Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    My Bikes
    2011 Shamrock Cycles 4-Season Commuter, 2010 Raleigh One Way, 1988 Schwinn Premis, 198x Takara Step-Through 6-speed, 1986 Schwinn LeTour Mixte
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    St. Louis Area Framebuilders?

    I'm in the market for a handmade steel commuter, and would prefer to stay as local as possible to the St. Louis area. I've sniffed around locally, and didn't turn up anything obvious, so I will also consider builders who are a close via Amtrak (Kansas City, Chicago, Springfield,…um, Little Rock, etc).

    I'm looking for a full four-season commuter—something I can portage up/down stairs, handle potholes & curbs, ride in rain/snow/ice, and carry a bit of a load.

    Know of anyone who would be excited about helping with that? At this point, I've expanded "local" to include Kansas City, Chicago, & Indy. I'd appreciate any pointers!

  2. #2
    framebuilder
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Niles, Michigan
    Posts
    117
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You might want to begin your search with Sam Markovich at Peloton Cyclery in St. Charles, MO. He has put a lot of effort into getting equipment and knowledge for bicycle fitting. He took my 3-day intro to framebuilding class and was an outstanding student in catching on to how to braze. I’m not sure where he is now with his framebuilding ambitions but he would certainly know if there were others in your area.

    I’ve had more than a dozen framebuilding students from the Chicago area take one of my framebuilding classes. They are in various stages of making it a business. Strangely Chicago is not an area with full time builders. There is a group of part time builders (including some of my students as well as those that went to UBI) that share a coop space at a place called Bubbly.

    My shop is in Niles, Michigan about 90 miles east of downtown Chicago. It is an Amtrak stop on the Chicago/Detroit run. Interestingly about a third of my framebuilding class students come by train. My waiting list is too long for serious consideration but you might want to see if my assistant Herbie is a possibility. He helps me teach classes and you can find pictures of his work on flickr under Helm Cycles.

    Now if you are really adventuresome, you could make your own frame in one of my classes. A typical class is 2 weeks long and the most commonly made type of bicycle is some kind of commuter like the one you described. I also teach a shorter one-week class where we make a city bike and a longer 3-week class for those that might want to be framebuilders some day.

    In Indianapolis there is Tim O’Donnell at Shamrock Cycles. There are a lot of very good builders in Minneapolis, Minnesota but that might be too far to meet your “local” definition. It is a Amtrak stop however.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    My Bikes
    2011 Shamrock Cycles 4-Season Commuter, 2010 Raleigh One Way, 1988 Schwinn Premis, 198x Takara Step-Through 6-speed, 1986 Schwinn LeTour Mixte
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Doug! I'm getting in touch with Sam already, good to know his background. Tim at Shamrock was also recommended to me, so thanks for that too. I'll check out your man Herbie & check up on those Chicago-area students!

    It is odd that there seems to not really be a demand/scene for frambuilding in the Mississippi-middle Midwest. You would think that the Chi/STL/KC, even Memphis area would be teeming with them, since north (Minn) & west (Co) & east (Tennessee/Georgia/Ohio) have quite a few established. It's not like we don't ride bikes around here!

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,117
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm willing to do it, and I promise to gas up the private jet and fly it on down for you! I think Al has carbon offsets you can buy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My Bikes
    Terraferma 650b, Mondonico SL and ELOS, Masi Gran Criterium, Trek 610, Breezer Liberty, Georgena Terry Classic
    Posts
    11,095
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In a suburb north of Chicago is Ron Boi (RRB Cycles), a very experienced builder. Years ago he made a pair of RAAM frames for Lon Haldeman and his wife, and has a pair (used ot be a bunch) of bike shops in that north suburban area. He's mostly occupied as a shop owner, but he advertises that he builds frames. I've seen a couple of his and he's done some work for me in the past. If he's available I'd recommend him. He has also built some commuters for his local area folks.

    I lived in U City and Clayton quite a while ago - liked it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ultraslide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    My Bikes
    73 Raleigh Supercourse, 99 Specialized Stumpjumer, 08 LeMond Tourmalet
    Posts
    782
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    3 hours to the east in Evansville, In is Gene Spicer. Mostly known for track bikes Gene is a super guy and enjoys custom builds.
    www.spicercycles.com
    All I'm saying is ... large pigs can run faster than you think.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    My Bikes
    2011 Shamrock Cycles 4-Season Commuter, 2010 Raleigh One Way, 1988 Schwinn Premis, 198x Takara Step-Through 6-speed, 1986 Schwinn LeTour Mixte
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the tips Road Fan & Ultraslide. I had turned up Ron Boi from googling, good to know you can recommend him. And I'll check out Gene Spicer!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,677
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don Walker in Indy
    Banjo Bikes in Madison
    Foresta Frames in Indy (Craig was one of Doug's students I believe)
    Meech Frames in Mountain Home, AR (filet brazed frames, Dimitri hangs out here sometimes I think)

    Dimitri is currently building me a cross frame and I believe he sold a frame to a guy in Maplewood a few months ago, so maybe you could check that out.

    Good luck...
    85 Andy Gilmour |85 De Rosa |85 Spectrum |91 Panasonic |92 Chesini |94 Vittorio |95 Batavus |95 Iron Horse |95 Reus |02 Calfee |02 Serotta |04 Serotta |06 Look |11 Meech |14 Red Star

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •