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(Long) Road to NAHBS 2020 – Teaser interview w/ Steve of Steve Potts Bicycles

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Our readers love the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and so do we. That’s why we were all saddened to learn of its postponement due to the COVID-19 virus.

What to do? The show has been rescheduled to August, but we still have plenty of great NAHBS content to share with you. We’re going to have our usual series of pre-NAHBS interviews to put the spotlight on a handful of our favorite builders – and will start sharing these stories NOW, when the original show was scheduled to begin. Economic times will be tough for us all, but perhaps even more so for small independent businesses. Thus, we feel it is our duty to help promote these builders, and keep the excitement going all the way to the forthcoming August NAHBS.

Please enjoy this interview with Steve Potts of Steve Potts Bicycles.

Bikerumor.com: What’s your name, your bike brand, and where are you based?

Steve Potts: Steve Potts Bicycles, Etna, California.

Bikerumor.com: How long have you been making bikes? How’d you get into it?

Steve: Professionally, 40 years. I got into bikes as a young kid. I lived at the base of Mount Tamalpais and it became a great place for me as a kid for adventure, a place where my imagination was stimulated about the stories of the past, the native Indians, the pioneers, the railroad, the old buildings and camps on the mountain and the freedom of being able to travel as a little kid to discover new things, I was totally into finding new creeks, waterfalls, a new place to fish or camp out. The bicycle pretty much gave me the freedom to do that . Not many people had that much freedom as I was a latch key kid, my Mom passed when I was 8 years old, so I had more freedom than most and the bicycle adventures was really the most constructive outlet I could have had. I never got into the more typical type of trouble, but I did get into some adventure type of trouble, getting lost, or hurt was the type of trouble I got into, but I survived and I maintained my love of cycling through those experiences.

Bikerumor.com: How many frames have you built, and what’s your material of choice? Why that material?

Steve: Approximately 5500 frames. My first bikes were steel ( approximately 3500). I still build some steel,  (great material) but now build mostly in titanium (approximately 2000 plus frames). I like titanium’s strength and corrosion resistance, basically a lifetime bike if built properly! Great ride too!

Bikerumor.com: What’s going to be the highlight in your NAHBS booth this year?

Steve: Showing some new bikes and some new components ! A few surprises for the show too!

Bikerumor.com: What’s your inspiration lately?

Steve: Always trying to make the most functional bike possible, unknown to most I have been making gravel-type bikes for years… and I called them DIA’s (Do It All) bikes. It is great that a lot of people see the versatility in this type of bike… right up my alley!

Bikerumor.com: Any unique questions you use to help customers get a bike that’s really dialed for them?

Steve: I do have an order form and questionnaire that helps people relate to what they are riding, what they like and dislike about their riding position, that has been very helpful in getting people fit properly. Type of riding, level of fitness, what is going on with their body at different times and riding conditions… very helpful info in determining proper fit!

Bikerumor.com: What’s the oddest request you’ve gotten for a custom build?

Steve: I have had a lot of requests over the years, but I do try to forget them asap… too much to think about!

Bikerumor.com: Someone calls you up and says “Can you make me a race bike?” – Describe the first kind of bike that pops in your head?

Steve: What pops into my head is that I will need to have a good conversation with the customer and pay attention to what kind of riding they are really going to be doing. It is important to get a complete picture (as best you can) of what kind of riding or racing they will be doing.

Bikerumor.com: Sum your brand up in one word:

Steve: Clean, well built, functional, no bells and whistles, reliable…

Bikerumor.com: What is your website and Instagram handle?

Steve: Instagram: stevepottsbicycles
Web site: www.stevepottsbicycles.com

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4 years ago

Beautiful work. One of the all-time great fork designs?

Vince B.
Vince B.
3 years ago

Based on a conversation that Steve, Mark and Charlie once had with businessmen from Japan in which they said that it was a bad business model to make bicycles and parts to last a customers lifetime, I would have to suggest that Steve possibly could have used the word “Forever” to sum up his brand.

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