Bicycling and Me

I started riding mountain bikes back in 1986 on a Schwinn Mirada.  With up-right bars and 15 speeds, I explored every square foot of woods in East Lyme, Ct.  I eventually gave racing a try and won my first race in the junior division.  More racing led to wear and tear on my bike.  So in order to save money, I taught myself how to maintain and fix my investment.  My racing got good enough to get the attention of a local shop who sponsored me and employed me after school from 1989 to early 1991.  My short-lived MTB racing career led me to a New England MTB Championship in the junior division.  I won the uphill race, dual slalom, and the cross country events.  In 1991 my Dad relocated to South Carolina, so I followed and found employment at Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse in Augusta, GA, just across the state line.  I continued racing MTB’s but found the expert class to be a bit much while working full time.  So I focused on my work and hung up racing.  As the years passed, I found I had a desire and passion to keep people’s bikes in mechanical order, and I enjoyed the work.  I decided to make this my career.  In 2002, I decided to re-enter racing, but on the road this time.  I quickly progressed, especially at criteruim racing, until a big crash resulted in a mangled collarbone, which was put back together with some Titanium hardware.  After that, I got a little shy about racing.  Then a good friend of mine suggested cyclocross.  Since 2003, this discipline has totally clicked with me!  I continue to race in the Georgia Cross Series and look forward to October every year.  I still work for Andy Jordan’s, where I have made many friends, fixed, assembled, and repaired thousands of bikes, and met my beautiful wife!

Frame Painting

Years ago I was tired of my Giant TCR’s finish.  Instead of a new frame with colors and decals that were less desirable, I decided to refinish the frame and fork myself.  I carefully hand-sanded the paint from the carbon frame/fork and redid it using automotive grade paint.  The bright colors, flowing lines, and freshened up logo gained a lot of attention at my next criterium race. It wasn’t long before someone asked me who did the work and would I consider applying that treatment to their frame.  Many paint jobs later I have acquired the knowledge and skill for repainting carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel frames.  My workshop has a dedicated paint booth that enables me to create multi-color paint work with custom decals that are done with paint when possible.  So if you have a frame that you love, but are tired of the finish, consider a custom re-paint!

Frame Building

I started frame building to help others like myself with in between size issues.  At 5’7” with a 31.5 inseam and long arms, a typical 52/53cm frame just would not work with longer cranks.  A larger 54cm would give me the crank dimensions, but the rest of the frame was always too big.  As a big do-it-yourselfer, building my own frame was a logical decision.  Having ridden many high performance frame materials such as aluminum, scandium and carbon fiber, the thought of a heavier steel frame at first was very discouraging.  After researching frame materials my thoughts were changed after finding out how much cro-moly steel has progressed over the years since I last rode the material in 1993!  Better blends and manufacturing of the tubing have let builders create frames that are up to a pound heavier than the space age materials commonly used today.  I figured that was worth its weight in gold if I could achieve a frame that allowed the use of longer crank arms without sacrificing other issues such as toe overlap and clearance when pedaling through a turn.  I also was able to sharpen the head angle and slightly slacken the seat angle giving me total custom frame geometry.  Another issue I thought I would have would be a very flexible frame.  My first rides really surprised me with minimal flexing in the head tube and bottom bracket area and an extremely lively, comfortable feel.  After receiving numerous compliments on how comfortable my riding position looked, feeling no fit-related issues, and of course, not catching a pedal through a turn, I felt I achieved a frame that fits me.   After building 3 frames for myself and abusing them on dirt roads, group rides and daily commuting, I have decided to offer my skills to others with similar needs.  So if a custom road bike, fixed gear road, or cyclocross is in order, I would be excited to use my abilities create a frame that fits you!

Nate Zukas

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