This fall I hosted a 4.5 day meeting with some other bicycle framebuilders. I have been at this for a while and know it's a tough gig. There is a ton to learn and early in a builder's career is the toughest time, as they need to build and buy lots of tooling, figure out systems, develop customer relationships, run a business, and of course make really nice bikes in a time-efficient manner. The paycheck can be low, stress can be high.... So my goal here was to invite some folks who are pro builders, but a bit earlier in their career so that I can share some of the things I've learned along the way as a way to help them get better and more efficient faster. I want them to keep making their great bikes and get paid a decent wage doing it. To stay in their chosen career and be successful. I thought it would also be a great way for them to meet each other and continue being resources for one another. So for several days we did just that, along with some bike riding and coffee talk. It was great to get to know these fine folks better. Each is a talented and creative craftsperson, as well as just a great human!
Read Chris's article and see more photos over at The Radavist: https://theradavist.com/caletti-cycles-framebuilding-summit/
During our time we built 2 gravel frames together, which are available for sale in the Caletti web store, with proceeds going to fund a scholarship to the next builder summit. It was a blast and I'm so glad to know each of these builders better!
The builders participating were:
B Vivit, from Portland, OR. She makes bikes under her own brand Hot Salad, as well as does contract building for a number of small brands with her business partner under the name Lunchtime Bikes.
Nick Jensen from Reno, NV, builder of Manzanita bikes.
Will Bender from Fort Collins, CO. His brand is Bender Bicycle Co.
Chris Blandford from Portland, OR. He was working at Simple Bicycle Co., and is now building on the side.
My employee Zach Weiss was here as well, and he is making some bikes under his own brand Zabrina.