When fitting a customer for a bike, how do you usually work? How often is it in person?
My fitting process is based on a physical fit and needs assessment. I can do this in person, but as most of my clients are out of area I often do this remotely. I have a few measurement forms (for the rider and their current bike) that I use to establish some common terms. Most of the design work happens through a developing conversation with the client. Im also open to working with their coaches, fit specialist and PT folks as needed.
Lets talk about geometry: Would you say your all your bikes have a consistent ride that is your signature, or do you vary your geometry based on the customers preferences and needs?
In my world custom generally refers to two main objectives; custom fit and custom features. I describe my bikes as individually tailored. As every bike is made to order, the custom fit is a given. The tailoring goes further with making a bike that meets the individual riders needs to the type of riding they want to do. I build in the traditional categories (road, cross, touring, track and mountain) and also a large number of category splitters. I like to think of these as high performance non-race bikes. Recent examples include fast road bikes that take fenders and a low profile rack, multi-day tourers that feel sporty unloaded and other rider specific mixes. This variety dictates a wide range of geometry based on use, experience and rider preferences. If I have a signature, it is in fitting the bike to the rider.
When designing a frame for a customer, once you know the ride characteristics the rider is looking for, do you conceive of the geometry as a whole or is there a particular dimension you look to as a starting point?
I look at the bike as a whole. More specifically, I look at the rider as a whole, and the bike as a functional extension. I start with the body and fill in the blanks. This extends beyond the frame, too. When possible I try to design the bike to include the full parts package, all of the contact points (saddle, post, pedals, bars, etc.). I make the fork and frame to work with each other. I build and design around specific tire and fender combinations. For most of my bikes I also build the stem, and if they are to have racks I prefer to make those as well. Ideally, the bike is more than a collection of parts hung from a frame, and while I manufacture the frame kit, I work towards designing a complete machine.
Bottom line: What are your bikes supposed to ride like?
I like them to be fun and confidence inspiring. I shoot to meet the clients needs while exceeding their expectations in fit and performance.
How long is the wait for new customers?
I work on a first come, first served basis, and Im doing my best to keep the full bikes as close to six months as possible. I build stems, forks and racks (as aftermarket items), and those can sometimes work through the system more quickly.
Whats your pricing like?
Frame and fork sets start in the $2250-$2500 range depending on options. Most of my complete bikes end up in the $4500-$5500 range with builds on both sides of that. With the wide range of customization and tailoring I always suggest people get in touch to talk about their specific needs.
What keeps the work fresh for you, gets you up in the morning (or out in the evening) and excited to build?
I am lucky enough to work for a wide variety of people with bikes and needs as diverse as the clientele. Every rider and every bike is different. Nailing all the minute details in such a way that we end up with a beautiful looking bike that disappears into a beautiful riding experience is a constantly rewarding challenge.
Whats your life away from building like? What sort of outside interests do you have?
Im a bit of a workaholic, but I do try to get in some quality time out of the shop. In addition to riding I really enjoy the outdoors with my wife and our dog. Im an alpine snowboarder- I raced when I was younger and used to teach. Im always looking to extend my snowboard season. I have an art degree, and enjoy other creative outlets such as drawing and sculpture.
Dont forget the contact info:
The best way to contact me is through my web site (www.WinterBicycles.com). Email is great as I can give considered answers, but feel free to call. For the social media types the web site will direct folks to my blog and photo accounts. You can also find me on Facebook. If people are interested in stopping by, please email or call ahead and we can work out the details.