The Pre-Season Gathering at Richard Sachs – Dan Chabanov

Pre-Season Preparation at Richard Sachs
Photos and words by Dan Chabanov

I pretty much wait all year to get this email. It’s short and simply reads;

“The bikes are ready. When can I expect you?”


NO PICTURES!

Usually BrittLee and I drop whatever we are doing the next day and hop in the car. The drive up from NYC takes about three hours. Richie’s shop sits right next to his house, which sits on a spring fed pond. All three are in the town of Warwick, MA. Once you’re off the highway you drive up through the woods up a six mile climb where a sign warns you that you are entering a “densely populated area”. This is your welcome to the town of about 800 where some of the best frames in the world are made.

At this point we usually haven’t seen each other since Cross Nationals. After the hugs we sit on his deck. Drink coffee and catch up. Yeah we’re here to get the bikes but that some how seems totally secondary.

Team building...

Britt and I take the canoe out on the pond and go for a swim. Then we have some lunch. It feels like we’re visiting a family member we haven’t seen in a while not our team manager.

Eventually we stroll down the short path that connects Richie’s house to the workshop where he builds his frames. The preseason gathering is starting to draw to a close as we pack up the car. With new bikes on the roof morale is at an all time high. I can happily stop riding my road bike for the next five months now.

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Follow Dan on Instagram, Twitter and at his blog, Bonedeth.

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  • chris campbell

    That has got to be one of the best feelings. Ever.

  • ericschiller

    I’m curious about the preference for 10 speed Force?

    • dan chabanov

      It’s more simple practicality. Building up 8 bikes is not cheap and we have to exhaust our current stock of parts.

      • http://weightshift.com/ Naz Hamid

        Love the new frames and the colors. Adding on to this: I love the practicality of it all — and so, do you use stuff from years prior too or is every season somewhat fresh for the grouppos (keeping in mind that you’re running the stockpile down)?

        • dan chabanov

          Some part’s that don’t take a ton of abuse will get a second season of use. We’re not really trying to conserve the parts or anything. We had enough this year to stay 10. So we did.

    • Phillip

      Plus 10 speed force is actually a really awesome groupset, and almost as good as red when you compaire the price

  • Grant

    thickly settled!

  • Andrew Groom

    Lovely, but one thing I don’t understand……Richard Sachs is a legend. He doesn’t exactly need to advertise his brand. He won’t take new orders and his waiting list is years. Yet he has time to make frames to give away? I understand it is probably more of an advocacy thing than a commercial thing, but PLEASE accept my order! I will pay good money, I don’t even want it for free!

    • AidanNW

      I sort of agree with you, but he can do as he pleases. Helping up and coming cross racers likely makes him feel good. Giving back tends to make one feel pretty good.

    • dan chabanov

      Doing something you love is it’s own return on investment ATMO.

    • Powell

      He also doesn’t just give them away. They all get returned at the end of the season–with some exceptions–for Richie to do with as he pleases IIRC. I think a lot of them get sold online in discrete underworld back alley dimly-lit corners and hideaways.

      Also, he’s Richard Fucking Sachs. I think he’s earned the right to do whatever he pleases. Living legends tend to have that right.

  • AidanNW

    Those paint schemes are beautiful.

  • Kevin

    Bike of my dreams. House Industries….Richard Sachs… They really nailed it.

  • james

    Come on e-Richie – secure those bottles before you torpedo your neighbors!

  • Emil

    What kind of ratio are you running up front?

    • dan chabanov

      Timmerman runs 44/34 Britt is 42/36 and I’m running 44/39

      • T.Go

        may i ask who makes the 44 outer?

        • dan chabanov

          The 130bcd ones are sugino the 110s are Salsa. Neither are ramped or pinned.

  • Patrick Estrella

    that’s a lot of Keurig!

  • http://evilsockmonkeysinc.com CyclingNerd

    Car value < Bikes on rack value = Doing it right!