some of the standard questions. It is a time consuming trying to figure out how much all the options will cost.
01/03/2006: We've wondered about doing a Deluxe model and called Paul Sadoff to see who he recommended for fillet work. He gave us 4 or 5 names and we narrowed it down to a couple. Mark Nobilette seems to do some neat stuff so we gave him a call and it sounded like it could happen. He even has some oval tubing that was used on Fisher Gemini tandem bikes. It sounds a couple of mm narrower but could work. Checked with Phil Wood to see about some of the original tubing and was told that the tubing and tooling are long gone but that they could tell us how to do it. This is kinda on the back burner for right now. Just wanted to lay some ground work in case we move in that direction. We really need to concentrate on finishing the first batch of bike, getting pictures taken and information posted. Got a couple more proofs for the model names and really think we are getting close. I really like the Deluxe one to the left.
12/29/2005: New down tube proofs are in. Now we are getting somewhere! I think this one really captures the spirit of the old decal but updates the look. Michael sends one for each of the four colors and they look great. We can now strike sown tube decals off the list of things to do and start working on the model names. I decide to go ahead with the Route 29 name for the 29" wheel frames. Still working on the web site nearly every day to make it more informative.
12/28/2005: Someone of the MTBR 29" forum suggested Route 29 for the 29 frame. I like it since it merges the old Route 66 name from the 700c hybrid/touring/off-road bike that Jeff made in the early 1990's. We have been getting lots of nice comments from folks about being glad to see the Goat return. Tons and tons of questions though....fillet brazed?, Deluxe?, forks?, full suspension?....I had hoped to have the "options" page up and running to answer most of these questions. At least we get some great feedback and get to talk to potential owners one on one.
12/23/2005: Uh oh, the Goat URL has been posted on MTBR and I still have all kinds of notes on the pages and it is nowhere near ready. I wondered why I had inquiries from Japan and Austria in my Inbox today, now I know. Hurry in on 12/24 and do some really quick clean up on the site. Nowhere near where it should be but it is somewhat presentable now. Trying to add content to head off the barrage of questions.
12/12/2005: Inquired with Henry James about the possibility of getting more of the old fork crowns. The crowns could be made and there are 400mm True Temper blades that could be used to make 29" or suspension correct length forks. Then the Goat head inserts would have to be added and they don't have the master to make them. I check with Jeff Lindsay about Goat heads and he mentions that the Whiskeytown didn't have that fork and I kinda got the impression that he didn't like the idea. Combine that with the fact that the crowns are for 1" steerer tube and have a reputation as being flexy makes this a project for a later date.
12/2005: Getting all the bikes and goodies ready for Christmas so the Goat project is on the back burner. Michael sends some new decal ideas and they are getting much more like what we have in mind. Trying to clean up the First Flight web site while working the Goat site and put a small Goat head on the First Flight home page.
11/15/2005: Still working on the web site. Trying to keep it clean and simple and very easy to navigate. The First Flight site has kinda grown unruly and will soon need trimming. Jeremy has ordered all the tubing supplies for the first run. We put out some feelers in the vintage community and it really seems like the 29" should be the next bike. We have speced the geometry and parts kits for the Whiskeytown Racer and decide to start working on the Whiskey 29". There has also been interest in a road bike so we work on the Road Goat at the same time.
11/2005: Sent a deposit to SyCip for the first 5 frames. Decided on Reynolds 725 tubing, Salsa drop outs, 80mm forks, Team Green color, head tube collars, Columbus wishbone, disc brake mounts. Registered the domain name www.mountaingoatcycles.com and start working on it. Get hooked up with Michael Swantak @ Velographics and begin work on decals. Originally, I had figured on just reproducing the Mountain Goat decals from the older bikes. Michael pointed out that they had been created with relatively primitive programs and that they could be made to look much better with current programs. He makes some samples, and he is right. I guess since we are updating the bikes, it makes sense to update the decals and logos. The new logo is on the top compared to the original at the bottom. It looked more modern, but it just didn't say "Mountain Goat" to me so we will try again. We talk about it and decide that maybe one color is not enough to choose from. Get back out the color charts! We match the orange to the original stem so that gives us the 2 original colors. Now we can choose a couple that we just like and go with a dark brown and dark blue/purple/indigo color. I think between the four colors, there should be at least one that everyone will like. I have always kinda figured that a single speed would be the logical next step but there seems to be momentum behind the 29" bike, maybe that should be next? Ibis is unveiled as having 2 models, a carbon road frame and carbon full suspension frame made overseas. This is great news since I didn't want to go toe-to-toe with Scot @ Ibis. If there had been a steel Mojo, it could have been trouble. Look like neat frames and reasonably priced but not the market we are eyeing.
10/2005: Jeff Lindsay says "go for it". He thinks it might be just the right time to give it a go. Wow, now who can build the frames? Since Paul Sadoff came to the bike festival and I have always appreciated his work, we checked in with Paul. Since he is a one-man shop, he didn't want to commit his resources to the project. Wes has had a couple of SyCip bikes and Jeremy had made him a segmented fork and bull moose bars so he is obviously interested in doing special projects. They also build for Phil Wood so they obviously have to make top-notch frames. We give them a call and Jeremy says yes.......what now! Details, details, details. What to build? The Deluxe is a way cool frame but with all of the fillet brazing, special tubing, Goat head forks.....maybe not the best idea for a first product. The Whiskeytown Racer was a staple in the Mountain Goat line and would be much simpler to make. Nice light, racy, simple, TIG welded frame. Decisions need to be made....colors, decals, brakes, geometry. The idea is to offer a modern version of a classic, sorta like the 2005 Fork Mustang. It should have the styling cues of the older Goats but be compatible with current components. Wishbone stays and head tube collars are in! Had a real hard time with brakes, disk or "V"? I just couldn't stand doing both on the frames. Empty brake mounts are too much of an eyesore. Since we are going modern, disc brakes it is, one decision down. Colors, classic Goat green and orange are obvious. Let's make green standard. Use a vintage stem that we have here and match it up to a color chart. Made a run of Mountain Goat T-Shirts just to be able to sell, came out really nice.
09/2005: Try to recover from the bike festival and take it all in. What a fantastic weekend. Try to come up with "brand" name. Think about stuff related to First Flight Bicycles but it doesn't seem to "work" in my head. Maybe resurrect a brand name from the past? Which ones are possible? There are some cool old companies like EWR, Grove, Brave, Funk.....but I doubt too many people remember them. Settle on 3, Mountain Goat, Fat Chance and Ibis. Three companies that no longer exist and had loyal followings and made some neat products. Scot Nicol is going to introduce a new Ibis product @ Interbike so that one is out. Man, if they make a cool steel Ibis Mojo, this may all be dead in the water. Fat Chance was cool but there is some ill will out there when they moved to NY and generally ended badly. Chris Chance has pretty much disappeared from the bike industry and is unlikely to have much interest. We have talked to Jeff Lindsay over the years about Mountain Goat stuff and he has always been way cool about it. Jeff also did some of the coolest bikes with some of the best pain ever laid on a bike frame. Seems to be some possibility here. First need to check with the man himself and see what he thinks.
08/2005: Maurice from Dirt Rag calls the day before the festival, he and Thanita are going to be in DC and will drop by! The bike festival just may be the coolest thing we have ever done. To get Ross Shafer, Paul Sadoff, Jacquie Phelan, Joe Murray, Paul Thomasberg and Maurice Tierney to come to Statesville and hang out. What is that, something like 7 NORBA National Championships and 5 members of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The whole weekend is just a blur of activity. Jacquie comes in from the SSWC with Matt (thanks Matt) and hangs out for the week. Paul S. and Ross fly in together on Thursday and we basically don't leave sight of them until Tuesday morning at the airport. Get together Saturday at Lake Norman State Park and get about 5 hours worth of talks about the beginnings of mountain bikes. Got it all one tape, hope it turns out OK. Stories are unbelievably cool. Some of the regular irregulars from the vintage ATB community show up. Get to put faces with the names, FSP, EL, Don. Open house at the shop on Saturday night. Get to show off all of the cool bikes and parts that we have accumulated to people who actually care about such things. Swap meet on Sunday morning with the road ride. Go for a shakedown ride at the park since so many people are borrowing bikes. Back to the shop to get the bikes ready for the Monday Pisgah Forest ride. Late night Thai dinner where Thanita starts an interview for Dirt Rag with Paul Sadoff. Monday....RIDE....5 hours at the Pisgah National Forest. Must keep reminding myself that these guys get paid to ride, justification for getting dropped. Thankfully, out of the 25 or so riders, there are a few nearly as slow as I am. Over the weekend, I try to get ideas for some type of vintage-themed project. The three best ideas seem to be a book, frames and the need to have a "fan base", something similar to Bridgestone Owners Bunch (BOB) or Rivendell.
06/2005: Joe Murray has friends in the area and is traveling to Euro Bike with John from VooDoo and is going to show up for the bike festival, unbelievable!
04/2005: Jacquie Phelan contacts us to see if she could invite herself to the bike Festival.....hell yes! We can pick her up at the Single Speed Worlds in PA and bring her down for a week. Panaracer tires arrive, 300!! Need to start selling them.
03/2005: Rod Moses (founder of Interloc Racing Designs) is pretty keen on making some retro-flavored goodies. We talk about making some cranks but they would have to retail in the $600 and I don't see enough people willing to invest that into a crank especially since it would be square taper. Seems like a dying market.
02/2005: Details with Panaracer are figured out and we order 300 Kevlar-bead Panaracer Timbuk II tires, our first foray into parts distribution! Paul Sadoff (Rock Lobster) is good friends with Ross Shafer and will fly in with Ross and stay at the house....woohoo! Paul Thomasberg will come to the Festival complements of Shimano and bring some prototype parts to display. Shimano also donates a set of Deore XT wheels for the festival raffle, nice. And to not be out done, Cane Creek commits to donate a set of wheels as well.
01/2005: We keep trying to figure out ways to make something for the vintage mountain bike market. We keep looking at Rivendell Bikes for inspiration. Grant has taken a relatively small but loyal bunch of customers and made a go of it. They started with the high end road frames and have branched out into some components such as friction down tube shifters. There just doesn't seem to be many unique parts that are required for older mountain bikes. Hippie Tech seems to have the old fork rebuilds covered, Pauls makes thumb shifter mounts......what else is there? Maybe tires? It would be cool to have a skin wall tire with a vintage tread pattern. We contact Ritchey, Bontrager, Rivendell......and are told to check with Jeff Zell @ Panaracer. We call him up and they still have the molds for the Timbuk II tire and are willing to make them in a run of 300 tires........cool! Fox Racing shocks send us a new 2005 fork to raffle off at the bike festival, thanks.
10/2004: Ross Shafer commits to coming to the 2005 Crossroads Bike Festival. This is the first "big name" person to officially commit to coming so this should help get us off of the ground.
01/2004: We have brought all of the old bike parts into inventory and put them into the point-of-sale computer. It is a huge time sink but should pay off in the long run. It will be nice to be able to check on the computer to see what is in stock instead of running upstairs and prying the lid off of a Tupperware box. I guess this is the first step into "old bikes as business" instead of just a hobby.