Saturday, January 30, 2010

Custom Bicycles - A Passionate Pursuit

Weather here in the Seattle area has been great for January - in the 50s and mostly dry. Can't complain about that. The days are even getting a tad longer, another sign spring is on the way. Well, not exactly around the corner, but at least a few blocks away.

Over the past week, I did get a few commute rides in, along with one grocery run with messenger bag jammed full of food. Thought I'd get a woods ride in over this weekend, doubt that's going to happen - too many family related festivities at the moment.

I picked up a cool book at the library today, Custom Bicycles. A Passionate Pursuit, by Christine Elliott and David Jablonka. Really well done, large page book - coffee table material - that features many customer builders, some you may recognize, others you may not. Bruce Gordon, Richard Sachs, and Moots - to - Jeff Jones, Luna, and Bilenky. Plus many others. Excellent photography and bio on each builder included. Nice book, wouldn't mind owning a copy myself. I've flipped through it a few times already. It's well worth checking out.

The book is a reminder that high end bikes are rolling works of art - each featuring the craftsmanship and build philosophy of the builder. Production bikes today are done very well, but - if you have the dough to spend - the full on custom frame has something production frames don't have - perceived or not. Call it soul if you will. And in this age of mass produced items, a very cool thing indeed.

Still, the most important aspect of any bike, production or custom, is how often it's ridden. The more the better. True?


  1. This is a book that I would like to take a look at. I am glad that NAHMBS will be coming to Richmond in FEB. I will still be able to see the first day before I go on my trip.

    I am looking at the custom route on a cross bike because I think it's time for me to have something nice and not everyone has one.

    I am with you it's about how much you ride it!

  2. The NAHMBS is great. I attended the Portland version a few years ago.

    A custom 'cross bike would be cool. Check out Steelman, Soulcraft and Independent Fabrications. They all make nice 'cross bikes, as well as Hunter, Rock Lobster and plenty of others. Would be tough to choose. I'd also check for builders in your area.

    A nice problem to have....