Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Alex Clauss of Portus, questions by Curtis Inglis

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To call Alex Clauss “exuberant” would be an understatement. The giant German from Pforzheim stands out in a room full of passionate bike builders through his enthusiasm, animated pitch, and positivity- something that’s unfortunately lacking at cycling events for whatever reason. His love for bikes just makes you love bikes more. It’s really something to experience.

Alex is clearly having fun with his work, and it shows in how he seems to use frame building as a vehicle for engaging the larger world. His background in designing and making components shows through in all of the little laser cut and machined details of his bikes. In the case of his Armor of God bike shown at Sacramento and Berlin this year, these details establish his bikes to his public as impassioned statements (which he is happy to explain). He also takes part in large scale collaborative projects developing frames in conjunction with public feedback. And he mentors local refugee children in building bikes. It was all of this that made him a show highlight for me at NAHBS earlier this year and makes Portus Cycles a stop I’m really looking forward to making next week at the Philly Bike Show.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Alex Clauss of Portus, questions by Curtis Inglis”



To call Alex Clauss “exuberant” would be an understatement. The giant German from Pforzheim stands out in a room full of passionate bike builders through his enthusiasm, animated pitch, and positivity- something that’s unfortunately lacking at cycling events for whatever reason. His love for bikes just makes you love bikes more. It’s really something to experience. Alex is […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews8 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Curtis Inglis of Retrotec, questions by Burnsey of Oddity

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Photo by Justin Carter

While Curtis Inglis’ Retrotec style is often copied, it’s very rarely matched. Real curve connoisseurs will tell you that the lines he’s been refining since the early 90’s are the best in the biz. So it wasn’t a surprise that our friend Burnsey from Oddity asked to interview Curtis for this Builder on Builder series- Curtis has been one of Burnsey’s biggest influences. What’s fun about these two together is that they really help to demonstrate a range in form of the curvy bike segment of the small builder community.

While Burnsey takes the klunker frame and reinterprets it (think: free jazz) with every build, Curtis has been chilling out in Napa, perfecting the lines of the classic beach cruiser through dialing in his build style and tube forming processes. Before you really wrap your head around a Retrotec, it’s easy to take its lines for granted because beach cruisers come from such a mass produced, high nostalgia place. They are almost too familiar to make you want to stop and pay attention.

The genius of Retrotec is that when you actually are able to see the lines and how they perfectly pull though the length of the frame, from rear axle to head tube, they will forever ruin you for other curvy bikes… including the very cruisers they are derived from. You will look for those perfect arcs elsewhere and see only kinks and flats, and missed opportunities for more curves.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Curtis Inglis of Retrotec, questions by Burnsey of Oddity”



While Curtis Inglis’ Retrotec style is often copied, it’s very rarely matched. Real curve connoisseurs will tell you that the lines he’s been refining since the early 90’s are the best in the biz. So it wasn’t a surprise that our friend Burnsey from Oddity asked to interview Curtis for this Builder on Builder series- Curtis […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike14 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Burnsey from Oddity Cycles, questions by Richard Sachs

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In a way, Burnsey (… just Burnsey, like Cher), the builder behind Oddity, is best understood in opposition… which is why it was exciting to have Richard Sachs agree to ask the questions for this Builder on Builder interview and to be able to highlight these two back-to-back. After all, how better to highlight an anti-establishment character than in direct opposition to what he deems to be the establishment?

If you put an Oddity and a Richard Sachs side by side, how this clash of philosophies extends to the bicycle form is beautifully showcased. The Richard Sachs is a physical manifestation of decades of obsessive refinement and trial and error and innovation within a tightly constrained physical envelope, crafted by a true master in the traditional sense. You know it’s good because it is a Richard Sachs. It is the best the tradition has to offer.

The Oddity on the other hand, has extra components of time and space to it. Even photographing it is challenging because the typical drive side shot cannot capture it. The frame and fork explode in three dimensions as soon as you deviate from the right hand view and the bike changes character as you view it from different angles. In addition to experimenting with form, Burnsey gets his kicks by adopting new technologies… and dragging them into his lair and applying them to his curvy klunker-derived format. As a result, the Oddity is experimental and highly expressive in process and form.

I’m smiling as I’m typing this because looking at these two bikes and builders makes me appreciate the breadth of philosophy and personality of the small builder community. These two bikes don’t belong in the same universe, but they will be in the same room at the Philly Bike Expo…

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Burnsey from Oddity Cycles, questions by Richard Sachs”



In a way, Burnsey (… just Burnsey, like Cher), the builder behind Oddity, is best understood in opposition… which is why it was exciting to have Richard Sachs agree to ask the questions for this Builder on Builder interview and to be able to highlight these two back-to-back. After all, how better to highlight an […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews14 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Richard Sachs interviewed by Erik Noren

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Photo by Carlos Alejandro

Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting. 

Richard Sachs really needs no introduction. You probably not only know him by name but you’re also likely to have an established opinion about the polarizing builder. In his work, he challenges the cycling industry at large as well as the small builder community by eschewing new trends in style, product, and process. He builds a very specific product using a process that he has honed and mastered (though, he would never claim that) over decades. It’s this obsessive focus and relentless nature that puts him on the highest pedestal for his superfans and allows more experimental and conceptual builders and their fans to dismiss him.

But Richard is a force on many fronts. While many builders (or makers, as he would call them) stick to building, Richard has been active in efforts to grow and improve the community through helping to develop shows like NAHBS, professional entities such as The Framebuilders’ Collective, and forums such as Velocipede Salon. Aside from building frames, Richard is probably most known through his writing. While many have found his opinion pieces difficult to swallow (especially new builders), they come from a constructive, if sometimes brutally honest, place. Few people have put in as much time, thought, and effort into developing and fortifying the craft and community of frame building.

Questions by Erik Noren of Peacock Groove, Introduction by Anna Schwinn

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Richard Sachs interviewed by Erik Noren”



Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting.  Richard Sachs really needs no introduction. You probably not only know him by name but you’re also likely to have an established opinion about the polarizing builder. In his work, he challenges the cycling industry at large as […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews16 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Erik Noren of Peacock Groove, questions by Megan Dean

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Photos by Anna Schwinn

Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting. 

Another trade show, another interview with Erik Noren. Acclaimed as the “Liberace of Framebuilding,” the iridescent mastermind behind Peacock Groove has been busy whipping up something very close to his Minneapolis heart in preparation for the Philly Bike Expo. While there have been pictures of this bike in the works, you’ll have to put on your Raspberry Beret, Diamonds and Pearls, and drive your Little Red Corvette on over to the Philadelphia Expo Center to see its formal debut. Word on the street that its splendor could make show goers Delirious and that it’s sure to cause a Controversy. But I digress.

Through her questions, Megan Dean of Moth Attack did a formidable job of peeling back the feathery plumage to give us a picture of the man behind the torch, one that loves anime, uses punctuation like an enthusiastic teenager, and deep down just wants to make people fall in love with bicycles.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Erik Noren of Peacock Groove, questions by Megan Dean”



Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting.  Another trade show, another interview with Erik Noren. Acclaimed as the “Liberace of Framebuilding,” the iridescent mastermind behind Peacock Groove has been busy whipping up something very close to his Minneapolis heart in preparation for the […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews9 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Megan Dean of Moth Attack, questions by Eric Baar

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Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting. 

I first met Megan Dean of Moth Attack at 2011 NAHBS in Austin. The Koichi Yamaguchi trained frame builder and former bike messenger was the only woman builder representing that year, arms crossed at her new builder table with a real deal velodrome track bike and a furrowed brow. It was day three of the show and Megan was clearly tired and less than stoked to be there. She had the face of someone who had spent the past 50 or so hours trapped on display, having people point out her gender to her, as any woman who has ever been that unicorn at a frame building show has experienced.

I, however, could not have been more stoked to have her there. In fact, I would have called her the most exciting thing I saw at the show that year. See, Megan Dean represented, and continues to represent, the latest incarnation of badass women to join the craft. She knows her shit. She has high standards for her work. And, close to my heart, she’s a passionate track nerd who loves a bonkers paint job.

Questions by Eric Baar of Ground Up Speed Shop. Introduction by Anna Schwinn. 

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Megan Dean of Moth Attack, questions by Eric Baar”



Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting.  I first met Megan Dean of Moth Attack at 2011 NAHBS in Austin. The Koichi Yamaguchi trained frame builder and former bike messenger was the only woman builder representing that year, arms crossed at her new […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews9 Comments

Road to PBE16: Interview with Eric Baar of Ground Up Speed Shop

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Author’s Note: Rather than ask exhibitors the same set of interview questions, we’ve asked several to take part in interviewing one another in the lead up to the Philly Bike Expo. This mixes up the format a bit, allows people in the profession to ask what they feel are important questions (or, maybe not… who knows?). For the first builder, Eric Baar, I asked a set of kick off questions as someone who knows him and who has spent time with his cat. We hope you dig it.

When Eric Baar isn’t making sick stitches for daVinci in Denver, he’s at his Ground Up Speed Shop in Colorado Springs constructing all manner of fun (bikes, his race car, the Dizzy Drome). When I interviewed him last year, it was clear that his cycling interests were on the fringes of what most people associate with the culture. His heart is clearly in bike polo and track racing, and his creations in those realms are some of the most engaging and expressive bikes you will see.

The bike that really caught my eye during my visit last year was his Love Potion #2, a polo bike he took with him to the Philly Bike Expo last year. With a fat coat of metalfleck paint, goldleaf decals, and striping everywhere, it’s clear right off the mallet that Love Potion #2 isn’t your typical polo bike. I wanted to ask him more about that particular creation, as well as a new track bike I’ve heard he’s got in the works…

Continue reading “Road to PBE16: Interview with Eric Baar of Ground Up Speed Shop”



Author’s Note: Rather than ask exhibitors the same set of interview questions, we’ve asked several to take part in interviewing one another in the lead up to the Philly Bike Expo. This mixes up the format a bit, allows people in the profession to ask what they feel are important questions (or, maybe not… who knows?). For […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews5 Comments

Road to PBE16: Interview with Stephen Bilenky on origins of the Philly Bike Expo

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Photos by Brad Quartuccio

At a time when bike shows in the US are shrinking and the bike economy is stagnant, The Philly Bike Expo is growing. The Expo, now in its seventh year, has well outgrown its original venue. To boot, the Expo has come to be THE North American bike show where you can see pivotal builders including Richard Sachs, Winter Cycles, and Bishop. To help me better understand the context for the event, I sent over a questionnaire to the event organizer, Stephen Bilenky of Bilenky Cycleworks. But once you’ve given Stephen Bilenky a live interview, he’s not going to do them any other way.

This phone interview with Stephen Bilenky was taken earlier this week. In it, he discusses the origins of the Philly Expo, how it is a continuation of the spirit of the New York Bike Show of years past, and how he wants to make East Coast bike culture great again.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16: Interview with Stephen Bilenky on origins of the Philly Bike Expo”



At a time when bike shows in the US are shrinking and the bike economy is stagnant, The Philly Bike Expo is growing. The Expo, now in its seventh year, has well outgrown its original venue. To boot, the Expo has come to be THE North American bike show where you can see pivotal builders […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews3 Comments

Bikerumor 2016/17 Cyclocross Buyer’s Guide – FREE Download!!!

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Bikerumor 2016-17 Cyclocross Buyers Guide free PDF download

It’s here – our first ever Bikerumor Cyclocross Buyer’s Guide! Packed with more than 90 pages and hundreds of bikes, tires, wheels, components, gear and more! Plus interviews with Brian “Sally” Fornes, former Raleigh PM of ‘cross; multi-time U.S. National Champ Jeremy Powers on how to train and race; Nine time British national champ Helen Wyman on tire selection; and much, much more. This is YOUR new reference for everything cyclocross, and it’s 100% free! Click here to download the PDF (zipped file, 4.8MB) and get all the info you need to prep and upgrade for this coming cyclocross season!



It’s here – our first ever Bikerumor Cyclocross Buyer’s Guide! Packed with more than 90 pages and hundreds of bikes, tires, wheels, components, gear and more! Plus interviews with Brian “Sally” Fornes, former Raleigh PM of ‘cross; multi-time U.S. National Champ Jeremy Powers on how to train and race; Nine time British national champ Helen Wyman […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, How To, Industry News, Interviews, Opinion6 Comments