Road to NAHBS 2012 – Alliance Bicycles
NAHBS 2012 is this weekend. Our bags are almost packed and this series is nearing its end. Our second to final pre-show post goes to Alliance Bicycles and the work of builder Erik Rolf:
BIKERUMOR: What have you been working on since NAHBS last year?
ERIK: I’ve been pretty busy building bikes, but when I’m not I’ve been focusing on improving the service I offer like smoothing out my work flow, decreasing build times, and refining my paint offerings. I’ve been doing some R&D too, playing with interesting tubing and tuning the wall thickness and diameter of my titanium tubesets. I’m focusing my style as a builder, bikes like 29er hardtails with aggressive geometry, road and cyclocross race bikes, and Allroad style bikes that can handle bigger tires and fenders are some of my personal favorites. I’ve been playing around with full suspension prototypes using the Ventana rear assembly. I like to shorten the chainstays and move the main pivot so the bike has a bit more pedaling platform in the middle chainring. I’ve also been working on my website and expanding my social media outlets to include flickr. There is quite a large bike culture on Flickr that I hope continues to grow, so I wanted to get involved. Check it out at www.flickr.com/alliancebicycles
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds?
ERIK: I strive to deliver a dream bike with every frame I build. I love that the concept for a dream bike is different for everybody. Some people want all of their favorite bikes blended into one. Some people want a special paint job, a bike that finally fits, or they want to run tires/components that won’t fit onto an off the shelf frame. Some people want to put it all down on the line and not buy another bike for ten years. I’ve been fortunate enough to have built some very nice bikes this year, all of which I’m proud of. I try to build bikes that are beautiful and unique.
BIKERUMOR: Did you see anything last year that’s inspired you?
ERIK: I always like to check out my favorite builders at the show. Desalvo, Kirk, Sachs, Strong, Caletti, Anderson, Eriksen, Inglis, and Cielo are the kind of bikes that I would spend money on if I weren’t building myself bikes. Anvil bikeworks is definitely worth a visit too. I like to swing by the components booths like Paul, Chris King, and White industries too. I’m a total bike geek and I love all that shiny stuff.
BIKERUMOR: Can you give us a teaser of what your bringing to NAHBS 2012?
ERIK: I’m bringing three bikes this year. The first is a titanium 29er hardtail with all the extras: full XTR, Enve wheels, King hubs/headset/bottom bracket, and a Rock Shox Sid fork. The next is a steel allroad bike with a tig welded unicrown fork. This has been a very popular style of bike for me because of it’s versatility and I wanted to have one for everybody to check out. It’s finished out with Dura Ace and a King R45 wheelset. The third one is a steel road bike with a lugged fork and a Ska/Punk inspired paint scheme. It’s owner is taking the train up to the show and will ride his new bike home. I’ll be in booth #213 so swing by to check them out.
BIKERUMOR: If you had to race all the other builders, who would you want to inch out for the win right at the line?
ERIK: I’m pretty sure everybody will be racing for the bar at 6 o’clock.