When I was building my first frame back in 1978, I thought that I really wanted to make a supreme artistic statement of a bicycle. The result of my six weeks of unskilled and mostly unsupervised work was a fairly crude but ornate frame and fork that didn’t ride quite like I had hoped. It seemed that I was looking at the small stuff rather than the big picture—a bicycle.
My mentor at the time had stressed that it was really important to complete a full-scale drawing of the frame and to build to that plan. I wrongly assumed that my measuring skills and keen eye would yield a well-executed frame and fork. One short ride and my whole premise was turned on its head. I was going about the task backwards.
I’ve learned a lot since then. But decades later I have not forgotten that first frame…in fact I still have it. I fixed the geometry issue on it and surprisingly, it has proved to be a nice riding bike in its second life. My philosophy of frame building has come about as a result of finding out how much the performance of a bike should be of primary importance and the aesthetic concerns are secondary. There are a lot of other builders that have come to the same conclusion following a similar path.
My aim is to build frames that do not hold the rider back from the highest level of performance and enjoyment. The trophies in my shop were not won at bike shows…they were won at races all over the U.S.A. While I have a background in art and have built some fairly elaborate frames, my strong suit is building straight forward performance machines for people who really like to ride. That is the way it has been pretty much since the completion of that first frame in the summer of 1978.