Monday, June 11, 2007

Framebuilders at The Cirque

I attended the annual Cirque du Cyclisme in Greensboro, North Carolina last weekend. Among those attending was a veritable who’s who of super plumbers framebuilders. Here are a few who stopped to chat and gave me an opportunity to snap a picture.

Brian Baylis: Brain and I go way back to 1980 when we both worked in the Masi circus frameshop. Brian’s bike won an award at the show for "Best Original USA."

Joe Bell: I met Joe in the early 1980s and had not seen him since; I don’t remember him being this tall. Not a framebuilder but one of the most highly respected frame painters in the business. A bike Joe painted won the "Best Paint" award at the show.

Steve Belenky: I can’t remember when I first met Steve; let’s just say a long time ago. Steve picked up two awards for “Best Fancy Lugs” and “Peoples Choice.”

Richard Sachs: Richard was one of the first American builders I met when I first came to the US in 1979; it was at the New York Bike Show that year. At the time I took one look at Richard’s frames and realized I had to pay attention to aesthetics if I was to sell frames in America. Richard won “Best Race Bike” for his cyclo-cross entry.

Peter Weigle: Fine framebuilder, another one I first met sometime in the 1980s. Peter's bike won the “Best Randonneur” award.

Darrell McCulloch, Llewellyn Bicycles: Australian framebuilder and speaker at the Saturday seminars. I was dead chuffed thrilled when Darrell told me he used to read all the magazine articles about my work in the 1980s. Darrell’s bike won “Best in Show.” He is doing some amazing work with stainless steel lugs that he designs and produces himself.

Sasha White, Vanilla Bicycles: Another seminar speaker. It was interesting to hear him speak of people saying his bikes are “too beautiful to ride.” That troubled me when I used to build custom frames, and was one of the reasons I started producing the Fuso frame. Sasha is obviously a natural talent, with skills far exceeding what would be normal for someone relatively new to the framebuilding.

Darrell McCullock and Sasha White are the new generation of framebuilders who I believe will take the craft to the next level. That is, way beyond anything that has been done before.

In the closing moments of the show I spoke with Mark Nobilette, unfortunately my camera had already gone out to the car. Mark has been building since the 1970s and like many of the others I first met him sometime in the 1980s.

It was great to have the opportunity to meet many old friends and to make a few new ones.


Doug said...

Amazing post! It's like a Who's Who of the finest frame builders included Dave! Someday, I hope to ride a fame built by a builder in this class. I've heard Sacha White has a 4 year waiting list. I'd love to have one of his creations, and I'd ride it too.... a lot. I'm also considering a Curt Goodrich as well.

Anonymous said...

Great photos, Dave. Truly an incredible collection of talent.

A small correction, the Bilenky bike won "Best Fancy Lugs" and "People's Choice" (Best Touring Bike was Gilbert Anderson's Rene Herse). BTW, if you are mentioning awards, Peter Weigle won for Best Randonneur, Brian Baylis won for Best Original USA.

I regret that I didn't get to chat with you on Sunday, things were beyond frantic. It was great to see you there tho, and let me take this opportunity to tell you how much both my wife and I enjoyed the copy of Prodigal Child I bought the year before.

Hope you come again next year!

Anonymous said...

I'm fortunate enough to live in San Francisco, which puts me in close proximity with the North American Builders Show, held the last few years in San Jose. I've managed to meet quite a few of the gentlemen you mentioned and a few of the newcomers. It's great to see that the bike building tradition continues to be strong and the machines, from the artists, continue to grow in beauty each year. Perhaps we will see you in San Jose next year, Dave.

Dave Moulton said...

Bob Hovey,
Thanks for pointing out the errors, I have edited the post to correct this. I was hoping to get the award results from the Cirque web page the following day, but when I didn’t find them I had to rely on my memory.

Maltese Falcon,
The Hand Made Bicycle Show is going to be in Portland, Oregon next year. February 8-10, 2008; according to their website.

Anonymous said...

Dave, thanks for the information. It would be nice to arrive at the show on a Fuso. I have my eyes set on a frameset currently selling on Ebay.

taz said...


I have another photo of you and Sacha here:

And maybe a few more from last year if I can track them down.

Good seeing you again.

- taz