My First Bike explores the life and work 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 Todd Ingermanson of Black Cat Bicycles.
Give me the short rundown of your first frame: when was it built, where, materials, any special details about it, etc.
This isn’t my very first frame. It is the second or third. I don’t remember exactly. The first one was an attempt at an exact copy of a custom bike that I already owned to see if I could even pull off what I wanted without the variables of my own “design” thrown in. This one is the first bike that I ever designed. It was 10 years ago, right as the 29er thing was getting going and I really wanted one.
There weren’t many folks building them and those who were, were pretty tight lipped about geometry and angles. This one, like the others before it, was just an experiment. This one was to see what geometry I wanted before I built the bike I wanted. An experienced frame builder friend, John Cutter, had given me a curved seat tube from Schwinn Paramount tandem stock and I didn’t want to blow it.