Ellis Cycles maroon Di2 lugged steel road bike NAHBS 2012 preview

Fans of the classic lugged steel bike need look no further than Ellis Cycle’s booth. Fortunately for builder Dave Wages, he’s been near the front the past two years I’ve covered the show. His designs are traditional, but that hasn’t stopped him from winning for Best Touring Bike or doing some sick Di2 road bikes. And it doesn’t mean he can’t make things fancy when the customer has the budget…

BIKERUMOR: What have you been working in since NAHBS last year?

DAVE: Thankfully, this past year I’ve been working hard on orders I took at last year’s NAHBS! One of the newer styles of bike that I’ve been doing quite a bit lately is my DRB, or Dirt Road Bike. In most cases, this is very similar to my standard road bike, only with extra clearance for long reach brakes and tires up to 32c or so, but in some cases folks go with cantilevers or Paul’s Racer brakes so they can run extra fat tires or fat tires and fenders too.

Ellis Cycles maroon Di2 lugged steel road bike NAHBS 2012 preview

BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds?

DAVE: I did put together a pretty special DRB (shown) this past year based on my Modern Classic. For those who aren’t familiar, my Modern Classic features a polished stainless rear triangle, head lugs and chromed fork, basically, it’s got all the bells and whistles. Since we were already going all out, my customer opted for a full Dura-Ace Di2 group to round out the bike, and the finished product was quite stunning, imo.

BIKERUMOR: Did you see anything last year that’s inspired you?

DAVE: Unfortunately, I hardly get a chance to walk around and see any other bikes at the show, so I can’t say that I had any great inspirations from last year’s show.

Ellis Cycles maroon Di2 lugged steel road bike NAHBS 2012 preview

BIKERUMOR: Can you give us a teaser of what your bringing to NAHBS 2012?

DAVE: My plan for this year’s show is to have 2 customer bikes from folks who’ve completed big events on their Ellis’, one completed Paris Brest Paris this past summer and another did the Furnace Creek 508. I’ll also have 2 brand new bikes for the show as well, a steel tri bike (??), and a beautiful stainless rando. No pictures as of yet, but they should both be head turners!

BIKERUMOR: If you had to race all the other builders, who would you want to inch out for the win right at the line?

DAVE: It’d have to be Richard Sachs, but that would never happen, he’d spank me!

Ellis Cycles maroon Di2 lugged steel road bike NAHBS 2012 preview


  1. That is a beautiful bike. It’s awesome to see the pretty large increase in interest in custom bikes and steel bikes. The creation of NAHBS was genius and a huge benefit to small builders and customer builders since those builders can, at NAHBS, reach a lot of customers, something that can’t be done at Interbike. Also, while there’s no doubt that innovation and technology as applied to modern bike (specifically CF frames) sees and has seen rapid innovation, builders like Ellis, Alchemy Bikes, Firefly and many, many other customer builders have been able to bring that same rapid innovation to steel keeping the material relevant to many more cyclists, all the while injecting “soul” into the bikes, a soul that sometimes is lacking in mass produced frames.

    Chapeaux, Dave Wages.

What do you think?