Framebuilder-Supply-dudes

Tony Tapay and Mike Cobb are launching a new distribution company called Framebuilder Supply. In Portland, Oregon, naturally. The two have combined experience of more than 35 years in the bicycle industry, and are looking to use that to help Portland’s huge custom bike scene as well as custom builders around the world.

Many of today’s large companies and distributors of bike parts got their start just like Tapay and Cobb, seeing a small need and moving to fill it. Small custom builders, with their small orders, are not the most profitable customers, so the bigger guys have often stopped carrying these needed parts and that opens the door for another new player.

To get off on the right roads, they are throwing a party. Details inside…

Last year, Framebuilder Supply secured distributorship of Columbus tubing. Columbus joins other products on Framebuilder Supply’s website: brazing and welding products from Gasflux, Harris Products, and Weld Mold; abrasives from 3M; lugs and fork crowns from Allotec; as well as proprietary items unique to Framebuilder Supply.

“One of the things we’re excited to build upon is the success of our own products,” said Cobb. “We designed and built a mounting bracket for a tail light from Supernova, a high-end German bike light company, and it’s been really popular. Portland builders and specialty bike shops have been great at pointing out industry blind spots. Removing these barriers is part of our mission.”

Tony Tapay is an Industrial designer, working with  the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Art Museum, and he has also been a teacher at the United Bicycle Institute. Mike Cobb has a wide range of experience in the industry including working with Rivendell, Xtracycle, Yuba, Metrofiets, Ruckus, and TiCycles.

“Now that we’ve got Columbus on board,” said Cobb, “we’re excited to show builders what we’ve got. Portland has the highest concentration of professional custom bicycle frame builders in the country and arguably the world. Builders were ordering most of their materials from out-of-state and those shipping costs added up. We wanted to change that.” Framebuilder Supply co-founder Tony Tapay added “We
realized that being in the same town as some of the country’s most influential builders would provide us with a great focus group, and that would help us serve builders everywhere.”

If you are in the Portland area, the launch party will be at the Velo Cult Bike Shop on Wednesday, February 18th at 7pm.

FramebuilderSupply.com

 

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Tom
Tom
7 years ago

Very cool idea. Done right, it could help make Portland an even better hub of custom goodness.

chasejj
chasejj
7 years ago

More relevance if it was a contract supplier producing Carbon Fiber.
There will always be a market for steel but it will forever be the backbencher now for the masses of cycling purchases.
I don’t understand how supplying micro shops with random frame parts is going to be profitable. Kind of defeats the purpose of truly custom purchasers looking to pose at the coffee shop with their jewel like bike with the name nobody has ever heard of.

jm
jm
7 years ago

@chasejj having a bad day there? Your negativity oozes and makes me feel gross.

Devin
7 years ago

Yeah, because two dudes can definitely compete with companies like Rockwest or Dragonplate. There is zero money in making carbon fiber tubing specifically for the bike industry, especially when you’ve got two guys doing everything. Even supplying things like raw carbon or pre-preg would be a losing battle against bigger companies that buy and resell that stuff in large quantities.

Nice move you two, best of luck.

Scotty
Scotty
7 years ago

Small time builders have always gone to Nova Cycle Supply in Auburn, California. They have been around longer than those two have been in the bicycle business combined, 1977. Plus they got a better selection of parts.

Derek Larsen
Derek Larsen
7 years ago

It would be nice to see some competition for Nova. They don’t really carry a lot of the swankier bits you see on those NAHBS bikes.

Beef Lake
Beef Lake
7 years ago

Their website looks like it’s a good decade ahead of those of most other tubing suppliers, so good on them. They could do well if they get more inventory.

Andy Newlands
7 years ago

If you are looking for Reynolds tubing, SILVA tools, mitre cutters produced in Portland since 1971, check out Torch and File. Did I mention lug vises, Strawberry designed (Long Shen cast) double plate fork crowns and other framebuilding supplies? One guy, two dogs since 1971. A bit underground, old fashioned and purely without social media. Oh well. Cheers, Andy

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
7 years ago

Too much west coast concentration of suppliers.

Too many suppliers selling only part of what builders need.

This doesn’t improve things, unless you use Columbus tubes, are in Portland, and need tubes today.