How much do you want to know? I couldn’t throw a ball very far or run very fast when I was a kid, but there was something about wheels I couldn’t resist. I loved to ride and figured that the only thing better was challenging friends and other like-minded individuals.
When it came to racing I wasn’t great and perhaps I was even too lazy to train properly, but I won plenty of races and had a good time. I like to watch bikes go fast and love the strategy of speed.
I have a good head for geometry by nature, but school didn’t work out for me for some unknown reason. I left early and studied the subjects that interested me. Some were temporary and others not, but it always came back to machines and people in movement.
In 1972 I started using tools to change or make bicycle parts (among other things). I was fortunate because my dad was a machinist and we had a welding rig at the house. I learned to braze and weld while fixing my old Stingrays. I also welded other peoples bikes. The old man was a good craftsman and taught me a lot in the time we had.
I wanted to be a great welder. No kidding. Dennis Engles taught me to TIG weld. He actually taught me quite a bit about welding, different metals and being cool at work. I mowed his lawn quite a bit also.
Production work for Mongoose was great. I worked at C&L welding. We made the tooling and welded forks and stems for mongoose. I can still rock the Mongoose stitch weld. I worked from four in the afternoon till two AM doing production welding and being a boss. In my free time I drove around with a motocross bike in the back of my blazer and slept on the beach. Good times.
I was there when Yeti started and MTB’s roamed the trails of my town and it looked like fun. It was fun and still is. I was there till ’92 and went through a weird period till I met up with the Spooky folks who made my day till 1999. I met Lanie and fell in love. I went with Sinister to Vermont and ended up owning and then selling the brand to Bruce and Skye.
Today, I make bikes for anyone who wants them. I use mostly alloy steel tubes or 7005 aluminum, but 6061 is my true love. There are always options available for those with more eclectic tastes. Check out my flickr site to see the latest.
Thanks for checking in. I really enjoy making bikes and it means a lot that riders love them too.-Frank The Welder