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Getting a new bike is a lot like getting a new suit.
Handmade bicycle builders in Brooklyn say that before constructing a two-wheeler for a customer they take full body measurements of the person to make sure that the bicycle is a perfect fit for the rider’s body.
“It’s fully custom so the smallest detail is specific to that person,” said frame builder Benjamin Peck of Fort Greene’s Benjamin’s Cycles, adding that a factory-made bicycle cannot accommodate riders who might have longer legs and shorter torsos or the other way around.
“A custom built bike can accommodate them.”
Peck’s hand-built bicycles, which are all engraved with his signature, start at frames for $900 and the prices only go up from there when choosing the wheels and bike components like the handlebars, seating, and other customized add-ons.
“There’s a high attention to detail. The bike isn’t worked on in an assembly line through five different people – it’s worked on by one person and that one person builds it from start to finish,” said Peck, who specializes in all-steel custom bikes that cater to the city commuter.
Peck recently teamed up with David Perry, owner of Manhattan’s Bike Works NYC and a former US National team cyclist, and Harry Schwartzman, founder of the Brooklyn Bike Jumble, to create the upcoming inaugural Bike Cult Show — a two-wheeled version of an auto show that will only feature handmade rides.
Nearly 20 independent bikesmiths who hand-build one-of-a-kind bicycles will converge at the Warsaw in Greenpoint at the end of the month for the two-day festival on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 that will spotlight the intricate two-wheeled creations from masterful bike crafters across the northeast.
Bike craftsman Thomas Callahan of Williamsburg’s Horse Cycles, whose two-wheelers will also be featured in the show, said that he specializes vintage-looking bicycles made with classic materials and high performance bicycles using newer materials like carbon fiber.
Callahan said that in order to create the two distinct looks he uses different methods of bike frame welding – tungsten inert gas welding for the high performance bike and gas welding for the classic-looking bike.
“Gas-welding is specifically for that hand carved ornate style,” he said. “You can’t get the kind of quality and workmanship details with the TIG welding when you’re gas welding.”
Callahan’s two-wheeled hand-built bikes start at $1,800 for a frame and fork.
Other Brookyn-based bike craftsman who will be showing off their creations at the bike show include Johnny Coast of Coast Cycles, Seth Rosko of Rosko Cycles, Lance Mercado of Squarebuilt, and Jack Wolf of Ceremony Bikes.
Peck said that festival attendees will get to feast their eyes on “the most beautiful handcrafted bikes in America that are all custom-crafted down to the best you can get.”
Bike Cult Show at Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave. between Eckford and Leonard streets in Greenpoint, www.bikecultshow.com). Aug. 30, noon–9 pm, Aug. 31, 10 am–4 pm, $10 per day, $15 two-day entry, free for children under 14.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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