Michael Brown of Maestro Frameworks strongly believes that “everyone should have the chance to ride a bike,” and he delivers on this belief. Based in Pittsburg Pittsburgh, Maestro Frameworks is the culmination of Brown’s eclectic background including racing, custom wheel building, and shop proprietorship.

But Maestro Frameworks is not your average builder of custom steel frames. Encountering the needs of handicapped individuals including those with birth-defects, dwarfisms, and other physical deficiencies, Brown has begun to fulfill their dreams of two-wheeled freedom.

The story that has grabbed the attention and hearts of a worldwide audience centers on Mike Trimble. Born in Ukraine with no arms, Trimble’s birth-defect is a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. See Trimble’s story and bike after the jump…

Maestro Frameworks Mike Trimble Bike Ride
Trimble’s First Ride On His Modified Cruiser

Due to claimed “liability issues” approached frame-builders were unwilling to work with Trimble and his unique requirements. Then he met Brown and Maestro Frameworks. Respecting cost considerations, Brown decided Trimble’s dust-collecting cruiser would do the job perfectly well with some slight modifications. Fabricating a custom handlebar replacement that provided a padded U-shaped holster for Trimble’s stumped arm, Brown was able to utilize the cruiser’s relaxed geometry and long wheelbase to provide a stable and ridable bike.

Maestro Frameworks Mike Trimble’s Custom Handlebars
Mid Fabrication of Trimble’s Custom Handlebars

Brown notes, “The bar moves up and down so it mimics the movement of the body. I did not over-engineer the bar and kept it simple with the thought of getting Mike riding and then using his input for further design.” The result is such a success that Brown says Trimble is already talking of a second bike, one with “less weight, gears and a rack.” And Brown is dreaming right along with him, “I’m now thinking of ways to set up the next bike so he can control a five speed internal hub with a coaster brake.”

Vince Eberie And His Custom Maestro Singlespeed

The authenticity, compassion and joy in seeing others living out their dream of riding is evident in Brown’s words and actions. Beyond Mr. Trimble, Brown has also worked with Vince Eberie who was born with a form of dwarfism that resulted in his legs being proportionally shorter than this torso/arms. Naturally this has made finding a proper bike-fit impossible. Then Brown and Maestro Frameworks stepped in with a custom steel frame and complete single-speed build. Eberie is ecstatic with the build, raving, “I still can’t believe how easy it is to do 10 miles on that bike…”

Maestro Frameworks Josselyn Crane
Josselyn Crane’s Bike Displaying A Custom Modified Handlebar By Maestro Frameworks

Josselyn Crane is yet another success story for Brown and his mission to make bike riding a possibility for anyone. Born with one arm nine inches shorter than the other, Crane now has a modified setup similar to Trimble’s that allows full piloting control via the left-side of her custom handlebar. “We picked out a bike with a single front ring,” reports Brown, “I set up the left side of the bars to work with gripshift and installed a double pull brake lever.” Don’t let anyone tell you cycling is simply a sport. We clearly have the capacity for great passion and compassion.

Living Without Arms video credit: produced and published by Andrew Rush of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (09/20/13); link here.


  1. I’ve built/ modified bikes for people with one arm or one leg, but Mr. Brown is on a whole other level.

    Beautiful. Keep it up.

  2. Making customs that require a complete rethink of ergonomic engineering, and doing it with lower total cost as one of the main concerns – I love this guys work ethic and his skills are very evident. Major props…

  3. Thank you for writing about this excellent story. It must be an unintentional oversight, but I don’t see an acknowledgement for the video that you have posted: It was produced and published by Andrew Rush of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as part of a Sept. 28 story by Mila Sanina of the Post-Gazette; I was the editor of the story. I can see that you have done original reporting, but I hope that you will include a link to our story and give full credit to Andrew for his excellent video : http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/inspiration-on-wheels-704319/

    John Allison, jallison@post-gazette.com

  4. With all the people in the world bitchin about not being able to do this or that, it’s nice to see someone that bucks the trend and sets his mind to something rather than giving up

  5. The look on the football helmet guy’s face makes it all worthwhile. I’ve approached a local recumbent maker asking if they worked with any groups to get more people a chance to try their bikes, but never heard back. I wanted to offer to help out and volunteer what I could to give people a chance to try riding a bike someplace nice and safe by me. I don’t have the patience to tell United Way my life story and hope they connect me to something similar.

  6. Mr. Allison, thank you for the comment. The dearth of full credit was an unintentional oversight. It has been remedied in this updated post. I trust it will meet with your approval; please notify me here if it does not.
    – M. Redfield

  7. Very impressive, this guy as a job and gets his life in order with a major disability. Makes the rest of us look like loosers with trivial excuses for not having our stuff together. Apart from that the pro nuclear lobby would have us believe that there was no unusual increase in birth defects from Chernobyl or nobody was at risk in Japan. Yeah right

  8. Thank you very much for extending the credit to Andrew of the Post-Gazette for his video and the link to Mila’s story. (As a footnote, Mila is a native Russian speaker, so she was able to get another level of connection with Mike Trimble in the interviews.) But again, thank you for giving attention to this uplifting story, which also speaks to the joy of riding a bike.

  9. Wow thanks for all the great comments!!!!!! Really appreciate them.

    Yes Michael Brown​​ is truly a hero.

    Where there is a will there is ALWAYS a way!!!!

    Here is the link to the video by Andrew Rush who did an awesome job with it:

What do you think?