No love for Minnesota. Maybe it’s because we’re too cold. Maybe our pro sports teams aren’t particularly good. Maybe it’s our Scandinavian stoicism. Whatever the case, we get no love when it comes to judging the bike-friendliness of various cities throughout the country. Though I’m hearing rumors that Bicycling is calling us the best, finally.
Anyway, I’ve noticed that Minnesota custom frame builders don’t get a lot of love out there, and we’ve got some great people doing amazing work. So here’s the current list, which I update semi-regularly — if I’ve missed anyone or anyone else joins the fray, let me know and I’ll add them to this list.
- Northern Frameworks. A collaboration between the Angry Catfish bike shop and Alex Cook (formerly of A-Train Cycles, see below). Producing TIG-welded steel bikes.
- A-Train Cycles. Semi-defunct. Alex is finishing out his queue.
- Paul Wyganowski. Website is in-progress. A student of Tim Paterek; also my instructor. Builds very straight, very durable frames. Focuses primarily on recumbents and tandems.
- Vincent Dominguez. The guy that introduced me to Paul, a fellow Mac geek, and all-around good guy. An absolute perfectionist, he will not skimp on any part of a frame.
- Peacock Groove. Mister Ideas. One of the most creative guys in framebuilding and by no means a conservative.
- Curt Goodrich. Curt previously built frames for Rivendell. Haven’t really looked at his stuff up-close and in-person, but his paint work is without peer.
- Anderson Custom Bicycles. Dave produces some nice stuff — his site shows a very modern-looking frame with carbon stays, but then further down shows beautiful lugged steel work. I’ve gleaned more knowledge from Dave in one 30 minute conversation than I have from many other builders.
- Bob Brown. He’s been at this for awhile now, too. Very classic-looking bikes.
- Chris Kvale. I’ve always admired Chris’s work — he creates very classic steel frames. From the gallery, it appears to be primarily lugged work. This is one of the guys I’d like to interrogate someday.
- Appleman. Matt builds custom carbon frames and shares space with Peacock Groove and Vincent Dominguez. I’ve seen one of his frames close-up and am floored by the quality of the work. I hope to get a chance to test-ride one someday.
- Wildebeest Bicycles. I don’t know who the individual is, but from the photos, they make some pretty bikes.
- Prairie Crow. Alex took Wyganowski’s class after I did. He’s set up shop in the Seward neighborhood near where Peacock Groove is. I haven’t met Alex in-person yet, but I’m sure that’ll happen at some point.
- Vorpal. Anyone know anything about this guy/gal?
- Black Ship Cycles. I’m sure they produce functional bikes, but the weld aesthetics and the finishing work on the seatstays and chainstays leave me cold.
- Pallas Athena. Quit.
- Three Stars Cycles. Quit.
- Terry Osell. Retired.
- Capricorn. Relocated.
- Evershed Cycles. Quit.