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. Todayâ€™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.
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.Â
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 designâ€”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 personallyÂ powder coated and has the first stem I built independently.
We’re launching a new feature today on The Bicycle Story called My First Bike. 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. The inaugural My First Bike features Tony Pereiraâ€”Portland, OR-based frame builder, multi-time North American Handmade Bicycle Show prize winner, and master egg-poacher.
Give me the short rundown of your first bike: when was it built, where, materials, any special details about it, etc.
I built my first bike in 2003. At the time I was working in a bike shop in Salt Lake City and we were selling a fair number of 29ers. I liked the idea, but thought I could make some improvements, so my first bike was a 29er. I had been singlespeeding for a little while, so I made it a singlespeed too. The materials and construction were the same as what I use today: fillet brazed steel.
I don’t like the idea of aggregating content on The Bicycle Story. The world doesn’t need yet another bike blog posting the same videos, links, and press releases as three dozen other blogs. But, I saw this short video on Go Means Go of Soulcraft Bikes owner Sean Walling building a frame and I think it slides right into place among the interviews. The very-well produced video follows the Sean’s process from cutting the tubes to powder coating the finished process and it is, without a doubt, a bicycle story.
Ira at the Seattle Bike Expo 2010. (Photo by Charlie Clay)
I first met Ira Ryan while reporting on the Seattle Bike Expo for a Seattle news website. Appropriately enough given that Ira is a high-end custom frame builder, we were both listening to a panel at the time on frame building featuring legendary builders Ken Taylor, Bill Davidson, and Glenn Erikson. I noticed Ira standing nearby and stuck up a conversation. Rather than bolting for the door to escape my barrage of questions, Ira happily engaged me in conversation about the frame building industry, randonneuring and racing, and the Portland bike scene. That conversation continues today with Ira discussing his foray into frame building, his love of adventure racing, and his participation in Rapha’s admittedly-impressive, but purple-prosed marketing scheme, the Continental Project.