Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We have moved to tcbracks.com

It took me forever because I'm definitely one to get my fingers into too many pots (and not a rich man yet), but the revision of my wbsite is finally done and I'm stoked! The main page has a news/blog feature, so all of the posts from here got ported over and all new info will be there from now on.

Thanks Blogger, it's been great but I'm totally dumping you for somebody WAY hotter!


Monday, September 28, 2009

TCB has a woodie

Am I fixated on the puns or do they find me?

Regardless, I've been getting these dialed in all summer and they're finally ready for debut. The tops are either birch or locally made carbon fiber from Ruckus Components for now, but I plan on eventually getting bamboo and some hardwoods as I find good material sources.

Sizing/compatibility is the same as for the other Pret a Porteurs. Solid axle or top rack eyelets only, no carbon forks, standard sizes for road, MTB and touring bikes, custom sizing available.

$165 for birch, a bit more for carbon.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

New stuff

So I've been working a lot on some new projects this summer and they are very close to fruition. I don't want to promise more than I have until I gots the goods but I will say that I'm millimeters away (literally and figuratively) from offering things that folks have been asking for since I started producing. And I've only waited so long because I wanted to do it right. And I'm doing it right. Here's a couple pics of some recent custom jobs to whet appetites for now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Now with 100% more Rando

So I guess Gideon is my official test pilot now. He got the first Pret a Porteur (which he punishes daily at a print shop messenger job) and recently asked for a randonneur rack for a 400 mile three day he's planning. Requirements were a) small, b) light, c) extra water bottle cages. It was worth the price break to get a set of the top plates so I can definitely make more of these. $90 without the bottle cage mounts, $100 with.

Dave at Blackstar is making a matching bag for it too that will slip onto that tall backrest and then snap the front for quick, secure attachment. I'll add some pics of that when it gets done.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Made in America

I'd been meaning to yap about this for a while and what better time than when my neighborhood is trying to burn itself down around me in celebration of its existence.

For all of our shortcomings and excesses we live in a great country, and being conscious of it and proud of it is the best impetus to fix the problems we do have. One very important aspect of supporting domestic industry is, unfortunately, keeping intact our ability to make tanks and fighter jets. If we no longer have factories making the steel that makes the tools that make the [insert really important thing to have in an emergency here], what happens when the $#!+ hits the fan? Funny thing is it was actually a Chinese immigrant professor of mine that recently reinforced my thinking on the topic.

As a small fry shop it's very hard to track the true sources of my materials and even harder to keep them consistent. That said, my steel supplier is based in Seattle, my laser cutter (for the aluminum parts) is in a suburb south of Portland, and my fasteners shop is biking distance from my house. These are just distributors, of course, but I have been able to determine that most of the metal I use, by weight, is in fact American made and what is not is mostly Canadian. I also, whenever possible, buy American made tools, though I must admit it's because they're usually much higher quality than the cheaper imports. And of course I'm supporting American business just by being one.

OK, enough late night rant, here's to having a cuh-hold one or so and not burning ourselves too badly this weekend.

PS, Blogger sux and has a bug with Cannon cameras that rotates my image no matter what I do to the source file, sorry to make you crane yr neck.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm taking over the world!

OK, maybe just the west coast of the US for now, but I'm growing my dealer program this summer and TCB Racks are now available at the following shops in the following cities. Look for this list to be updated throughout the next few months.


Citybikes - 1914 SE Ankeny St
Clever Cycles - 908 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Joe Bike - 3953 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Revolver Bikes
- 6509-11 N Interstate Ave
River City Bicycles - 706 SE MLK Blvd
Seven Corners - 3218 SE 21st Ave
Veloce Bicycles - 3202 SE Hawthorne Blvd


Counterbalance Bicycles - 2 W Roy St
2020 Bikes - 2020 E Union St

Los Angeles

Orange 20 Bikes - 4351 Melrose Ave

San Diego

Adams Avenue Bicycles
- 2606 Adams Avenue

Support your LBS people! They are one of the best resources out there!

Dealer inquiries now welcome.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Removable rails

I'd been pondering the removable rail thing for a bit and finally got it to the point that I like it. It mounts to the existing hardware, so it retrofits to my existing racks and is only $40. I could make a taller, double layer version too on request that would be more of a basket. Careful now, don't get hyp-mo-tized by all the shiny.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm sponsoring a race?

So what the hell is a utility cycle company doing sponsoring a race? Well, it's a courier race.

The West Side Invite is the west coast's premier celebration of taking things places by bike and having a well earned pint or eight afterwords. Started by Portland messengers in 2001, this is the first time it will be held out of state. Seattle has been asking to host the race for years and we finally decided we could use a break, so Emerald City here we come.

I'm putting up two racks for prizes and if I have any sway with the organizers (don't think that'll be a problem) they will go not to the fastest, but to the awesomest. You know, "best use of a nipple driver", "least beer spilled while racing", those kinds of things.

Memorial day weekend, May 22-25. If you are not there I will be having more fun than you. :P


Price Hike :(

So now that I've made a few batches of the new design I'm realizing that I underbid myself and have to raise my price to $140 for the Pret a Porteur (TCB 3.0) model. I realize that percentage-wise this is rather drastic, and I'm really bummed because it feels like a bit of a bait and switch, but it reflects some hidden costs that were not being addressed.

I definitely believe that this rack is still a screaming deal and the best value on the market. You will not find any porteur as sturdy, modular, shiny and versatile in a single package near this price.

I apologize to folks who missed their chance at the introduction price and hope the quality of my product will make this glitch a small one.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pretty Pictures

I did a trade recently, photos of my product for some custom work and both turned out great. He wanted a smaller rack that mounted on the mid-mounts (AKA low rider mounts) and it worked so well I think I'll offer it as a standard option. It's the bottom two pictures and the thing sticking off the front corner is a light mount.


Friday, January 30, 2009

TCB 3.0: The Pret a Porteur

This is it! I am officially now producing the best racks at the best price in the world!

I came up with a new design recently and it's simple enough to produce that I can now bring my base price down to $100 $140. The other brilliant aspect of this design is that I wrote some customizing software to go with it. It works like this; you send me fork measurements, I ask my thinkin' box where to cut the tubes, I build a rack custom fitted to your bike for only an extra $10. Some custom builders are going to laugh at me for saying the "c word" without charging an arm and a leg, but that's the beauty about my method is that it really is that simple.

I have three standard sizes for this model if you don't need the custom option; Eyelet Tour for touring forks with double eyelets, Axle Tour for taller forks like the Crosscheck or 27" bikes, and Axle Road for road bikes with short reach brakes. The Axle models still require a solid axle front wheel (bolt on, not quick release, not allen key skewers) as mounting heavy cargo on a skewer is a bad scene waiting to happen.

I also now have three different crown attachment systems so any kind of brakes (even Paul's Racers) can be easily accommodated.

Hopefully I'll have more pictures up on the gallery at the website soon, but peep these for now.

Oh, and I recently took a delivery on a pallet, so now I'm legit.

Oregon Manifest

Been busy and haven't updated in a while, but hopefully I'll be better about putting new news up here.

So... I had a booth at the Oregon Manifest show way back in October and it was a blast. I figured since I make cargo racks I should definitely bring my booth to the show on a bike. That's a lot of stuff to haul on a rack so I made a trailer out of my booth instead.

Once I got to the show I felt totally outclassed but then realized these folks have been doing this for years and by the time I got set up I felt just fine about my display. And it worked! I sold a few racks, met a bunch of builders and suppliers, ate pozole, drank beer, wore suspenders...oh, and did the builders lap at the Cross Crusade race on my rack bike in my safety glasses and welding gloves.

I have a really cool job.