Posts in the category Interviews

Exclusive! Chris Currie’s all-new full suspension design is unlike anything you’ve ever seen

Chris Currie mountain bike suspension patent drawings

Editor’s Note: Chris Currie has been in the industry for years, many of which he’s spent quietly designing, patenting and slowly but surely developing his own full suspension platform. In this new series, he’ll give us a peek inside the process of creating something new, the myriad ways to bring it to market and the challenges of it all. Without further ado, here’s Chris:

Eighteen years ago, I started an online bike shop called Speedgoat out of an old one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Southwestern PA. I didn’t have “start-up capital,” a background in web development, or a business degree. All I really had was an obsession with bikes and a wife who was just crazy enough to go along with me. For fourteen years we worked with the best companies in the bike business, building up thousands of custom bikes for riders around the world. We knew the names of our customers’ dogs, even if the customers lived thousands of miles away. It was that kind of business.

In 2010 I sold the company to people I thought could take it to the next level, but they were a trainwreck. Frustrated with the new owners, I left in 2011. In the years since, I moved west to manage sales, marketing, and customer service for Velotech in Portland, Oregon, while moonlighting for Stan’s NoTubes, where I’m now Creative Director. Through it all, one personal project that started at Speedgoat ten years ago has stayed with me. I had an idea for a bike.

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Shop Profile and Interview: Gladys Bikes and Leah Benson

Gladys Bikes Leah

Though just over a year and a half old, it’s clear that Gladys Bikes has already begun to make its mark on the Portland riding community (while recently visiting the city, it was the most recommended shop to visit by the women I spoke with). Rather than being adapting a current model, the shop, brainchild of Leah Benson, was designed from scratch with significant feedback from community members and focus groups to start valuable conversations about bike fit and comfort across price points, disciplines, and facets.

Though named for the personal bicycle of Frances E. Willard, suffragette, and founded to address opportunities within the equipment and experience of women on bikes, the shop manages to be inviting and effective for any person of any gender or riding experience…

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Interview: Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks

Sugar Wheelworks Jude

In a compact studio workshop in North Portland, Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks tailors wheels in the way that small builders tailor frames and bicycles. Working with each customer individually she sets out to build wheels to match the rider, context, and machine as a package. Jude backs up her consultations with extensive metallurgical testing and close collaborations with local engineers as well as a sophisticated wheel “taste testing” program so that customers can be confident in every aspect of the decision and purchasing process.

Jude talks about her process, advocacy, and bike touring after The Jump. READ MORE ->

The Bike That Got Away: Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira of Breadwinner Cycles

Breadwinner Pereira Ibis Mojo

“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

For this very first installment, I sat down with Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira, award-winning frame builders and the old married couple behind Breadwinner Cycles. We discussed their domestic production empire, consisting of a pair of two-car garages in an unassuming North Portland neighborhood, and the bikes they lost that have made them who they are today… READ MORE ->

Interview: Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen

Vanilla Workshop Sacha saw

In the early 2000’s, a class of small builders began to emerge as big domestic bike manufacturing continued its march towards overseas production. Rather than working their way up through years of different cutting processes, finish work, and ranks of existing factories or workshops (which were becoming fewer by the year) these new builders joined the game by jumping straight into frame building through classes at UBI or with individual builders and honed their craft through trial and error.

The captain of this class is Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop, a kid who knew what he needed to do with his life after watching a frame builder repair his broken messenger bike. After saving his pennies for the opportunity, he learned to build his first frame under Tim Paterek and has been working with a torch ever since. His obsessive attention to detail and visual and functional style in his bikes skyrocketed him to early rockstardom within the community and he has been working hard to live up to that hype.

Today, over fifteen years into the game, Sacha oversees a production house that contains both his Vanilla, for which he is the sole builder, and production Speedvagen lines and is currently gearing up for a West Coast fitting tour. Meet The Man from Vanilla after the jump.

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Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

YUBA-Newsletter-image

 

Advocacy

  • Yuba Launches Limited-Edition PeopleForBikes Branded Cargo Bike – PeopleForBikes and Yuba Bicycles have partnered to launch a limited edition Boda Boda cargo bike to raise money for bicycling infrastructure. Yuba and PeopleForBikes will officially launch the bike at the Sea Otter Classic in April, where people can enter to win one. The bikes are available for preorders now and on sale May 1 at Yuba dealers and at yubabikes.com.
  • CNN Honors Trips for Kids Founder – CNN has named Trips for Kids Founder, Marilyn Price, as a CNN Hero for her years of dedication to putting disadvantaged kids on mountain bikes. Please join us in congratulating Marilyn and take a moment to watch the video and share it with your friends and family. Or tune in to CNN March 27 – 29 and watch the story “on air”. tripsforkids.org

Racing News

Monarch Crest Race

  • The true “enduro” experience is finally here, October 2-4, 2015. The Monarch Crest Enduro brought to you by Chocolate Bunny Productions, threads together three days of Colorado’s finest high country trails along the Monarch Crest, a segment of the Continental Divide Trail, and IMBA Epic® no less. Registration is now live on imathlete.com.

 

Touring

  • The Greatest Ride – August 9-12 2015. This is the cycling trip you’ve wanted to take for your whole life. Start by sharing a table with retired Pro Cyclist George Hincapie and Blackberry Farm Proprietor Sam Beall for the opening dinner at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. This event is limited to only 10 cyclists so book now at blackberry farm.com.
  • Chris King Gourmet Century registration opens April, 1st – The Gourmet Century has expanded into a global showcase hosting four events across the U.S. and now one in Japan. Each event will feature its own special guest chefs and menus designed to compliment the best riding the region has to offer. Registration for ALL events will open on April 1st at 12pm PST at gourmetcentury.com. Act fast as tickets tend to go quickly!
  • Ride. Relax. Escape. Discover the Wild Highlands of Scotland – Fuel your sense of discovery with roads that will take your breath away. This 6 day, 5 night tour runs between 8th to 13th September and is strictly limited to 12 people. Book now, 72 hours before general public.

 

NAHBS 2015

  • Didn’t get enough of NAHBS 2015? - Gates photographer Tim Lucking has produced an exquisite photo gallery of the best belted bikes from the North American Handmade Bike Show. Check out some of our favorites on The Belted Blog.

 

Video/Film

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Currently touring the USA, (you can find the tour schedule here) immediately after the Festival ends in November a selection of the best films goes on tour across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Lebanon, Chile, New Zealand, Antarctica, and points in between. Each year, the films travel to 40 countries reaching more than 390,000 people at over 840 screenings. There’s typically a mountain bike film in the mix but every film has always been entertaining.

 

Contest

  • Here’s your last reminder that you can win a set of new rubber from Vee Tire. Follow the link to the survey and complete it to win!

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NAHBS 2015: Julie Ann Pedalino

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 Julie

One of the big show highlights for me at NAHBS this year was new builder Julie Ann Pedalino. Remaining exuberant throughout the three day event and rocking blazing pink running shoes, Pedalino represented a unique energy within the context of both the new builder row and the already diverse community of builders within the larger show.

It was fitting that her “Campagnolo Best Build” Honorable Mention show bike, named Sushumna, also radiated with unique energy- despite being painted in understated gloss white. With chakra-themed brass adornments she had hand-cut with a jeweler’s saw and silver brazed onto her beautiful fillet brazed frame, Sushumna represented the culmination of her expertise and practice as an artist and craftswoman and an articulation of her appreciation of her bicycle as a spiritual vehicle. Hear Pedalino discuss her vehicle and process in her own words after the jump. READ MORE ->

Road to NAHBS 2015: Stijl Cycles and LocoMachine

STIJL NAHBS 2015 breakaway 3

Since LocoMachine and Stijl Cycles will be bunking together at NAHBS this year, it made sense to group them together here.  Hinmaton Hisler talks about emerging trends in the small builder industry, going deep with titanium, and branching out after the jump. READ MORE ->

Road to NAHBS 2015: REEB

REEB NAHBS 2015 REEBdonkadonk Pinion box

Even at first glance, REEB’s REEBdonkadonk fat bike compels you to jump on and ride and play. Featuring REEB’s recently developed 31.6mm dropper-compatible, proprietary True Temper seat tube, a Pinion gear box with the Gates belt drive, beautifully minimal cable guides, and wrapped up with a raw, patriotic styling scheme, this machine will surely give you a funny feeling in your stomach.  Meet REEBdonkadonk and friends after the jump. READ MORE ->