Biketoberfest 2008 to feature latest in handcrafted bikes
Handmade bikes have become an art form and Northern California has some of the best! Take Craig Calfee (La Selva Beach, CA), who makes beautiful bikes out of bamboo, or Ventana U.S.A. (Rancho Cordova, CA) known for their “Electric Sex” welds and eye-candy powder coating. Ventana will be bringing 30 demo bikes to try out, including 29ers, 69ers and 650bs, bikes that break from the traditional 26” mountain bike wheel size.
Curtis Inglis of Inglis/Retrotec (Napa, CA) makes retro looking bikes called the Double and Triple, referring to the number of curved steel tubes he uses in each design. Inglis was responsible for bringing one of the sports worlds wackiest events to Napa last month, The Single Speed World Championships. The first place finisher rode in a “Borat” style swimsuit and third place finisher was wearing a gold Speedo and cape. The race drew the attention of the New York Times which published the story “Single-Speed Race for Multitude of Pedaling Eccentrics” by Lucy Burningham on Aug. 29, 2008.
Brent Steelman of Steelman Cycles (Redwood City, CA) has been in business building custom steel bike frames for over 25 years. Every bicycle order is a one-off, with focus on ideal fit and rider efficiency, superior handling characteristics, and comfort. Brent has an eye for clean lines and precise construction, and a nuanced sense of a cyclists needs.
Jim Kish, of Kish Fabrication, has been building the finest custom titanium frames available for over 15 years. He is equally well known as United Bicycle Institute’s TIG welding frame instructor, helping to launch the careers of many of the latest generation of young builders. Kish specializes in ti road bikes that rival the lightest offerings in any other material, yet still maintaining titanium’s bombproof quality. Kish will be displaying several of his titanium creations, some featuring new etched finishes that compliment his skills as a craftsman.
Then there’s Jeff Jones. Jones Bikes are technically not made in Northern California, but just across the border in Medford, Oregon. Jones has departed from traditional mountain bike design to find new alternatives to modern geometry and technology and he achieves this with swoopy Titanium tubes and big wheels. Before a deal was made with Merlin to help him increase production, Jones had a waiting list extending five years for orders. Jeff Jones will be bringing demo bikes to Biketoberfest-2008.
Chris Padavana of Eden Bikes (Castro Valley, CA) points out that “you have to feel proud about your ride” and that’s what these handmade bikes do.
Other Northern California frame builders displaying at the Oct. 18 event in Fairfax include:
KISH, Soulcraft, Ahrens Bicycles, Breezer, Castellano Designs and Sycip. Biketoberfest will also feature beautiful components from White Industries (Petaluma, CA) and WTB (Mill Valley, CA).
Visit http://www.biketoberfest2008.org for links to all these frame builders.
source: Tom Boss