Road To NAHBS 2013: Winter Bicycles’ Eric Estlund
Last year, we pre-interviewed Winter Bicycles’ Eric Estlund but somehow managed to not post anything from his booth at the show…an oversight we won’t repeat. Fortunately, we sorta made up for it by covering his goods at the Oregon Manifest show, where he had some pretty cool stuff. Here’s what he’s been building and riding since…
Bikerumor: What materials do you build with? Which is your favorite and why?
Eric: I build in steel. There is a huge variety between the different alloys, diameters shapes and butting. With steel I can build modern bikes that are tailored for the individual client and joined in traditional methods.
Bikerumor: What have you been working in since NAHBS last year?
Eric: In addition to the line of fully custom bikes, I have also been developing a line of custom sized race frames I am calling my “Tool Series”. These have fewer options, and are designed to give the benefits of custom sizing for riders looking for straight up road bike.
Bikerumor: Any killer custom bike builds?
Eric:Always! One really exciting project was the “1918”- a modern interpretation of the Columbia 1918 “Military” model. This bike was commissioned as a rolling tribute to those who served during WWI and was made to commemorate the upcoming centennial. I have been developing a little bit of a niche for this sort of historical re-interpretation, and it’s been a great way to build classic designs with modern techniques.
In addition to the full bikes, this has also been a good year for custom stems. I am always happy to help folks finish off that special build or to meet a unique fit need. This year I’ve built a french stem for a vintage Rene Herse, an 1 1/8th quill for a vintage mountain frame and a run of great road stems in all sorts of configurations.
Bikerumor: Did you see anything at NAHBS last year that’s inspired you?
Eric: The people! I don’t get out of my booth much, but I am always excited and invigorated by the crowds. I really enjoy speaking with the wide swath of bike enthusiasts that come in to see what they are excited about and to hear how the use their bikes. It’s also a great chance to see friends I don’t otherwise get to hang out with.
Bikerumor: What are you bringing to the show this year that’ll have every other builder standing slack jawed in awe?
Eric: I’m really excited about the bikes I’ll be bringing with me- the first of my Tool Series, a continuation of my Japanese style lugged theme, and a “full kit” city bike with custom rack, stem, and a bunch of details I look forward to sharing at the show.
It’s important to me to not bring “show bikes”. I bring what I do and sell. This year my bikes will cover my build method fillet, lugged and bilam, and will show frames, forks, racks and stems.
Bikerumor: Scenario – A customer commissions you and one other builder to create the ultimate bicycle using the same parameters, same base material and same budget in an Iron Chef style competition. Who would you want to build against that would push you and elevate your game?
Eric: Every bike I sell falls into this category. Today there are many great builders for clients to choose from, and I always discuss what it is that attracted a customer to my specific work. The bikes are tailored to their needs, and built to be the best bike I can make them. The competition isn’t with the other builders- it’s with me to continue improving and giving the highest level of service I can to my clientele.