This is the blog of Alex Wetmore.  Most of the content is either about my hobby projects (usually related to bicycles or metalworking) or trip reports from my outdoor vacations.


  1. justin pogge says:

    have you gotten more tabs for racks made? ive been building a lot more racks lately and making them by hand is the pits.
    also, i remember your post about modifying a travel agent for the sram internal hub, ever try that again? i have someone with a sturmey archer 8 that was asking me about modifying shimano 8 speed barcons to work with the hub.

  2. Pete Ruckelshaus says:


    Just found your blog and spent the morning being amazed by some of your projects.

    I”m working on my second frame, and for a number of reasons, I”d like to use an Oxy-Propane setup rather than an Oxy-Acetylene setup for brazing. O-A is, as you know, far more common and easeir to find info on. Could you tell me about your O-P setup, including regulators and torches?



  3. Alex Wetmore says:

    Pete — This is a good topic to kick off the winter workshop season. I”ll write a blog post on it soon.

  4. Rafi says:

    Hi Alex,

    Just wanted to say thank you for the informative process oriented details of your construction of bicycles and jigs. I just ordered the parts to make something pretty similar to your bottom bracket post. My only questions are A) why the brass bushings? Wouldn”t the bottom bracket face just being on the post be enough, does it have to be centered? B) Did you face the posts heads for flatness?


  5. Alex Wetmore says:

    The bushing does two things:
    1) helps ensure that the bb is vertical, and not at a slight diagonal.
    2) acts as a bearing surface between the steel top nut and steel bb shell (brass is self lubricating, steel is not) so that everything can get tight.

    Everything was faced as accurately as possible on my lathe. The bottom of the post needs to be faced to be true against the surface plate. The top needs to be faced to be true against the bottom bracket shell. The nut must be true to put even pressure down on the bottom bracket shell. Both sides of the brass bushing need to be faced for the same reason.

  6. Rafi says:

    Cool, thanks for the feedback!

  7. Evan says:

    Alex, I”ve been coveting a cycle truck for over a year, with no success. My commuter bike has been nuresed along (neglected), in anticipation of cycle truck replacement, and I”m ready to get serious about it. I like your approach of building off of an old frame, and I”m researching the minimal tools/skills required of me to build one myself. Your pictures of lathes and jigs is intimidating, as I don”t have a workshop or brazing/welding experience. I”d love to pay a budding frame builder or somebody with a workshop $1000 to make me a fork and frame, but am struggling to find somebody willing and albe to do so. (it seems that many frame builders are artsy perfectionists, not able to produce the ugly utilitarian work I”m after) Do you have any suggestions? I”m in Salt Lake City.

    Also, Can you suggest an angle/fork offset/crown height front geometry? There are a couple of 20″ rim sizes, which one offers better rims/tires?

  8. Alex Wetmore says:

    I will start from the end of your questions and work backwards. You should use 406mm (BMX) for the front wheel. There are tons of suitable tires offered in that size. Around 72-74 degree head tube angle works well, with the steeper end handling better, but the lower end putting the whtwel farther under the load. I shoot for a 35-40mm trail.

    I can”t make a specific recommendation for a framebuilder to modify an existing bike. Ahearne makes a very nice looking one from scratch, Civia just introduced a cycletruck that I haven”t ridden, and I”ve heard of one other major manufacturer who is going to offer one soon.

    Machine tools aren”t necessary to make these bikes, they just make the process go more quickly.

  9. Terence Ted says:

    Dear Alex, was wonderhow did you managed to change your tikit to drop down without travel agents,
    I tried travel agents but it affected the fold, unable to stand(will hit travel agents)when folded.

    Best regards

    Terence Ted

  10. Alex Wetmore says:

    I used the Tektro V-brake compatible brake levers for drop bars.

  11. Noah says:

    Hey Alex!

    I”ve been following your online writing off-and-on for years now (back to when you got couplers on the XO-1). Always a pleasure to rediscover your writing.

    I also have a quick question for you: Who makes the orange bike in these pictures? http://alexwetmore.org/?p=613 I”ve been toying with low-trail + disc brakes, so any info would be appreciated.


  12. David says:

    You said you changed the tensioner on your Novara Fusion. I have that bike and would like to get rid of it … or at least upgrade it if that in option. Let me know whats up!

  13. byron says:

    Hi Alex,
    I have a scary cheap triple “Micargi Triple Tandem Bike 26″
    ,that the family uses (infrequently) mostly to terrorize roadies on the BG trail.
    Who would you rec to add some steel bracing? it has basically none. Thanks,

  14. Sam Powrie says:

    Hi Alex,
    do you have any of your rack tabs left for sale?
    Sam P.

  15. lillo says:

    hi what kind of dingy do you guy use? where do you keep it while sailing? and what size outboard? nice adventures on your catalina 25. thank for sharing them.

  16. Jeffrey says:


    I am a huge fan of your site, mostly for the frame and rack building portions. I am going to build a porteur rack for my bike and was wondering if you have any images of completed racks? I am mainly looking for a good way to design the stays with the ability to attach my panniers to it. Any and all help/suggestions would be appreciated!


    p.s. Update this more often, please!

  17. Alex Wetmore says:

    I”m glad that you like it Jeffrey. There are a lot of photos on my smugmug site: http://alexandchristine.smugmug.com/Bicycles

  18. Alex Wetmore says:

    Hi Lilo,

    On the Catalina 25 we used a Zodiac Zoom that was a hair under 8” long. I powered it with a Honda BF2A, which is an older 2hp 4-stroke outboard.

    I”ve recently upgraded to a larger Pearson 28-2 and will probably be switching to a rigid dinghy and ditching the outboard.

  19. Peter Cheimets says:


    I”m building an F1 kayak at home (with Brian’’s permission). I have been using your blog as a guide. This has been very useful. I have a question: you refer to the knot called a “Box Lash”. As far as I can tell this is the only reference of Box Lash in this context on the internet. Can you give me a little more information about this knot, as in how to tie it? I”m getting near the point where I”m going to have to tie the chines together.

    Just for reference, I have been working on the kayak for slightly less than a year, so it was probably a good idea to take the class.



  20. Peter Cheimets says:

    Thanks a lot.


  21. Mitch Sibley-Jett says:

    Hi Alex,
    Great stuff you are doing here – keep it up! I am interested in buying a bicycle jig like yours. Do you sell them?
    Mitch SJ
    Ashford CT

  22. Alex Wetmore says:

    Sorry Mitch, I don”t sell them. It is very similar to the Arctos Jig, which is still being made and sold.