Having apprenticed under Paul Sadoff for years at Rock Lobster and gotten his formal building education at UBI with Albert Eisentraut as his instructor, Jeremy SyCip got his start with a heck of a frame building pedigree. In recently downsizing his operation from a massive space in bustling downtown Santa Rosa to his home garage, Jeremy SyCip has embraced efficiency with fewer machines, less time in commute, and less time walking across the factory floor between building operations. I spoke with him about getting his start and some of his more recent projects in this shop at the SyCip Family Compound near Annadel State Park… READ MORE ->
Posts in the category NAHBS
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit a lovely nest of the small domestic bike industry in Northern California. My first builder to visit was Curtis Inglis, winner of this year’s Best Mountain Bike award at NAHBS with his tangerine fat bike. Raised in a family of roadies, Curtis fell in love with mountain biking later in life after getting out of the Air Force. Within a year of his first ride, he found himself as the new builder for Retrotec, a then fledgling bike brand out of Chico, after its first builder had left. A few years later, Curtis would shacked up with his friends the SyCip brothers in San Francisco. Whereas Curtis had been mostly self-taught, Jeremy SyCip was armed with formal building education and years of apprenticeship. It was there that Curtis honed his skills as a builder, learned how to build in straight tubes (initially a challenge) to establish his Inglis brand, and took control of Retrotec.
Twenty-four years on, Curtis has found a good rhythm in his one-man shop in Napa, at the heart of his which is his tube rolling machine, the vehicle by which he creates all of his obsessively curved, cruiser-style Retrotec frames. READ MORE ->
Compelled by his desire for a custom 29er singlespeed, Todd Ingermanson took up the torch 13 years ago to attempt to build his own. After several years apprenticing with Rick Hunter, he broke out on his own with Black Cat Bicycles and is now building and hand-painting custom to order frames out of his home workshop.
There are two very striking things about Todd’s shop, one being its scale and efficiency. There is no redundancy in machinery; there is a single very nice manual mill, a lathe, and a welding cart. It’s very clean. Everything that isn’t a machine is on wheels. It’s evident that this level of refinement is driven by the second very striking aspect of his operation: its location perched on the side of an extremely steep incline in Aptos, California (my rental car struggled to get up to it). During my visit, Todd and I spoke about his operation, his approach to frame-building, and his Manifesto.
Limited Edition Silca Martini Racing Super Pista Ultimate Pumps Painted by Corby Concepts Available Today
On the heels of their High Fashion custom Super Pista Ultimate pump collection at NAHBS this March, Silca is making available a super limited number of Martini Racing themed pumps painted by this year’s “Best Paint” award winner, Michael Corby of Corby Concepts. With only 25 pumps available beginning at noon EST, today, expect them to go as fast as they look. Details on how to speed to your custom painted masterpiece after the break…
Low Bicycles are handmade in San Francisco, all falling into the racing aluminum frames category. This particular example was used to showcase a new bar tape design from Cadence Cycling, who’s done some great collaborations with Ritchey in the past and offer denim and other clothing catering to the performance cyclist.
Check the detailed paint and attention to detail, plus bikes from a variety of other builders, below…
Paragon Machine Works’ new Syntace X-12 dropouts were on hand in finished form (as well as on a few bikes around the show). Teased last fall and formally announced in February, the options include steel,
alloy and titanium to accommodate whatever metal frame material a custom builder may use.
Closeups here, plus pics of their standard thru axle dropout, new little tools and upcoming fat and plus sized mountain bike chainstay yokes below…
Ventus Custom Cycles of Ames, Iowa – If the name sounds familiar, BikeRumor’s Anna Schwinn featured Ventus in an article during her series, Road to NAHBS: Ventus Custom Reinvents. The bike pictured above is the finished product by builder Mark Kargol, the man behind Ventus. Mark not only specializes in unique frame designs, but is also renowned for custom paint. READ MORE ->
5 Points is a collection of artsy types out of Kansas City that pops up around the community to share art and help folks get creative. For NAHBS, they cut an entire bike out of wood to showcase their made-from-trees handlebars and rear pegs, along with a few other accessories and non-bike goodies.
Go with the grain and see other random components and more below…
The Kentucky Wheelman brought several classic road bikes to NAHBS this year, each showcasing a different style and some very interesting ways of making the parts work. While so much is remarkably similar, the bicycles from the 1800’s and early 1900’s also show just how much has changed.
This 1920 Wastyn is the most modern of the three they displayed was built by Belgian Emil Wastyn after moving to America in 1910. This early model preceded his building of the very first Schwinn Paramount nearly two decades later (quick history of the brand here).
Hit ‘more’ to turn back the clock…