Tuesday, October 18

Project BS: Stage One

My decision to ride the seasonal Pisgah trails at midnight with the Wednesday Night Drinking Club was two fold.

I would get to go on a bike ride with some people I rarely get to ride with on trails I rarely get to ride.

I would get to sleep in the woods and wake up two miles from my 9:00AM appointment in Brevard.

What was I up to?

At 9:ooAM on Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of By:Stickel headquarters to talk about a new frame with Stephen Stickel.

Yes, I am getting a new frame, and it is going to be built by someone who is 2 hours from my house. I met Steve some years ago at ORAMM, but I've been ogling his bikes for a long time. I think the first one I saw was on a roof rack in Bent Creek over a decade ago. Anyways, whenever I got the chance to bend his ear and pester him endlessly, I did.

"Why is this like that?"

"Why is that like this?"

and so forth.

We would agree that some day I should get one of his frames, and that would be that until we would see each other again and go through a similar process the next time we saw each other.

He does some nifty things, some innovative things, and some things that have been copied by others. I brought my camera with me to his shop, but unfortunately I had let The Pie take the good camera to the pumpkin patch that day, and the back-up camera's batteries died on me before I could take a decent photo.

Stephen has big tools.

And you're thinking "Why have I not heard of By:Stickel?" Even though he's been doing this for a very, very long time, his presence on the web (in terms of an actual website) is in its infancy. Yes, he's been building frame after frame without advertising or a web presence... sacrilege.

He builds the kind of frames that if he bothered to attend a show like NAHBS, there would be tons of closeup photos splattered all over the various media sites showing all the cool little details that go into his frames. Chainstay yolks, seatstay yolks, cable guides, headtube gussets, asymmetrical rear triangle...

I'm not gonna try to explain that. I now understand it, but if you want to know more, go like his facebook page and read all about it. It gets more love than his website, and is full of By:Stickel pron.

The true purpose of the trip was for Steve to get me on one of his customer's bikes for a test ride to see how I felt about the frame geometry and whatnot.

My bike for the day:

Not what my bike will look like, but a fair representation of some of the geometry I wanted to try.

He joined me for the ride on his bike, which you might have recently seen on

In the wonderful world of Pisgah just a couple mile down the road from the shop, he took me over to ride even more seasonal wonders. Did I enjoy the ride of the bike? Let's just say that I put my deposit down when we got back, and sooner or later my frame will be sitting on Steve's manly LEGO table getting all welded up.

Since the last time I saw Steve, he has grown a beard. I am worried that perhaps he has gone from "frame builder" to "artisan", which seems to magically add months to the wait time of other builders.

We shall see.

More to come....

In the meantime, check out Stickel's Stuff on his site AND his facebook page (why is most of the good stuff on facebook?) and try to not be just a little moved on some level.


brado1 said...

'bout time brother

Anonymous said...

He makes some good stuff!

So, will it have sliders :-)

allan said...

is stuff looks great. Maybe one day.

allan said...

His stuff I mean...sheesh

AdamB said...

Good on you, little man! Maybe yours can be the first "By:Dickel" frame.
Are you going for some shifty bits out back and/or squishy legs up front?


Rob said...

So jealous! I crave one of his bikes but my accounting department won't allow it. Oh well...

Emily said...

So fickle, your bike love! the romance has already soured with the Canadian panda bike?

Stickels are beauties. So nice that you better ride yours for more than a year.

Chris said...

You still haven't called.

Shane S. said...

Yeah..I think you've got bike ADD mang! I like to stick to a bike if it fits me well unless of course it is given to me to race sub par performances. I have to say I would be interested in one of his frames as well, since they are beautiful. Does he do Ti or just steel?