Meet the Makers: Custom Bike Builders in Sonoma and Napa Meet the Makers: Custom Bike Builders in Sonoma and Napa

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As long as we are building to that level of quality, people will tend to trust what we do and buy our products over others. Rose neighborhood, John Fitzgerald builds frames that embody the handmade ethic.

Still other local businesses design and build some of the parts that make them move. From backyard workshops and hidden warehouses, these craftsmen transform steel, aluminum, or titanium tubes into high-performance machines and works of art for clients down the street or halfway around the world.

Hundreds of miles of uncrowded roads and trails traversing windblown coastal blues, undulating pastures and vineyards, and steep mountains shrouded in redwoods have long drawn cyclists to Sonoma County.

Manufacturing takes place in China and Taiwan.

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Each strives to make bikes and frames as distinctive as they are durable, often custom-crafted for a particular individual. He produces a combined 35 to 40 frames a year for buyers as far away as Japan and Switzerland.

There, Sycip turns out custom mountain, road, cross, cargo, and commuter bikes in steel, aluminum, and titanium.

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Like many subcultures, frame-building is a tight-knit world where most people know each other. Favorite local rides with kids: Photo by Chris Hardy Slide 46 of No subscription fee online dating Yuba has been migrating north since its founding in Sausalito and moved its headquarters and seven Sonoma County employees up from Petaluma about a year ago.

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Anywhere in Trione-Annadel State Park. The Cotati-based company has emerged as a leading maker of Breezer dating bikes, beefy rides built for comfort and utility, not speed. But more recently, the balance of power has shifted north, with Sonoma now home to renowned builders Soulcraft, SyCip Designs, and Bruce Gordon Cycles recently retiredas well as the popular outfitter Yuba Bikes.

The company continues to grow rapidly, with plans to launch two additional electric-powered bikes later this year.

In some cases they have even learned from one another or worked side by side. Click here Related Posts.

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Slide 47 of 53 The company continues to grow rapidly, with plans to launch two additional electric-powered bikes later this year.

He works only in lugged steel, a labor-intensive frame type that involves mating steel tubes via socket-like sleeves, called lugs. That includes hubs, at the center of the wheel, with ball bearings rotating around a center axle, and freewheels that allow the gears on the rear wheel to engage in one direction and spin in the other — two parts for which the ever-evolving company is best known.

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Looking for more things to do in Sonoma County? Yuba has been migrating north since its founding in Sausalito and moved its headquarters and seven Sonoma County employees up from Petaluma about a year ago.

But by last year he felt ready to retire, and offered up for sale his immense collection of tools, parts — and lightly used bikes dating to the early s. Slide 50 of 53 Favorite local rides with kids: While custom cycles cost a lot to produce reflected by price tags in the thousandsthe artisans who make them — often with a dog at their feet or a beer within reach — are both a throwback to a simpler time and a quintessential part of modern Sonoma County.

In the ensuing years, many big names in bike Breezer dating developed nearby: Doug White, 72, a machinist by trade, founded the company in a West Marin garage in For traditionalists, Inglis, 49, also builds standard, straight-tubed bikes under the Inglis Cycles name.