Local builder roundup: Argonaut does carbon fiber, MAP moves, OBCA show, and more

Portland based builder Ben Farver of Argonaut Cycles
has emerged with a new focus on custom carbon fiber.
(Photo: Argonaut Cycles)

In recent years, I haven’t kept pace with all the great work being done by our talented crop of bike makers here in Portland. For whatever reason, I don’t do as many shop visits and profiles as I used to. So, in an effort to catch up a bit, here are a few news tidbits from Portland’s craft bike industry…

Argonaut relaunches with custom carbon fiber
Ben Farver, the man behind Argonaut Cycles, started making custom bicycles in 2007. He launched as a steel specialist and made beautiful bikes. One of his track bikes won “Best of Show” at the 2008 Rocky Mountain Bicycle Show. But then, a few years back, I stopped hearing about him.

Given his obvious talent, I wondered what he was up to. Now I know. Ben has just completed a full transition into making custom carbon fiber bicycles. He launched his new website and a great video explaining his process this week. Check out the new site and watch the video below:

Mitch Pryor moves to Chico

Mitch Pryor - MAP Cycles at NAHBS-8

Mitch Pryor.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

And now some bad news (for us, but good for him). Mitch Pryor of Mitch Pryor Bicycles has moved to Chico, California. With just five-plus years of building under the MAP banner, Mitch has already found a solid following for his bikes — especially his randonneurs. At the 2009 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), he took home coveted “Best City Bike” honors. When he first started out, Mitch learned a lot from veteran local builder Joseph Ahearne and the two shared a shop on N. Page Street though this past summer. But now it’s time to move on. Mitch says he has family in Chico, and it’s a great bike town in its own right. You’ve got a bright future Mitch. See you around, and good luck!

Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show set for October 20-21

The Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association (OBCA) is gearing up for their annual show. This year the event takes place at a location befitting American made goods; the Vigor Industrial Shipyard Building down on Swan Island. The OBCA show is always a class act and a fantastic display of the vitality of Oregon’s bike industry. And I love the theme of this year’s show: “Put U.S. to work for you: Demand Handmade”. Check out OregonFramebuilders.org and stay tuned for more info once the date nears.

Popular bike blogger John Watson focuses on Signal Cycles

Prolly is not Probably is one of the best (and most popular) blogs on handmade bikes and urban bike culture anywhere. Watson makes beautiful images and he travels the country to find the coolest bikes and meet the interesting people behind them. He was recently in Portland for some riding and working. While here he stopped in for a shop visit at Signal Cycles in north Portland. He also posted a photoset of a gorgeous Signal Cycles cross bike recently sold to Internet pioneer, Metafilter founder, bike racing promoter, and Salem resident Matt Haughey.

Oregon Manifest’s Bike Craft, Design, Innovation book now available
And finally, just a quick follow up from my story about it earlier this week: That wonderfully designed and lovingly detailed book on the Oregon Manifest event is now available for purchase online.

That’s it for this roundup. For more, browse our “Bike Builders” story archives.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. 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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11 years ago

That Argonaut bike looks sexy – wish it was easier to see against the black background though!

11 years ago

the argonaut is a beautiful bike. is ruckus involved in the engineering of these frames? i had heard a rumour that they were involved in a cf bike project…

11 years ago

steel is real

11 years ago
Reply to  BURR

Because rust is lighter than carbon.

11 years ago

Way to go Ben!