Inside / Out at the Vanilla Workshop

Sacha White and the Vanilla Workshop has been around for over a decade and in that time, they’ve shaped what it means to be not only a frame builder in the US, but what it takes to be a successful brand. Whether it’s a custom, hand-built by Sacha, Vanilla frame or an in-house production Speedvagen, you’re going to get the best frame possible.

Inside the Vanilla Workshop

Inside the Southeast Portland workshop, Sacha and his team have made best use of the seemingly tight working conditions. Programmatic elements are stacked on top of each other, as a series of staircases and passageways lead to various stages in the framebuilding process. Each station is occupied by a specialist, who continued to work as I hovered about, shooting photos. It felt as if I had unlocked access to some secret stage in a video game.

Everything in this process, from the design, milling, welding, painting and finishing fits inside a nook that falls into a footprint which feels to be approximately 1000 sqft. With lots of natural light and lively working conditions, the team at Vanilla crank out some of the nicest frames available in the industry.

Inside the Vanilla Workshop

It was my first time at the Vanilla Workshop and I was more than impressed at the use of this space and individuality of each employee. All of which really love cycling, frame building and of course, Portland.

Check out some quick photos in the Gallery and expect much more from the Vanilla Workshop in the forthcoming weeks.

  • I will never get tired of seeing how different builders set up and run their shops; so interesting.

  • Patrick Estrella

    Nice pics of the workshop. The Mudfoot tee is in heavy rotation, I think it’s his favorite

  • JScriv

    Pic #10 – is that some sort of lining filament for aligning decals, etc.?

    • that’s masking tape for paint. Speedvagens are all paint, not decals.

      • JScriv

        Man – i’m just conditioned to say decal now . . . it just looked a little thinner than the normal masking tape i’ve seen or used. I can’t really find words to describe how perfectly painted these bikes are.

        • Yeah, you’ll see the paint those strips made soon enough.

      • Brian Seng

        Most beautiful paint I have ever seen on a bike frame.

      • tylernol

        I think they did start using vinyl decals for their team bikes. And the raised detail and texture stuff they do are by putting vinyl decals on the frame and then painting over them.

  • Alex

    Photo 13, those dropouts.

    • tony365

      And? do you like them? Sorry for being snarky and yes ”those dropouts” are killer. I am perhaps just getting old but I don’t understand, when did we start comunicating in such a truncated manor, That being said, these are lovely photos as usaual Mr Watson. I miss Portland, The light there is so soft compared to L.A.

      Cheers, Sorry for being the uptight old guy.

      • That struck me as him saying “hot damn those are fine as shit” not “how ugly”

        • tony365

          Yeah I know thats supposed to mean”these are supper cool dropouts” I just think its a weird new way of speak that I am not crazy about. Thanks again for the Fantastic Quality and breadth of bicycles you feature

          • Alex

            Tony, you’re correct, apologies for my truncated manner. John is also correct.

          • Jay Sublett

            You could be even more Millennial and say “Those dropouts tho…”

            I agree, those dropouts are pure sex.

  • Richard Smith

    I’m interested in what Vanilla are building out of Zona