Bill Davidson in the new Davidson-Kullaway shop. Photo by Josh Cohen.
A few months ago, custom bike builders Bill Davidson of Davidson Bicycles and Max Kullaway of 333 Fabrication officially joined forces after many years of quiet partnership. One of the cool features of the new Davidson-Kullaway custom frame shop in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood is a picture window in the wall that separates the customer area up front from the workshop in the back. It allows customers to watch the pair at work building beautiful bikes. When I arrived at the shop last week, I did just that. Kullaway was behind a translucent screen welding up a frame. Davidson, looking like a blue collar scientist in his denim shop smock, was standing over a milling machine cutting tubes. Eventually, they noticed me standing there and Davidson joined me up front.
If you know anything about frame building, Davidson likely needs little introduction. He’s been in the business for over 40 years, which puts him in the company of just a handful of other American builders. When he got started in 1973 there barely was such a thing as a custom frame builder in the U.S. We sat down at his new shop to talk about his long career, learning to build bikes in the 70s, the evolution of the frame building business, his new venture with Kullaway, and more.
Posted in Bike Industry, Frame Builders, History, Interviews, Racing
Tagged 333fabrication, bill davidson, custom frame builders, davidson custom bicycles, davidson-kullaway bikes, frame builder history, george gibbs, mark pringle, max kullaway, seattle frame builders
The Builder – Max Kullaway from Loaded Pictures on Vimeo.
Max Kullaway’s history in frame building run deep. He got his start in New England welding for Merlin then Seven. He later moved to Seattle where he started his own company 333 Fabrications and builds for Hampsten and Davidson. For more, check out the interview Max did with The Bicycle Story back in 2012. In this neat short film from Loaded Pictures, Max talks about his frame building philosophies, his love for bikes and making things by hand, and more.
If the Internet (or perhaps all of human history) has taught us anything, it’s that trends are very important to follow. And there is no more prevalent year-end trend than Top 10 lists. Newspapers give you their most popular stories of the year. Buzzfeed gives you the 40 most influential corgis of 2012 (it was probably difficult to narrow it to 10 influential pups). And on the final day of 2012, The Bicycle Story gives you its top 10 most read posts of 2012.
The Most Popular Stories of 2012
1) Jacquie Phelan: The Godmother of Women’s Mountain Biking: Given her important role in both mountain bike history and introducing women to mountain biking, it is unsurprising that Jacquie tops the list. If you read just one interview from these 10, make it this one.
2) Tom Hopper: Rapha-Focus’ Master Mechanic: Tom is personal mechanic to America’s best cyclocross racer. Learn about his road to the professional pits and what it takes to succeed at the highest level of the job.
3) Presidents on Bicycles: A collection of photos from Presidents Day 2012 highlighting the long history of our Commanders in Chief riding (or at least posing) on bikes!
4) Ted King: Racing with the PROs, Advocating for Bikes: Ted King is an international pro tour domestique with the Liquigas-Cannondale squad. In addition to being one of the fastest American racers, he’s a proud advocate for cycling and the environment.
5) Steve Garro: Arizona’s Mountain Biking, Trouble Making, Frame Building Legend: Steve is another important figure in mountain bike history. The insightful interview covers the days of riding with his mountain bike crew The Mutants, his frame building, the accident that nearly took his life, and a whole lot more.
Posted in Everything Else
Tagged barry wicks, cross results, frame builders, jacquie phelan, max kullaway, presidents and bikes, presidents on bicycles, rapha focus, reveal the path review, steve garro, ted king, tom hopper, women and cycling
Last week, I rode up to the Hampsten Cycles workshop in north Seattle to interview Max Kullaway, owner of 333Fabrications and one of two Hampsten frame builders. The shop is built in a detached two-car garage at Steve Hampsten’s home. The space is relatively small and packed tight with all the machines, torches, and tools needed to weld and braze, but it’s far from claustrophobic. I wouldn’t call myself a photographer, but I brought a camera with me and took some photos to show the Hampsten work space.
Lots more photos after the jump.