A GUIDE TO THE EXHIBITORS
NORTH AMERICAN HANDMADE BICYCLE SHOW
Walton Brush [ San Francisco Art Student ] 2nd Place: 2010 Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships The Sherman Race Bag. Hand made in America. Limitless Applications. Available 2.22.11
Hello and welcome to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. It’s hard to believe that a full year has passed since we were in Richmond, Va., where NAHBS last made its presentation of the finest bicycles in the world. We are delighted to be back in Texas, where it all started for NAHBS back in 2005. The artisans of NAHBS dedicate their lives to the craft. I suggest—as you view their wares—that you pay attention to the details. Whether it is something as subtle as cable routing, or even a lug shoreline, these creations are rideable art. Each framebuilder’s personality and philosophies are embedded into the matrix of what they create. If you ask them questions, they will open up and let you into their world. I am excited to be back in my adopted home state and bring you not just a bicycle show but a magnificent weekend of bicycle events ranging from film screenings to the Exhibitor/VIP party and even a good ol’ fashioned Texas barbecue followed by a pub crawl. NAHBS is a family of sorts. From my brothers and sisters who build frames, to my uncles who machine components, to my cousins who make cycling clothing—we’re all one big happy family, and we are glad that you decided to spend the weekend with us. Whether in the expo hall or at one of our NAHBS shindigs, we’re happy to have you joining our annual reunion.
editor/publisher brian riepe publisher steve mabry art director chris hanna managing editor trina ortega copy editor charlie wertheim writers: t. herb belrose & matthew j. nelson
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show guide is published by Secret Agent Publishing and distributed at the show.
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p.o. box 272 gunnison, co 81230 / 970.641.1804 firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com www.mountainflyer.com
cover photo: Ira Ryan photographed by T. Herb Belrose
Thanks, again, for coming to the best li’l bike show in North America! Don Walker
Don Walker Founder and President North American Handmade Bicycle Show
WHAT’S INSIDE 6 NAHBS Seminar Series 8 Gallery 14 The History of NAHBS 16 A Matter of Substance by T. Herb Belrose 27 Framebuilder Biography Listings 62 New Framebuilder Listings 64 Earth, Wind, and Fire by Matthew J. Nelson 70 NAHBS Schedule and Austin Lowdown 72 Industry and Sponsor Directory 74 Tailwind: Fearless into the Mystery by T. Herb Belrose
Nothing in this publication can be copied or reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. All material and images are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, but published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Secret Agent Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or images. But we’ll sure consider them. 3
I’VE ALWAYS LOVED FAT TIRE
We began by taking mixed cases of homebrew to parties – their abbreviations written on the caps. Everyone always searched for “FT”. Fat Tire was the go-to beer even then. Now 20 years later, I wonder, was it coincidence or prophecy that this perfectly balanced beer was born on a bike?
FAT TIRE co-founder, Kim Jordan
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I’VE ALWAYS HATED FAT TIRE
It’s the hardest beer for us to make. It’s still a homebrew recipe. The hop/malt balance required makes me pull out what little hair I have left. But, last night as I savored Fat Tire Ale, all was forgiven. The Belgian inspiration, the elegance – it’s worth every ounce of frustration.
Peter Bouckaert, brewer of FAT
REVEAL OUR JOY RIDE!
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2011 NAHBS Seminars The NAHBS seminars consist of three intense days of learning sessions in which the world’s pre-eminent framebuilders divulge years worth of knowledge. These are “do not miss” events for those looking for deeper knowledge about bicycles, whether you’re an amateur builder, a new professional or simply a cycling enthusiast. Price: $195 (three-day pass)
Scan this QR code with your smart phone for Seminar Schedule updates or go to www.2011.handmadebicycleshow. com/2011-show/seminars/
TANDEM FRAME DESIGN — DWAN SHEPARD — FRIDAY, 10:30 A.M. After years of toiling in self-imposed slavery, Co-Motion Cycles emerged as a leader in tandem bicycles. Dwan will present a seminar on tandem frame design, discussing tandem configurations of the past and present and the reasoning for their different structures.
SO YOU WANT TO MOUNT DECALS? — GARY PRANGE, SCREEN SPECIALTY SHOP, INC. — FRIDAY, 12 P.M. Gary will discuss the various forms of decals and which will work best for your application. This seminar is for builders and painters and will review the possibilities and pitfalls of branding your frames.
INTRODUCTION TO BRAZING — WADE BAROCSI — FRIDAY, 2 P.M. A brief introduction to brazing and how it works: Brazing alloy selection considerations, why we use the alloys that we use; bronze vs. silver; lug vs. fillet; flux varieties and uses including paste, powder, liquid fluxes and “butters”; why proper flux selection is so critical.
IT WHEEL BE GOOD — RIC HJERTBERG — FRIDAY, 3 P.M. AND SATURDAY, 1 P.M. Ric Hjertberg is mad about bicycle wheels. He founded Wheelsmith and has become widely known for many fundamental improvements in wheel design. The author of more than 40 articles on the subject, he tries to spread the word at every opportunity.
INTRODUCING NEW STAINLESS STEEL — JOE MCCRINK, KVA STAINLESS — FRIDAY, 4 P.M. KVA Stainless is introducing new stainless steel tubes and tube sets, which will open the market for stainless bicycle frames to a wider range of riders and builders.
TOOLING AROUND — DON FERRIS — SATURDAY, 10:30 A.M. Don Ferris of Anvil Bikeworks has been a leading supplier of framebuilding tools and fixtures to the bicycle industry since 1999. Don will share his experience and knowledge in framebuilding, machine shop practices, and tool manufacture.
BIKECAD-EMY — BRENT CURRY — SATURDAY, 11:45 A.M. Brent Curry, the developer of BikeCAD and BikeCAD Pro, will give an overview of BikeCAD’s basic functionality and describe the new features of BikeCAD version 7.0.
WHY IS FIBER IMPORTANT? — BOB PARLEE — SATURDAY, 2 P.M. Bob is going to talk briefly about how he developed his framebuilding methods, why he chose carbon fiber as a material and what differentiates PARLEE; in other words, how/why bikes are built at PARLEE Cycles.
FIND A NEED AND FILLET — TOM RITCHEY — SATURDAY, 3:30 P.M. The Fillet Brazing Framebuilder—it’s what Tom Ritchey frames are best known for. TR will go through how he learned and why fillet is still relevant today, along with some early challenges in his own framebuilder years and how he overcame them.
THAT’S FITTING — CRAIG CALFEE — SATURDAY, 4:30 P.M. Legendary designer and framebuilder Craig Calfee will demonstrate the Calfee Sizer fitting cycle, showing how it can speed up fitting sessions using any fitting method.
BIKE BUILDING BUSINESS BASICS: SET UP YOUR BUSINESS, PREVENT PROBLEMS AND REDUCE INSURANCE COSTS — LORA VANDIXHORN — SUNDAY, 11 A.M. Learn key, simple ideas to set up your business, prevent problems and reduce insurance costs. Before you start, protect yourself and your family financially.
ATOMIC NUMBER 22, THE SPACE AGE METAL (TITANIUM) — KENT ERIKSEN — SUNDAY, 12:30 P.M. Kent will be talking about his use of titanium: Why, how, what and the benefits of titanium as a framebuilding material. Ample time will be given for a Q&A and an open-format discussion.
SEROTTA AND COLUMBUS, STEEL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS — BEN SEROTTA — SUNDAY, 1:45 P.M. Serotta Competition Bicycles and Columbus of Italy have a business relationship that spans four decades. Learn more about their 25 years of collaboration working with the planet’s most noble metal. 6
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REBIRTH OF THE COOL
Brad Quartuccio, Urban Velo
2009 NAHBS award winners on stage in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Celebrated History of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show by Paul Skilbeck Prior to NAHBS, the handmade custom bicycle industry was in a quiet period, a far cry from the glory days of the 1970s. Back then, discerning cyclists looking for a really fast, sporty, lightweight bicycle might have had good off-the-shelf options, but the most desirable bicycles were being handmade by the custom builders. The handmade industry was flourishing. The mountain bike boom of the 1980s and ’90s brought a flood of new customers into cycling, and many cyclists were willing to buy high-end bikes. The industry, as a whole, revved up, and mass manufacturers seized the moment. Enter carbon fiber technology, massive promotional campaigns and good, cheap Chinese-made bikes, and soon the cottage industry of the handmade bicycle was largely forgotten. Throughout the 1990s, many companies in the handmade market shrank and disappeared. Something needed to be done, but what? The concept for NAHBS arose when an online community of builders met in 2004 and decided to have a get-together to help educate some of the younger builders. Don Walker, a bicycle framebuilder living in Texas, saw that the event could also provide a huge marketing boost for them all if they pooled their resources in the form of a big promotional convention: The North American Handmade Bicycle Show was born! The first NAHBS was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Houston in January 2005. Since the handmade custom bicycle industry had been going in the same direction worldwide, the show quickly garnered international 14
attention. Canadians and builders from Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and other countries started exhibiting at NAHBS. The show was an instant hit. The handmade builders were once again darlings of the media. Magazines and websites were adorned with images of fabulous handmade bicycles, and the industry began to thrive again. Now considered a prime mover in the renaissance of the handmade custom bicycle industry, NAHBS is not only an exhibition of the finest hardware in the bicycle world, but it continues to be a pooling of the industry’s best minds and ideas. Continuing on a trend of steady growth, the Austin, Texas, NAHBS is the largest yet, with more than 164 exhibitors—a far cry from the 23 visionary builders who showed in Houston only six years ago.
HISTORY OF GROWTH: 2005, Houston, Texas — 23 exhibitors 2006, San Jose, Calif. —71 exhibitors 2007, San Jose, Calif. — 99 exhibitors 2008, Portland, Ore. — 150 exhibitors 2009, Indianapolis, Ind. —111 exhibitors 2010, Richmond, Va. —126 exhibitors 2011, Austin, Texas — 164+ exhibitors
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Page 16-17 photos by T. Herb Belrose
a matter of substance
Five Builders Discuss Materials, Craft and the Philosophy of Independent Manufacturing by T. Herb Belrose The products of bicycle building and design are as diverse as the framebuilders at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. In the course of researching an article about the materials that builders use to create frames, I learned many fascinating, esoteric details about carbon fiber filaments, tube manufacturing, epoxies, welding and metallurgy. I then attempted to use my false expertise to interview a select group of framebuilders about their preferred methods and materials for building. 17
Ira Ryan, photo by T. Herb Belrose
a matter of substance
What I heard from all of my interviewees was that the material component of a handmade bicycle does not matter compared to the skill, experience and philosophy of the builder. Yes, there is a bike that is the lightest in the world, and next year there will be a new record holder. But the lightest bike in the world is not necessarily the best bike in the world. We can rate a product based on tangible things like weight, strength and stiffness, but the inherent value of an object is its ability to achieve an objective. Each rider has a different objective for his bicycle. We all have unique bodies, movements and motivations in life. A 16-pound time trial bike is not the perfect bike for a person picking up groceries after work, and a lugged French style porteur bicycle is not going to win the Giro d’Italia in 2011. A handmade bicycle is an expression of identity and craft. It can be made from almost anything, but what is far more important is finding the builder who can manufacture the bike that will serve you well. The following text comprises excerpts from interviews with a few of the people who have dedicated their lives to producing the best bicycles in the world. I am confident that their stories and philosophies will be more interesting and valuable to you than the lackluster essay I was going to write about composites and alloys.
Ira Ryan ~ Steel Why do you build with steel? On a bare bones, minimalistic level, even if you are building frames as a hobby, you can do it with a vise, a bunch of files, a hacksaw, a simple workbench or a kitchen table and a plywood jig. It doesn’t take big machines and expensive equipment and fancy 18
fixtures and jigs to make things; you just have to be ingenious in how you approach it and problem solve. How is steel different from other framebuilding materials? I think steel is a totally different ball of wax. With carbon fiber and aluminum you see a lot of shapes that are hot one year and then the next year it’s like, “That’s so 2008, you don’t want to use that shape down tube.” I think there is a lot of hype. In a world that seems to be saturated with bikes that are carbon fiber and aluminum, everyone is obsessed with having the stiffest bike and the lightest bike, but no one really gives as much credit to a bike that is comfortable or a bike that serves its purpose to the highest degree that it possibly can. What about oxidation? Do you have to think about rust when you build or design a steel bike? Unless it affects the properties of the material, I don’t see an issue. Steel has an organic property to it. There’s something inherently romantic about the fact that if you left an unpainted steel frame on the beach, in four years it would be rotted. It would go back to the elements, it would go back into the earth. I’m into the dust into dust religion thing. Somehow I just connect with it more than something that doesn’t rust or doesn’t corrode or doesn’t oxidize. Do you think that the bicycle industry relies too much on gimmicks? That’s part of that market. When you look at any industry— electronics, the newest smart phones, cars or vacuum cleaners—they want the latest, they want all of these features and they want it to be sexy and they want it to be new. It’s human nature. There are people who are naturally attracted toward that. They want to be on (continued on page 20)
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P a r a g o n M a c h i n e Wo r k s . c o m 19
Craig Calfee, photo by Jason Finch
a matter of substance
(continued from page 18)
top of it. And that’s fine, but I think that there’s a lot to be said for dependability and durability and something that is built for you. If you want something that is special and you want something that fits your freakishly dimensioned body, sometimes a handbuilt bike is the only way to get there. That’s something that Trek can’t do.
Craig Calfee ~ Carbon Fiber/Bamboo What’s your attraction to working with carbon fiber? Carbon fiber has pretty much the best structural properties to build a bicycle with. That means stiffness-to-weight ratio, formability and vibration dampening. It beats metals hands down on all of those fronts. While metals have plenty of advantages, mainly a long history of fabrication technology and development that has trickled down basically into anyone’s garage, carbon fiber has really only been developed since the end of WWII. That newness is attractive to me as an inventor, or as a creative person, because it hasn’t been done before. Was that part of your attraction to bamboo? Like, when you saw a stand of bamboo did it just register in your brain as bike tubing? My inspiration since day one, as a kid, was that I spent a lot of time in the woods back East. I’d ride my bike in the woods and, along the way I invented mountain biking like so many other people did. I’ve been inspired by how trees look and branches and leaves and pretty much anything that is alive and grows. The structure that they evolved to is pretty interesting. It’s a deep subject when you look at things like biomimicry and how trees decide what shape they need to be to resist wind. 20
Bamboo is one of those really interesting materials because it comes out of the ground in an incredibly efficient form, as a round tube, and it happens to be light, incredibly tough and it grows like a weed. When you start looking beyond the structural part, which already impresses anyone familiar with working with tubing, you start to think about it economically, not just in dollars and cents but also the effort required to turn it into something useful. Digging dirt is a lot of work and mining ore is a lot of work. Yes, there are industrial scales and we’ve been doing it for 5,000 years, but still, when you look at it, it is a lot of work. With bamboo, which is just growing out of the ground, it’s like, “Well, here we go. It’s right there.” It’s pretty inspiring to try to make use of that. And that’s where I’ve been coming from for a long time. Is it hard to work with a material that does not have a predictable form? You have to cooperate with bamboo and understand that you can’t go to the store and buy 1 3/8 outside diameter bamboo. It’s not round, it’s not straight and you just have to use those parameters when thinking about how to set it up and miter it and all of that. It’s definitely harder, but once you accept the limitations and the challenges, you design accordingly. And that’s a lot of fun. How do you come up with a system that accepts the idiosyncrasies of this material that grows out of the ground? When I first saw one of your bikes, I couldn’t stop staring at it. There’s something compelling about bamboo. There is an interesting aspect to bamboo, and I’m trying to
Carl Strong, photo by Loretta Strong
figure out why people are so attracted to it. I think it relates to why singlespeed bikes have become so popular. It’s a parallel reason, and it boils down to the understanding of a machine. Our world has become a lot more complicated in the last 10 years. There’s a lot of information, a lot of distraction. I think that there is this need to free the clutter of your mind. So you look at a singlespeed bike and you say, “Oh, there’s a cog, there’s a sprocket.” And then you turn the crank and the wheel turns around. Done. Let’s go. That simplicity is appealing, and the same goes for bamboo frames. You look at the bike and there’s the stuff that grows out of the ground that is now a bike. It looks like it’s lashed together with some fiber. You instantly understand it, how it’s made and how it could possibly work. With a metal bike, we’ve seen steel tubing for centuries and we really understand it just from familiarity, but we don’t really understand metals intimately. Like I said before about mining of the ore and somehow turning it into metal, then how do you take this metal and turn it into a tube? The average person has no idea how to do any of that. Now take carbon fiber and it’s a whole other level removed of understanding. First of all, what is carbon fiber itself? You don’t even know where it comes from. And how do you form it into all of those swoopy shapes? What’s epoxy anyway? It’s just so removed from what we’re really familiar with, that you just say, “Okay, whatever…” Bamboo is like, “Oh, yes! I understand that. Let’s talk about that. Let’s think about that.”
Carl Strong ~ Steel/Titanium/Carbon What are some positive attributes of building with steel?
Steel is the best balance of all the elements a person would look for in a frame. It’s the best balance of strength and lightness compared to cost. There’s a lot of material available so it’s easy to tailor the bike to a specific use or a specific customer with a specific set of priorities. There’s a ton of flexibility. It’s really practical but if a customer has a priority in performance, then you can get performance out of it, too. I’m always trying to figure out what material to fit a person into. Typically the biggest considerations are going to be durability, weight and cost. With steel, all of those elements are balanced very nicely against one another. Now, if you compare that to more of an art bike like a Richard Sachs or a David Kirk or something, then that changes the whole game. But in my case, where I don’t do lugs and I don’t do fillets, I focus specifically on performance. My bikes are TIG welded, they’re less expensive in relation to other materials, whereas a Richard Sachs is gonna cost $4,000 bucks, which is almost as much as one of my carbon bikes. Then when you compare that to titanium, what you get is that titanium is lighter than steel and it’s going to be more durable, typically, as a frame because the material can handle a lot more abuse, there’s no paint on it so you don’t have to worry about that and it’s corrosion-resistant. So if a person is thinking over a longer period of time, where the service life of the bike is 10 to 20 years, or weight savings is important to them, or if money is no object, then suddenly titanium becomes a good choice. Then you can take that one step further with carbon fiber. Carbon fiber will be the lightest, it will be the stiffest, but it’s the most expensive. So if you are a person whose priorities are lightness 21
David Levy, photo by T. Herb Belrose
a matter of substance
and stiffness—which would typically be a racer, more so than anybody, which most of my customers are not—then carbon fiber is the way to go, if you have the budget. Is there a different sensation working with carbon fiber as opposed to metals? I’m known for TIG-welded frames, and people almost think of me as a welder rather than a framebuilder, but as a framebuilder it’s a bike like any other bike even if it’s a different material. I think my approach to it is exactly as it would be to a metal bike. There are a couple of added techniques and the material is different, but from a framemaking standpoint to me it is the same. Is there anything else that you think handmade bicycle clientele should know about materials? Whenever you are comparing materials, you can only compare apples to apples. It wouldn’t be fair to compare a mass-produced, molded carbon fiber bike made in Taiwan to a handmade, tube-totube, carbon fiber frame. One of the things that really muddies the waters is when a builder like me says, “Well, you can get a lighter stiffer bike out of carbon than you would out of titanium.” You won’t get that out of a Taiwanese carbon fiber bike. And a good steel frame is a million times better than an okay titanium frame. At the end of the day, it’s all about where the rubber meets the road.
David Levy ~ Steel/Titanium Did you start out as a steel builder? 22
I started building in ’85, and there were not any readily available titanium options at that point in time. Did you make a smooth transition into titanium? Probably as smooth as you could make that transition. I spent 4 1/2 years building steel bikes. To understand how bicycles go together I learned about geometry and just figured out the whole concept of how bicycles worked. And then from there I went into titanium and, to be able to make the transition, I spent about a year doing classes and just immersing myself in the different materials. Is it common for people stepping out of steel into a new material to dedicate themselves like that to learning a new craft? My background is in art, as far as my actual education, so I tend to have that classical art approach to learning things. You learn the basics and they become the building blocks that you work from. Look at an artist like Picasso. The guy was an amazing draftsperson who could do incredible life-like drawings before he ever did any of the cubist stuff that he became famous for. The same sort of building blocks makes the most sense as far as trying to master things. Is there a form or aesthetic to titanium that is different from steel? When I go back and I look at my aesthetic, I have a formfollows-function attitude. Because of that the simplicity of the finish has always attracted me. I really appreciate that the finish of a titanium bike that rolls out of here, most of the time, is what we describe as a satin finish. It’s basically made by a whole series of fine scratches, which is what you are going to do with your bike if you
Nick Crumpton / Photo by Nick Crumpton
use it. There’s something appealing to me about putting a finish on that is going to look good for years and years. The durability of titanium appeals to me as well. The yield strengths are high, and the fatigue characteristics are so desirable.
a nice small fillet just looked nice. I liked it. It was also the idea of doing time trial bikes and mountain bikes with aero-shaped tubes, which I did quite a few of early on, so lugs were a moot point anyway.
Did you feel drawn to building bikes at an early age? Yeah, totally. I started racing bikes when I was 14. I got bit by the bug. I built my first bicycles at that point. Not road bikes, we were doinking around with this new thing called bicycle motocross that had just come out on the West Coast. I grew up in Iowa and you couldn’t get a BMX frame. My dad had a friend with an old crashed airplane back behind his shop. Me and my buddy, Mike, used to go out there and cut tubes out of it and I’d oxy-acetylene weld them together. We built a couple of BMX bikes.
When did you start working with carbon fiber? The idea of making a customer a tailor-made carbon frame landed in my head in about 2000. At the time, I had been working a high-tech day job for a few years. I was really trying to make a go at being a custom framebuilder, and in 2000 it was like, “There is no way I’m going to be even close to paying the mortgage here building steel frames.” Think about the market for custom steel frames then versus today. Carbon was getting common then, but it’s nowhere near as common as it is today. But you could see the handwriting on the wall; it was headed that way. The idea was to figure out how to make custom geometries in carbon, and that would be my ticket into building and making a living. I was both right and wrong. I was right in that when I figured that out I was able to make a living as a builder. We’ve been in the black since day one. But I was wrong thinking that you couldn’t do it with steel because this resurgence started happening. All of a sudden, custom framebuilders can actually make a living again working with steel in this country. For the longest time, if you weren’t Tom Kellogg or Richard Sachs, you were going to have a hell of a time convincing someone to buy your bike.At least as far as I knew, I was buried in my cube at work and didn’t have my finger on the pulse of the industry. But I think it was pretty dead at that point.
You cut apart an airplane? How did you miter the tubes? With a grinder and a file. How did you know how to do that? When I was 12 my dad gave me an oxy-acetylene torch. It’s actually the torch that I still use today. The whole metal working thing was easy and fun for me. So it wasn’t a big deal to do that kind of stuff. I always just kind of figure shit out.
Nick Crumpton ~ Carbon Fiber
Can you talk about some of your early bikes and methods? Early on it was all steel. It was mostly fillet brazed. Why fillet brazed over lugged? Probably because at the time the aesthetic of
Richard Sachs, photo by Nick Czerula
a matter of substance
I think it was tense for a lot of builders. Yeah, through the ’90s into 2000, the mass-produced stuff really came up. We can sit here and talk about what kind of crap comes out of Asia all day long, but the reality is that it’s not really that crappy. It’s just generic, and there’s a difference. What kind of opportunities did carbon fiber present to you? At that time there were very few options. I am not over here making tubes, so let’s back up. I’m a framebuilder. I’m not a carbon tube-maker, and there is a huge difference. The first couple of frames I made were out of tubing that was just commercially available and it didn’t have a laminate schedule that was suitable for making tubes of a bike frame. While the bike was strong and durable, it rode like crap. It had no torsional rigidity. You could get some pretty incredible speed wobbles going on a fast descent. Not because of bad geometry or asymmetrical forks, it had everything to do with tubes that couldn’t resist twisting. Then I had to go to a tube-maker and lay down a ton of cash to get tubes made the way that I needed them because they wouldn’t just make you a down tube. They wanted to sell you 600 feet of that tube. And the down tube is different from the top tube and the seat tube.… To answer your question, there was no flexibility early on. It was tough. The opportunity was to go invent it and figure it out.
Richard Sachs ~ Steel When did you start working with steel? I started at the beginning when I went to England in 1972. 24
Has it been fulfilling to work in tube design? Kind of. A lot of the things I’ve been working on for the last 10 or 15 years have to do with the fact that I have always worked alone, by choice, and I’ve always worked with steel because that’s the material I inherited when I entered the trade. But forget about why I entered the business. For most of the ’80s and ’90s, it was clear that the industry was going the non-ferrous route and framebuilders, season by season and generation by generation, were becoming less in number. The essence of this thought is that the “materials people,” who were our supply chain, were giving up because when the big companies started doing aluminum and any other material except for steel, they didn’t have the demand to create new things for the work we were doing, which was handmade framebuilding. By the time the ’90s rolled around, I felt like there hadn’t been anything new developed for my niche in a long time. In the old days, and I’m not that old, it was like everything started with framebuilders and went back down. The framebuilders were at the vanguard, they were the important part of the equation. Whatever happened at the framebuilder’s shop eventually got co-opted by the industry and then you’d see factory bikes using design elements that were part of framebuilding. When the materials’ supply was Columbus or Reynolds or whoever, I was seeing that framebuilders were off in the margins somewhere. The mainstream was Trek and Cannondale. It became clear that there was nothing left to develop for framebuilding because there was not enough people building frames to develop things for. I didn’t really want to be using leftover inventory or obsolete inventory that was new 10 years ago but hadn’t been improved upon since. I said to myself, “Find a way to convince our suppliers to make
Richard Sachs, photo by Nick Czerula
stuff and, even if it was a white lie, convince them to make stuff to keep the trade alive and keep the niche going.” The driving force was to keep me alive and to make stuff that other people could use. I felt like, by the late ’90s, it’s time to invest. So I came up with framebuilding parts. It didn’t happen all at once, but it eventually did happen. What are the characteristics of steel that you enjoy as a building material? There aren’t any characteristics that I enjoy about it. It’s just what I use and what I’m comfortable with. I’m confident that it’s a good material. It’s probably the best material for me, and it’s the best material for people who pay me to make them bikes. Unlike other people, and I’m not trying to put quotes into anyone’s mouth, but I don’t think of steel as being from the past. I think of it as being a part of the process or a part of the package rather than the process or the package. The most important component of the bicycle is my ability and my experience. The type of steel I use almost doesn’t matter. It’s what I do with it. It’s not easy for me to separate everything and make the material its own subject. You have your own line of tubing. What are you looking for when you design a tube? I’m not looking for any characteristics. I just want a tube. The important thing is to have a tube that hasn’t been lying on a shelf somewhere for 20 years. What I found over time was that the quality of the steel most of us were being served up kept getting lower. I never felt that bikes were less for using it. It was more like, “Is this all there is?”
So when you talk about characteristics, I simply wanted steel the way I remembered it, but a high-quality manufacturing of it. In the course of all of that, I also wanted to make the diameters larger and the gauges thinner, so that we weren’t just making a remake of some tube that was involved in ’70s or ’80s framebuilding. I wanted to keep the material steel, but I wanted to find a way to make it palatable for 21st century framebuilding operations. It wasn’t like I tweaked the alloy. Christ, I don’t even think about the alloy. I leave that up to the tubing company. I just wanted a 21st century version of a tube set that would make people think, “Steel, hmm… that’s pretty cool.” You build bikes one way, but a lot of builders are creating a niche based on a desire for customized things and high artistic design. That’s true, too. I go hot and cold on that subject because they are, quote unquote, custom things and high designs, but they are also bikes, they’re also vehicles. They’re going on the open road with cars. You really want to make sure that your overly ornate, stainless steel, hee-hawed-out head badge city bike is going to stay together when you go down that hill. I kind of tiptoe around it. Sometimes I get overly vocal on the side of safety and liability and experience. And sometimes I think I’ll just shut the hell up and let these guys do their thing and if they’re around in two years or 22 years, all the better. I’m pretty excited that so many people are making so many bikes, no matter how many different ways they’re making them. As long as the bikes stay together, I don’t care how many sculptors they mine their design elements from or how many Mondrian paintings they copy to get a paint scheme on their bike. It’s still a bike, if they can make it work out, good for them. 25
Your classY bike needs a classic cage
T. Herb Belrose
Ti / carbon
Alliance Bicycles /
My name is Erik Rolf, and I am the designer, builder and owner of Alliance Bicycles, LLC. I recently moved to Ketchum, Idaho, after completing a two-year apprenticeship with Carl Strong of Strong Frames. The time I spent with Carl has helped me develop a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a successful framebuilder and business owner. Over the years, my design philosophy has matured into considering the bike as a cohesive unit. I look at the frame as one part of the picture, with the rest of the build being equally important in creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing piece of equipment. I build bikes using steel, stainless steel and titanium for all types of riding. I will display several different styles of bikes at NAHBS this year, so please stop by the booth. Ketchum, Idaho / 406.570.9566 / AllianceBicycles.com
Anderson Custom Bicycles / Dave Anderson Dave Anderson here. I am the guy behind Anderson Custom Bicycles. I specialize in building one-of-a-kind custom bicycles and frame sets. Each is designed and handbuilt exclusively for the rider, based upon his or her unique specifications, wishes, needs and riding style. I offer a wide range of styles and types of bicycles and work with a variety of materials, especially stainless steel. I look forward to meeting you at the show!
Saint Paul, Minn. / 651.324.0095 / AndersonCustomBicycles.com
ANT / Mike Flanigan ANT (Alternative Needs Transportation) is a small bicycle fabrication shop run by Mike Flanigan and Betsy Eckel Scola. Mike has been in the bike trade since 1983 and joined the Boston bikebuilding scene in 1989. Betsy is the Web master and is in charge of marketing. Our passion for the bike industry and the culture of living by bike culminated in the creation of ANT. We not only hope to meet peopleâ€™s commuter bike needs but to influence consumers to think about bicycle commuting in a more positive way. We love all types of cycling but feel there is a real need to bring to the table bikes that have the right combination of style and function that is so lacking in the market. Most people fear investing in a bike for commuting, but it is their most used bike. To suit your city riding needs, consider us for a finely crafted bicycle that has a real personality.
Holliston, Mass. / 508.429.3350 / AntBikeMike.com 29
Bamboosero Bamboosero is a group of independent bamboo framebuilders throughout the developing world. Craig Calfee taught people from Ghana, Uganda, the Philippines and other countries his techniques for joining specially treated bamboo with wrappings of a local fiber and a plant-based epoxy. Calfee started Bamboosero with the idea that teaching somebody to build bikes can have a lasting impact. The Bamboosero idea is simple: connect bike-builders in developing countries with bike-buyers. Buying a Bamboosero bike helps working families support themselves, injects badly needed foreign currency into struggling economies and creates the production capacity for an incredibly efficient local transport—bicycles.
La Selva Beach, Calif. / 831.740.1001 / Bamboosero.com
Basso Workshop / Alcide Basso Alcide Basso founded Basso bikes in 1974. The Basso workshop is located in the northern part of Vicenza, Italy. In 2007, the brand celebrated its 30th anniversary of building the finest Italian bicycles available. Alcide Basso believes that for every bicycle that bears his name, only the highest quality materials will be used and only the best craftsmanship will be accepted. Basso bikes are imported to the USA by VeloSport Imports. Please stop by and visit our booth. We’d love to see you.
Vicenza, Italy / 303.530.9511 / BassoBikes.com
Bicycle Fabrications / Hank Matheson Bicycle Fabrications is a small framebuilding shop nestled among the one-way streets in San Francisco’s civic center. Staffed by active cyclists and racers riding and competing on their own products, we build high-performance bicycles for most any application. We’re here to build bicycles as unique as the people who ride them. We craft our bikes to the highest standards and precision to ensure the best ride quality possible. We took over the production of the SWD Racing 216 after the untimely passing of its designer and our friend and inspiration, Steve Delay. Our line of standard models has grown to include the Gearhead Bicycles 24-inch dirt jumper, the Rooster slalom hardtail and the BSP cyclocross bike. The Bicycle Fabrications product line and portfolio are ever growing, and we especially love the challenging one-off projects our customers bring us. San Francisco, Calif. / 415.265.2042 / BicycleFabrications.com 30
W AWARD NAHBS 2009
Bilenky Cycle Works / Stephen Bilenky
Inside the red door of our North Philly shop is a maze of bikes in various stages of completion. There are show-ready tandems hanging on the ceiling and half-built singles reposing in jigs. The crew, mostly bearded and all opinionated, is busily engaged in every step of bicycle fabrication—from mitering tubes to polishing the final coat of paint. And we know how to throw a party. Last year, we sponsored the first-ever Philly Bike Expo, bringing together the nation’s artisans and enthusiasts. We organized the Chicago to Portland Framebuilders’ Express in 2008, and we host the world’s only urban cyclocross. Each December more and more riders brave our harrowing junkyard race course over cars, through toxic puddles and around broken glass. Thrills! Chills! Spills! BCW is more than just a shop. It’s an enduring institution committed to enhancing the world of cycling, one steel frame at a time.
Philadelphia, Pa. / 215.329.4744 / Bilenky.com
Bishop Bikes / Chris Bishop Chris Bishop started Bishop Bikes in 2007. Combining classic artisanal techniques and modern materials, Chris creates bikes with a clean, modern aesthetic and precise attention to details. Chris also believes that the way a bike fits is as important as how it looks—the most important unseen detail and a major focus of his builds. Among his influences are the classic French constructeurs, Italian racing bikes, and the great American custom builders of today.
Baltimore, Md. / 443.506.7585 / BishopBikes.com
Black Cat Bicycles / Todd Ingermanson Black Cat Bicycles are custom bicycles—as individual as the people who ride them. The Santa Cruz, Calif., builder uses the most elegant, functional building methods and materials to create pragmatic yet beautiful frames. Todd Ingermanson has spent a lifetime riding, racing and traveling with his bike. A career mechanic and art school dropout, he looks at a bicycle frame both as a tunable component and sculpture. The intent of every frame is to create—from experience, the shop and a lot of unromantic work—a bike worth riding. After a thorough customer consultation, work on the frame begins with hand-selected and individually shaped tubing. Next come the necessary elements of spot-on miters, signature-smooth brazing and precise alignment. The process is finished off with in-house paint from the builder, providing continuity of intent, from frame angles to paint buffing, throughout the framebuilding process. Santa Cruz, Calif. / 831.688.8675 / BlackCatBicycles.com 31
Black Sheep Bikes / James Bleakley
AWARD W 2008
From the beginning, Black Sheep Bikes has been a company that is a little bit different. We have strived to create bikes that not only ride great but have character, as well. Whether it is borrowing the lines of our favorite classic frames or trying a whole new twist on things, Black Sheep is a company that embodies custom. Since we are a small shop, we are able to try new and different things often, breaking the restraints of a production line. With a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail, you can be assured that your bike will truly stand out in any crowd.
Fort Collins, Colo. / 970.218.5952 / BlackSheepBikes.com
Boo Bicycles / Nick Frey
Fort Collins, Colo. / 515.494.2468 / BooBicycles.com
Boo Bicycles creates bamboo-carbon fiber frames for road, cyclocross, mountain and city use. Boo Bicycles’ frame models have been proven at the professional level in road and cyclocross racing. They are meant for the discerning buyer who requires the ultimate in ride quality, handling, acceleration and efficiency. The successful marriage of bamboo and carbon fiber was directed by Nick Frey’s engineering work at Princeton University, coupled with his experience as a professional cyclist and multiple-time national champion. By employing single-strand, wet lay-up carbon fiber during the tube-to-tube construction process, Boo Bicycles is able to maximize stiffness while preserving a supple road feel. James Wolf handcrafts each frame in Saigon, Vietnam, using one of the stiffest bamboos in the world. James’ signature on every chainstay symbolizes the incredibly high standards and attention to detail that are at the heart of every Boo frame.
Brompton Bicycle Ltd. The Brompton marries the performance of a full-size, agile bicycle with the convenience of a truly portable and storable package. It is a personal transport solution that fits into people’s lives at home, work and all points in between, without forcing them to accept a compromise, a solution that tears up the transport rule book and puts people back in charge of their journeys. It appeals to everyone from regular cyclists wary of theft and travelers keen to have a bike along, to space-constrained city-dwellers and multimodal transport users. The bikes are no less unique than their manufacture—every Brompton is still built by hand in London. Brentford, Middlesex, London / 011.44.08.232.3551 / BromptonBicycle.com 32
Bronto Bikes was born from the passion of riding hardtail steel bikes on superfine singletrack. Hand-made, tig-welded mountain bikes manufactured in Springfield, Oregon. What’s different about Bronto? For starters, we only make mountain bikes. No fixies. No townies. No cross bikes. Just machines designed for devouring trails, which is what we love to do most when we’re not selling bikes. We’re based in Central Oregon, just a stone’s throw from Oakridge, OR – basically in the middle of the best riding on the planet. Every step of creating a Bronto frame, from tube cutting and bending to powder-coating, is done in-house. Our cozy little shop has all the tools needed to build frames – from jigs, to CNC, lathe, drill presses, and a bunch of other manly tools and machines. And of course, a disco ball and a pretty ok vinyl collection. So check us out, or better yet, come join us for a ride.
Caletti Cycles / John Caletti Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Caletti Cycles is a one-man workshop producing high-quality, custom, road, mountain and cyclocross bicycles. For John Caletti, building bicycles is a labor of love. From conceptualization to design and fabrication, the inspiration John gains from riding is evidenced by the refined details, reliability and performance of the bicycles he builds. John enjoys the community he creates through his bikes and uses the interaction and feedback he gains from his customers as a means of continually evolving his designs. As part of the commitment to be a responsible and sustainable business, Caletti Cycles donates 1 percent of sales to environmental protection efforts through 1% For the Planet. Santa Cruz, Calif. / 831.426.0575 / CalettiCycles.blogspot.com 33
Calfee Design / Craig Calfee
Craig Calfee is an innovator in carbon fiber frame design, manufacturing and repair. The first to offer custom frames in carbon fiber, Craig continues to push the high-tech craftsman envelope, exploring the possibilities of carbon fiber with new materials, such as hemp and bamboo. Craig has a form-follows-function philosophy and aesthetic that is evident in the materials selection and construction method. He chose carbon fiber because it has the best qualities for building bicycle frames: highest stiffness-to-weight ratio and comfortable vibration damping. The decorative aspects are limited to painting. Frame design is governed by purity of purpose, and they look good because they achieve the purpose. Frame and fork alignment are a particular focus, as is long-term structural integrity. This approach is inspired by nature, where all living forms evolved to perform a particular purpose. If they don’t perform, they don’t survive. La Selva Beach, Calif. / 831.728.1859 / CalfeeDesign.com NAHBS
CHERuBIM by Konno Cycleworks / Shin-ichi Konno
Tokyo, Japan / 81.42.791.3477 / cs-cherubim.com
Founded in 1965, CHERUBIM represents the history of custom framebuilding in Japan. Three Konno brothers and their frames— CHERUBIM, 3Rensho and Miyuki—led the early age of the framebuilding industry in the country, and CHERUBIM is the only surviving brand with the family tradition. CHERUBIM was the frame supplier for the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. CHERUBIM frames are the result of decades of ongoing research and uncompromising craftsmanship and, beginning in 1998, won seven consecutive Best Handmade Bicycle Awards in the prestigious annual show sponsored by the Japan Cycling Association. Under the leadership of Shin-ichi Konno, chief builder and son of founder Hitoshi Konno, CHERUBIM continues to live by its founding spirit of fusing innovation and tradition. We eagerly look forward to presenting our frames and bicycles as the first exhibitor with NJS Keirin certification to participate in NAHBS.
Cinelli / Lodovico Pignatti Cino Cinelli entrusted his company to me in 1978 after several years of supervision and approval of my work at my company, Columbus. My priorities were similar but my vision different, perhaps more radical, and the company took advantage of an aesthetic revolution in Milan that mixed art, design, sports and competition. One of my first projects was to redesign the Cinelli logo and the graphics of Cino’s ingeniously engineered Supercorsa frame. More than 30 years later, the frame—both in construction and design—looks fresher than ever and is considered the watermark of design in the cycling world. In 2006 after manual and technical experimentation by Columbus and Trafiltubi, a new state-of-the-art tube set, XCR (the only seamless stainless tubes on the market) was born. Cinelli became the first, along with a few special framebuilders, to work this material and articulate the vision of the modern handmade competition bicycle. Caleppio di Settala, Milano, Italy / 39.02.95.244.222 / cinelli.it / bti-USA.com 34
W AWARD NAHBS 2005
Crumpton Cycles / Nick Crumpton
Nick Crumpton of Crumpton Cycles has made it a tradition to deliver his very best in custom carbon fiber frames and bicycles. Making each frame to order for individual riders, Nick still personally designs and builds each frame in his studio in Austin, Texas. Crumpton Cycles combines carbon fiber tubing of the highest standard from suppliers such as ENVE Composites and Dedacciai, with a proprietary tube-to-tube joining process giving results that excel both structurally and aesthetically. Join this with Nick’s individual “contact point” frame design philosophy, and you have an opportunity to experience the utmost level of quality in ride, aesthetic and reliability. Contact Nick to find out more. Austin, Texas / 512.459.7458 / CrumptonCycles.com
Cyfac International Nestled in France’s picturesque Loire Valley, Cyfac has been expertly crafting bicycle frames for nearly 30 years. Drawing inspiration from the world-famous vineyards and epic cycling lanes of its terroir, our artisans infuse each frame with time-honored attention to detail and a passion for cycling. We are a different breed of framebuilder, focusing on our customer’s unique needs and desires instead of mass production and one-size-fits-all products. Cyfac crafts bicycle frames for all levels and types of cycling and offers the famous Cyfac Postural Fit System. We focus on the rider, delivering unique creations treasured for their fit, function and style. We offer custom fitting, geometries, special order and full-custom paints, and unique touches to personalize each frame for our passionate clientele. Choose from stock and custom models that dial in geometry, materials and a finish just for you. La Fuye, France / 617.663.6289 / Cyfac.fr
Daltex Handmade Bicycles / Glenn Thompson My shop, Daltex Handmade Bicycles, is tucked away in the Bishop Arts District neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. Daltex offers made-to-measure road, cyclocross, fixed-gear and mountain bicycles. Focusing on fit and “ride-ability,” each Daltex bicycle is designed based on the unique proportions and riding style of its owner. This puts the rider in the most powerful, efficient and comfortable position possible. The bicycles that you will see in my booth belong to my customers. I don’t build show bikes or unrideable art bikes. My bicycles are designed for high mileage and adventure. If you are near downtown Dallas, come by the shop and say hello. Dallas, Texas / 972.743.4811 / RideDaltex.com 35
DEAN Titanium Bikes
DEAN Titanium Bikes was founded in 1990. With more than 20 years of custom building under our belts, DEAN has built a reputation for handcrafting some of the finest titanium bicycles available. We build road, track, â€™cross, time trial and mountain with frames being built one by one. Visit our website to see all of our products and craftsmanship processes.
Boulder, Colo. / 800.545.2535 / DeanBikes.com
Della Santa / Roland Della Santa
Roland Della Santa has been handcrafting extraordinary bicycles for 37 years and telling great stories for a bit longer. Over this time period some of the worldâ€™s best cyclists have ridden and won on his creations. It is a testament to hear Della Santa owners say their Della Santas are the only bikes they would never sell. This is high praise from top riders who are given the latest new frames to race and are supplied with whatever new carbon bit that is being promoted in the industry.
Reno, Nev. / 775.322.2305 / DellaSanta.com
DiNucci Cycles / Mark DiNucci
AWARD W 2010
I built my first frame in 1971 and a short time later was approached by Andy Newlands to build for Strawberry. I worked there through the mid-1970s before going to work for Jim Merz. I eventually opened my own shop and produced frames under the name DiNucci Cycles until 1985, when I accepted an offer to design frames, lugs and tubes for Specialized Bicycles. Beginning in the mid-1990s, I began focusing on CAD work, designing frames for many of the larger brands in the U.S. and Europe. In 2009, I decided to return to doing what I like best, designing and building my own frames at DiNucci Cycles.
Sisters, Ore. / 541.549.4935 / DiNucciCycles.blogspot.com 36
DeSalvo Custom Cycles / Mike DeSalvo
DeSalvo Custom Cycles is a small framebuilding company located in Ashland, Ore., currently producing roughly 120 frames per year. Each frame is made to order with the owner in mind. With a commitment to quality workmanship and premium materials, DeSalvo produces consistently excellent bikes while also delivering a superb value. DeSalvo Custom Cycles frames are carefully designed and handcrafted by Mike DeSalvo. DeSalvo has a long history in the bicycle business, starting as a teenage mechanic enthusiastic about the sport of cycling. He continued working in various shops around the country until he began teaching at United Bicycle Institute, where
he taught mechanics courses and framebuilding classes for several years. Mike continues to periodically instruct framebuilding courses throughout the year when his skills are requested by UBI. DeSalvo’s appreciation for the sport of cycling and the beauty of exquisite craftsmanship led to a framebuilding endeavor: DeSalvo Custom Cycles had its genesis in 1999. In the first year, DeSalvo Custom Cycles made only a handful of frames. Since then, DeSalvo Custom Cycles has grown steadily each year, continuing to refine the frames and the building process. Even with the growth of the business, DeSalvo Custom Cycles has remained a singleperson operation.
Ashland, Ore. / 541.621.8408 / DeSalvoCycles.com
A custom bicycle from Vincent Domínguez Cycles is the unique manifestation of a customer’s requirements and desires as interpreted by a skilled craftsman: soundly engineered, handmade, purpose-built and well-crafted machines. Vincent has always wanted to make bicycles that are designed as a whole, for like-minded souls who dream of adventure, for people of all proportions and mass. He can address their requirements and desires; his bicycles are custom-built for them. Although Vincent has not built any bicycles that have engendered a call for the whambulance, all who ride his bicycles love them. If you desire a flamboyant paint job and beyond-the-edge embellishments, purchase a bicycle from Peacock Groove (we are very different in style, but good friends). However, if the refinement and elegance of a Vincent Domínguez bicycle appeals to you, consider ordering one posthaste. Saint Paul, Minn. / 651.214.9903 / DominguezCycles.com 37
Don Walker Cycles / Don Walker
Don Walker’s passion for cycling started when he took up racing on the road at age 14 and a year later on the track at Hellyer Park Velodrome in San Jose, Calif. Years later, while working as an aircraft mechanic, Don had an inspiration when he was having a broken bicycle frame repaired. Using his skills as an aircraft mechanic and his knowledge of racing, Don set out to make precise, refined bicycles designed to withstand the rigors of road and track racing. Don’s passion has helped riders of all levels realize their potential. Over the years, his frames have won district, state, national and international competitions, including a silver medal by Shaun Wallace of Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games. In 2005, Don founded the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Don specializes in fillet-brazed or lugged-steel frames and has created bicycles for road, track, time trial, cyclocross and tandem, all recognized for their performance, durability and beauty. Speedway, Ind. / 317.640.2566 / DonWalkerCycles.com NAHBS
Ellis Cycles / Dave Wages
“Only the finest steel bikes.” What does that mean? It means that while I’ve been honored to take “Best Lugged Bike” in 2009 and “Best in Show” last year, what really matters is your new Ellis. Stop by my booth, see what I’ve been up to since last year, and let’s start a conversation about your next bike.
Waterford, Wis. / 262.442.6639 / EllisCycles.com
Engin Cycles / Drew Guldalian
Returning for the fifth time to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Engin Cycles looks forward to presenting a selection of bicycles that directly reflect the day-to-day work of builder Drew Guldalian. Having won the Best Off-Road Bicycle award in 2008 and 2010, Drew wanted to bring bicycles representative of the same high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. This year, Drew’s work illustrates the standard of work regularly produced by Engin Cycles. These bikes feature handmade frames, forks, stems and seatposts. The introduction of Engin’s lugged seatpost in 2008 has allowed Drew to tailor-build the bicycles from head to toe.
Philadelphia, Pa. / 215.248.2829 / EnginCycles.com 38
FORM Cycles / Daryl Roberts The FORM Cycles team of Daryl Roberts, Sam Davis, Shawn Morra and Melanie Roberts started in the aerospace industry creating and building parts that had extreme tolerances. This is similar to the craftsmanship of bicycle frames, which require that same level of precision and attention to detail. We take pride in our products and enjoy the customer interaction in the hand-built bicycle world. Our material choices are titanium, stainless steel and standard steel. We constantly think outside the box with use of materials and industry standards in metal materials (i.e., Press-Fit 30, tapered steerer tube compatible head tubes, etc.). We commit ourselves to building the best metal bicycles we can imagine. With each bike fully hand-crafted from beginning to end, our focus is on a performancedriven work of art. FORM strives to build a bike that is comfortable and beautiful in the same package. Sedona, Ariz. / 928.284.1569 / www.FormCycles.com
Funk Cycles / Daryl Funk Founded by Daryl Funk in the 1980s, Funk Cycles has been on the cutting edge of design and framebuilding for more than 25 years. With an emphasis on research, development and precision, Funk specializes in the design and fabrication of high-end titanium bikes. Every bike is handcrafted in Colorado and designed to fit the needs of the individual rider. Currently, Funk offers three models. The La Ruta is a project that has taken on several versions and is now the ultimate pivot-less, fullsuspension design. The Veloce is a classic hardtail, and the Sano is a high-end road bike. Look for something unique in the next few months from Funk, as new ideas are always on the horizon. With a strong team presence, the Funk community continues to grow. While most of the Team Funk riders are in the Colorado area, members continue to come in from around the country. Littleton, Colo. / 303.817.6523 / FunkCycles.com
Gallus Cycles / Jeremy Shlachter Gallus Cycles prides itself in creating timeless designs for the discerning cyclist. Each frame is handmade by Jeremy Shlachter, one at a time, in his Fort Worth, Texas, workshop. Attention to detail, the customer’s optimal fit and the customer’s intended purpose as well as the traditions of custom framebuilding are of utmost importance. Each frame is crafted from steel tubing and joined with silver-brazed lugs or lugless fillet brazing. Don’t let the style and class of these custom beauties fool you: They’re made to be ridden, not just drooled over. The bikes are built to handle any road, hill, gritty city, velodrome or dirt track with pleasure and grace. *Gallus - (ga·luss) Scottish Dialect, Glaswegian ~adj. 1. self-confident, daring, cheeky 2. stylish, impressive (esp. Glasgow: “He’s pure gallus, by the way”) 3. Orig. derogatory, meaning wild; a rascal; deserving to be hanged (from the gallows) Fort Worth, Texas / 817.757.2944 / GallusCycles.com 40
Geekhouse Bikes / Marty Walsh Geekhouse Bikes is a steel TIG welding operation based in Boston. Founded in 2002 by bespectacled bike geek Marty Walsh, Geekhouse now comprises a small staff of builders and designers. We love watching each build take on the personality and individuality of the customer. Geekhouse bikes are the perfect amalgamation of classy and cool, functional and fashionable; our bikes are whatever you want them to be. We work hard to source as much as possible from within the United States, and we hold green business practices in high esteem. Our in-house powder coat shop, Sugarcoat, is as easy on the eyes as it is on the environment. In the end, the bikes come out as a balanced expression of us, their builders, and you, their riders. Geekhouse rocks. Allston, Mass. / 617.777.2088 / GeekhouseBikes.com
W AWARD 2009
Goodrich Bicycles / Curt Goodrich
I began my apprenticeship building bicycles in 1995 under the watchful eye of Dan Wynn in Seattle, paying my dues by filing, sanding fillets, machining and aligning frames and forks. I then spent two years working with Matt Houle at R&E Cycles before moving on to building Schwinn Paramounts at Match Bicycle Company. Two years later, Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works contracted Match to build some of their customs. For the next year I built Rivendell frames, but change was again in the works as Match was closing. I continued to build custom Rivendells and the occasional Goodrich from 2000–2007. Orders for Goodrich bicycles evolved past my capacity to continue building for Rivendell and now provide me the opportunity to extend myself in ways that fully reflect my experience as a builder — a full range of what is possible in custom-lugged and fillet-brazed 612.788.6812 / Minneapolis, Minn. / CurtGoodrich.com frames.
Groovy Cycleworks / Rody Walter Welcome to Groovy Cycleworks, where our mantra is “Design it with the rider in mind, involve the customer in the process, build it to last forever and settle for nothing less than big smiles.” Whether your path is on asphalt or a rocky trail, Rody has been handbuilding others’ cycling dreams since 1994 in Wooster, Ohio. Customcrafted frames, forks, bars and components of steel, aluminum or titanium reflect the desire of the customer to play hard, be an individual and live life with a smile. Fabricating each piece with care, precision and elegant efficiency, Groovy Cycleworks exists to fill your need for cycling adventure in the outdoors. Ready to play? Wooster, Ohio / 330.988.0537 / GroovyCycleworks.com 41
Guru Cycles Guru is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced manufacturer of full carbon, titanium and steel frames—all proudly made in our Montreal facility. Our 2011 lineup of road, tri and metal frames includes the award-winning Guru Photon—currently the world’s lightest custom frame. We are also extremely proud of the design and engineering that went into our Guru CR.901 and Guru CR.701, the world’s only full custom carbon monocoque aero-profiled triathlon frames. Guru also makes the world’s first and only software-driven, motor-controlled fit machine—the Guru Dynamic Fit Unit (or DFU). Recently patented and after two years of testing and engineering, Guru Cycles has finalized the development of our computerized robotic-assisted bicycle fitting system. With patented drive train, motors, actuators and proprietary software, Guru has revolutionized the fit process by drastically increasing efficiency and by creating an interactive experience for the client. Laval, Quebec, Canada / 450.687.6644 / GuruCycles.com
Hampsten Cycles / Stephen Hampsten Hampsten Cycles was founded in 1999 by ex-pro racer Andy Hampsten (founder of Cinghiale Cycling Tours) and his brother, Steve, a former chef and metal fabricator. We focus on road bikes with skinny tires, fender bikes with bigger tires and gravel road bikes using even bigger tires. In the past we relied on companies such as Moots/ Kent Eriksen, Parlee, Co-Motion, Indy Fab and others to supply us with our custom road bikes. Now we do almost everything in-house in Seattle and our focus is on steel—welded, lugged and stainless— and titanium, both straight-gauge and butted. We think bicycles are a hell of a lot of fun.
Seattle, Wash. / 206.852.5199 / Hampsten.com
Helm Cycles / Herbert Helm I I I I first became interested in bicycle framebuilding during my senior year of high school. I’ve worked as an apprentice to Doug Fattic for the past six years, helping around the shop and serving as a brazing instructor for Doug’s framebuilding school. I was able to hone my skills during the three months I spent in Ukraine, building 50 transportation frames for the Ukraine Bicycle Project. Triathlon is one of my passions, so upon my return to the United States, I catered to the local triathlon community, building several tri and road bikes. I officially launched Helm Cycles in 2010 with the goal of carrying on the old English methods of framebuilding while integrating new techniques, styles and materials. Every Helm Cycles frame has a unique balance of art and engineering catered to the needs and desires of each customer. Berrien Springs, Mich. / 269.449.2058 / HelmCycles@gmail.com 42
Available locally at
Igleheart Custom Frames & Forks / Christopher Igleheart
Wenham, Mass. / 978.626.1193 / IgleBike.com
After closing my bicycle shop, I entered the framebuilding world at Fat Chance. Having a knack for welding, I began making iconic and now-legendary forks and, later, frames. I further honed my skills working with established builders before opening my own framebuilding shop. I love to ride and get out almost every day. It usually isn’t an epic, but that quick trip to the store can be equally rewarding. A versatile and functional bicycle is what I like: fenders, larger tires, braze-ons for racks and lighting without sacrificing performance. All the proper angles and lines create a predictable machine providing confident cornering, stability while descending and enough resilience to harness your climbing effort. It’s great riding with few restrictions on where I point the front wheel. With an all ’rounder any ride is moments away from becoming an adventure. Allez!
Ira Ryan Cycles / Ira Ryan Ira Ryan Cycles is a small framebuilding shop based in Portland, Ore. Since 2005, Ira’s goal has been to build the finest bicycles by hand. He uses traditional techniques with state of the art materials and components. An avid cyclist for more than 20 years, Ira has raced, cycletoured, worked as a professional mechanic and started a courier company. These experiences have added to a deeply passionate understanding for bicycle design and mechanics. After constructing more than 100 bespoke bicycles, Ira Ryan Cycles continues to craft each frame one at a time to suit the needs of the most demanding rider. Whether for racing, touring, shredding or commuting, Ira’s bicycles express individual dreams and transport the rider toward a newfound sense of exploration. Portland, Ore. / 503.810.2504 / IraRyanCycles.com
Kimori Co., Ltd. / Toshiyuki Kimori Kimori Co., Ltd. was established in 1990 in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. Metalworking using a general-purpose lathe is the main focus of the business. We manufacture precise parts for industrial equipment, including semiconductors and medical equipment. The metal molds also are designed and produced. Toshiyuki Kimori, who is the founder of Kimori Co., Ltd., is an engineer and a bicycle designer. He had been producing bicycles as a hobby for more than 15 years. He developed the ever-important Colossus bicycle about 15 years ago. Kimori’s artistic productions are a direct result of his rich and varied past experiences. Kimori started full scale as a bicycle-maker in 2009, and we want everyone to know about the high-quality products of his advanced metalworking technology “Made in Japan.” Kusatsu City, Japan / 81.77.568.4598 / Kyoumido.com 44
KirkLee Bicycles From Austin, Texas, KirkLee offers full custom carbon fiber bicycles. We manufacture our own carbon fiber tubes and handmade cable stops and spend hours hand laying each frame. KirkLee is quickly becoming the go-to shop for those looking for something special. Whether it’s for a UCI professional or a weekend rider, every bike we build is typically a one-off creation. While some KirkLees are minimalist race rigs with aggressive geometry, others are beautiful works of art that express the owner’s personality. One thing is for sure, no matter how beautiful, the heart of each KirkLee is 100 percent performance. Our motto: “Built for speed, built for you.” Austin, Texas / 512.371.9661 / KirkLeeBicycles.com
Kish Fabrication / Jim Kish Kish Fabrication is the work of Jim Kish of San Luis Obispo, Calif. Recognized as an expert in all things titanium, Jim teaches framebuilding at Cal Poly-SLO and United Bicycle Institute. He also provides personalized training and consulting for current and aspiring framebuilders whose needs do not fit the Cal Poly or UBI programs. Jim is well-known for meticulous attention to detail, sound design and fit, and unmatched weld quality and aesthetic that only comes from years and years of practicing the craft. Since 1992, Jim’s main focus has been custom titanium frame production, under the Kish name, and also for other manufacturers. He has chosen to work primarily in titanium, as it’s proven to be the most durable of any frame material. The very first Kish titanium frames, now 20 years old, are still seeing daily use on the roads and trails. San Luis Obispo, Calif. / 805.574.0414 / KishBike.com
Legor Cicli / Mattia Paganotti
Brescia, Italia / 646.244.9304 / LegorCicli.it 46
The northern Italian city of Brescia is known both for its fog and artisan population. Jackrabbits inhabit the surrounding countryside and are known as Legor in an old Brescian dialect. Mattia Paganotti grew up in Brescia in a family full of steelworkers. After falling in love with cycling, it was natural that he became a framebuilder. Mattia studied the art of framebuilding with Gino Lissinoli, who told him: “An artisan is shit unless he has passed on his knowledge before retiring.” While learning his craft at Gino’s chaotic workshop, Mattia befriended the widow of Serena, a historically important framebuilder who was regarded the best of his generation in Italy. Recognizing Mattia’s passion and craftsmanship, she entrusted him with her late husband’s shop of framebuilding tools and machines. With a dedication to innovation and staying true to Italy’s traditional masters, the Legor brand was born.
Maietta Handbuilt Bicycles / Anthony Maietta The passion for Maietta Handbuilt Bicycles was born in the heart of rural Maine under the guidance of my family and friends. I received an engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute under the motto of “Theory and Practice,” and my framebuilding skills were honed while apprenticing under two master framebuilders in the city where American manufacturing began. This pedigree of family value, engineering excellence and true apprenticeship creates a line of frames in which fit and function are paramount. My name is Anthony Maietta, and I have been fabricating steel frames since 2004. I work alone and take pride in designing every frame, welding every joint and painting every frame myself. During my build process, customer interaction is frequent and informative; you are included in every step of the process. I hold full liability insurance, procure the most accurate equipment and tooling available to the trade and exhibit at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Worcester, Mass. / 508.667.6188 / MaiettaCycling.com
Mosaic Cycles / Aaron Barcheck Aaron Barcheck established Mosaic Cycles in 2009 in Boulder, Colo. Aaron got his start at the United Bicycle Institute, and after seven years with Dean Bicycles, he earned head builder/welder status. In the process, his frames achieved industry and peer recognition for their precise fitting and artful welding. Now, 500 frames later, Aaron’s passionate investment in framebuilding has found its home at Mosaic Cycles. A master framebuilder under his own badge, Aaron is free to focus his energy on his craft. Working across many mediums, he brings TIG welding and brazed construction to each frame. An obsession with performance, a belief that science and art should unite in a bicycle and a desire to build bikes that serve their owners for years: This convergence reflects Aaron’s long-held convictions and sends every Mosaic owner down the road with an amazing cycling experience.
W AWARD 2008
Boulder, Colo. / 314.704.5591 / MosaicCycles.com
Naked Bicycles and Design / Sam Whittingham
We are a multiple award-winning, custom bicycle manufacturing company located on Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada. Since 1998, we’ve been making 100 percent fully custom bikes. They are designed, built and painted by hand, one by one with love, logic and elbow grease. We are so excited to be in Austin, Texas, this year; this town has played a major role in getting us off our little island and onto the mainland.
Quadra Island, B.C., Canada / 250.285.3181 / TimeToGetNaked.com 47
In 1981, Moots began hand-building high-performance bicycle frames in Steamboat Springs. Three decades later, we still patiently build every frame by hand, one at a time. Of course, our designs have evolved. Technology has evolved. And our bikes have evolved. But sometimes progress is knowing what should never change.
HANDBUILT TITANIUM BIKES ROAD MOUNTAIN CROSS CUSTOM COMPONENTS
Parlee Cycles / Bob Parlee Founded a decade ago by high-performance boat-builder Bob Parlee, and building exclusively with carbon fiber, Parlee Cycles sets the standard for performance road and racing bicycles. Ride quality, performance and structural integrity guide the design of each model. Parlee pioneered a unique, tube-to-tube construction process that allows the ultimate in ride and geometry customization. No other joining process in carbon is as efficient or refined. Parlee builds 11 models, seven of which can be customized for geometry and fit. All models can be custom finished in the state-ofthe-art paint facility. Accolades include Bicycling Magazine’s “Dream Bike of the Year” award, Cycling Weekly’s “Race Bike of the Year” and five yellow jerseys from CyclingNews.com. Parlee frames are renowned for their smooth and efficient ride, flawless craftsmanship and timeless aesthetics.
Beverly, Mass. / 978.998.4880 / ParleeCycles.com
Peacock Groove / Eric Noren Peacock Groove is the physical embodiment of the American craftsman taking the customer’s needs and wants, in that order, to produce a true one-of-a-kind machine. The only real limits are your imagination. I have always wanted to make bikes that way, my way, what I thought was cool, for like-minded souls who dream for more. Whether you are 4 feet, 8 inches and 85 pounds or 6 feet, 11 inches and 480 pounds, we do it all. We are DEEP CUSTOM. While some things we have done have made people call the whambulance, the people who ride our bikes love them. If you want something with a contemporary paint job that is straight-laced, buy a bike from Vincent Domínguez. We are very different in styles but still BFFs! Minneapolis, Minn. / 651.269.5295 / PeacockGroove.com
W AWARD 2007
Pegoretti Cicli / Dario Pegoretti
Fatti con le mani:
made by hand. This is what Pegoretti is all about. Dario Pegoretti credits Gino Milani for teaching him the science and the art of building bicycles. Pegoretti was among the first of the European framebuilders to embrace lugless TIG welding to build premium bicycles. In addition, Dario worked with leading edge manufacturers, such as Excell and Dedacciai, in the development of new materials and tubesets. He earned a strong following among professional riders and built bikes for a number of elite teams. Today Dario builds a small number of fine bicycles by hand each year in his shop in a small mountain village of the Italian Dolomites. In this world of cookie-cutter products, Pegoretti occupies a unique position as a true individual. Caldonazzo, Italy / U.S. Distributor: Gita Sporting Goods, Ltd. / 800.729.4482 / PegorettiUSA.com 49
Priority Cycles / Damon Madsen It all started with Legos and a hacksaw. Thousands of dollars and 15 years later, I ride my own frames. My priority is bicycles, especially full-suspension all-mountain machines. I think trail bikes are a tool. They help you get where you want to go—to the top and back again—the fun way. Trail bikes should be durable and functional without gimmicks, funky levers or additional cerebral cortexes. Sexy paint jobs don’t get you up the trail any faster. If I have to pack weight around, I want it to have a purpose. I want the bike to be efficient and work all the time. I want full-suspension bikes to pedal efficiently and make rock gardens breezy, with no compromises. Those are my priorities. If up and down is important to you, make yours a Priority. Rupert, Idaho / 208.369.6396 / PriorityCycles.com
Quiring Cycles / Scott Quiring
Charlotte, Mich. / 517.541.3773 / QuiringCycles.net
An avid cyclist since 1987, Scott Quiring hopes customers find his framebuilding to be of pragmatic design, high quality and something “they will ride.” More than a decade ago, Scott ventured out with a vision: join steel tubes with brass and silver solder to create a great-performing race frame. Today, with the advancements in TIG welding and a battery of machining capabilities, Quiring now employs high-tech materials of titanium, carbon fiber, aluminum, stainless steel and steel. These materials can be blended into a plethora of tube layouts and geometries to tailor the frame to the rider or a tandem to its team. Last but not least, to be as “full service” as possible, Scott offers in-house paint to control the quality and customization of each finish. Quiring encourages you to consider his craft and, if you desire, to contact him for a custom-fit, U.S.-made frame to meet your needs.
Retrotec and Inglis Cycles / Curtis Inglis
Napa, Calif. / 707.258.2203 / InglisCycles.com 50
AWARD W 2008
Retrotec and Inglis Cycles is a small, one-man shop that has been building custom and production steel bicycle frames since 1993. Curtis Inglis handcrafts his frames in the world famous Napa Valley winegrowing region of California. The unique terroir of the Western hillsides receives morning and bright afternoon sunshine for full ripening exposure. Overnight fog, coupled with ideal daylight sun, curate his frames to a gentle perfection, enhancing the curves of the steel tubes without losing any of their rich, full-bodied, concentrated flavors. The dense, alluvial-fan soils contain centuries of history and the exact moisture content needed for optimum welding conditions yearround. Frames show ripe red cherry, blackberry and hints of cocoa up front, followed by raspberry, plum and Frame Saver notes throughout the long, satisfying finish. Frames enjoyable upon release but will only get better with age.
richard sachs cycles Why buy a frame from a one-man shop still using traditional handbuilding methods? Because technology alone is a poor substitute for experience. As a youngster, Richard Sachs could not easily separate his enthusiasm for bicycle racing from the interest he had in the equipment used by the top athletes of the day. With a balance of dedication and perseverance, he pursued his competitive cycling as well as his choice of a framebuilder's life. His dream of learning to build bicycles that could one day rival the machines he so revered led him to spend a year in London as an apprentice to Witcomb Lightweight Cycles. There he cultivated the basic skills that have become the foundation of his successful career. More than 35 years have passed, and Richard continues to zealously combine his racing background with his extensive framebuilding experience - and has gained respect as one of the finest builders of custom bicycles in the world.
AWARD W 2010
Warwick, Mass. / 978.544.1842 / richardsachs.com
Samurai Cycle Works / Koh Annoura Samurai Cycle Works’ mission statement: To build the highest quality, best performing custom bicycles by incorporating the framebuilder’s racing experience and by using the most efficient and precise techniques and materials from both America and Japan. As a professional Keirin racer in Japan, riding steel frame bikes became a natural passion for Koh Annoura. In all, Koh raced for 17 years on Japan’s prestigious Keirin circuit, in 1,354 races. He also raced on Japan’s national cycling team, taking fourth in the sprint at the 1993 World Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark. Koh brings an extensive background in track cycling and a vast knowledge about custom bike frames. Having raced 60-plus custom steel frames from various master Japanese framebuilders, Koh appreciates what it takes to make a perfect-fitting, high-performance bicycle. Now retired from professional racing, Koh lives in Houston, Houston, Texas / 281.881.3263 / SamuraiCycleWorks.com Texas, and is the chief framebuilder for Samurai.
Serotta / Ben Serotta Ben Serotta, a lifelong cyclist and tinkerer, first started a bicycle store in his hometown of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as a 14-year-old entrepreneur in 1968. A stint as an apprentice at Witcomb of London (preceding Richard Sachs and Peter Weigle, who arrived shortly thereafter) made a lasting mark, and Serotta began building frames in 1972. Serotta is best known for road bicycles—with appearances in almost every Olympics since 1976. From 1983–1988 Serotta was tapped to build the Murray/Huffy bicycles for the 7-Eleven team as it paved the way for the future of American cyclists on the professional world stage. With its headquarters in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the company opened its own composites facility in Poway, Calif., in order to have full control over every aspect of manufacturing. Serotta’s control, from start to finish, of its frames and forks affords a full range of ride tuning properties. Saratoga Springs, N.Y. / 518.584.8100 / Serotta.com
Shamrock Cycles / Tim O'Donnell Shamrock Cycles is Tim O’Donnell. Based in Indianapolis since 2004, Shamrock Cycles builds lugged and fillet-brazed, steel road, cyclocross and mountain bike frames. Focusing on constant communication with the customer, I believe interaction between builder and customer is crucial to develop an understanding of your needs. This interaction during the build process is an important part of the final product and allows you to have a significant impact and influence on your new frame. Painstaking attention to detail and delivering a first-rate product has always been my goal—one at time, beginning to end. Not built for just anyone, built for just one. Enjoy the journey. Indianapolis, Ind. / 317.513.4358 / www.LugOfTheIrish.com 52
Signal Cycles / Matt Cardinal and Nate Meschke
Signal Cycles began as an idea; a passion fostered in an environment of bicycle obsession. As co-workers in a nationally recognized service department, two mechanics and artists shared a love for making bicycles operate at peak efficiency. Their focus shifted to bike-building, and Signal was created. There are two faces behind Signal. Nate is better at cooking; Matt has better computer skills. Both are mechanics, artists, coffee consumers and cat lovers. Both are obsessed with
making the best bikes they can. They also have earned BFA degrees in painting. At the shop, Matt and Nate are constantly pushing each other to bring every bike to its highest form. Both are involved in crafting each bicycle, from the design phase to final paint and parts selection. Each bike is unique and every aspect is considered. The goal at Signal is to give you a heart attack … of sheer joy … of biking.
Portland, Oregon / 503.313.9800 / SignalCycles.com NAHBS
W AWARD 2010
Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. / Aaron Dykstra
Imparting ingenuity into each frame, Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. offers the rider a unique work of exquisite craftsmanship. In the hands of a good builder, a custom steel bike can be light enough to race yet strong enough for touring, and by fully understanding the rider’s style, Aaron Dykstra will craft a balance of strength and comfort that can only come from custom design. From 29ers to track bikes, each 611 frame is hand-mitered, ensuring matchless precision. Inspired by the bygone era of steam locomotives, this Roanoke, Va.-based shop takes pride in the artistry of working with steel. Roanoke was known for its hardworking residents who fortified the town with their railroading prowess. As steam gave way to diesel, the town’s heritage was all but forgotten. With a nod to the past and a focus on quality, Aaron founded his shop just a stone’s throw from its namesake, Roanoke’s Great 611 J-Class steam engine. Roanoke, Va. / 540.929.0611 / SixElevenBicycleCo.com 53
Sotherland Custom Bicycles / John Sotherland Sotherland Custom Bicycles creates handcrafted, silver-brazed steel frames by an experienced master, resulting in a bicycle perfectly suited to you that reflects your riding style and cycling personality. John Sotherland is one of the most experienced active framebuilders and has built 5,000-plus custom bicycles over the past 20 years for some of the best-known brands, including Rivendell, Schwinn-Paramount and Waterford. The design of a frame involves hundreds of design decisions, balances and tradeoffs. The fabrication requires talent to transform the resulting measurements into an experience you’ll enjoy for a lifetime. John’s eye and attention to detail throughout the entire manufacturing process create a frame that’s as beautiful as it is strong, as responsive as it is comfortable. Holistic perfection is built into the frame with the same exacting quality during every step of fabrication. Whitewater, Wis. / 262.473.4730 / BicycleWise.com
Speedhound Bikes / Chris Cleveland Speedhound’s patent-pending dropout system is what sets our ONLY ONE frameset apart from every other bicycle. Interchangeable dropouts let you run virtually any drive train—derailleurs, belt drive, singlespeed, fixed or multispeed hub. With generous clearances for tires, fenders and racks, the ONLY ONE gives you the ultimate platform to create your ideal ride. A cyclocross-based geometry with a lowered bottom bracket provides stable, predictable, yet responsive handling. Details like silver-plated, die-struck brass fork crown medallions and head-badge project a playful quality. Our design values include practicality, versatility, durability, utility and understated elegance. We use predominately U.S.-made materials to create a sweet-riding frameset built to last a lifetime. Speedhounds are handcrafted to our spec. Minneapolis, Minn. / 612.991.3339 / SpeedhoundBikes.com
Strawberry Cycles Engineering & Fabrication / Andy Newlands I started down the path to becoming a bicycle framebuilder in 1971 after graduating from the University of Washington School of Civil Engineering. Forty years later, I still recognize and can manipulate rose bud oxy/propane torches, green flux, brass and silver rod and 12-inch bastard files. Today the shop is complete with old and new lathes, milling machines, a sandblaster, cold and band saws and dedicated Marchetti bicycle production machines and fixtures. This year, in addition to frame fabrication, two special projects are under way: design and manufacture of a linear motion tube mitering machine and design of an investment cast steel commuter bike wishbone. These items will be available for sale to framebuilders along with other tube processing equipment, including LAN71 tube miter cutters, bottom bracket tapping and facing tools and the complete range of Marchetti bicycle and motorcycle production Portland, Ore. / 503.224.1215 / StrawberryBicycle.com equipment. Good roads to you. 54
Loretta and I focus our family business on attention to the individual, incredible customer service and designing and producing top quality bicycles. We start with the customer and work out from there. Our focus on the customer directs our intensive design process which has been developed to produce consistent accurate results working with our customers remotely. I take the process apart into four main elements and then reduce each of those even further. I believe if we work together to make a lot of small choices starting when your deposit is made we can make the decision process much more comfortable. Not “shelving” your project until your turn allows us to stay engaged so I don’t have to recall or relearn everything we talked about during your purchasing process. Once the design is complete you’ll have an understanding of exactly how your frame design will meet your goals. You’ll have the confidence and knowledge that what you are getting is exactly what you want.
STRONG FRAMES ONE AT A TIME, FROM START TO FINISH 800-586-1105 | email@example.com | strongframes.com Ad.indd 1
AWAR NAHBS 2006
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SyCip Designs, Inc. / Jeremy SyCip
Since 1992, Jeremy SyCip (see-sip) has been designing and building custom bicycle frames and components for San Francisco messengers, world-class racers and everyone in between. Jeremy learned the trade under the tutelage of veteran builders Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster and Albert Eisentraut. SyCip’s sincere commitment to customers and dedication to quality craftsmanship has won SyCip Designs, Inc., numerous industry awards and a solid reputation that has endured. The SyCip product line includes steel, titanium, aluminum and carbon road, mountain, cross, track, singlespeed, full suspensions and cruisers. We also make custom forks and stems. Methods of construction include TIG, lugged and fillet-brazing. Santa Rosa, Calif. / 707.542.6359 / SyCip.com 55
Ti Cycles / David Levy I began building custom bicycle frames in 1986, working at R&E Cycles in Seattle. In the four-plus years I worked at R&E, I helped hundreds of individuals become more comfortable and efficient on touring, sport, racing, mountain and tandem bicycles. I started Ti Cycles in 1990 to focus on constructing frames in titanium, while continuing to craft custom frames in steel. Titaniumâ€™s higher strength and lower density allowed me to build lighter, higherperformance and more comfortable bicycles. Ti Cycles caters to all levels of bicycling enthusiasts, offering custom- or production-built frames and forks in steel and titanium. I have provided well over 1,500 frames and have 30 years in the bicycle industry helping people find the perfect solution to their cycling needs and desires. Whether you ride on road or off, race, tour or enjoy tandeming I have the experience to create the perfect bicycle for you. Portland, Ore. / 503.621.9670 / TiCycles.com
Tommasini Just as it takes time to accurately craft an exquisite bicycle frame, it takes time to build a sterling reputation as a craftsman. Since 1957, Irio Tommasini and the company that bears his name have built this reputation. Few companies can claim 54 years of artisan experience in bicycle manufacturing like the Tommasini family. Thanks to the handmade craftsmanship passed from one generation to another, Tommasini bicycles are appreciated for performance, design and finish. The racing heritage relies on countless victories to fuel the tradition of Tommasini. Today the small shop in Grosseto, Italy, produces frames in all materials, from lugged and TIG-welded steel to carbon, titanium, aluminum and, most recently, the X Fire stainless steel frame. Tommasini is pleased to present its collection at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show. Tommasini bikes are imported by Red Rose Imports. Grosseto, Italy / 717.560.2832 / TommasiniBicycle.com
True Fabrication Bicycles / Clark Davidson True Fabrication has been making custom bicycle frames since 2005. During this time much has changed…and yet nothing has changed at all. Throughout the years, our portfolio has expanded into fullsuspension bikes, commuter bikes, track bikes and a variety of road bikes. We have experimented with rear end configurations, tapered steer forks, fillet brazing, aesthetic tube bending and much more. We are the founding members of the Texas Handmade Builder’s Show and have a customer base that spans across the American countryside. Much has changed since 2005. However, we still do not take shortcuts just to sell frames. We don’t follow trends and fads; we build bikes for people. Many of these bikes are hardtail 29ers. Yet, through all of this, we still actually ride bikes, and we strongly believe that makes a big difference. See, nothing has changed at all! Austin, Texas / 512.576.7693 / TrueFabricationBicycles.com
Vendetta / Conor Buescher and Garrett Clark Since 2004, Vendetta Cycles has been building beautiful, lugged, steel bicycles in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Each project is custom fit to the rider’s needs and goals, creating a stunning bicycle that is also highly functional. Combining engineering skills, precision metal craftsmanship and a passion for cycling, Garrett Clark and Conor Buescher create traditional lugged cycling frames to appeal to today’s modern rider.
Corvallis, Ore. / 541.908.4406 / VendettaCycles.com 57
Vertigo Cycles / Sean Chaney It was only a matter of time before all my obsessive tinkering, modification and design brought me to the logical point of building titanium bicycle frames. Now I’m trying harder than ever to give my inner nerd free reign to create great-riding and aesthetically pleasing bicycles. A visually simple design is often surprisingly difficult to execute. The challenge of working through the design, planning and fabrication processes keep me going, all while sticking to the basics of building a well-aligned frame that will ride true and deliver the feel desired by the customer. My goal as a builder is simple: to deliver an outstanding bicycle that will make you want to get out and ride. Mountain, cyclocross, road and commuter bikes constructed just for you from U.S.-made 6/4 and 3/2.5 titanium. Have fun. Ride your bike. Smile. Portland, Ore. / 503.347.8473 / VertigoCycles.com
Victoria Cycles / Dave Hill
After more than 30 years of riding, racing and wrenching, I started building my own frames from my own designs. Using only the finest materials available and building exclusively from steel, I use lugs and fillet brazing as a joining method. Every frame is custom and designed to achieve just what the customer is after. I enjoy transforming the rider’s vision into a bicycle that is not only pleasing to the eye but rides like a dream. No style is left out—road, mountain, ’cross, touring, every bicycle has its place and can be built to perform its function yet be beautiful. I look forward to showing some of my designs at NAHBS 2011, and I hope you enjoy. Salida, Colo. / 719.207.4191 / VictoriaCycles.com 59
Vulture Cycles / Wade Beauchamp
Bend, Ore. / 541.410.5982 / VultureCycles.com
I am Wade Beauchamp, the Vulture. Since 1997 I have been building sweet custom bicycle frames with an emphasis on great rides. Vulture Cycles started when the larger bike industry moved toward cheaper, expendable aluminum frames. My original reason for building frames remains the same today: Bicycles are sacred; frames should ride well and last a long time. Throughout my framebuilding career I have worked as a machinist and a welder in the aerospace industry. I am proud that I have created my own tools and fixtures—I can build more than just frames and forks. Vulture Cycles enjoys a loyal following, and return customers are what I strive for. People return because their bikes ride really well, and their experience with the builder is seamless. If you would like to take part in building your frame and explore the Cascades in central Oregon, ask about my new framebuilding vacation.
Watson Cycles / Andrew Watson Andrew Watson’s interest in cycling grew out of his love of the traditions and history of the sport. He revered builders who fabricate bikes and have the courage to ride them. Artistic roots run deep in the Watson family, and his father, a sculptor, sent Andrew to welding school, unleashing the wonderful and functional transformation of working with metal. Although he believes a mountain bike should have mud on it, his credo is that a bicycle should fit like a tailored suit, be beautiful and represent individual taste—equal parts precision machine and work of art. He has continuously and carefully brought the weight of his bikes down while maintaining ride quality, which he feels is even more important. Whether it is one of his road, mountain, cyclocross or concept bikes, each starts with a central principle and is then designed specifically around the individual. Waterford, Conn. / 860.912.8778 / WatsonCycles.com
Winter Bicycles / Eric Estlund
Winter Bicycles focuses on fresh, clean, year-round bicycles. Winter Bicycles manufactures custom bicycles and luxurious necessities including forks, stems, racks and other fittings. Winter Bicycles are individually tailored by Eric Estlund in Springfield, Ore.
Springfield, Ore. / 541.556.5156 / WinterBicycles.com 60
W AWARD NAHBS 2010
YiPsan Bicycles / Renold Yip
Fit, ride quality and design for application are at the heart of YiPsan Bicycles. Every bike is built by integrating a modern fitting concept, frame tubing and components, and traditional building skills. YiPsan bicycles are built by hand, one at a time, and every bicycle is unique. Renold, the sole worker of YiPsan, was raised in Hong Kong, China, obtained his bachelor of engineering in the United Kingdom and has been living in the U.S. since 2002. He has been working at local bike shops and building bicycles, is a certified fit specialist and has enjoyed living on the East Coast, West Coast and in the Rockies. YiPsan builds road, ’cross, track, touring and off-road bicycles and specializes in steel. Fort Collins, Colo. / 970.215.5806 / YiPsanBicycles.com
Zanconato Custom Cycles / Mike Zanconato Whether your cycling passion stems from spirited group rides, rubbing elbows on the race course, lots of solitary miles, or a blend of all three, you want a bicycle to enhance your experience. For me, that means a clean, elegant and purposeful machine. Maybe you are also a little curious about frame design and fabrication. I want my customers to have a complete bicycle-buying experience, starting with collaboration on specifications and geometry and continuing right through to you taking it out for its first ride. I look forward to meeting you at the show.
Sutton, Mass. / 508.340.0343 / Zanconato.com
Zullo / Tiziano Zullo After 10 years of racing road and cyclocross, Italian Tiziano Zullo entered the world of framebuilding at age 23. In the early 1970s, he made “plain wrapper” frames for other companies and started to build for amateur teams under the Zullo name. From 1986 through 1992, he made frames for the Dutch Team TVM. Tiziano is interested in new technologies but his roots are deep and strong, so he decided to continue doing steel frames in the oldfashioned way. The new Inqubo and Panta Rey road frames are now two of the best frames available. A tasty new cyclocross bike with disk brakes will make its debut at NAHBS 2011. Very few builders today have worked with so many professional riders and in so many different materials. Tiziano keeps building frames, one at a time, for any cyclist who wishes to share his passion. Castelnuovo del Garda, Italy / 011.39.045.645.0506 / Zullo-Bike.com 61
d l i u
w e N b e m a Fr
s r e
MILLS BROTHERS BICYCLE COMPANY David Mills Advance, N. Carolina 336.940.5125 MillsBrosBikes.com
Matt Appleman Tobbinsdale, Minn. 763.232.9584 ApplemanBicycles.com
Alessandro Pizzuti Via Monginevro, Italy 39.347.089.5930 Pitz-Cycles.com
RICH PHILLIPS CYCLES
Tom Warmerdam Southampton, UK 044.0.771.475.1563 DemonFrameworks.com
Richard Grabbe Florrisant, Missouri 314.392.7841 BikerSaddles.com
DORNBOX PERFORMANCE BICYCLES Christopher Dornbach Providence, Road Island 207.283.9090 DornboxBikes.com
ROSENE HAND BUILT BICYCLES Cory Rosene Tucson, Ariz. 281.825.1696 RoseneBicycles.com
Craig Ryan Noblesville, Ind. 317.507.4338 ForestaFrames.com
David Wendt Washington, DC 347.264.8801 ThreepennyBikes.com
Jon Littleford Portland, Oreg. 503.922.1934 LittlefordBicycles.com
Joseph VanLoozen Levering, Mich. 231.838.3525 VBBike.com
Michael Crum Memphis, Tenn. 901.485.7021 MagnoliaBicycles.com
Elliot McFadden Austin, Tex. 512.791.9874 VioletCrownCycles.com
NAHBS SHOW EXHIBITOR
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Words by Matthew J. Nelson Illustrations by Jesse Crock
of the welding torch warmed Ned’s soul like nothing else. With fire in one hand and silver in the other, he could feel the bicycle coming to life. Ned took the responsibility of delivering the ferrous newborn with the professionalism of an obstetrician and the pride of a new father. He was a master framebuilder. Although his angles were exquisite and his choice of materials unquestionable, it was Ned’s gifts of metallurgy that earned his bicycles their reputation. On a calm summer morning, Ned set about meticulously mitering tubes in his workshop. He took pride in cutting and filing tubes by hand and loved feeling the vibrations of the file gnawing rough edges down to smooth curves. When the phone rang he almost didn’t answer, and normally he wouldn’t, but the noise distracted him from the practice of precision. The voice on the other end was familiar, but sounded hollow, disturbed. “Ned, it’s Spring. Tim has been hit,” she said. “He was riding across town, and…I don’t know. The hospital called a few minutes ago. I’m on my way there right now. It doesn’t sound good. I just thought you should know.” Before he could respond Spring had hung up. Ned set down the phone, took a deep breath, and looked around the shop. Sitting in silence for a few seconds, he let his thoughts and emotions race wildly around his head. As the wave of anxiety subsided, he opened his eyes
to see an aluminum tube protruding from the vise. Ned picked up his file and went back to work. The sound of metal on metal was shocking, and he imagined the scene of his best friend being smashed by a truck. The sharp rasping screech could have been car brakes the moment before impact, or the sound of car crunching into bike, or bike skidding across pavement, or bone grinding bone. The vibrations sent a sickening resonance through Ned’s spine. He dropped the file and it made a clang and sent tubes rolling across the table. As he scrambled to keep them from hitting the floor, blood from his hand splattered across steel. His knuckles were lacerated, raked across the rough tube held firmly in the vise. Ned clenched one hand in the other, wringing blood and frustration onto his project. He stormed out of the workshop and into the sunlight. It was days before he went back into the shop. By then, the vermilion droplets had dried and were easily removed with a fingernail. Ned shook his head in disbelief. Spring wasn’t answering her phone, and he’d heard no news of Tim’s condition. He wasn’t sure he wanted to sit in the workshop and grind metal all day. Instead, he went for a ride. Mounting a singlespeed of his own creation, Ned rode through town with no particular destination in mind. Urban rides were always a way to clear his head and soak up the happenings of the neighborhood before disappearing back into the workshop that felt like a meditation retreat on some days and a dungeon on others. 65
While cruising along the bike path, Ned looked over his shoulder and caught sight of two poplars growing in the backyard of Spring and Tim’s house. He hit his brakes and stood still for a moment. He called out to his friends but heard no response. Ned leaned his bike against the wooden fence and stood on one pedal then climbed up on his top tube to peek over. He’d hoped to see Tim sitting in the sun, beer in hand. But the yard was quiet, the chairs empty. Slumped into a pile near the porch were the remains of the Presteza, one of the nicest he’d built last year. The front wheel was folded in half at the hub, and broken spokes poked out in all directions. One side of the handlebars was snapped at the stem, and hung like a severed appendage with only cables keeping it from falling to the ground. Chain stays were bent and the down tube was scarred by a gash. It looked like a crumpled aluminum can. Before Tim’s accident, Ned saw himself as a magician who mixed fire and metal to create racing steeds that would gallop down the road with speed and grace. But now he wondered if he had built a coffin for his 32-year-old friend, a vehicle with no means to protect itself from the dangers of an urban world filled with SUVs and texting drivers. Dark thoughts of responsibility and lament moshed around his head as Ned pedaled away from the grisly scene. Somewhere between the bike path and the road home, Ned tossed his bike over a gate and rode along a seldom-used forest road. The dirt under his tires was refreshing, and made him realize it had been a long time since he’d tasted real trail. After 10 miles of washboard therapy, 66
the trail appeared and it wasn’t long before he found a harmonious groove. Ned enjoyed the uphill grind and how the oaks gave way to pines, and pines intermingled with aspens. The creamy white bark of the aspens soon enveloped him, and their shimmering green leaves waved like thousands of tiny hands. He rode until rays of sunlight broke through a clearing in the aspen canopy, snapping him out of his oxygen-deprived haze. Ned coasted to a stop, rolled onto the ground, and stared up at the sky. Branches swayed in the breeze and every leaf danced with delight. “Populus tremuloides,” he said aloud. “They’re all connected.” Unlike other trees, aspens grow in clonal colonies, thus they are all connected by a common root system and all of the “trees” are merely shoots that emerge from the mother root. Each tree can live for up to 150 years above ground, but the root system is capable of living for tens of thousands of years. Ned admired the sinuous trunks, undulating branches and smooth curves of the leaves. They were a contrast to the straight lines, sharp edges and cold metal he’d surrounded himself with for more than a decade. Somewhere within the palette of azure sky and virescent forest, he found something light, something special, something real. And somewhere within the maze of branches and leaves he saw what resembled frame geometry—an elegant top tube with a 13-degree bend and a stylish seat tube contouring around a wheel. The images were gone almost as soon as they appeared. Ned climbed back on his rig and let gravity have its way with him as he descended south toward town. Pedaling through the darkness, 67
bicycles of odd shapes and dimensions rolled through his consciousness. The next morning he woke to the sound of the telephone. It was Spring, and in his pre-coffee fog, Ned didn’t catch everything she was saying: “…collar bone and bruised ribs, but the pelvis fracture means he’ll be immobilized for a while. I’m just so happy he is alive. But one of the first things he asked was, ‘How is my bike?’ and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it’s completely destroyed. You should see it, I mean you shouldn’t see it because it would break your heart, too. But I am so happy he is going to be all right.” “I did see it,” Ned said. “Tell Tim to come and see me as soon as he’s able, and I’ll have another bike ready for him.” Spring started to sob and was able to squeak out a “thank you” before she hung up. After a strong cup of coffee and a half-assed attempt at stretching his sore hamstrings, Ned went to his file cabinet to retrieve Tim’s frame specifications. He sauntered into his workshop, turned on the overhead light and opened the folder. Normally, looking at old frame designs brought back great memories and inspired him to build a better, faster, lighter frame that would live up to the reputation of the Presteza. But all he saw were straight lines, sharp angles, cold metal. The Presteza was built for urban asphalt—a lifeless bike that Tim nearly rode to his death. It was a mistake that couldn’t be repeated. With no windows to peer out for inspiration, Ned walked out of the workshop, sat down in the pine needles and started sketching a new frame design. He finished just as the sun set. The thought of going back inside the workshop, with its four walls, concrete floor and fluorescent lights, had no appeal. Within a few days the shop had been deconstructed and reassembled under the ponderosa pines. He cut timbers, welded corrugated metal panels and erected a simple structure under which he could work. With four crude beams supporting the roof over his head, Ned was free to work with the sound 68
of wind caressing the trees and watch Steller’s jays in flight. With each downward stroke of the hacksaw, Ned would feel raw metal slowly transforming into a bicycle. One particularly breezy day in August, he spent the afternoon cutting tubes for an extra small mountain bike, a special order for a 12-year-old girl. After most of the tubes were measured, cut and assembled neatly on the table, a gust of wind sent them rolling. Instead of chasing after them, he watched them. One by one they spilled off the table and onto the wood chips below, clanging against each other in a chaotic and chromatic symphony that reminded him of a vibraphone solo. Curious about the acoustic properties he’d never noticed before, Ned picked up the tubes, struck each one gently against the table, and listened as their metallic voices sang out like temple bells. Each one produced a rich tone that complemented the other almost perfectly. He temporarily abandoned the mini mountain bike project and took a drill to the tubes, making two tiny holes near one end. Through these holes he welded precise lengths of steel spokes, then connected them to an old chainring with brake cables. Various lengths of aluminum tubes hung in a circle, with a carved round of pine wood in the center and a polished aluminum wind foil dangling at the bottom. Ned hung the creation in the southwestern corner of his workshop and listened as the breeze helped the chimes sing a sweet melody. After two months Ned had perfected the process of building wind chimes. He found that proper tuning of the tubes was just as important as truing a wheel, and he experimented with various scale and tunings. Ned found Hawaiian and Balinese tunings especially pleasant. The wind, which he’d never really noticed while hidden within the confines of the workshop, was becoming an essential element in his creations. Leaning over his drawing table one October afternoon, Ned put the finishing touches on a new frame. It was a curvaceous mountain bike that was the closest thing to what he’d envisioned in the aspen grove that day in the middle of summer—the tubes arching gently like slender trees in the breeze. The only thing missing was a plan for the powder coat. None of the colors he’d used for past Prestezas— gunmetal gray, cobalt blue, jet black, safety orange— seemed to flow. Looking for inspiration, he rolled up the drawing, stuck it in his back pocket and rode into the mountains. Ned returned to the trail of many aspens and sailed along a ribbon of yellow leaves resting on top of the hard-packed dirt. He rode with determination and reverence, as if he was pedaling along the yellow brick road to consult with the great and powerful Oz. The leaves hissed under his wheels, and when he’d finally reached the clearing in the trees, he spilled onto the soft ground. Letting his chest rise and fall with fresh air, Ned stared up at the sky and watched colorful leaves fall from the treetops. He reached in his back pocket to retrieve the schematic sketch, only to find it was gone. Ned leaped to his feet and bombed back down the trail. Fifteen minutes later, he caught sight of crumpled paper nestled within a grove of tiny aspen shoots. The wind had carried it into the forest, where leaves the color of fire decorated the white paper and black lines. He rolled the leaves into the drawing and tucked them carefully into his pocket. Snow was falling by mid-December, and Ned took a break from
freezing his toes and fingertips in the workshop. Instead, he sketched frame designs with organic influences and researched various ways to attain optimal sound from recycled aluminum tubing. When there was a knock on the front door, Ned was delighted to see Tim standing in front of him. Leaning on crutches, Tim’s wide smile sparkled like ice. After an embrace and a warm beverage, Tim explained what he could remember about the accident and provided colorful commentary about the painful road to recovery. He didn’t waste any time in placing a new bike order. “Ned, I’d really like you to build me another bike,” he said. “I should be able to ride again by March. A stunt double of the last one would be ideal. I survived the accident, but the Presteza didn’t.” “Sorry, friend,” Ned replied. “I’m not making road bikes any more.” “Not making road bikes?” Tim snapped. “Why? What?” “I went for a ride in the woods, and realized what was missing from my frames all along: Nature.” “All right Thoreau, or was it Frost?” Tim jibed. “So mountain bikes, huh?” “Yes, steel mountain bikes. Aluminum is good for wind chimes,” Ned said, a smile appearing from his wiry beard. Tim played along: “Well, steel is real.” “Ah yes!” Ned said, “but not just in the way it rides and feels and lasts and can be worked, but I enjoy working with steel so much more now. Aluminum is noisy, bright, chaotic. But steel is smooth, calm, quiet. It’s real.” Tim was simultaneously intrigued and disappointed but had never doubted the master framebuilder in the past. “But what about speed?” “There is more to life than its speed,” Ned said. “My frames are meant for long rides on old forest roads and adventures that span mountain ranges, continents, lifetimes.” Tim was shaking his head in approval now. “All right, Gandhi. I’m interested.” “Good,” was all Ned said as he stood up and disappeared around the corner. He returned holding a frame in his arms, as if carrying his sleeping child to bed. The flavescent paint job looked like a changing aspen leaf. He handed the bike to Tim and watched as his friend admired the kinetic sculpture. “It’s incredible,” said Tim, unable to take his hands and eyes off the frame. He caressed its curvy lines and found one word hidden within the palette of colors on the down tube: Sylvan. Tim’s truck disappeared out of sight just as Ned put on his down jacket and walked outside. With only the muffled sounds of winter surrounding him, Ned walked outside and settled into the outdoor workshop and fired up his torch. The soul of the framebuilder was warmer than steel glowing orange under the flame’s kiss. Tiny flashes of light swirled across the molten metal. The colors reminded him of autumn, aspens and interconnectedness. Matthew J. Nelson writes and rides in the Sonoran Desert southwest of Tucson, Ariz. He watched his first custom road frame (Aerohead) being built when he was 16 years old. Twenty years later, he had the ultimate adventure bike (Siren) made for his arduous commute into town and his ambitious cycling endeavors around the world. 69
NAHBS NIGHTLIFE AND EVENTS SCHEDULE: THURSDAY, FEB. 24 9–11 P.M. Rapha Movie Night at Mellow Johnny’s featuring the premiere of Continental; 400 Nueces St.
SATURDAY, FEB. 26 7–9:30 A.M. Mellow Johnny’s/Rapha Gentlemen’s Tweed Ride; meet at 400 Nueces St.
6–9 P.M. Barbecue, Bicycle Sport Shop, 517 South Lamar 9 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT Bicycle Sport Shop Pub Crawl; meet at 517 South Lamar
SUNDAY, FEB. 27 9:30–11:30 A.M. Bicycle Sport Shop Green Belt MTB Ride; meet at 517 South Lamar (come early for coffee and snacks)
NOON TO 2:30 P.M. Giordana/Mellow Johnny’s Road Ride; meet at 400 Nueces St. AUSTIN LOWDOWN: Where to dine and divulge if dropped in Austin with nothing but a bike and mild hangover. Compiled by the staff at Mellow Johnny’s and Juan Pelota Cafe. IRON WORKS Amazing Texas barbecue with counter service and paper towel rolls on the table. Next door to the Convention Center. 100 Red River (at Cesar Chavez) 800.669.3602
JO’S COFFEE Walk-up coffee house with outdoor seating. 1300 S. Congress 512.444.3800
LUSTRE PEARL A unique bar in an old historic house in downtown. 97 Rainey St. 512.469.0400
HOME SLICE PIZZA Sit-down service or walk-up window for by the slice. 1415 S. Congress 512.444.7437
CLIVE BAR From the same mastermind as Lustre Pearl. Cool atmosphere. 609 Davis St. (at Rainey) 512.494.4120
TACO SHACK Best breakfast tacos (everybody makes them around here). 402 Brazos St. 512.473.0101 GINGER MAN PUB Every beer you can possibly imagine on tap. 301 Lavaca St. 512.473.8801
GARAGE MAHAL Underground, outdoor Indian food, BYOB. 91 Red River 512.480.2255 SOUTH CONGRESS FOOD TRAILERS Tex-Mex, trailer style. 1318 S. Congress 512.744.5651 GUEROS Tex-Mex food, awesome margaritas and tacos. 1412 S. Congress Ave. 512.447.7688 CONTINENTAL CLUB Iconic Texas rock ’n’ roll club. Good music every night. 1315 S. Congress 512.441.2444 HOTEL SAN JOSE Amazing local hotel. Great patio for late-night wine/beer. 1316 S. Congress Ave. 512.852.2350 70
CHUY’S Legendary Tex-Mex food and margaritas. 1728 Barton Springs Road 512.474.4452 TORCHY’S Best trailer tacos. 1311 S. First St. 512.366.0537
UCHI Sushi in central Texas? Sounds counter-intuitive, but we have one that will stand up to the best sushi anywhere. Get reservations. 801 S. Lamar 512.916.4808
IT’S A BIKE SHOP. BUT DIFFERENT.
400 NUECES ST • 512 473 0222 • MELLOWJOHNNYS.COM
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Apres Velo 616.638.1650 livetheride.net
Enve Composites 801.476.3363 envecomposites.com
Nova Cycles Supply Inc. 916.624.6549 novacycles.com
Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel 510.535.9923 sheilamoon.com
Anvil Bikeworks 303.919.9073 anvilbikes.com
Fixed Gear Gallery 231.342.0461 fixedgeargallery.com
NuVinci 858.623.9557 fallbrooktech.com
Southwest Frameworks 214.358.2579 southwestframeworks.com
Arctos Jigs 509.829.6272 simplebicycleco.com
Fizik 877.395.8088 highwaytwo.com
Pac Designs 705.377.6190 pacdesigns.com
Spooky Bikes 413.230.8733 spookybikes.com
Arundel Bicycle Co. 817.924.8200 arundelbike.com
Full Speed Ahead 425.488.8653 fullspeedahead.com
Paragon Machine Works 510.232.3223 paragonmachineworks.com
Sputnik Tool 207.359.4607 sputniktool.com
Bailey Works 603.430.9577 baileyworks.com
Giordana 704.943.7919 gitabike.com
Paul Component Engineering 530.345.4371 paulcomp.com
Sunrace Sturmey Archer 707.259.6700 sunraceusa.com
Burro Bags 904.677.2977 burrobags.com
Gjertsen Technologies 281.799.1551 gjertsencycling.com
Peloton Magazine 626.441.2113 movepress.com
Swobo 831.459.0542 swobo.com
Cantitoe Road 970.282.1880 cantitoeroad.com
Hayes Bicycle Group 262.242.4300 hayesbicycle.com
Philosophy Bag Co. 541.520.1700 philosophybags.com
The Bicycle Forest 519.576.3350 bikeforest.com
CCP 81.3.3618.5651 ccp.fm
Hed Wheels 651.653.0202 hedcycling.com
Profile Racing Inc. 727.391.7370 profileracing.com
Twin Six 612.280.8194 twinsix.com
Chris King 800.523.6008 chrisking.com
Henry James/True Temper 310.540.1552 henryjames.com
Rapha 503.703.4830 rapha.cc
United Bicycle Institute 541.488.1121 bikeschool.com
Club Ride 877.708.CLUB clubrideapparel.com
King Cage 970.259.1946 kingcage.com
Reynolds Technology LTD 44.1.2177.7353 reynoldstechnology.biz
VP Components 805.617.0067 vpcomponents.com
Co-Motion Cycles 541.342.4583 co-motion.com
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Columbus 3G.02.GS.2441 gruppospa.com
KVA Stainless 760.489.5821 kvastainless.com
Rolf Prima 541.868.1715 rolfprima.com
White Brothers Suspension 970.241.3518 mrpbike.com
Cycle Design 203.272.0295 cycledesignusa.com
L. H. Thomson 478.788.5052 lhthomson.com
Rouleur LTD 4.47825E+11 rouleur.cc
White Industries 707.769.5600 whiteind.com
Cycle Monkey 510.868.1777 cyclemonkey.com
Mavic 978.469.8409 mavic.com
RPS NIPC 360.697.3611 rpsins.com
Wound Up Composite Cycles 801.467.1204 advancedcomposites.com
Cysco Cycles 423.715.1626 cyscocycles.com
Momentum Magazine 778.833.3773 momentumplanet.com
Sampson Sports 303.691.5650 sampsonsports.com
ZIPP Speed Weaponry 312.664.8800 zipp.com
DeFeet International 828.387.1231 defeet.com
Moth Attack 213.703.1690 mothattack.com
Screen Specialty Shop, Inc. 336.982.4135 sssink.com
Dirt Rag / Bicycle Times Magazine 412.767.9910 dirtragmag.com
Mountain Flyer Magazine 970.641.1804 mountainflyer.com
Scrub Components 847.714.2087 scrubcomponents.com
Dromarti 1.14421E+13 dromarti.com
MTBR & Road Bike Review 408.390.7500 roadbikereview.com
Selle Italia 360.782.2477 pronetcycling.com
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by T. Herb Belrose
Fearless into the Mystery I was born too late to make my name during the age of exploration. The landscape was already crisscrossed with roads and pocked with towns. From my perspective, one horizon was painted with golden wheat and silos and in the other slept a smoky, gray skyline of concrete and steel, cars and battered industry. The days of knowing by heart the path of the stars were gone. The information age promised to soften the mystery of my existence by being impeccable. One day, a satellite distilled my life into a single pinhead on a GPS screen. This phenomenon was supposed to soften the chaos of my existence. But the technology, no matter how efficient and powerful, was no substitute for experience. Mechanization, urbanization and the engineering of nature have not granted us a noble culture. Most of us live in ease compared to the days of ox and plow. In spite of all of our comfort and solutions, we are not guaranteed more fulfilling, happy lives. We call our socio-economic gains “upward mobility,” and the returns are extra capital and free time. To fill in these gaps we created recreation, a postulation that there is a reward for suffering the doldrums of our work and responsibilities. For many, our searching brains have outgrown the confines of tennis and golf and bowling, ad infinitum. Instead we climb mountains, paddle rivers, fly airplanes to faraway locales, ride our bikes into the woods and countryside. This is not the desperation of the escapist or a hedonistic romp that culminates with a hangover of guilt in exchange for pleasure. It cannot be written off as the privilege of the upper class. What we search for when we travel, wander and play is to survive. Survival means using our bodies for exploration and perspiration, entering the wilds alone or in packs, getting lost and, paradoxically, getting to know oneself by breaking out of the routine. On this path, the comfortable discomfort of our sedentary post-agrarian lives is detonated with the hard-wired dynamite of our burning musculature. This is the evolution of our instinct. If we do not take care to promote our hunger, then we may lose our appetites. Ride your bike fearlessly into this mystery. Your bike is not just some machine designed for high-speed peregrination; it is the only 74
machine capable of combining its form and cleverness to produce, with accuracy and efficiency, a speedy clip from the biomechanics of Homo sapiens. This epiphany started on a dark winter day when I found myself unemployed, out of shape, depressed, broke and wandering away the numbered days of my life. I sold many of my belongings and outfitted an old steel frame for touring. One fall day I left the city of Portland, Ore., en route to San Francisco via the coastal Highway 1. On a scenic highway through the Redwoods, on a whim, I took an unmarked turn onto a steep, rooted singletrack. Several times I got caught on a root and rag-dolled down the mountainside with my 60-pound bike. The trail led to a deserted sand dune 400 yards wide with a sleepy green ocean on the other side. I pushed my bike through the dune and, when I reached the ocean, the world lit up orange, red and crimson through the setting sun. Exhausted from 700 miles of travel, I ate and fell asleep surrounded by the glory. The next morning I trudged back across the dune. I stopped to rest and, when I stood back up, a herd of elk had surrounded me. Before my brain had time to register the spectacle before me, a fullgrown bull with 6-foot antlers charged. It was rutting season, and I was the mating competition. I could not outrun the bull, but I could outmaneuver it. Twenty minutes of playing rodeo clown on an open, sandy prairie took every last drop of energy from my body. I apologized to the bull, sat down on the ground before it and pretended to eat grass. I surrendered. The bull stared. He bellowed long and with passion. Then he walked in circles around me, stood behind my back and urinated. I could feel his breath on my neck. I was alone in the world, no one to help, no divine intervention, no depression. If I died in the antlers of that elk, then that was how it was going to be written. Then he lost interest. He figured out that I didn’t want a piece of his harem. He walked away. I knew where I was without the GPS navigator. It would be years before an old forest ranger would laugh at my story of survival and give me this advice: If a hoofed mammal charges you, throw something at its head.
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