Kaz's Bronson Decal Job
SWEET BIKE BUILDS

Kaz's 'Ride the Lightning' Santa Cruz Bronson

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Kaz Yamamura
Date Mar 30, 2017

We first met Kaz Yamamura at Crankworx about four years ago. He was just getting into photography and was looking for some experience, so he had asked if he could come along and point his camera at things and make pictures. I'm not sure what he thought the inside of the NSMB workings would be like at that event, but I do remember that it seemed clear early on that we weren't what he was expecting.

Anyway, that was the start of Kaz's time with us and we had a lot of laughs - not only at his expense - during that time. And now look! He's still making pictures sometimes but he also went back to school to finish his civil eng degree, works part-time at Dunbar Cycles and even works on IFHT projects. The other day we caught wind of the custom decal job he applied to his new Bronson CC and we asked him to send along some photos and describe the process, which he has done below.

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - Full Side

Kaz's metal roots showing through.

I kept seeing what the Coastal Crew do to their bikes year after year, and I wanted to do something unique myself. I decided to wrap my dirt-jump bike as a sort of inside joke - and it ended up turning more heads than expected. I wanted to do something cool and radical, yet sleek and simple for my trail bike.

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - Side Closeup

Custom right down to the shock decals.

After my dirt jump bike, I started brainstorming other ideas for vinyl wraps. At the time I was listening to some good old fashioned early Metallica, and I thought a 'Ride The Lightning' inspired lightning-on-storm sort of wrap would look good. 

Fast forward to a year later, I got my hands on a Santa Cruz Bronson frame, and wanted to wrap it while it was still fresh. I created the background design in photoshop, and added lightning bolts here and there. 

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - Front

A real perfectionist would have wrapped the headtube badge. Just sayin...

Instead of applying a mono-colour Santa Cruz decal on top of the vinyl, I decided to create an 80's inspired logo myself. The good people at Santa Cruz sent over a vector file of the logo, and after about a few days playing around in Photoshop, I created the metallic looking logo. 

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - Chainstay detail

Kaz really nailed all the details.

To match the main logo, I looked around the web for 80's inspired fonts - after doing a test run of different fonts, I decided on one particular font, and made it pink. What says 1980's more than blue and pink?

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - Fork detail

Including the decals on his Fox 34.

I went to the print shop down the street from where I work to get it printed. Printing was easy - I handed him a USB stick and within hours it was ready. 

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - Lightning detail

Applying the vinyl took me about 15 hours total - 5 hours a day for 3 days. Armed with my girlfriend's blow dryer, a tailor's measuring tape and some hobby knives, I went to town with cutting, heating and pressing. The hardest part was the downtube and seatstays - I had to cut and place the vinyl so that the logos would fit perfectly on those areas. 

Kaz's Custom Santa Cruz Bronson CC - 3/4 head on view

Sort of like scrapbooking. On your carbon mountain bike.

I bought myself a small decal machine to cut out vinyl - the kind that is apparently marketed towards housewives that scrapbook. (I was asked 'Do you do a lot of scrap booking?' when I brought the machine to the checkout.) I used it to create and cut the fork and shock decals using the same vinyl as the bike.

Lastly, I needed to colour match the parts to the bike. Thanks to the lads at Chromag, RaceFace and Dunbar Cycles, I was able to obtain everything I needed within days. I could go on about why I chose certain components, but you're not here to read about that. 

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Comments

PatrickJ
0
Patrick Julaton  - March 30, 2017, 6:06 a.m.

Hi! I know that the DHR is rear-specific but I mounted it in the front, as well. Haven't ridden it yet until tomorrow. Anyone knows how it handles in the front? Thanks! Sweet bike, by the way

Reply

Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - March 30, 2017, 10:31 a.m.

Run it up front on the trail bike.  Use it out back on the DH bike.

Reply

mammal
+2 Endur-Bro Cam McRae
Mammal  - March 30, 2017, 7:17 a.m.

DHRII is front and back is my favorite setup by far. All of the tractions, all of the time. Probably not the fastest rolling combo, but I don't really give a damn about that...

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - March 30, 2017, 3:55 p.m.

My feelings exactly. Aside from the E*thirteen tires. Have you tried those? Similarly awesome. Maybe awesomer.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - March 31, 2017, 7:58 a.m.

I have not... but I've never seen them for sale. HRII are everywhere. I usually order 2 or 3 tires at a time from CRC. Which model is comparable, and are they similar price-wise ?

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - March 31, 2017, 9:48 a.m.

Crap, I meant DHRII are everywhere. Damn lack of edit feature. My favorite hockey blog just went to the same comment format, and it's driving me nuts.

Reply

JBV
+4 Merwinn Pete Roggeman grambo Cam McRae
James Vasilyev  - March 30, 2017, 7:56 a.m.

this article could have also been titled; return of the stick.

Reply

davetolnai
+1 Merwinn
Dave Tolnai  - March 30, 2017, 8:49 a.m.

I so badly wanted to have the first stick related comment, but you beat me to it.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - March 30, 2017, 9:18 a.m.

Mountain Stick Action FTW

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - March 30, 2017, 8:20 a.m.

Definitely a cool idea.  If you can vinyl wrap a car, why not a bike!  It brings back memories of the Klein Nightstorm paintjob I used to lust after back in my days as a young'un.

http://www.oldklein.com/vanha/kleinit/AttitudeNightstormmax.htm

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - March 30, 2017, 8:51 a.m.

Hey Kaz:

How does the vinyl wrap work?  Is it just a big sheet that you cut yourself?  Something more precise than that?  Or is it just something that some other guy does after you pay them money?

Reply

KazYamamura
0
Kaz Yamamura  - March 30, 2017, 9:23 a.m.

It's a big sheet that I get printed at the print shop; for this one I got a 46"x32" sheet. Afterwards, it's just measuring each tube/stay on the bike and cutting.

Reply

ron-chang
0
Ron Chang  - March 31, 2017, 4:25 p.m.

I know that vinyl can be manipulated by heat, but how do you do the really awkward shapes like the BB junction or headtube?  Your wrap looks seamless, but I doubt I could make it as clean.

Reply

Endur-Bro
-1 Ron Chang
Endur-Bro  - March 31, 2017, 1:33 p.m.

Most hyped bike wrap of all time.

I'm surprised/puzzled by the Float and 34 combo.

Reply

KazYamamura
+1 Ron Chang
Kaz Yamamura  - March 31, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

What do you mean? What's wrong with the Float 34?

Reply

Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - April 1, 2017, 2:39 p.m.

I thought the Bronson came with a Float X or other reservoir shock. I really don't like the QR15 system Fox uses.

Nonetheless, sick bike man!

Reply

KazYamamura
0
Kaz Yamamura  - April 1, 2017, 5:57 p.m.

I got it as a frame, and I converted my float ctd that I already had to a DPS. I also already had a 34 150mm, so I got the retro air assembly and raised it to 160.

Reply

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