the vanilla workshop
Portland’s framebuilder scene has changed a lot since its heyday more than a decade ago. At one point it felt like a new builder would arrive on the scene every month. Builders were the toast of the town and were invited to display their creations everywhere from City Hall to City Club and even the Portland Airport.
The boom has passed and the number of local framebuilders has shrunk back to just a handful. The builders that remain are mostly the ones that seemed to have always been here. Sacha White is one of them.
White’s Vanilla Bicycles were some of the most coveted bicycles on the planet. “What Tiffany is to pearls, Sacha White is to bicycle frames,” was how he was introduced to a group of business leaders at an event in 2007. Now known as The Vanilla Workshop, a collaborative approach to business White launched in 2015, he and his team of bicycle artisans continue to set standards in the industry.
The Vanilla Workshop’s Richard Pool recently got in touch to share their latest “Ready Made” offering from the Speedvagen family. White stopped making only one-off, custom bikes long ago. Like other builders, he realized it’s impossible to scale-up and get more of your bikes on the road when you make everything by yourself with your own two hands. White found a niche doing small-batch builds. Vanilla’s Ready Made bikes are semi-custom. They start with a stock geometry and design and build a run of sizes. Customers can then choose a parts kit, paint and which braze-ons (attachment points for racks, pump, bottles, fenders) they’d like.
Their latest Speedvagen Ready Made model is the Disc OG. Here’s more from the company:
“The Speedvagen Disc OG is presented without preciousness. There are no frills, the Disc OG is a dedicated hand crafted tool for road riding and racing. It’s a workhorse. Following our Speedvagen method of stripping away all that isn’t necessary we landed on a bike that is ready to rip and easy to work on, or upgrade later. The frame design uses our own Speedvagen tubing, signature seat mast, hour glass seat stays, head tube and race ready stock geometry, perfect for long days in the saddle or sprints to the line.”
The bike comes with a standard build kit that can be upgraded and customized to your wishes. The base price for a complete bike is $5995 and it takes $500 to reserve one. Wait time is just 2-3 months, a relative blink of the eye compared to the 3-4 year wait back in Vanilla’s custom days.
More details on their website.
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Now you can a bike designed, developed, and made in Portland from the legendary Vanilla Workshop in two weeks or less. It’s called the “OG1” and it’ll come fully-built for just over $5,000.
That’s huge news. Here’s why:
(Photos by John Watson)
Sacha White, the southeast Portland-based maker of fine bicycles who has sat among the top American framebuilders for years, has just released a new bike: the Urban Racer.
Fresh news from the BTA…
Bicycle Transportation Alliance Manager, Tom Rousculp Parks His Bike at The Vanilla Workshop
Long Time BTA Membership and Marketing Manager Makes Move to Respected Bike Builder.
Tom Rousculp is departing the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) after six years. Rousculp held many posts during his tenure at the BTA, most recently managing membership, sponsorship and marketing duties. “Tom has done a lot to create new connections at the BTA and while we’ll miss him we know we have a friend in the bike industry that understands our work completely, “ said BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky.
Over the last two years Rousculp developed the Kid’s ‘Cross events and Bikes Mean Business program at the BTA. Both programs provide opportunities for the bike industry to work directly with advocacy on the ground in a collaborative and compelling way.
Rousculp will be crafting stories, building new relationships and designing programs at the Vanilla Workshop. “Tom is a great steward for the industry, and fun to spend time with,” said Sacha White, owner of the Vanilla Workshop. “He’ll fit in well in our little shop and I’m excited about all of the projects that we’re going to tackle together.”
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a non-profit membership organization working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon. Since 1990, the BTA has worked in partnership with citizens, businesses, community groups, government agencies, and elected officials to create communities where people can meet their daily transportation needs on a bike.
The Vanilla Workshop is a community — a collaboration between master fabricators; expert bicycle painters; photographers; wood, leather, fabric and metal workers–all working closely to bring the intelligent, edgy, sexiness of Portland to the rest of the world.