Road to NAHBS 2014: Don Walker’s Steel Bicycles
Somewhere between running his team and putting on this little show called NAHBS, Don Walker finds time to build a few bikes. Typically, they’re for the track or the cyclocross course, but every now and then he brings a little something different. Let’s see what’s been going on since last year’s interview and show…
BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?
DON: Still steel. I have been threatening to break out of that for a while now, but time will tell.
BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?
DON: I’ve tried to re-tool, re-organize and get the shop flow to be able to produce bikes quicker. Seems to be faster, too!
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time?
DON: Just some ‘cross bikes for my team. I kind of took a bit of time off to work through some personal issues going on in my life.
BIKERUMOR: Say a customer gives you free reign, where do you draw your inspiration for the best projects?
DON: Most customers looking for a track bike do that anyhow. They normally say, “here’s my fit, do what you want to do, just make sure you use some aero tubes.”, so that’s usually what I end up doing.
BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?
DON: I think it will more be along the lines of the paint this year. A road tandem with a hot paintjob should turn some heads.
BIKERUMOR: Scenario: NAHBS introduces a new category called Mashups, pairing two completely different builders to make one bike. Who’s the yin to your yang, and what kind of bike do you think you’d build?
DON: Ha! Did that this year! I had Erik Noren from Peacock Groove come help me get out of a hole I dug myself into by going to Japan and some issues I had to deal with last summer. While they were my design, and my brazing, I think if Erik and I worked together on something from the very beginning, it would really be a sweet ride. As far as what kind of bike, I am guessing it would be a Mountain Bike or a Fat Bike. I don’t have much experience with either, but I really want to learn more about them.