Wow, the NAHBS interviews are just pouring in here…it’s hard to keep up. Today’s interview is with John Caletti of Caletti Cycles in Santa Cruz, CA. He despises integrated seatmasts. He’d rather catch a crocodile than fight Erik Noren and, well, I don’t want to spoil the rest of the interview for you…
11 NAHBS-Related Questions:
BR: Are your plans for NAHBS a secret, or can you tell us a little bit about what you’re showing?
JC: Not a secret, but I don’t plan to post any pictures of the bikes before the show. I’m bringing a geared 29er mountain bike with a Fox fork, and one piece titanium bar/stem; an oversize-tubed road bike with carbon fork and SRAM Red group; and a straight-ahead, working (wo)man’s cyclocross bike with steel fork and Rival group. Those bikes represent a good sample of the bikes I put out regularly, and for something a bit unusual I have a fun and utilitarian townie with curved top tube, one-piece bar/stem, disc brakes, internally geared hub and belt drive.
BR: What about the booth, anything extra-special-crazy in the booth department?
JC: Yes, me. I’ll be getting crazier by the day as I answer the same 3 questions about belt drive bikes.
BR: What do you see as the hot trend at NAHBS this year?
JC: NAHBS IS the hot trend. A bunch of other smaller handmade bike shows have started up in recent time and people are paying more attention, which is great. I’m hoping we are getting over the hump of art project bikes getting all the press, and that the riders out there notice all the superb “regular” bikes at the show and look for the builders of their next bikes.
BR: What is the lamest frame building trend ever?
JC: The super tall seat tubes (a.k.a. “seatmasts”) don’t make much sense.
BR: What is the most challenging or horrible thing you’ve had to do as a frame builder.
JC: Deciphering and filling out some of those tax/government documents I seem to get from time to time.
BR: What is your favorite type of bike to build?
JC: One that the rider/customer is really excited about, one I know will add to their enjoyment of the sport – doesn’t matter if that’s a road, mountain, or cross bike.
BR: As a frame builder is there anything you absolutely will not to? Like a not-without-a-gun-to-my-head type thing?
JC: No tandems or recumbents – gun or not.
BR: Sum up your entire bicycle building philosophy in one word or less. Kidding. How about three words?
JC: Sensible, performance, personal
BR: If you weren’t building bikes, what would you be doing?
JC: Maybe be one of those guys who catches crocodiles in the back yards of Florida to release them into the wild.
BR: Who is your bike-building idol? Who do you look up to?
JC: I have a great deal of respect and admiration for a lot of builders, but in particular Dario Pegoretti, Carl Strong and Steve Potts. These guys are not only amazing at their craft, but great guys as well.
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.
JC: Well, even though last year Sacha White brought his entourage and a box of brass knuckles, I think I’d have to go with Erik Noren of Peacock Groove – he’s got the intensity of a badger!
For more information visit Caletti Cycles website.