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.

Comments

ChrisW - 02/29/12 - 12:03pm

Does anyone know what tires are on the green “allroad” bike?

Nick@ASI - 02/29/12 - 4:35pm

ChrisW, I believe they are Challenge Parigi Roubaix tires

jonb - 02/29/12 - 5:36pm

A guess… Challenge Paris-Roubaix Open.

dimples - 02/29/12 - 8:02pm

I think Mr. Rolf’s bikes are the bee’s knees. They all seem to have everything you need and not much in the way of things you don’t. His beads are super symmetrical and the digital block font is my personal favorite logo.

Chip Deffe` - 03/01/12 - 11:45am

I’ve had the pleasure of watching Erik’s “style” develop over the past 15 years, from a young punk to a practicing master. When he’s backed up on builds, I get the nod for assembly and boxing – I’ve had my hands on a number of his bikes and the consistency, aesthetics and practicality of the builds promise a long and sustainable future. The custom, ” hand made in the USA” bike world is in good hands with young, up and coming tradesman like Erik Rolf at the forefront of this burgeoning business. He helped to guide me through the maze to a beautifully crafted long travel ti 29er hardtail that rides like it’s on rails while bucking the market trend of the plethora of carbon race bikes. Different strokes for different folks, Erik can accommodate it all.

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