Mountain towns with thriving ski scenes often benefit from a strong cycling presence to keep the economy alive during warmer months. Take Steamboat Springs, Colorado for instance. With a heavy snow sports presence and a healthy bike scene, the town is able to maintain tourism capital year round. This growth, however, was piecemeal, with one man doing the cycling community a great service by moving to this sleepy little Colorado town, forever changing the cycling community. Not just in Colorado either! His work rippled throughout the world… That man is Kent Eriksen.
In 1975 Kent Eriksen moved to Steamboat and in 1980 he started Sore Saddle Cyclery and Moots Bicycles with the help of several business partners. Kent didn’t just want to make bicycle frames, he wanted to innovate bicycle frame production. While it was summer, Sore Saddle kept the people of Steamboat rolling, and during the slow winter months, Moots production ramped up, to help secure the financial feasibility of Sore Saddle Cyclery. It was a unique business model and one that ensured the success of Moots.
The coolest thing about this story is when you see the building that housed Sore Saddle Cyclery and Moots, which we’ll look at later…
Moots’ success grew over the years, eventually coming under new ownership, yet Kent stayed on board until 2005, when he began Eriksen Cycles. For years, Kent cranked away at Eriksen, utilizing the same beautiful construction techniques he solidified while working at Moots. Soon, Brad Bingham would come on board in 2012 after his 15-year career at Moots where he learned how to weld titanium. Fast forward to 2018, present day, Kent is still around, but in a much smaller capacity, enjoying his time away from the shop, while Brad Bingham runs the operations, welding both Eriksen Cycles frames – Kent still welds Eriksen frames when he’s in town – and his own brand, Bingham Built.
While I was in Steamboat visiting Moots and riding in the Fall Ramble, I stopped by Brad’s operations for a brief moment and talked shop. I’d met Brad before at NAHBS, but only briefly, so it was nice to familiarize myself with his work, the Moots legacy, and the current status of Eriksen Cycles. When customers call Brad to order a frame, they can choose between an Eriksen, its legacy, or a Bingham Built, and Brad’s new branding. A Bingham can also be a bit deeper custom. These days they’re mostly building road and disc road bikes, with big clearances and internal routing or Di2 integration. When you buy an Eriksen or a Bingham Built, you’re buying a precision-made frame.
The legacy of Steamboat Springs and titanium frames runs deep, all stemming from the brain of Kent Eriksen. Just barely scratching the surface of these two brands left me excited to see what they bring to NAHBS this year! Thanks for opening your BikeCad door to me, Brad!