The Pull: Tom Kellogg, Part II

The Pull: Tom Kellogg, Part II

In the second part of my interview with Tom Kellogg, we begin with a discussion of geometry for track bikes, and while this subject may not seem super-compelling on its face, it brings in a very interesting discussion of position, weight distribution and handling geometry on the bike. As a result, it’s an opportunity to hear Kellogg talk about something on which he is an acknowledged master.

One of the other truly extraordinary details of Spectrum’s steel frames is the fact that they make each of their own lugs, rather than buying them from a tubing manufacturer or distributor. We discuss why they make their own lugs and how Spectrum’s relationship with Seven Cycles and American Bicycle Group (the parent of Litespeed) works.

Tom announced his impending retirement recently, and we discuss how that’s going for him and what it has done to demand for Spectrum bikes.

 

 

The Pull is brought to you by the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the world’s premiere gathering of frame builders and frame building enthusiasts. The 2020 show will take place March 20th to 22nd at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas Texas. We hope to see you there.

 

Show links:

Part I of Tom’s Interview

Spectrum Cycles

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4 comments

  1. Dave Chirayath

    I never owned a Spectrum, but I did visit Tom’s shop for a fitting on my Merlin, which ironically he designed. To this day I still use the exact setup he prescribed. He is a genius!

  2. Touriste-Routier

    Tom nails it regarding the 6-Day bike geometry, but missed a point in his discussion (it probably just slipped his mind). He talks about 250m velodromes, but the majority of 6-Days tracks in that era were under 200m, mostly 166m . The 166m tracks have steeper bankings than the 250s (54 degrees vs 45-47 were typical).

    The shallow seat angle not only kept the weight off your arms, but having more weight on the rear wheel, made it easier to ride the steep tracks slower when on relief, particularly for lighter riders. During the madisons, even if you were riding on relief on the apron instead of the top of the track, after the exchange you slowed down dramatically, and needed to stay on track until you made it safely down to the apron. The longer distance you stay on track, the longer your partner has to ride, so being able to crawl is important.

    My Rickert 6-Day frames have 72 degree seat tubes; I could relatively crawl along on the steep tracks with them, but on my 75 degree Pogliaghi, I would slip like crazy.

    Another thing Tom didn’t mention (because he didn’t need go into that level of detail) is the G forces created by riding at speed on the tight tracks. You feel like you are getting crushed into your bike. This is one of the reasons why riding with your weight forward is so fatiguing on your upper body on these tracks.

  3. Jay

    Aside from getting an amazing bike, a fitting session with Tom is one of the most fun ways to not ride a bike. But talking shop, and just cycling in general, is one of the best parts of the whole process. It’s pretty cool to see the end product, and even cooler to finally ride it.

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