Our pre-NAHBS buildup continues with John Caletti of Caletti Cycles. Until now, he’s been all about steel bikes, but that looks to be changing…
BIKERUMOR: What have you been working in since NAHBS last year?
JOHN: I’m continuing to refine my process, both in office type work as well as in the shop. I’ve been developing some new finish designs with a graphic designer. They are fitting with my style and offer a bunch of cool and fairly unique choices for my customers, which will hopefully make the finish planning and selection process more fun and easier. It seems choosing color(s) is the hardest part. I’ve had people go round and round with elaborate designs before settling on solid black.
Also, I’m using more U.S. made parts on frames, including a cool light and compact dropout for most road and cross bikes, and I’m moving towards more stainless steel for the small bits like cable guides and bottle bosses to add to the longevity of the finish and frame. I’m doing 29ers with larger head tubes (as an option) to allow for tapered steerer bikes and I’ve been working with Titanium, which I’ll soon be offering in addition to steel.
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds?
JOHN: There were a few with really amazing finishes, and a few with very clean lines; but many went out as a frame only, so I never got to see the completed bike ready to roll. One unique bike I did get to see all the way built up was a “monster cross” bike. It’s got room for big tires, disc brakes, rack and fender mounts, a unique segmented fork – it’s definitely ready for adventure. Looking at it makes me want to plan bikepacking trips or long days getting lost in the woods.
BIKERUMOR: Did you see anything last year that’s inspired you?
JOHN: There was a Cielo cross bike with a purpose built Moots stem that was cool and a Bishop stainless track bike. Of course there was tons of amazing stuff, but those are some things that are still bouncing around in my head. Neither one was something I’d build in that way or that style, but I admired the elegant simplicity and creativity that went into their design. That’s why it’s still in my head, I’m inspired by the creativity without being ornate and loud.
BIKERUMOR: Can you give us a teaser of what your bringing to NAHBS 2012?
JOHN: Sure, the plan is 5 bikes as I’ve got a bit larger booth this year. I’ll bring a light steel road bike with oversize tubes – a racy bike that will be ready just before the show so the customer can ride it to the show from here in Santa Cruz. I’ll also have a fairly straight ahead cyclocross bike, which I build a lot of. A belt drive 29er with some cool parts, including a Titanium seatpost and handlebar that I’ll make. An “adventure road” bike, which I’m very excited about. It’s basically a more versatile road bike than the standard racer style we see a lot of these days. It will have a steel fork and longer reach brakes so it can fit larger tires for riding rough roads and some dirt. We’ve been riding the road bikes on dirt a ton, which has inspired this one. Another bike born from all these dirt road rides is a Titanium cyclocross bike with disc brakes and Ultegra Di2. So a bit of everything, just how I like it!
BIKERUMOR: If you had to race all the other builders, who would you want to inch out for the win right at the line?
JOHN: Hmm… I’m not too fond of racing, but it would be fun to ride with some of these guys. I had the opportunity to do that at the Levi Gran Fondo in the fall and it was a blast. I’m hoping I can get Carl Strong to come out and ride in Santa Cruz after the show.