A builder like Brando
He’s got the longest waitlist of them all (waitlists are how framebuilders measure their worth in this game) and stayed home from the annual framebuilder pageant. The backchannel chatter about NAHBS (North American Handbuilt Bike Show) was more negative this Spring than most shows. I’ll leave the why that is for the people that were there, but this is like Brando swearing off award shows ‘cause it’s not about the art.
Most Y2K framebuilders couldn’t work without a cad program. Or design a frame without a misfitter. Many couldn’t produce a frame without a dedicated fixture, or measure “straight” without a two ton granite table. There’s a whole subculture that goes online and asks OTHER framebuilders how to add braze-ons, what tubes to use, and what brazing rod to buy. These guys aren’t building something as much as they’re assembling material based on a set of instructions. And who among them still makes his own forks?! Things have changed, alright.
Well of course it isn’t. I also don’t expect Sachs to get fat and wear a muumuu, but he does fashion himself as a celeb. One trained in the craft and not playing to some scripted reality show.
Ignore the best lug or ironic facial hair awards and find a builder near you. The best ones I know don’t seek the limelight. They just make bikes, like this one by Bill Davidson and Mark V…
D-Plus outfitted for gravel with those Sammy Slicks