Walk by Don Walker’s impressive booth at the 2013 NAHBS show, and it’s clear to see that he’s a builder with a dialed aesthetic. All of his bikes are clean and classic, but still maintain a sense of raciness; his bikes look like they want to go fast.
Though previously based in Indiana, Don made the move to Louisville, Kentucky one and a half years ago, and it produced some surprising changes to his business.
“When I went to Louisville, a friend who raced on my road team convinced me to go to a local cyclocross race, and it wound up being literally the most fun I’ve ever had at a bike race in my entire life.”
Best known for his track frames in the past, the experience inspired Don to sponsor a local cyclocross team. “I went from building one or two cyclocross frames in my entire career to building eighteen to twenty frames in a single season.”
Looking at the representations in his booth, it’s easy to see why those in the Louisville team would want to race on a rig made by Don. The black and gold colors, inspired by his love for the San Francisco Giants, is a striking compliment to the craftsmanship. One can find both single speed and geared bikes on display, as well as examples of his road, track, and mountain bike offerings. Sponsored by Shimano, he uses their components on his team frames whenever possible, but can customize his bikes to any customer specification.
And what’s next for Don Walker? “In the future, I would like to have more local activity around my bikes. I’m hoping the team will expand through word of mouth, and that I’ll become a larger part of the cycling community in Louisville.”