If you weren’t already familiar with Schön Studio, you may have just seen some of their stellar work in our recent MADE bike show coverage. Tucked into a corner of a quiet neighborhood in Squamish BC, Danielle Schön has been building bikes, teaching classes, and doing a variety of other metalwork and art out of her hand-built, backyard workshop. Read on below for Pat Valade‘s shop visit and in-depth profile…
After six months of traveling the world–sans bicycles–Gideon Tsang and his partner Christie touched down in Bordeaux, France. With a full month’s stay ahead of them in the southwestern French city, the couple scooped up two 80s flat-bar “road bikes” for commuting and almost immediately fell in with the wonderful community-centered Musette Bicycles and Coffee. Read on below for Gideon’s insightful shop visit and interview with co-owner Rob Lawrence…
Framework Bicycles presents a clean modern aesthetic while evoking manufacturing techniques reminiscent of the first carbon bikes. This spring we set storytelling reviewer Morgan Taylor loose with Framework to design and review a custom bike to their specifications. In the first of a two-part series chronicling what they’ve come to call the “black rainbow” project, Morgan digs in to the beginnings of Framework and how they intend to shake things up in the custom bike world.
Motivated by the renewed interest in American manufacturing following the COVID pandemic, Erik Mathy shares part one in a new series where he will document how American makers of fine bicycle parts make a single part from the very start to the finish. At each stage he will ask the person doing the work two questions and take two portraits: One of the part and one of the worker. In his own words, this is a project to “explore both the processes and the people who make some of the most interesting, purpose-driven and—in their own way beautiful—bicycle parts in the world.” Read on for his first installment with a visit to Paragon Machine Works and an in-depth look at how they are making their new SRAM Universal Derailleur Hangar dropout.
Nestled between giant trees and the surrounding University of California Santa Cruz campus, the UCSC Bike Co-op is a haven for students and community members. There are few things more satisfying than rummaging through a parts bin and learning how to wrench on your own bike. As with any good bike shop, co-operative or not, the community is paramount as many of the UCSC co-op volunteers can attest. Continue reading below as Finn Cunningham and Matt Miller, in addition to a collection of their friends and fellow co-opers, capture the magic of UCSC’s Bike Co-op…
Founded in 2016, Albion Cycling has dramatically expanded its apparel offerings in the past decade. And while the product line has grown, the UK-based company has stayed true to its fast-paced iterative roots and is now working closely with the technical fabric company, Pertex, in designing remarkably lightweight and packable products, for on and off the bike. Petor Georgallou pays a visit to Albion’s design HQ for a closer look…
Yesterday, we shared a profile of Rob Roberson that traces his storied bicycle fabrication career from the 1970s to present day. Today, we’re taking a look at seven bikes Rob built during that impressive 50-year window, from early track bikes to road frames and his most recent personal all-road build. There’s a lot of intricate eye candy here, so let’s get to it!
Rob Roberson is an enigma in the handmade bicycle world. Some would consider him “the greatest known unknown bike fabricator” of the American frame building movement. His career, which spans nearly 50 years, puts him among a very small pedigree of builders that have both mass-production experience and have also built custom bikes under their own name without giving up the ghost. Yet, with such a significant trajectory, Rob has remained largely unknown. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring bikes made by Rob and the stories about them. Today, however, Zach Small and Josh Weinberg are honored to introduce you to Rob Roberson.
For a two-man operation, Nick Neuhaus and Daniel Yang have their systems dialed. Or, maybe the manpower limitations of being a small team have been the motivating force behind the duo’s streamlined Marin-based, framebuilding operation, Neuhaus Metalworks. Hailey Moore and John Watson spent some time talking shop with Nick and Daniel on their innovative 3D printed components and how these parts lead to higher efficiency in their US-made frames. Read on for a closer look at Neuhaus’ exciting approach to making steel and titanium mountain bikes.
Sanitas Cycles is the titanium framebuilding operation co-led by David and John Siegrist. With his father’s work at DEAN Bicycles acting as the backdrop of his childhood in Boulder, Colorado, Dave decided to start working in bikes upon graduating from Fort Lewis College in Durango, convincing his dad to join him in his new titanium label. Read on to learn how John and Dave are merging the classic and the modern in their stock frame offerings and custom builds, and check out a short video from Colt Fetter’s time at the shop!
Just south of Asheville, NC, in the town of Fletcher, is the Cane Creek Cycling Components headquarters. Backed up to the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s here that they assemble all of their suspension forks, shocks, and brakes by hand and continue to carry the torch of design innovation lit by their predecessor, Dia-Compe USA. Photographer Steve West is back from a factory tour and shares about the Cane Creek process below.
In this shop visit with Saffron Frameworks in London, UK, Sam Rice traces a line from Matthew Sowter’s previous life as a chef to his current trade as one of the most awarded frame builders in the world. Matthew’s skill in transforming basic ingredients into magnificent dishes transfers over into his ability to turn a box of tubes into a frame deserving of the word “perfection.” Materialism may be a concept of the past, but it is very much alive in Matthew Sowter’s craft.
With the headlights pointing north, I departed at sparrow’s fart, my destination: Beechworth. It’s a little over a three-hour jaunt from Melbourne along the Hume Highway. The drive is punctuated by rolling hills, bouncing kangaroos, and petrol (gas) stations. Historically known for the gold rush of the late 1800s, I was heading there in search of the slightly less precious metal of steel – crafted by the hand of Shane Flint of Tor Bikes.
There have been several storied chapters in R+E Cycles‘ 50-year history but, as Katie Sox describes, the through line has been a commitment to crafting the bikes that best fit their customer’s needs—even when those bikes have five seats. On the brink of new ownership and as they celebrate 50 years of frame building and service, read on for a closer look behind this stalwart in Seattle’s cycling scene.
Although I’ve struggled with a lifelong tendency to overcommit, I’m not a total megalomaniac. A few months ahead of this year’s Bespoked, I asked Josh to make the trip over from Arizona to London to cover the event while I (along with my business partner, another Josh, and an amazing team of volunteers) administered it. Running the show was already a massive feat, and I’d have done a disservice to both the show and the builders by trying to document it at the same time. Josh flew over and covered a huge number of bikes and builders with the diligence and dedication that they deserve (for a refresher, you can view those pieces here and here). It was cool to finally meet the guy on the other side of the emails, as we’d been working together for the better part of a year. During the show we were both focused on very separate tasks, but we made some time for a little road trip to visit the factory where Brooks England manufactures leather saddles, which is just outside of Birmingham in the little industrial town of Smethwick.
London-based Wizard Works makes decidedly cute, sturdy, and durable bags for cyclo-touring and bikepacking. Founders and owners, Harry and Veronica, are committed to producing everything in-house, sourcing materials from within the UK and Europe, and supporting their small staff with livable wages and a positive work environment. They’ve turned what was once a hobby into a robust brand, now with stockists around the globe. Following this year’s Bespoked, Josh got to play tourist and eat biscuits while getting treated to some behind-the-scenes time at Wizard Works’ new workshop in Greenwich. With their cheerful space, happy colors, and employee-first practices, this is some wizardry where you very much want to look behind the curtain. Read on for more from Josh’s shop visit!
The Mamtor from Quirk Cycles is UK-based framebuilder Rob Quirk’s all-road model, designed for mixed paved and gravel riding with clearance for up to 700 x 38c tires. The Kintsugi-inspired Mamtor was one of our favorite bikes from this year’s Bespoked where it won “Best Finish,” and today, along with a brief glimpse inside Quirk’s workshop, Rob gives us a full rundown of this ornately-finished machine by Velofique Designs, accompanied by a gorgeous photoset from Nikoo Hamzavi. Enjoy!
Growing up in rural Iowa, you would’ve never been able to convince me bikes would be a way to go camping. I suppose you would’ve also had to convince me that bikes were cool in general. Either way, my younger years weren’t spent in a saddle cruising down the now coveted gravel roads. Iowa isn’t really on a whole lot of folks’ radar for bikes….heck it’s what most people consider a flyover state. But, back in 2016 I decided to race JingleCross on a whim and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was in Iowa. The only bike I had to race with was my pink Cake fat bike. While putzing around waiting for my race to start, I was approached by two guys who recognized my bike and were familiar with Erik Noren’s work. Logan and Thaddeus told me they had just opened a shop in Cedar Rapids called Goldfinch Cyclery and it sounded like a dream.