Road to NAHBS 2016: Don Ferris of Anvil Bikeworks

Photo by Probably Dead, Used with permission of Don Ferris
Photo by Anvil Bikeworks
Photo by Anvil Bikeworks

Don Ferris is so pervasive within the frame building community that many take for granted that he exists. His company, Anvil Bikeworks, develops and fabricates the fixtures that help build many of the bikes you’ll see at NAHBS this year. At this point, it is unusual to walk into a frame builder’s shop and not see something of his work.

But knowing how much the fans of the community enjoy the cult of personality, it is a crying shame that Don, due to his customer base of frame builders, is relegated to the background. He is one of the more dynamic members of the industry. Few others have gone from the wrong side of the law, to the Antarctic, to UBI, to giving up a successful career as an esteemed frame builder in order to build the tool that the community uses to do their jobs every day.

When editing, I enjoyed the story so much that I left it a little longer than the others because, hey, this is the internet…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Don Ferris of Anvil Bikeworks”



Don Ferris is so pervasive within the frame building community that many take for granted that he exists. His company, Anvil Bikeworks, develops and fabricates the fixtures that help build many of the bikes you’ll see at NAHBS this year. At this point, it is unusual to walk into a frame builder’s shop and not […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS17 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Carl and Loretta Strong of Strong Frames

Photo by Loretta Strong
Photo by Loretta Strong
Photo used with permission of Carl Strong (jumping)

Strong Frames has gone through several phases in its over 20 year existence. It grew from a one man band in Carl Strong’s grandmother’s garage to a million dollar a year company with twelve employees at its largest. In the past ten years, however, the company has been poetically distilled down to its current, ultra-focused, customer-centric format.

Getting to do this interview was very exciting for me for a couple of reasons. For one, having spent my last few weeks interviewing builders and frame builder community members, Carl Strong’s name has come up quite a few times as someone who deserves accolades within the community for his work in helping new builders to get established and as someone who people have gone to for advice. For another, this interview was an opportunity to talk to the better half of Strong Frames, Loretta Strong, who is a massive reason why the company is the way it is today…

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Strong Frames has gone through several phases in its over 20 year existence. It grew from a one man band in Carl Strong’s grandmother’s garage to a million dollar a year company with twelve employees at its largest. In the past ten years, however, the company has been poetically distilled down to its current, ultra-focused, […]

Posted in Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews, NAHBS8 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Renzo Formigli of Formigli Bicycles

Photo by Donald Sempken
Photo by Bob Wilkinson
Photo by Bob Wilkinson

Renzo Formigli of Formigli Bicycles comes from a long line of racers, so it is interesting that he would take to building bikes rather than following the family tradition of racing and coaching. Though his decision to make bikes was made as a young boy, his career path was solidified when, as a young man, he was introduced to the art by Cino Cinelli himself. Today, Formigli produces aluminum, steel, and carbon framesets in his Italian factory and ships worldwide…

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Renzo Formigli of Formigli Bicycles comes from a long line of racers, so it is interesting that he would take to building bikes rather than following the family tradition of racing and coaching. Though his decision to make bikes was made as a young boy, his career path was solidified when, as a young man, […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, NAHBS18 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Patrick Gauci of Patrick Cycleworks

Photo by Wyatt Clough
Photo by Marcell Lovell
Photo by Marcell Lovell

The exciting thing about covering new builders is seeing patterns between them and current, established builders and not knowing exactly what they will turn into as they mature.

Ontarian and new builder Patrick Gauci of Patrick Cycle Works is one of a group of builders that started their careers in aerospace before trying their hands at frame building. Patrick works as an Aircraft Structures Mechanic by day, and builds frames by night. Still at the stage where he is building for friends and family, Patrick has acknowledged that he’s learned a lot over his short career as a builder. He is enthusiastic, however, that he’s found a way to explore his passion of cycling in a deeper way…

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The exciting thing about covering new builders is seeing patterns between them and current, established builders and not knowing exactly what they will turn into as they mature. Ontarian and new builder Patrick Gauci of Patrick Cycle Works is one of a group of builders that started their careers in aerospace before trying their hands […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS, Road Bike2 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Steve Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works

Photo by David Luddy
Photo by Steve Bilenky
Photo by Steve Bilenky

The story of how internationally renown, well-oiled jam band, Bilenky Cycle Works, came to be is labyrinthine. Steve Bilenky, who wants it emphasized that he is only a small part of an excellent team, began his industry career at ten hustling bicycle repairs for neighborhood kids out of his family’s garage. That led to job at the local Schwinn shop assembling and repairing bikes, where he pored over catalogs and absorbed every bike thing he could. Steve was modifying old cruisers and blasting around in the woods with his friends in the 70’s before mountain bikes were a glimmer in the proverbial eye.

His academic and professional direction initially would take him away from bicycles, and his deep-seeded entrepreneurship would draw him into all sorts of unusual ventures. Inevitably,  he would return to Philadelphia and bicycles where he went from repair and frame alteration to starting his first bike brand, Sterling Cycle Company – all on his way to Bilenky Cycle Works…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Steve Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works”



The story of how internationally renown, well-oiled jam band, Bilenky Cycle Works, came to be is labyrinthine. Steve Bilenky, who wants it emphasized that he is only a small part of an excellent team, began his industry career at ten hustling bicycle repairs for neighborhood kids out of his family’s garage. That led to job at the local […]

Posted in Commuter, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS8 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Chris ‘Soultrain’ Sulfrian of REEB Cycles

NAHBS-2016_REEB_Chris-Sulfrian_TySams_03

NAHBS-2016_REEB_Chris-Sulfrian_fat_TiDonkPinion_01

Photos by Bobbie Turner

When the president of the Oskar Blues Brewery had his bike stolen, his solution was to start a bike brand. Why not, right? After a few prototypes were made, Chris Sulfrian was tapped to build bikes for the brand, essentially making it happen for the brewery. Coming into its fifth year with hundreds of bikes on the road, Reeb (beer spelled backwards, if you’re new to the game) has established itself with off the wall models and some of the most compelling implementations of gear boxes on fat bikes (or elsewhere) on the market…

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Photos by Bobbie Turner When the president of the Oskar Blues Brewery had his bike stolen, his solution was to start a bike brand. Why not, right? After a few prototypes were made, Chris Sulfrian was tapped to build bikes for the brand, essentially making it happen for the brewery. Coming into its fifth year with […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS3 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Jeremy SyCip of SyCip Designs

Photo by Jeremy SyCip
Photo by Jeremy SyCip
Photo by Jeremy SyCip

We visited Jeremy SyCip, the solo artist behind SyCip Designs, last summer while rolling through sunny Santa Rosa. His current operation is tiny but efficient due to decades of process and product refinement. Despite efficiency, Jeremy’s still cranking out the hits. This year, look for an improved, off-road version of his BBQ bike as well as a Chris King collaboration. More on this after the jump… Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Jeremy SyCip of SyCip Designs”



We visited Jeremy SyCip, the solo artist behind SyCip Designs, last summer while rolling through sunny Santa Rosa. His current operation is tiny but efficient due to decades of process and product refinement. Despite efficiency, Jeremy’s still cranking out the hits. This year, look for an improved, off-road version of his BBQ bike as well as a […]

Posted in e-Bike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS5 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Burnsey of Oddity Cycles

Photo by Burnsey
Photo by Burnsey
20in Fat Bike, Photo by Burnsey

It feels inappropriate to try to introduce Burnsey, the entity behind Oddity Cycles.

I would leave the introduction with that if I thought my editor would let me get away with it because it’s completely true. I just can’t describe his irreverence in a way that will do it justice.

He came to cycling through the single speed pirate racing scene in Kansas City, one where how hard you shred is as important as your shenanigan-proficiency. After quitting his day job, Burnsey turned to bike building full time, with an emphasis on self-expression and fun. Four years into taking the leap, his technically complex three-dimensionally curved frames and forks have attracted admirers throughout the builder community, as well as a following of passionate fans.

In this phone interview, Burnsey discusses the inspiration for his unique approach, as well as the parallels between being a tattoo artist and building bikes…

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It feels inappropriate to try to introduce Burnsey, the entity behind Oddity Cycles. I would leave the introduction with that if I thought my editor would let me get away with it because it’s completely true. I just can’t describe his irreverence in a way that will do it justice. He came to cycling through […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS5 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Collin Schaafsma of Matter Cycles

Photo by Collin Schaafsma
Photo by Collin Schaafsma
Photo by Collin Schaafsma

Collin Schaafsma of Matter Cycles got into frame building by walking into his garage and giving it a shot one day. Having grown up riding BMX bikes and screwing around with fabrication tools on a farm, it seems like the leap to bike building would be inevitable. In the past year, his product has gotten a lot of positive media attention for his geometries, tube blends, and as his attention to detail. Sales, similarly, have started to take off. But what’s probably most refreshing about Collin is his positivity and enthusiasm – catch some of it after the jump…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Collin Schaafsma of Matter Cycles”



Collin Schaafsma of Matter Cycles got into frame building by walking into his garage and giving it a shot one day. Having grown up riding BMX bikes and screwing around with fabrication tools on a farm, it seems like the leap to bike building would be inevitable. In the past year, his product has gotten […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS4 Comments