My First Bike explores the origins of professional frame builders by going back to the start and looking at the first bike they ever built. Today’s My First Bike features Jeremy Shlachter, the builder behind Gallus Cycles in Fort Worth, Texas.
Give me the short rundown of your first frame: when was it built, where, materials, any special details about it, etc?
My first frame was a track frame built under the guidance and watchful eye of Koichi Yamaguchi at his frame building class in Rifle, CO in December 2006. It was made out of True Temper tubing that Koichi had designed many years before, along with Long Shen lugs, fork crown, bottom bracket shell, and Henry James Dropouts.
As far as lugged track frames went, it was pretty standard with steep head tube and seat tube angles, high bottom bracket, and short chain stays. I went for a wishbone seat stay attachment, but other than that kept it straightforward as I was mainly trying to get my head around basic techniques of brazing and filing.
Speaking at the Los Angeles Bike Summit. Photo by flickr user Gary Rides Bikes
Noah Budnick is Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives, a New York City bicycling, walking, and public transit advocacy group. TransAlt is regarded as one of the leading-edge transportation advocacy groups in the United States and Noah is right in the mix organizing and educating New York residents, pushing for policy and infrastructure reform, and more. In part one of this two part interview, Noah discusses his early love affair with bikes, his views on the severe crash that hospitalized him in 2005 and his eventual recovery and return to bicycling, his appreciation for transportation options, and more.
When did you first get into bikes? Were you one of those kids who learned to ride and never stopped or did bikes come later?
I rode growing up in Vermont. Low traffic dirt roads, potholes to “jump,” lots of coaster brake skids. Fun.
I don’t think my experience growing up and riding is that different from most people. In fact, if you’re the type of person who rides a lot and is really into bikes and doesn’t think there’s much more to say about biking, then I’m writing this for you. I’m writing this for me too, to see what kind of new ideas come out, what new ways there are to talk about ideas, how people will react to them and then what we can do with it all.
Tommy Godwin redefines what it means to be a dedicated cyclist. In 1939 he set the world record for most miles ridden in a year by riding 75,065 miles (120,805 kms). In order to do so, he had to average 205 miles every day for the entire year. He rode the equivalent of three times around the Earth’s circumference. To top it off, he did all of his riding on a more than 30-pound Raleigh with a four-speed Sturmey-Archer hub (Raleigh and SA were Godwin’s sponsors). When he finished his record setting year, he spent several weeks re-learning how to walk before heading off to fight in World War II.
Godwin was born in 1912 in Stokes-on-Trent, England. He began to realize his potential as a cyclist while working as a bike delivery boy for a grocer. He went on to a successful amateur and professional cycling career winning over 200 road and time trial races before tackling the world record.
Cycling writer Dave Barter has details on Godwin’s history and record breaking year on his blog.
My First Bike explores the origins of professional frame builders by going back to the start and looking at the first bike they ever built. Today’s My First Bike features Eric Estlund, the man behind Springfield, OR’s Winter Bicycles.
Give me the short rundown of your first frame: when was it built, where, materials, any special details about it, etc.
The first bike I built was a grass track fame built under the eye of Ron and Gary at United Bicycle Institute. It is made from Kaisei tubing with Paragon drops and one of Andy Newland’s wishbone rear castings. The fork crown is a Long Shen unit I still use. Nothing terribly notable about the design—I wanted to build something fairly simple the first round to learn about the process without getting bogged down in the minutia. I appropriately guessed I would have my hands and head full. Once I left UBI this was also the first frame I personally powder coated and has the first stem I built independently.