Building Culture at the Vancouver Frame Builders Show
Vancouver has a significant place within the world of North American hand built bicycles. There is much debate surrounding the origins of the mountain bike, but few will argue that the frames built in Vancouver during the late ’80s and early ’90s didn’t direct the state of downhill mountain biking significantly.
Once again the city’s frame builders are demonstrating their ability to craft intentional and beautiful bicycles. My desire to organize this show was in part driven by curiosity: I wanted to know who else was building frames in the area. I firmly believe that the growth of culture starts with a strong community, and for that community to take root you gotta make shit happen.
On Thursday, September 10th, a group of nine frame builders local to the Vancouver area gathered at Musette Caffé for the first annual Vancouver Frame Builders Show. A collection of lugged, fillet brazed, and tig welded frames donned the floor as master, young, and new builders demonstrated their craft.
Traditionally, when considering a new bicycle an individual would seek out the craftsman in their area to build one. Understanding the local terrain and conditions informed the end result, and having a builder within walking or driving distance allowed the discussion to be fluid and direct. Though this has shifted with the advent of the internet, the importance of sustainable and local craft remains. Knowing who and where something was built are contributing factors to going custom.
The owner of Musette Caffé, Thomas Eleizequi, poured pints and pulled espressos as thirsty show goers inquired builders about the bicycles on display. To say that Thomas is an ambassador of cycling culture in Vancouver is an understatement. His passion for cycling shined bright as he hosted alongside the builders while 300+ individuals rolled through his shop to check out the event.
Overall the evening was a massive success. Beer was drank, hands were shaken, gear was given out, and the community took note of their local builders.
A massive thank you to the sponsors and individuals who helped make this event possible:
And to all the frame builders who took part: