Local builders in global company in new “Custom Bicycles” book

A bike from Portland-based Vanilla
Bicycles graces the cover of
Custom Bicycles;
A passionate pursuit
.

With the publication later this spring of, Custom Bicycles: A passionate pursuit, the handmade bicycle renaissance in America seems to have taken another big step forward. And, as you might have expected, Portland’s reputation for bike building did not go unnoticed.

We received an advance copy of the book here at BikePortland headquarters earlier this week. With its 240 pages and 300 glossy color photos, the $60 book is definitely coffee-table ready. The book is published by Australia-based Images Publishing Group and features 5-8 page profiles of 39 builders (see photos below).

Readers will be introduced to the classic French city bikes of Cycles Alex Singer, the Italian masterworks of Dario Pegoretti, and they’ll also get a healthy dose of our homegrown talent.

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Four of the featured builders are from Portland and four others are from throughout Oregon. Custom Bicycles has full photo spreads from Portland-based Ira Ryan Cycles, Signal Cycles, Vanilla Bicycles and Strawberry. Statewide, they’ve featured Wolfhound Cycles, Vendetta Cycles, Keith Anderson Cycles, and Jeff Jones Custom Bicycles.

When you consider this book is from an international publisher and that it features builders from all over the globe, I think it speaks to Oregon’s and Portland’s strengths as true epicenters of handmade bike building.

Here are a few photos of the book:

Photo spread of Ira Ryan.

This spread for Signal Cycles features a shot of the Hollywood Theater.

Custom Bicycles will be available in mid-May. You can pre-order it now from Powell’s Books (and remember when you order from Powell’s BikePortland earn a bit of cash).

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Case
Case
14 years ago

I know there’s only so much space for profiles, but missing out on John Slawta (Landshark) is a shame. The guy built a bike that won the Giro with an American on it! Not to take anything away from folks like Signal who are new to the scene and getting better, but the guy built the only bike that won the Giro with an American on it! He also puts out ~240 frames per year by himself, no one else working, no one else painting. But regardless, I’m going to order this if only to see what they say about Alex Singer, maybe they’ll have a footnote about Rene Herse. 🙂

Kevin Wagoner
Kevin Wagoner
14 years ago

Awesome, this is cool. Can’t wait to see it.

joel
14 years ago

case – i may catch flak for this in some circles, but likely theyd mention rene herse if rene herse was still building in the same sense that alex singer is still building.

that being said, having 20% of the builders featured be from oregon is a freaking coup – ill agree that its something of a pity that slawta/landshark isnt included, but at the same time… with the number of framebuilders out there in our state alone these days, let alone the increasing number worldwide, well, lets just say i wouldnt have wanted the job of narrowing it down to 39.

Joe
Joe
14 years ago

bikes are SEXY! 🙂

Case
Case
14 years ago

Joel, when you’re right, you’re right, about bikes, as you often are. It is pretty exciting seeing PDX sit in such an influential place at the custom builder’s table.

Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah
14 years ago

60 bucks!!! Probably worth a quick read at the book store but that’s about it.

David Feldman
David Feldman
14 years ago

Regardless of where the builders are from, it’s good to see the craft getting some deserved attention. I’ll buy a copy.

David Feldman
David Feldman
14 years ago

PS–as a companion work, anyone who’s really interested in the details of fine bikes should buy Jan Heine’s “Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles,” and “The Competition Bicycle.”

Mickey
Mickey
14 years ago

60 bucks!!! Sign me up. I can’t wait to check it out.

matt
matt
14 years ago

Mickey is the Phillip Morris of bikeportland commenters.

Tommer
Tommer
14 years ago

It’s amazing to see you all in this book. You’ve all really worked hard to be where you are and I’m honored to call you my friends. Great work! Keep it up.

Lillian
14 years ago

And not a single woman builder.