Road to NAHBS 2017 Long Interview: Dmitry Nechaev of Triton

With framebuilders representing Japan, Ireland, England, Korea, and so on, this might be the most international NAHBS to date. But what is probably most surprising is the apparent onslaught of builders from Russia, a country not well known for its framebuilding tradition. Leading this invasion is Dmitry Nechaev of Triton, who our readers will remember from our interview last year and who NAHBS 2016 show-goers will remember from the Soviet era military surplus hats he sold to help finance his trip.

As we learned from this entertaining interview with Dmitry over Skype last week, the Russian framebuilding landscape is unique- very different from the one builders take for granted in the US. The industrial infrastructure and manufacturing legacy from the USSR, as well as the economic repercussions as a result of its collapse, continue to both positively and negatively affect the every day lives of the few, though resilient, framebuilders in the country.

Because of this unique economic and cultural environment in Russia and despite being physically removed from the relatively accessible bicycle economies of Europe, Asia, and the US, Triton has found its place. The titanium company has designed and put into production several proprietary yokes to help to differentiate their frames in the global marketplace. They’ve also continued to expand their international presence, now selling to 37 countries worldwide. As Dmitry hints in this interview, big things are on the horizon for the Moscow company…

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2017 Long Interview: Dmitry Nechaev of Triton”



With framebuilders representing Japan, Ireland, England, Korea, and so on, this might be the most international NAHBS to date. But what is probably most surprising is the apparent onslaught of builders from Russia, a country not well known for its framebuilding tradition. Leading this invasion is Dmitry Nechaev of Triton, who our readers will remember […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Fatbike, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS31 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2017: Pierre Chastain of Blaze Bicycles

Not unlike The Matrix, the small framebuilder community is all around you. While we tend to associate these small builders with places like Northern California or Portland or New England, the fact is that the builder community is more pervasive than anyone can understand (and people have tried). Only a small fraction of North American framebuilders show at NAHBS, and even fewer show every year. This means that, chances are, there are people working in garages and workshops building away in your city or town that you probably don’t know about. And while the internet has does wonders to facilitate communication and collaboration between these craftsmen, I have found that the more isolated the builder, the more unique the flavor.

It is in this context that I introduce Pierre Chastain of Blaze Bicycles. It’s been several years since we last saw him at the show (though I’ve personally been following him for awhile now). He’s out of Moab, Utah, a city not exactly a center of small framebuilding which, as he says, cuts out the clutter and allows him to focus. He’s been through the gauntlet of materials and processes, but seems to be settling down with curvy Titanium and TIG as his material and joining process of choice- and he’s certainly not done experimenting or evolving.

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2017: Pierre Chastain of Blaze Bicycles”



Not unlike The Matrix, the small framebuilder community is all around you. While we tend to associate these small builders with places like Northern California or Portland or New England, the fact is that the builder community is more pervasive than anyone can understand (and people have tried). Only a small fraction of North American framebuilders […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS4 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2017: Kevin Fickling of Cryptic Cycles

More so than any year I remember, Sacramento 2016 was an exceptional show for new talent. There was not a single dud in the bunch. Everyone came with something to set themselves apart from the pack through caliber of finish, concept, process, or all of the above. Plus, the bikes were so diverse in category and fabrication method that it would have been impossible for me to pick a single favorite. Fortunately, NAHBS has personalities on hand who are happy to do just that. When the dust had cleared, Kevin Fickling of Cryptic Cycles was named Best New Builder out of the talented field, with some suggesting that he should have been in the running for best carbon bike, overall.

His full carbon road bike was exceptionally finished. Tubing was made in-house and dropouts as well as cable stops and guides were constructed and machined by Kevin. For me, however, the fun was in the materials. Kevin also utilized Boron fibers as well as glass microbeads to keep the weight of the frame below 700g. Given that this impressive performance came from a builder only in his first year, we’re looking forward to what Kevin will be bringing to Salt Lake City a year on.

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2017: Kevin Fickling of Cryptic Cycles”



More so than any year I remember, Sacramento 2016 was an exceptional show for new talent. There was not a single dud in the bunch. Everyone came with something to set themselves apart from the pack through caliber of finish, concept, process, or all of the above. Plus, the bikes were so diverse in category and […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, NAHBS8 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2017: Vlad Dolinsky of Vlad Cycles

We hope you’re getting stoked for the show with our Road to NAHBS series so far. This week, we’ve shared interviews with likes of James Bleakley of Black Sheep Cycles and Chris McGovern of McGovern Cycles. Next week, we’re excited to continue to bring you interviews from a tasty blend of fresh faces and established favorites alike from the domestic framebuilding community… beyond! And, don’t forget, we’re bringing a new dimension to the pre-show coverage this year, designed to award frequent readers of our Road to NAHBS series with big prizes. So get stoked, stay tuned, and keep reading.

To round out this week, we talked to Vlad Dolinsky of Vlad Cycles, the up-and-comer from New Jersey (though, originally from Western Ukraine). Since his NAHBS debut in Louisville a short two years ago, Vlad has been pushing into engaging functional and visual territory. His frames are getting curvier. His racks are becoming more sophisticated and elaborate. Rather than settling in on a visual theme and refining, Vlad seems to be playing around across genres.

As a result, Vlad’s bikes are fun and fresh. We’re excited to see where he continues to push and excited to see what he’s bringing to this year’s show.

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2017: Vlad Dolinsky of Vlad Cycles”



We hope you’re getting stoked for the show with our Road to NAHBS series so far. This week, we’ve shared interviews with likes of James Bleakley of Black Sheep Cycles and Chris McGovern of McGovern Cycles. Next week, we’re excited to continue to bring you interviews from a tasty blend of fresh faces and established favorites […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS3 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2017: Chris McGovern of McGovern Cycles

Photos used with permission of Chris McGovern

As a lifelong enthusiast with experience racing, wrenching, and coaching at the highest levels of our sport, framebuilding represents a next level of relationship between Chris McGovern and bicycles. Though he started building in titanium about two years ago, Chris switched material emphasis and made his NAHBS debut last year with a clean carbon ‘cross bike.

A year on, the work coming out of McGovern Cycles is leaner and cleaner due to constant process and product improvements. As he continues to “chase proficiency” with his work, Chris takes his product to another level through collaboration with materials engineers and a blend of field and destructive lab testing. Between his approach to development and his continued involvement in all facets of cycling otherwise, it’s safe to say Chris McGovern is a new talent to watch in the North American framebuilding community.

Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2017: Chris McGovern of McGovern Cycles”



As a lifelong enthusiast with experience racing, wrenching, and coaching at the highest levels of our sport, framebuilding represents a next level of relationship between Chris McGovern and bicycles. Though he started building in titanium about two years ago, Chris switched material emphasis and made his NAHBS debut last year with a clean carbon ‘cross […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike7 Comments

The Build Cycle: How Handup Gloves is getting a grip on the cyclocross market

Welcome to our first Build Cycle interview. What’s that? It’s my new endeavor, focusing on the startup stories of entrepreneurs in the cycling industry to glean lessons any entrepreneur can use. For my first interview, Handup Gloves founder Cody Wallis and I retreated into the Bikerumor mobile office to get out of the snow and sub-20ºF weather at CX Nats and talked about how he started, his early growth and some thoughts on overcoming analysis paralysis and just going for it.

Being my first one, there’s some technical finer points I’m already working on (reducing background noise, using a real mic, etc.) for future interviews, but I think you’ll enjoy it. Hit play, open up another tab with Bikerumor to scroll other stories while you listen, and let me know what you think in the comments. For a little more post-game analysis and other entrepreneurial tips and tactics, follow my new blog at TheBuildCycle.com.



Welcome to our first Build Cycle interview. What’s that? It’s my new endeavor, focusing on the startup stories of entrepreneurs in the cycling industry to glean lessons any entrepreneur can use. For my first interview, Handup Gloves founder Cody Wallis and I retreated into the Bikerumor mobile office to get out of the snow and sub-20ºF […]

Posted in Interviews4 Comments

PBE16: Interview with Winter Bicycles’ Eric Estlund on high fashion track bike, his PBE collection

 

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Eric Estlund of Winter Bicycles is known for his gothic-style bilaminate construction and his randonneur bikes. To my surprise and delight, his booth at the Philly Bike Expo featured bikes across his personal style spectrum. Rather than try to summarize the collection for him, I let Eric describe each bike in the collection, its purpose and often extreme detailing in his own words.

My favorite in the collection (though, I’m highly biased) was a high fashion track bike- a category that’s become exceedingly rare since the wind-down of the fixie boom in the mid 00’s. A highly nuanced build that he calls his interpretation of an 80’s Japanese impression of a 50’s Italian race bike. With shorelines pulled to the brink and an overhaul of the crown, the bike is an academic discussion of a recent history of framebuilding on a global scale- fitting for a American builder with one foot in the foreign market.

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  Eric Estlund of Winter Bicycles is known for his gothic-style bilaminate construction and his randonneur bikes. To my surprise and delight, his booth at the Philly Bike Expo featured bikes across his personal style spectrum. Rather than try to summarize the collection for him, I let Eric describe each bike in the collection, its purpose and […]

Posted in Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews5 Comments

Osmo Nutrition back in business to keep Peter Sagan on two wheels (or one)

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Osmo photos c. Christopher Keiser

Maybe you didn’t even know they were gone, but Osmo Nutrition is back. Known for their ground breaking work in the nutrition space focused around the osmolality of hydration drink mixes, Osmo gained quite a few fans the last time around.

Most notably? That would probably be Peter Sagan. As the story goes, Peter first found Osmo after meeting Ben Capron, one of Osmo’s three co-founders, at the Westlake Village Inn during a Cannondale training camp. After cramping badly on the brutally hot stage two of the Tour of California in Palm Springs, Sagan and his team requested Osmo and ended up winning stage three the next day. He’s been on the product ever since – even if that meant having people buy it for him here in the states and hand carrying it over to Europe.

During an interview at the Sagan VIP ride, Peter said, “During my career, I understood also a lot of things in cycling, what is good for you. You have to explore what is good, what kind of training you have to do, what kind of product you have to use. Because you are meeting everyday a lot of people, right? And especially the sponsors, like everybody comes to you and says ‘this is the best, this is the best.'” Naturally, with that comes a bit of skepticism. But after trying the product and seeing the results in his racing, Peter was hooked…

Continue reading “Osmo Nutrition back in business to keep Peter Sagan on two wheels (or one)”



Maybe you didn’t even know they were gone, but Osmo Nutrition is back. Known for their ground breaking work in the nutrition space focused around the osmolality of hydration drink mixes, Osmo gained quite a few fans the last time around. Most notably? That would probably be Peter Sagan. As the story goes, Peter first […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews, Road Bike45 Comments

PBE16: Ground Up Speed Shop’s Eric Baar discusses his velodrome hot rod

philly-bike-show_ground-up-speed-shop_eric-baar-1

Eric Baar’s day job is laying perfect beads for daVinci tandems in Denver, Colorado. When he’s in his personal shop, the skunkworks at Ground Up Speed Shop in Colorado Springs, he’s there to have fun- which is what makes his bikes so exciting. Eric approaches his bikes the way he does his race car. They are flashy and exuberant expressions of the machine and the sport, as well as his level of mastery as a craftsman. This means exposed welds, metal flake and pinstriped finishes, and experimental interpretations of existing componentry.

For the Philly Bike Expo, Eric treated both himself and the public to his new personal bike, his new interpretation of a velodrome speed machine. With the exception of the saddle and the handlebars, every component on the build has been modified or built from scratch for his specific intents. The front aluminum triangle is the culmination of years of track frame innovation in aluminum. The rear triangle, in titanium, is heavily influenced by hot rods- to the point here the joints literally look hot. What’s most evident is that Eric built this bike so that he, as a craftsman and artist, could have a long and beautiful relationship with it. It will change and grow and become more pinstriped and outrageous over his time riding and playing with it. This bike is simultaneously a proving ground and a sketchbook for Eric.

Rather than try to speak for Eric, I interviewed him on the Philly Bike Expo show floor.

Continue reading “PBE16: Ground Up Speed Shop’s Eric Baar discusses his velodrome hot rod”



Eric Baar’s day job is laying perfect beads for daVinci tandems in Denver, Colorado. When he’s in his personal shop, the skunkworks at Ground Up Speed Shop in Colorado Springs, he’s there to have fun- which is what makes his bikes so exciting. Eric approaches his bikes the way he does his race car. They are […]

Posted in Concept, Feature, Interviews12 Comments