Amazingly enough, yet another NAHBS-bound frame builder has taken a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer BikeRumor’s 11 very important questions. Today we have Todd Ingermanson from Black Cat Bicycles of Santa Cruz, California. Black Cat is well known for its unique and aesthetically…awesome take on the single-speed sliding dropout.
BR: Are your plans for NAHBS a secret, or can you tell us a little bit about what you’re showing?
TI: Total secret. not that I care that much but, you know, an unveiling is always cool. Discovering things as you walk around the show is cooler than an agenda to see this and that.
BR: What about the booth, anything extra-special-crazy in the booth department?
TI: Nothing crazy. Clean and simple. Nobody is there to look at a booth.
I’ll be road tripping out to the show, so we’ll see what I stumble upon between here and there.
BR: What do you see as the hot trend at NAHBS this year?
TI: Not sure about hot trends… not really paying attention. Maybe hoverbikes…
BR: What is the lamest frame building trend ever?
TI: Bicycles are pretty cool, so its hard to pinpoint a “bad” trend. Something that detracts from a bicycle being a bicycle, a useable tool, is counterproductive, I think. planned obsolescence in any field is lame.
BR: What is the most challenging or horrible thing you’ve had to do as a frame builder.
TI: I try to only do projects that I’m interested in, so that way I’m never put in a spot of feeling like I’m doing something that I don’t agree with. As far as challenges go, its always challenging. trying to do bikes better and faster will always keep my mind occupied.
BR: What is your favorite type of bike to build?
TI: Sounds like a cop out but I don’t have a favorite type of bicycle to build. I like riding all kinds of bikes, so i can always put myself in the shoes of the soon-to-be-owner and get stoked for the project. Kinda goes back to taking on projects that I feel I can do a good job at.
BR: As a frame builder is there anything you absolutely will not to? Like a not-without-a-gun-to-my-head type thing?
TI: Hmmm. projects I won’t do…. if I think the bike won’t ride well, I won’t do it. There is no reason to spend a bunch of my time and a bunch of their money for what seems to be a doomed project. I’m always hesitant to take on a job if I think i can’t satisfy someone. There are a lot of expectations built up about a custom bike. If I think the expectations are unreasonable, no thanks.
BR: Sum up your entire bicycle building philosophy in one word or less. Kidding. How about three words?
TI: How about: totally bitchin’.
BR: If you weren’t building bikes, what would you be doing?
TI: Don’t know the answer to that. I’ve always been into British motorcycles so maybe that, or just totally rich. Like, way rich. Yachts and stuff.
BR: Who is your bike-building idol? Who do you look up to?
TI: Albert Eisentraut is the man. My girlfriend buying one of his bikes about 13-ish years ago made me get into this whole thing. His building comes of as so obvious and effortless.
BR: This one is important. Of the people showing at NAHBS, who is the last frame builder you would ever want to fight? Like physically.
TI: Curtis Inglis. He comes off as a super nice guy, but deep down inside, I think there is a near unquenchable rage that can only be sated with human blood. That, and he’s got some wicked long arms. game over…