[This is the third in a series of four interviews with local bike builders who are exhibiting at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show next weekend (March 2-4) in San Jose, California. Read previous interviews with Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira.]
Joseph Ahearne of Ahearne Cycles has come a long way since his first trip to the Handmade Bicycle Show.
Back in 2005, without his own booth, he walked around the show with just a few parts strapped to his back.
Since then, Joseph has built his business, garnered media attention, and won over many fans for his unique approach to the craft of bicycle building.
He may have broken into the industry with his Flask Holster, and these days his beautiful and functional cargo racks pay the bills, but it’s the artistic flair and character he brings to his frames and forks that set him apart from other builders.
I checked in with Joseph just a few days before he leaves for the Handmade Bicycle Show. Here’s our interview:
Are you ready for the show? Has it been hectic getting ready?
“Am I ready? Not a chance. I won’t be ready until about halfway through the first day of the show, if everything goes relatively smoothly. I don’t have bikes back from paint yet. And yes, I’m nervous as hell about that. But it’ll all work out. Although, I think you’ll have to wait for the show to see what I have.”
How do you hope the show will help your business?
“Obviously, I hope it brings in orders. But more indirectly, it’s the exposure that’s important. This is the single biggest event of the year for frame builders. A lot of people are going to be there, and it’ll generate a lot of press coverage.”
What are your plans for your booth display?
“I’ll have 5 complete bikes there, and a couple of framesets, not to mention racks. I guess the theme I’m going for is diversity. The bikes are of all varieties and styles. I think people think of me more as a 29er and cross bike builder. Yes, I build these styles of bikes, but I want people to recognize that I build a lot of other types of bicycles, and that I build them all to the same high standards.”
What are you personally looking forward to at the show?
“I’m looking foward to taking a bit of time to wander around and check out everyone’s work. There will be a lot of fantastic builders there, and I love to see each builders’ perspective and personal flair. It’s really exciting to see how other builders design and execute things you’ve never even conceived of. It really opens the horizons of what is possible and it’s one of my favorite things.”
Good luck at the show Joseph! I can’t wait to see what to see what you’ve come up with.