Wraith Fabrications Offers New Source for Affordable, Made in the US, Columbus Steel Bikes

Wraith steel columbus bike (3)

What started as a custom bike building operation for Adam Eldridge in Columbus, OH, has turned into a full on production run. But instead of offering custom bikes, Adam’s new company Wraith Fabrications is offering stock, high quality, made in the US bikes for an incredible price. Over the past 5 years Adam has built bikes that have earned the top spot at the Red Hook Crit as well as taking podiums at road and cross races across the US. Adam wanted to open up the world of handmade bikes to more riders, so Wraith Fabrications has done away with most of the wait time, and only offers stock geometry made from what they consider the best possible steel tubing.

The result is an initial road and cross frame that will retail for under $1100 with a full carbon fork…

Wraith steel bike columbus

Called the Hustle, this steel road bike is the first model from Wraith with the Paycheck cross bike coming soon. Constructed from full Columbus Life tubing the Hustle differs from the Paycheck with upgraded Life S-bend stays while the Paycheck receives Zona S-bend stays. Both frames feature triple butted tubes where it counts* (likely the main frame), custom aluminum internal head tube cups, and the new Columbus FEL 1.5″ tapered carbon fork. Other details include 27.2mm seatposts and English threaded BBs on both frames, as well as internal Campy style headsets. The Hustle is listed as fitting “most 25c rubber” which may be a deal breaker if you ride 28s, while the Paycheck’s tire clearance is listed at 35mm, with Canti brakes.

Wraith steel columbus bike (2) Wraith steel columbus bike (1)

Sold as a frame and fork only, both framesets will retail for $1090 which includes free shipping, and free help to fit the bike. Initially frames will only be offered in three sizes with small, medium, and large, with different measurements for the two bikes. Head over to Wraith’s site for more info on the geometry. With the first bikes expected to ship in June, pre-order deposits are being taken now meaning you can reserve your Wraith for $300. Though if you’re interested, you better act fast since there are already only a handful left in the first batch.

Comments

Mindless - 05/20/14 - 12:52pm

Canti brakes for cyclocross? What is it, 20th century?

David - 05/20/14 - 1:00pm

Lots of people still use cantis and have no problem with them. Disc brakes are nice, sure, but certainly not even approaching a necessity.

These frames look nice, and at that price, a steal.

Ben - 05/20/14 - 1:02pm

A handmade U.S. built frame and fork for $1090? What is this, the 18th century?

Ripnshread - 05/20/14 - 1:03pm

That fork is just plain ugly.

Rico - 05/20/14 - 1:08pm

I like it. Screw disc brake road bikes. Those are for fondo dorks who dont race.

Jake - 05/20/14 - 1:09pm

@David…so disappointed…totally missed the opportunity to use ‘steel’… (pun lover here.)

Greg @ dsw - 05/20/14 - 1:21pm

Question: sweet ride, but where is the Columbus FEL carbon fork made? Italy? China? somewhere else?

David Lewis - 05/20/14 - 1:35pm

This looks like a missed opportunity to make an actual American product. Columbus is Italian, and who would guess that this fork is American?

That being said, I like the integrated headset, but on first glance it seems like a mismatch with the threaded BB. Wraith is clever though, because since he’s shipping frames only, these two systems require no special tools to install the bearings. Bravo!

Big Cow - 05/20/14 - 1:53pm

Well Mr David Lewis, since you are the smartest man alive, which US tubing manufacturer would you have used?

*hint* – no one makes bicycle tubes in the USA anymore, no matter how much they tell you they do.

Jon - 05/20/14 - 2:21pm

True Temper makes tubes in Armory, Mississippi – USA.

Zen Bike Fab - 05/20/14 - 2:25pm

Great job Adam! Cool to see more US production frames!

Kato - 05/20/14 - 2:25pm

KVA makes tubes in the US, but they’re stainless only

glenn - 05/20/14 - 2:27pm

True Temper. Maybe KVA

GT - 05/20/14 - 2:35pm

*hint* – unless you can back that up, don’t say it. True Temper steel bicycle tubing has been, is, and always will be made in USA.

David - 05/20/14 - 3:10pm

@Jake Ah dammit! I’ll force myself to ride a full season of CX on cantis as penance for missing that most excellent punurtunity…

FarmerJohn - 05/20/14 - 3:17pm

Why mention that these are handmade frames? Nearly every frame, regardless of the country of origin are hand made. So, uh big freakin deal! Now, if they offered custom geo’s made to order, then I would get excited. Bespoke is a big difference over hand made.

Brian O. - 05/20/14 - 3:17pm

Let’s not detract from the true story here – hand built frames being produced in the US at amazing prices. Adam is making Columbus proud. Great concept and execution!

Adam - 05/20/14 - 3:29pm

I can attest that there are very, very few resources for quality steel bicycle tubes that are made in America. As GT notes, True Temper is a great option! While we use Reynolds tubing as it’s a material I grew up riding. As a business owner and bike designer myself, I can say that producing a bicycle at these costs is no easy feat and I’m happy to see another company that makes bespoke, quality cycling products that are assembled and produced in the US at more attainable prices. Chapeau Wraith!

K11 - 05/20/14 - 4:05pm

Good work adam at wraith. You “get it” A full columbus offering with a new columbus fork, creates a “clean build” (not necessary, but a columbus brand tubing and fork package)and i’m sure allows you to hit that price point. US made AND threaded bb. very nice.

Not really a steel rider, but the package looks brilliant!

AdamE. - 05/20/14 - 4:15pm

Thanks Adam!

s - 05/20/14 - 4:28pm

I’m continually confused by all these handmade, one-of-a-kind steel bikes with carbon fiber forks.

If the concern is weight, you shouldn’t be looking at a steel bike in the first place.

David Lewis - 05/20/14 - 5:39pm

@Big Cow

Folks can use whatever brand of tubing they want, and I won’t judge!

My point was importing all the stock materials for fabricating a bicycle frame and then emphasizing that the product was made in America is disingenuous. This gets especially dubious when sold as a complete bike, dripping with foreign made components. It’s called Red, White and Blue-Washing, and I have little patience for it.

I absolutely applaud Adam’s decision to start manufacturing stock sizes at more reasonable prices, and I hope to see more builders going this route. Custom bicycles aren’t really an industry so much as a craft, and only when more builders convert to size runs will it make any kind of dent in the trade imbalance between the US and the Far East.

Greg - 05/20/14 - 6:24pm

Good stuff Adam

Albie - 05/20/14 - 9:05pm

Who is welding them though?

notapro - 05/20/14 - 10:28pm

Steel builds cities. I’m good with that. Good luck, wraith.

Ripnshread - 05/20/14 - 11:06pm

@FarmerJohn – In actuality most steel and alloy frames made in Asia are made by welding robots and are hardly touched by human hands.

Ben - 05/21/14 - 1:05am

@Rico Thanks you. Thank you so much man, i appreciate that comment so much.

Cheese - 05/21/14 - 1:09am

Those are some low tech looking robots, Rip.

http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/inside-giants-taiwan-frame-factory-part-three-39840/

Mindless - 05/21/14 - 1:37am

@Ripnshread: I could not care less if the frame is welded by Antarctic unicorns high on glue, as long as it is well made.

Tomi - 05/21/14 - 2:31am

Only 3 sizes.

Jon - 05/21/14 - 6:44am

God people seem to be in a bad mood today. Well done to them for producing a Made in America bike. Yes they could have sourced tubing and forks made in the US but the frame and forks would certainly not be selling at $1100 if they did.

Columbus tubing is bloody good for the price and other carbon forks made in the US would be nearly double the price at wholesale levels. At the end of the day if you want to make a frame that will sell in good numbers then you have to hit the right price point. To do this you have to make compromises, thats just life.

Good on them for trying something different

Rob M. - 05/21/14 - 7:49am

I for one dig the bike and bravo to American production. Looking forward to seeing the CX bike; on that note, anyone know the difference between the “Life” and “Zona” stays?

AlanM - 05/21/14 - 9:43am

@Jon, no kidding, people are just in a foul mood here it seems. Why do we have to nitpick every little detail. He should have used this tubing, he should have done this, done that. Guess what, he can’t make everyone of you happy. Don’t like it, don’t buy it, but you don’t need to be a bunch of jerks about everything. What cracks me up is I doubt most you ever really put this much thought into the products you buy, like your phones, computers, and food. Lighten up a little, it’s a bike!

Pabs - 05/21/14 - 10:35am

Do you people even like bikes?
This is an excellent product created by great people.
Steel doesn’t break, crack, is comfortable and stiff enough.
I love this bike, I love the fact that has a threaded bb and non of that presssfit crap, and, integrated headset? Nice, clean looking.

Icycle Bay - 05/21/14 - 10:54am

For the love of the sweet baby jesus please plug those holes.

Plenty of US fabricated frames come in under $1000 for non custom production runs.

Waterford produces their Fleet Velo, and also Milwaukee Frames for under $1000 with OX Platinum Tubing.

I’m really excited to see what Aaron Dykstra at 611 Bicycles is going to do with his small run, non custom bikes (Hometown Mfg). They looked awesome at the handbuilt show.

http://www.roanokeoutside.com/six-eleven-bicycle-co-unveils-hometown-mfg

Tom - 05/21/14 - 11:11am

Bravo. Columbus tubes and made fabricated in USA. Awesome to see. Pricepoint is great.

K11 - 05/21/14 - 12:21pm

as far as the idea that the tubing and fork isn’t made here…at least it’s a start to bring manufacturing back to the states.

For me it doesn’t HAVE to be american made. But it needs to be a quality product designed AND manufactured in the country in which the company is based. German company-made in germany. Italian company-italy, you get the idea. That’s my stance for cars, motorcycles, snowboards, lawn equipment, knives, etc…

Mike - 05/22/14 - 3:21am

@Tom
Just to be clear, the steel Wraith Fabrications is using is not made in Columbus, OH, but comes from Italy. But who cares whether the tubes include a sticker of a dove, some green numbers, or the stars and stripes, it’s all proven excellent bike-building material.

@Icycle Bay
I’m also looking forward to the Hometown Mfg bikes. Six-Eleven Bicycle Co is like the stateside Shand Cycles with the slick machines they fab up, so getting one for less scratch, and not having to worry so much about scratching it, is just what the doctor ordered.

AdamE. - 05/22/14 - 8:47am

@Icycle Bay
Me too! Aaron and I have had lengthy discussions about US based manufacturing.

@ everyone

Thanks for all of the positive comments. Ultimately we’re trying to bring business back into the states for manufacturing vendors in the supply chain. Unknowingly this project began five years ago as friendships were solidified. My friend Josh is the Powder coater. My friend Dan helped us with the waterslides. My friend Antonio is suppling the tubes. My friend Mike is machining the head cups. We released the second wave today. It’s been a bit hectic over the last few days! We modified the geometry a bit to accommodate the vertically gifted by adding another size. Thanks so much.

Robbie - 06/08/14 - 1:53pm

I read the comments here with interest. I’ve been modernizing classic Italian (Cinelli, De Rosa, Basso, Simoncini, Pinarello), Japanese (Centurion, Miyata, PDG Paramount, Panasonic), and US (Paramount) steel frames for a few years. I’ve been building up Italian, Belgian, and US (Cinelli, Merckx, Kestrel) carbon frames for a few years. I’ve also dabbled in Japanese and US aluminum frames (Centurion and Cannondale).

I rode them all, in centuries, triathlons, and the 100% normal every day riding (grab the bike, go ride hard, come home, drink).

NOTHING has me as excited about building another one as the Wraith Hustle. I can’t wait to get it, build it, pass people on it, climb on it, and yep-grab it, go ride hard, come home, and drink.

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