Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Too bad it's one of my frames in the picture when it really should be a frame from the subject of this post.....what can I say, my camera is full of my own stuff-I don't get out enough. Anyway, I spend a lot of time discussing things that I really don't like on this blog......folks on the forums who haven't made a frame, maybe haven't made anything except an ass of themselves on the internet .......guys who are essentially chasing lug shorelines for bowling trophies ........hey, it's my blog and I can say what I want. Maybe if some of you don't like what you read, start your own blog. What I wish to cover today is the group of folks that were established builders when I started getting the idea to try to build a frame or two. The '70's was when the U.S. builders were out to prove themselves against all of the imports coming from Euorpe. The U.S. builders were doing this by paying attention to stuff that the Euro's were largely ignoring, especially with regard to the finish of the frame. My memory isn't all that great and I might miss a few names but here are the ones that I got my inspiration from initially: Wizard ( Bryan Baylis ) Bruce Gordon , Albert Eisentraut , Art Stump,Strawberry ( Andy Newlands) , Keith Lippy ,Ross Shafer , Fred Parr. There were other folks, too that I became aware of a little later: Richard Sachs, Dale Saso, Roland Della Santa .....more than I can recall. Some of these folks as you might know are still building-some still in the tradition of the time when they started some 40 years ago. The level of impeccability and devotion to the craft does set these folks apart in my view, even if they don't feel that way themselves. Though some of my writings would sound like I'm calling the '70's style of building obsolete , in the case of most of these folks that is not the case. A good bike is always a good bike. There is a timless quality to a impeccably built machine. The shop I worked in back in 1977-78 had some very nice frames from Europe but the frames from the builders I mentioned clearly outclassed the best of what Europe was sending over here. The Merckx orange Colnago I cherished when I moved to Santa Cruz in 1977 quickly got sold-I was either going to get a frame made by a U.S. builder or build one for myself if i could. Now it has been 31 years plus since I built my first frame and one might think that I feel like I'm one of the '70's guys I looked up to back then but that is not the way I see it. The Della Santa hanging in my shop , built in 1978 really humbles me with it's meticulous craftsmanship. When I go to the bike shows and see Bruce Gordon's or Brian Baylis's frames I really know how far I would have to go to build anything of that caliber.....and I doubt I could do it if I tried. Some folks, very few indeed have this ability. The frames they create are a legacy that will outlive them . Who are the next builders to create such a legacy of work ? I can't say. Times are different now , people put emphesis on different things . I'm not saying that newer builders can't do a great job of building's a question of authenticity and commitment.

No comments:

Post a Comment