Monday Bike Style: Monday morning Sachs


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From Richard Sachs website

The weak link is always the work force. And all the new materials, tube shapes, or joining processes available to the industry cannot mask the compromises that are endemic to mass-produced or even low-volume framebuilding. Little, if anything at all, can cover up the shortcuts taken by other manufacturers whose main goal is to produce the most units at the lowest cost. The bike industry makes money. I make bikes.

At Richard Sachs Cycles, I am the work force.

reblog Cielo Bikes – shining the light on RIH BIKES


Cielo I love – been looking at some of their steel beauties…. on their blog they speak about this brand – one I had never heard of before

Amsterdam, 1921.  RIH Sport is found by two brothers, Willem and Joop Bustraan. The brothers began making lugged frames, no mill or lathe to be found, everything done by hand. The production process took its manufacturing cues more from the artisanal guild practices common throughout Europe before the industrial revolution than from the methods unearthed during the revolution itself.


Photo by Michiel Rotgans

1928 brought the addition of Willem’s son, Willem Jr. Through WWII, surviving Nazi occupation, the trio continued building frames for racers and riders despite the oppressive conditions, going so far as allowing racers to get frames on a layaway program. While we combed the office admiring photographs of champions who have ridden RIH frames through the years we found the register from the 1920’s which still resides collecting dust on one of the shop’s workbenches, a testament to their commitment to the community and their craft.


Photo by Michiel Rotgans

When the time came for the founding brothers to pass the business on to Willem Jr, he quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to meet demand on his own. Willem Jr was exceptionally fortunate to have Wim van der Kaaij, who had wandered into the shop at 10 years old and never really left. Wim met the current World Champion, Gerrit Schulte, at the RIH shop, and began work the next day.

From the moment that he stepped into the shop, Wim was enthralled. Although he couldn’t have known it at the time, this would be his first, last, and only job. He started his career sweeping the shop floors and gradually learned the tools of the trade by helping out where he could. Once he began working full-time, Willem Jr and Wim worked together building bikes well into the latter half of the 20th century. Willem Jr later retired while Wim continued building frames into his 70s for a never ending backlog of customers. Wim estimated that throughout his career he had built over 5,000 frames by hand.


Photo by Michiel Rotgans

Finally Wim recognized that he couldn’t build frames forever, which is where the current RIH owners come into light, Lester and Lorenzo. Lester is RIHs prodigal son, apprenticing under Wim, then taking some time to travel. Lester returned to RIH with Lorenzo in tow. These two have a passion for bicycles and an understanding of what it will take to make RIH’s commitment to craft appreciated by contemporary consumers. They had spent hours convincing Wim of the benefits of threadless headsets and even a social media existence. Slowly but surely they are bringing RIH cycles into the modern era, while Wim’s skepticism and questioning instilled into the Lester and Lorenzo a concrete sense of what truly goes into making a RIH.

Recently, after Wim passed away, Lester shared a thought Wim had years prior: “When God needs a framebuilder, he’ll let me know.” Wim quite literally worked in the shop until his last day, leaving pressure along with intense pride of craftmanship with Lester.

You can learn more about RIH by following them on Facebook and Instagram and you might find that a RIH is just the bike you were looking for.

Dream Bike Speedvagen


Hailing from Portland, that hotbed of cycling culture and frame building, are Speedvagen. For 2015 they have introduced new disc-equipped road and cyclocross models, available in stock and custom builds.

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Speedvagen have been producing frames since 2007, which are billed as “purpose-built race machines with the highest level of innovation.” The frames are manufactured in the Vanilla Workshop, a collaborative community with framebuilder Sacha White at the heart. He’s been building frames since 1999, and produces frames under both the Vanilla Bicycles and Speedvagen Bicycles banners. He built the first Speedvagen in 2006, a singlespeed cyclocross bike.

The two brands allows Sacha to express different design influences and cater for riding styles, with Vanilla described as “pure, classic and focused on the pursuit of craft.” while Speedvagen are “modern, rebellious and built to be ridden. Hard.”

For 2015 the latest Speedvagen models are thoroughly modern: they’re now available with disc brakes.

“Discs look clean and mean and they’re a pleasure to use.” says Sache White. “The way we’re mounting the caliper is unlike any other bike out there. It’s stronger and lighter and, well, we’re darned proud of it.”

To accommodate the disc brakes, there are new Berzerker dropouts which mount the disc caliper on the underside of the seatstay. Speedvagen claims this approach dissipates braking stress into the tube and away from the dropout.

Both the 2015 Speedvagen Road Bike and 2015 Speedvagen Cross Bike can be made from True Temper or Columbus steel tubing with every tube being custom drawn to their specific size, shape and thickness. Nice details abound such as the use of a bi-axially ovalised down tube and tapered head tube, to boost the frame stiffness. Both frames also feature the distinctive integrated seatmast with an Enve carbon fibre post head. An Enve carbon seat tube upgrade is available if you want to shed some weight.

Each frame is produced by hand directly for the customer, with a choice of stock or custom frames depending if you want the full tailor made treatment. Stock bikes are available in 2cm size increments from 48 to 62cm. Full custom will consider every measurement so the frame perfectly fits you.

There are a number of paint jobs to choose from, and for this year they have added a new ‘3D Ghost’ graphic along with ‘HollaText’ and ‘Surprise Me!’ colour schemes.

You’re looking at $3,450 for a stock frameset (frame, fork and seatpost) and $4,350 for a custom frame. Waiting times are around 12 weeks for a custom frame, shorter for an off-the-shelf stock frame. There are no UK dealers so you have to buy direct. There are a few upgrades available on the frame, including custom Shimano Di2 battery integration and specific internal wire routing, carbon fibre seat tubes and much more.

New Steel for your next bike


A new stainless steel tubeset has been launched by tubing specialists Reynolds, following testing in the UK with Ted James Design.

The new 921 tubeset complements the brand’s premium stainless steels – the flagship 953 and the heat-treated 931, and Reynolds are taking orders now with deliveries expected early next year.

Composed of 21 per cent chromium, six per cent nickel and nine per cent manganese – used more commonly in aviation as ‘21-6-9’, the 921 was used by Ted James to build the first UK-made road frame of its kind, which passed the EN14781 frame fatigue test.

click screen below to watch in new window

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And James, in conversation with Phil Taylor, of Bespoked, believes the new material will become a hit with his fellow frame-builders.

“It’s very exciting to work on this new project and it’s a very exciting material to have worked with,” he said.

“This material would be suited for a range of different bikes but, for me, it seems especially sutiable for 29ers or BMX. It would be a great tubeset for touring bikes where you want durability. It’s lightweight but still reasonably strong, and it’s stainless.

“It seemed very interesting to work with. It’s an amazingly springy material. I’m quite excited to see how the bike rides with this tubing.”

Reynolds believe the 921 is the highest strength cold-worked tube set available in the bike industry, and is suitable for use in lugged and TIG-welded frames to create frames for road, BMX, ‘cross, hybrid and mountain bike design.

Handmade Bike Show – Two winners that I love


Naked Bikes

2011 NAHBS Recon: Naked Bicycles and Design


Naked Bicycles and Design is filed under the show-stopped category. Year after year, their NAHBS bikes are pushing the envelope of conceptual bicycle design. This year, their completely-integrated bike this year was a neck-breaker.

Check out more photos and a slideshow from my coverage of the 2011 NAHBS Naked Bicycles and Design booth below.





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you can't bash this bishop

BISHOP BIKES

My Columbus MS track bike won Best Steel Bike at the 2011 NAHBS! I am really excited and had a great time at NAHBS this year. I met so many great people and meeting and hanging out with these people is always the best part of bike shows. Dan Artley’s bike and the Brett Horton town bike were also the favorite of many who came by to see the bikes.