Touring bike frame builders located in the San Francisco Bay Area?
March 10, 2014 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to buy a custom touring bike and I'd really like to buy locally. Can can anyone recommend any frame fabricators in the immediate San Francisco Bay Area that make really great/beautiful touring frames? Some builders that do work outside of SF that I really love are Vanilla, Geekhouse, Breadwinner, Icarus, All-City, Map, Cycles d’Autremont. I just love the idea of buying locally and supporting a local frame builder and also would appreciate better being able to contact/visit the builder. thanks!
posted by matt_od to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think Rivendell is in your area.
posted by asperity at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was going to recommend Rivendell. I have an Atlantis and love it, and I think they'll happily build you a full-custom if you want it.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:41 AM on March 10, 2014

I think Rivendell's custom bikes are actually made by Waterford in Wisconsin these days, though I might be wrong about that. That's where their production Atlantises are made, and where my Boulder All Road semi-custom was made.

You might want to join the Internet-BOB group/listserv and ask there.
posted by brianogilvie at 10:48 AM on March 10, 2014

Rivendell doesn't make the frames in the bay area. Either Taiwan, Japan or Wisconsin. Also, it's unlikely the Rivendell guy wants you to pop in for a visit.

Bruce Gordon makes touring bikes in Petaluma and Rick Hunter does down in Watsonville.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 10:51 AM on March 10, 2014

iBob hero JimG has compiled a list of SF Bay Area/NorCal framebuilders. From what I've seen, I personally like the work from Rick Hunter and Steve Rex. Bruce Gordon also has major cyclotouring cred, and his racks are worth a gander at the very least.
posted by lantius at 10:54 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bernie Mikkelsen in Alameda. He's kind of the grandfather of custom bicycle frames.
posted by gyusan at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2014

Response by poster: Yeah looks like Rivendell's customs are currently being built by Mark Nobilette, based in CO.
Thanks for the reco's yall! Keep them coming!
posted by matt_od at 11:05 AM on March 10, 2014

Just wanted to say that even though Riv bikes are not built in the bay area, they have a warehouse here (near the walnut creek bart station) and they LOVE visitors. In fact, the last time I went there with a friend who was picking up some fancy tires, they offered to let us take out some bikes on a ride up to mt. tam. It was pretty exciting for someone who only had ever ridden 100$ craigslist bikes before.
posted by ruhroh at 11:33 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not in the City, but if you are considering being in the Santa Barbara County area for the Amgen ToC you might find something to your liking made by the Lighthouse bike builder.
posted by X4ster at 12:15 PM on March 10, 2014

Vanilla has (or at least as of 2011 had) a five year wait for frame orders. All-City, much like Surly and Salsa, are mostly sourced out of Taiwan.

How long are you willing to wait for a frame to be built? I was pretty close to buying a Low// last year but the wait time was way too long.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 12:56 PM on March 10, 2014

Response by poster: My Low// is named Mathilda. She is pretty and I love her :)
posted by matt_od at 2:18 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: whoops. forgot to link
posted by matt_od at 2:28 PM on March 10, 2014

Hearty recommendation for Steelman Cycles in Redwood City.
posted by komlord at 10:55 PM on March 10, 2014

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