Jul 30  |  If you haven’t had some

Posted by , July 30th, 2010 at 6:39AM    

you gotta have some. My friend Tamar turned me onto a bar…. and I guess the thing is, its so easy not to do it this way. To make what you do genuine to you….

Jul 28  |  Wednesday in the shop

Posted by , July 28th, 2010 at 10:21PM    

Carved and thinned the lugs for a Vanilla Rando bike today, then prepped them for brazing.

Once the lugs are carved, but before they’re thinned, we’ll  grind out the inside of the lugs so that they have a slip fit around the tube. Any spot on the lug that is tighter than a slip fit will keep the silver from penetrating resulting in a weaker joint. We also cold set the lugs at this time to match the frame angles. This is a process of bending with a bar inside of the tug, tapping the outside with a hammer and a broad dull aluminum punch and grinding down high spots inside of the lug. Once that’s done and everything fit’s up nicely in the jig, I’ll file all of the lug surfaces to give the shorelines a uniform thickness.

The photos below show the lugs being thinned. I’m thinking about tri-podding my camera and trying to make a short video, rather than just the static shots. Anyhoo, here they are.



p.s. click on the first image and then scroll through by hitting your right arrow key…

Jul 26  |  monday in the shop

Posted by , July 26th, 2010 at 10:03AM    

So good to have a good flow back in the shop. The raw frame from friday is a rugged road bike for a great customer and pal Max in Northern California. Pics below are of that frame with primer on it and all masked off for paint. Raw shots are of Speedvagen cross bikes. Scott, Mike and I are tag teaming braze-ones, Seatstay brazing  etc. The goal is for me to keep the torch lit all day and for them to keep feeding me frames with braze-ons, bridges, stainless noodles through the ISP, etc. prepped with flux and ready for fire and silver. It’s efficient to work as a team like that and reenforces why I like the Speedvagen process so much.


Jul 23  |  friday in the shop

Posted by , July 23rd, 2010 at 10:33AM    

Jul 20  |  How about this?

Posted by , July 20th, 2010 at 2:21PM    

Leave me a message here and I’ll send you my email (i’m just avoiding spam) and then send me a Hipstamatic print from your iphone of your Speedvagen… and I’ll put my favorite ones up. Ok?

All this while I sit quietly and wait for a big rainy mtn stage in the tour with the hopes that Menchov goes apesh*t and steals the whole cookie out from under everyone. A man can dream.

Fingerbang and out.

Jul 14  |  Kevin on the importance of hydration

Posted by , July 14th, 2010 at 12:47PM    

and nutrition. A true Rouleur combines his seafood with his carbo-drink. Hats off to Kevin and his rad stylings. I salute you.

Jul 11  |  Workshop Tours

Posted by , July 11th, 2010 at 10:35AM    

If you’re going to be in the Portland area we welcome you to visit us at the Workshop to see how we do things. Tours are available by appointment every Friday and Monday between 3:00 and 5:00pm.

DSC05648   DSC04833   Lorenz Paint

This is an active work shop in a pretty tight space. It’s noisy and busy. All of this makes it a pretty exciting place to be but we also need to be safe. We can accommodate groups of up to 8. Some of what you’ll see and hear when you visit are:

  • Vanilla and Speedvagen frame building in progress (Maybe YOUR frame!)
  • Coat paint shop and all of the stages of our paint process
  • Hands-on examples of what we do
  • A little history of the bikes and Vanilla brand

To arrange an appointment please email tom@vanillabicycles.com or call 503-233-2453.

We look forward to meeting you!


The Vanilla Workshop team delivering the Leave It One The Road bikes to Mike Tabtabai shortly before they left on their 3500 mile cross country cancer fighting mission.


Jul 4  |  Nigel from the Netherlands!

Posted by , July 4th, 2010 at 1:54PM    

it looks perfect… and I know from my buddy Harm that everybody there rides beautifully.

Jul 1  |  Brandon’s bike.

Posted by , July 1st, 2010 at 2:35PM    

Thanks for sending the pics B… I think it looks hot. Happiness is seeing that someone can bend over.