According to Todd Ingermanson (Black Cat Bicycles) and Drew Guldalian (Engin Cycles), Curtis Inglis of Retrotec and Inglis Cycles is the most terrifying man in the handmade bicycle universe. Question is: does Curtis himself fear anyone in the handmade bicycle universe? This, and many other (slightly less stupid) questions will be answered in the following interview.
BR: Are your plans for NAHBS a secret, or can you tell us a little bit about what you’re showing?
CI: No real secrets for nahbs. I will have three bikes in my booth and one over at sunrace/sturmey archer.
1. Inglis 700c road bike fillet brazed.
2. Retrotec Classic 650B fillet brazed mountain bike
3. Retrotec Step-through 700c Fillet brazed
4. Retrotec Step-through 700c tig (in the Sturmey Archer booth)
BR: What about the booth, anything extra-special-crazy in the booth department?
CI: Yes we always try to knock it out of the park with the booth prep. This year we are bringing back the same booth from last year, a $2 piece of string and $5 worth of wood clothes pins. As a Biodynamic builder I prefer to keep the booth as simple as possible for overall sustainability.
BR: What do you see as the hot trend at NAHBS this year?
CI: No clue, but we will know what it was when Trek release their next models.
BR: What is the most challenging or horrible thing you’ve had to do as a frame builder?
CI: I got the opportunity to work with a customer on a chopper project. It was not horrible, but it was very challenging and took forever.
BR: What is your favorite type of bike to build?
CI: The practical side of me says tig welded Inglis road bike, that other side says Fillet brazed Retrotec triple.
BR: As a frame builder is there anything you absolutely will not do?Like a not-without-a-gun-to-my-head type thing?
CI: I will almost try anything. Customers come to me with all sorts of wacky ideas and I just try to make them happy. I won’t make recumbents.
BR: Sum up your entire bicycle building philosophy in one word or less. Kidding. How about three words?
CI: Ride your bike! I should change that to Buy My Bikes…
BR: Who is your bike-building idol? Who do you look up to?
CI: I don’t idolize anyone, but Ross Shafer is a very talented guy (new builders, Google him). I look up to Rick Hunter. He is taller than me!
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.
CI: Don Walker. He is bigger than me.