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…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Burnsey of Oddity Cycles”

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”

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

Road to NAHBS 2016: Craig Calfee of Calfee Design

Photo by Calfee Design
Photo by Calfee Design
Photo by Calfee Design

Craig Calfee was screwing around with carbon in bike frames way before it was cool. Arguably, Craig’s a big reason why carbon came to be regarded as cool. He’s also a big reason why bamboo moved into a space where it could also become a respected frame material. And Craig is always keeping it fresh by continuing to up the ante with his ingenious solutions year after year…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Craig Calfee of Calfee Design”

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike11 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: John Caletti of Caletti Cycles

Photo by Peter Thomsen
Photo by Peter Thomsen
Photo by Peter Thomsen

For John Caletti of Caletti Cycles, the ride of the bike is what it’s all about. Tradeshows and interviews about origin stories (like this one) are frustrating to him for this reason: they speak to the persona of the builder and the look of the bike rather than what the machine accomplishes in motion. This emphasis is reflected in the form and presentation of his frames. The aesthetic is clean. Curves, when they occur, are subtle. There is a constant distilling process occurringg at Caletti Cycles with respect to production procedure and formal presentation in order to enhance the frames intrinsic value of the frame.

In this phone interview, John discusses his course to becoming a frame builder as well as the significance of refinement within his product and operations.

And, for those fun loving folks out there, he gives us a sneak peek at the Scrambler, a new model to be launched at, and available to take home from, NAHBS.

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: John Caletti of Caletti Cycles”

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike6 Comments

A week in review: Road to NAHBS, Winter gear rampage, Tour Down Under rigs and much more!

Proviz_Reflect-360+_high-visibility-performance-reflective-commuter-jacket_daytime-side-reflect NAHBS-2016_Patrick-Cycles_Patrick-Gauci_track-02Specialized 686 winter fat bike clothing (6) 0 Review 20160125_111909

Take an intimate peak of some of the many frame (& tool) builders we’ve interviewed leading up to the North American Handmade Bike Show so far. Plus see how Cory, Trey and especially Zach take on Winter in some VERY different environments with gear from Proviz, Ornot, and Specialized…. Continue reading “A week in review: Road to NAHBS, Winter gear rampage, Tour Down Under rigs and much more!”

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Mountain Bike, NAHBS, Road Bike, UncategorizedLeave a comment

Road to NAHBS 2016: Ben Farver of Argonaut Cycles

Photo used with permission of Argonaut Cycles
Photo used with permission of Argonaut Cycles
Photo used with permission of Argonaut Cycles

Ben Farver has an origin story in two parts. He started Argonaut as a steel custom frame outfit, first with TIG welded frames, then brazed frames. Despite early recognition of his work in steel, Ben made a sudden move away from the material to carbon only a few years into forming his brand. From the perspective of many who labor in metal, it was a polarizing move leaving many feeling like he was dismissing the material that they love.

But for Ben, this could not be further from the truth. Steel, in his mind, would never be able to give him the depth of control over the design and feel of the bike, and it would never allow him to make the contribution to the industry he wanted to make – not like carbon could.

In this phone interview, Ben discusses the initial journey into frame building, as well as his drive to accomplish the deeper level of personalization and material performance that compelled him to create his new approach to custom carbon frame fabrication…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Ben Farver of Argonaut Cycles”

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike38 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Dwan Shepard of Co-Motion Cycles

Road to NAHBS 2016: Dwan Shepard of Co-Motion Cycles
Photo by Paul Scwhyhart
Photo by Paul Scwhyhart

Co-Motion Cycles is synonymous with tandems (though they’ve been killing it in the adventure cycle realm the past few seasons). When many builders and manufacturers shifted away from tandems to mountain bikes in the mid-eighties and 90’s, Co-Motion upped the ante in terms of design and modernization making the brand, and founder Dwan Shepard, the authority on the genre (he has taught the tandem seminar at NAHBS at least once). Lately, they’ve been machining frame parts in-house and developing and refining their own standards across tandems and singlets alike. More on this after the jump…
Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Dwan Shepard of Co-Motion Cycles”

Posted in Interviews, NAHBS2 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Darrel Williams of Thrive Cycles

Road to NAHBS 2016: Darrel Williams of Thrive Cycles
NAHBS_Darrel-Williams_Thrive_Ians-CX
Photo by Stacey Schmitz

Darrel Williams and his brand, Thrive Cycles, hail from the small town of Savannah, Missouri, a place with many quiet roads lovely for riding but “about the furthest you can get from being a cycling town.” Being an entirely self-taught builder, Darrel has already gotten attention in forums for his process, routing techniques, and juicy fillets. His bikes have a clean, minimalist aesthetic that is reflective of his brand’s motto, “deliberately simple,” as well as his polite eschewing of the flashy paint jobs and elaborate metalwork that he feels can be distracting from the machine. Jive with the drive behind Thrive Cycles after the jump…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Darrel Williams of Thrive Cycles”

Posted in Cyclocross, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike4 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Jason Quade of Abbey Bike Tools

Photo by Jon Shipman
Photo by Jon Shipman
Photo by Jon Shipman

This year for NAHBS coverage, we’re taking the opportunity to interview a select number of brands that produce bicycle adjacent products. Abbey Bike Tools is the first in that series.

It sounds cliche to call a product race-tuned and pro-tour tested, but Abbey Bike Tools are literally just that. The first product in the line, the Crombie Tool, was conceived by a pair of race mechanics, a group of chronically under-appreciated professionals who constantly cobble together special tools and equipment for their work. Today, Abbey tools can be found in the professional and private tool boxes of mechanics throughout the professional circuit. Abbey has really set itself apart by not just creating clever functional solutions, but by elevating the fit, feel, and finish of its product to a level worthy of their professional audience. The tools work, they are designed to be beautiful and feel nice in your hands, and they are reliable for when mechanics and athletes need them most.

The main man behind the brand is Jason Quade, a veteran of the race circuit himself. In this interview, we discuss the origins of Abbey tools and what it’s like to have a problem like Titanium Hammers…
Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Jason Quade of Abbey Bike Tools”

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS13 Comments