“One at a time, from start to finish”
This is my 20th year building frames and my 6th year attending NAHBS. Thanks to Don we’ve seen a lot of changes in the custom bicycle world and more people than ever are being exposed to custom bicycles. We’ve also seen lots of new builders; some are still around while others have faded away. Watching everything that has been going on made us take a good hard look at what we are and what makes Strong Frames unique.
Loretta and I focus our family business on attention to the individual, incredible customer service and designing and producing top quality bicycles. We start with the customer and work out from there. Our focus on the customer directs our intensive design process which has been developed to produce consistent accurate results working with our customers remotely.
I take the process apart into four main elements and then reduce each of those even further. I believe if we work together to make a lot of small choices starting when your deposit is made we can make the decision process much more comfortable. Not “shelving” your project until your turn allows us to stay engaged so I don’t have to recall or relearn everything we talked about during your purchasing process. Once the design is complete you’ll have an understanding of exactly how your frame design will meet your goals. You’ll have the confidence and knowledge that what you are getting is exactly what you want.
We have a great website (strongframes.com) full of information about what we do and how we do it. There are also a lot of beautiful pictures of our shop, bikes and Framebuilding. We look forward to seeing you in Denver.
2013 will be Strong Frames 20th year. To celebrate we’ll be offering 18 of 20 special 20th Anniversary frames. Loretta and I get the first two:) We will start taking orders just before the show. The frames will be steel road frames and will combine all the elements that over the years I’ve come to favor as a builder and a rider. They will reflect what I’ve learned in terms of tube choices, geometry and many other aspects of the bicycle frame. To make the frames even more special they will feature a limited handmade silver headbadge by artist and cyclist Mike Cherney. Mike has made badges for many well known brands and been a part of the cycling community for many, many years. Attached is an images of the badge in the works.
So why are we moving? Let me give you a little background (you can see the full story here, http://www.strongframes.com/my_story/my_story/). About 14 years ago we had a fairly large business building about 250 Strong Frames a year in addition to Ibis Cycles LLC and several other brands. Our total output was just under 1000 frames a year. What we learned from growing our business is that my place is at the bench, not in the office. I’m not cut out to run a large business with employees; I just want to be alone in the shop building frames. In 2004 we decided to shrink the business back to a one man (and women) frame shop.
In 2001, while still building quite a few frames and employing about a dozen people we built our last location. It’s a custom 7000 square foot mixed use space with shop, office, retail and residential in downtown Bozeman. After we shrunk the business back to a one man (and women) shop we rented our extra space to several businesses and worked out of a small portion of the building. But what we really wanted was a framebuilding studio at home. We dreamed of a small building behind our house among our gardens. We called our dream the “10 Year Plan”. It would be a place providing us with privacy, simplicity and would allow us to build fewer frames so we could ride our bikes and travel more.
A couple of summers ago we finally got the nerve to put our building on the market. We were a little worried because of the soft economy but we finally sold it. As a matter of fact we sold it to another local business in the bicycles industry, http://www.twenty6products.com/. We couldn’t be happier that the building has stayed in the bicycle family.
Our new “Dream Shop” is currently under construction and we hope to be moved in by Christmas. You can see images for the construction progress here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/strongframes
This is Strong Frames Inc. 20th year in business. I’ll be offering a limited edition 20th frame. I’m making only 20 and Loretta and I will be getting the first two. Here is the first. Once it’s complete, I’ll post all the details and open them up for sale. I hope to do so just prior to NAHBS.
We’re done building the new shop and all moved in. Now it’s time to get ready for NAHBS. We’ll be keeping our heads down and working hard to have the limited edition 20th Anniversary frame ready for to show in Denver.