Pedalino NAHBS 2015 Julie

One of the big show highlights for me at NAHBS this year was new builder Julie Ann Pedalino. Remaining exuberant throughout the three day event and rocking blazing pink running shoes, Pedalino represented a unique energy within the context of both the new builder row and the already diverse community of builders within the larger show.

It was fitting that her “Campagnolo Best Build” Honorable Mention show bike, named Sushumna, also radiated with unique energy- despite being painted in understated gloss white. With chakra-themed brass adornments she had hand-cut with a jeweler’s saw and silver brazed onto her beautiful fillet brazed frame, Sushumna represented the culmination of her expertise and practice as an artist and craftswoman and an articulation of her appreciation of her bicycle as a spiritual vehicle. Hear Pedalino discuss her vehicle and process in her own words after the jump.

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 Julie

BIKERUMOR: How did you arrive at becoming a frame builder?

PEDALINO: I started my journey to frame building from a love for cycling. The more miles I put on the bike, the faster I became, and the more I connected to my sense of personal power. Who knew I had an athlete hidden within me all these years? I started to realize that I wanted to incorporate cycling into my artwork in some way, because the sense of effortless confidence and joy I enjoyed while riding bikes was something that I had struggled for years to manifest in my creative life.

In the meantime, I was lucky enough to stumble across Velo+ bike shop. They were apprenticing another woman in the basics of bike mechanics and were looking for someone to replace her after she went off to her next adventure. That someone was me – the more I showed up, the more I learned, and the deeper I fell into the rabbit hole of bike. The owner of Velo+, Vincent Rodriguez, happens to be a frame builder and it was only a matter of time before I started learning the craft. Once I got my hands on the torch, it was a done deal! Bikes are now my artistic medium, and I feel like I’ve finally come home.

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 road headbadge

BIKERUMOR: How was your first NAHBS?

PEDALINO: My first NAHBS was absolutely mind-blowing. I had a feeling that I would get a positive reaction to my work, but I never expected the amount of highly complimentary peer and industry feedback that came my way! It was also beyond awesome to meet so many rad builders, component manufacturers, and fellow bike nerds. What an amazing tribe we have! I’m so honored to be a part of it. Exciting, overwhelming, and humbling in the most wonderful way.

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 road toptube

BIKERUMOR: Why did you choose this bike to build for the show? Why did you choose the symbols on the top tube, chainstay, and head tube of your show bike?

PEDALINO: I chose to show my Sushumna road bike because I feel that it truly represents my voice as an artist and a builder. I believe bikes are magical, and the concept behind the adornments on the frame is to really honor that idea. The brass pieces that are silver brazed along the seat tube, top tube and head tube are symbols for chakras, which represent energetic gates or nodes in the subtle body. Each chakra is associated with a part of the physical body, a mental/emotional state, and a spiritual state and are aligned along the spine on the central channel, or Sushumna. The basic idea to bring the chakras to a state of balance through meditation, breath work, and mindful movement of the body. Isn’t that awfully similar to what we do on a bike?

These ideas lead me to think about cycling as mediation and a kind of personal alchemy. As I rode my own bike and looked at others on bikes, it seemed to me that one could almost plot an imaginary line from each of major chakras to a corresponding place along the frame. Why not get a little bit literal, and turn the bike into a kind of moving mandala or meditation aid? Not only to help along the general path of personal growth, and to make an energetic connection with this thing I spend so much of my life on in such an intimate way, but also hopefully to give me a little boost in the moment during a ride. Speaking for myself, when I’m in the suffer cave and feeling the pain it’s tough to keep a positive mental outlook and say out of the spiral of negative self talk. Perhaps if I look down and see the image of a chakra I can reconnect to my inner strength, keep my attitude positive, and stay on that wheel. What you manifest is before you!

Aside from all that, I really wanted to show a small frame for a small rider with a nice component build that was race ready. Although the industry has been trying to accommodate women, I’m not sure all the progress has been in the right direction. It doesn’t always have to be pastel, pink, or have an exaggerated sloping top tube. Nor does it need to have low end to mid-range build kit. How about a sleek, elegant, classic, and dare I say it, unisex design? With a kick ass group and some stupid fast wheels? And fits well? More of that, please.

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 road seat

BIKERUMOR: Are there other details on your show bike you’d like to touch on?

PEDALINO: Once I settled on the idea of attaching the chakras to the bike I wanted to pull in a few lotus or petal like details into the bike. The seat tube reinforcement lug offered me a great way to do that. I also added the small detail of lotus flowers as water bottle boss reinforcements. Overall, I really strived to keep a clean aesthetic to the bike so that my concept and the details associated with it would not be overpowered.

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 Julie 2

Pedalino Finally Taking A Spin

BIKERUMOR: It must have been hard to stand next to that bike all weekend without having ridden it yet. How was your inaugural ride on that bike after the show?

PEDALINO: It’s been torturous! The bike has been finished for a few months now, and she’s just been sitting there in the shop looking pretty and staying clean. Once and a while I’d get to wheel her around and I’d be like: Damn! This bike just wants to go fast! The inaugural ride was fantastic. Nothing quite beats the feel of steel on the road, so plush! The Campy components performed well also – it was a smooth, silent ride. I felt that when I kicked her into high gear I was riding a stealth bomber – so full of potential energy. I’ll be rolling with the big boys (and girls) in no time!

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 Cyclocross

BIKERUMOR: What other bikes have you built? What is your favorite build so far?

PEDALINO: So far I’ve built four frames. The first two were triple triangle GT style gravel frames. I’ve put about 600 miles on frame No. 2, and boy, after riding my road bike today I feel like I’ve greatly improved as a builder! I just completed the build on my forth frame last week. It’s cross race bike for my boyfriend. The cross bike turned out to be pretty sickening! No fancy concept with that one, just a lean, fast, and kinda flashy race machine with a super bike nerd build kit.

My favorite build is my Sushumna road bike. It’s very special to me and showed amazingly well at NAHBS. Now that I’ve given her a good test ride, I’m even more in love! If I can deliver bikes like that to anyone else, I’d be overjoyed!

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 Cyclocross headtube

BIKERUMOR: You currently build in primarily fillet-brazed steel… do you have plans to branch out to other materials and processes?

PEDALINO: As an artist, I very much enjoy the process of building a fillet-brazed frame. It feels sculptural to me, and I get the opportunity to have a very intimate relationship with the frame as I massage it into (near)perfection. I have my eyes on some stainless steel right now, and eventually I’d like to try my hand and tig and work with titanium. I’m also hoping to do get more involved with bi-lam construction, lug cutting, and custom stems. On top of all that, I really am lusting after a GRS engraving system so I can get my engrave on… I’ve been seeing some engraved components from other craftspeople and I really would love to do my take on that.

Pedalino NAHBS 2015 road dt

BIKERUMOR: If someone gave you a blank check commission for a frameset, what would you build? 

PEDALINO: Yeah, I’d love to do a stainless frame with some intricate bi-lam designs. I’m really inspired by the old masters of jewelry and what they did with line, shape and form. Think art deco and art nouveau. I’ve been fantasizing about adding enamel to my embellishments and badges as well, especially somehow incorporating a basse-taille effect. Also the engraving. I have crazy engraving ideas.

Another thing I’d really love to do is to collaborate with some of the amazing paint talent we’ve got in the custom world. And to have the ability compensate them properly for their time and work! I’d like to see how far we can take the ‘chromovelato’ transparent candy on top of a mirror polished frame idea that I started to explore with the cross bike.

Pedalino_NAHBS_2015_Cyclocross_fillets

BIKERUMOR: What is your big, cool, project on the horizon?

PEDALINO: My next exciting project is going to be my Dirty Kanza race bike. I’m picturing another trip-triang design with a 650b wheelset (drawing inspiration from the rando world). I’m hoping to get a little crazy with some deep custom wheels. And while my show bike was rather restrained and reserved, this one is going to be girly to the max. I’m talking hot pink paint with huge metal flake in it, 3D sculptural metal bows all over the place, custom bar bags with more bows and ruffles… maybe some over the top handlebar streamers? Who knows?? I happen to have a great support team of enablers who will surely encourage all of my wacky ideas. Build like a girl!

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alan
alan
7 years ago

Good luck to her, but 4 frames built? That gets you in to NAHBS?

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

4 frames built and a writeup on Bikerumor? The show is even more ridiculous

lobstersauce
lobstersauce
7 years ago

I had the same thought, only I’m more concerned that she’s trying to sell bikes after having less than a handful of frames to her name.

Mike A
Mike A
7 years ago

@ all above: Better than no story at all eh?
I’d rather read about her and the bikes than nothing at all

mudrock
mudrock
7 years ago

Good luck to her. It highlights how this industry is so male dominated. I can count the female builders on one hand. In fact Anna should do a story featuring the women builders out there.

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
7 years ago

Most builders start selling frames way before they’re ready.

Just don’t buy a frame unless the builder has liability insurance.

Drew Diller
7 years ago

@Mike A – thank you!!

I wish her well. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t get on the job experience and use caution. Sheesh.

Why build *anything* if you don’t have every single facet of possible manufacturing knowledge up front?

Good luck Julie, your work so far is quite good.

carbonfodder
carbonfodder
7 years ago

Props where props are due. She may have “only” built 4 frames, but that is 4 more that the combined total of (I bet) 99.9% or the BR readership. Yeah, she’s new to the game, but appearances state she is a quick study. Keep it up, ignore the naysayers.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Her bikes look well crafted. But as said before, selling after making so few frames is pushing the lines of business ethics. I could see selling some to some very good friends for a very small profit but not being ready to sell over the open market. Nothing against the builder’s actual work, I just think there’s some gained/positive humility that comes from building a bunch of bikes for friends and family first.

Good luck to her, she likely has a great future and maybe I’ll buy one of her bikes after she builds 50 or so.

tianakatana
tianakatana
7 years ago

That’s beautiful. Good work. That head badge is simplistic and amazing.

Matthew R
Matthew R
7 years ago

This was my first NAHBS. I had a lot of misconceptions about “what it’s all about.” One of those was that there was an entire aisle of new framebuilders. This is *exactly* what the NAHBS is about. It’s not just about commercially-viable businesses. More than anything else, it’s about amazing bicycles. And Pedalino’s bicycle is amazing. When I spoke to her, I hadn’t quite figured out that the show isn’t about exclusively commercial businesses. We were laughing about a shirt in the next booth over that said, “DOYOUEVENWELDBRO?”

chasejj
chasejj
7 years ago

mudrock-Why?

I could care less if the frame is by a male or female. But it has to stand the test of interest or innovative in some way beyond silly decorations on the top tube. I wish her luck but this is not worthy of a BR article. BR is pandering to some ridiculous notion that somehow a female building a frame is something more virtuous than the 10 other guys at that show that have something far more innovative and well crafted.
The bicycle version of Affirmative Action. Not necessary. Show me more bamboo.

_okra
_okra
7 years ago

@veganpotter – where does it say she’s trying to sell frames already? and, if she is, anyone can look her up and find this article, where she doesn’t deny that she’s still just starting out. there’s nothing disingenuous about that.

“Nothing against the builder’s actual work, I just think there’s some gained/positive humility that comes from building a bunch of bikes for friends and family first.”

ummm, that’s exactly what she’s doing based on what she stated in the interview. nowhere did she say she was trying to sell anything, and, based on what’s been said of her / by her, i’d assume that she’s the kind of person who would let anyone interested in her frames know that she’s far from an expert at this point in her bike-building life.

@chasejj – i can’t even.

JTrain
JTrain
7 years ago

Wow. The ignorance in some of these comments is unbelievable. What a bunch of a**holes. The bikes look great.

Jimmie
Jimmie
7 years ago

You guys are hysterical with your doubts about selling bikes after only making a few. How in the hell do you think the mountain bike industry started? Do you think mass production started on day one for anyone that was selling bikes? No, she is starting out just like the Ritcheys, Kellys, Bontragers and such did. Good for her.

Cheese
Cheese
7 years ago

Killer finish on that cross frame. I’d like to see it in black.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
7 years ago

That CX bike is about as candy apple as candy apple can get. Beautiful.

Stendhal
Stendhal
7 years ago

She presented at the NAHBS (and won an honorable mention award); why not have a story on her on this site? And with a name like Pedalino, she’s a natural for the job! Personally I thought her bike was interesting and offered a fresh perspective. Rock on Julie.

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

Apparently you have to make 50 frames before you can sell one.

Roy
Roy
7 years ago

To the inexperienced chatter from the peanut gallery, frame building must be some sort of mystery, but it’s not. If the mitres are tight, the brass laid down clean and tight and the frame straight ride it. Jimmy said it, those guys were probably selling their practice pieces,,, to pay for materials to build more better practice frames and so on and that was that. Maybe some of these hysterical comments are because she is a girl with the balls to buy the stuff and do it. Rocket science it aint, but it takes patience and courage to get to work. As much as I am a fan of the art of NAHBS, turning it into science or religion is stupid! Multi week frame builds from supposed masters? Stupid. I once visited Della Santa cycles, that old man is not only a master at frame building, but he is so blunt about so many of the hipster frame ‘stars’. Rolland does not take forever to build a frame, he gets his tools out buys some tubing and gets to work just like Ms. Julie did. Nice to see a new face with an excited and very personal expression to the craft of building HER bicycle frames. What are you guys building ?

tigoat
tigoat
7 years ago

It was nice to see a female builder getting some press time. Bicycle frame building is not a really rocket science so you don’t need years of experience to do it right. Bet that she can probably build a better frame than many experienced builders. Let’s see some more talented female builders! Best of luck Julie!

bent udder
bent udder
7 years ago

Those are some lovely looking bikes – such clean lines. I love the finish and shape of that ‘cross bike, and the detailing is stunning. If these are only Julie Ann’s third and fourth frames, I can’t wait to see what the next few are going to be like. More power to your elbow!

pmurf
pmurf
7 years ago

That cross bike is hot! Gorgeous work all around.

May be I missed something in the article, but it sounds like she’s only building for herself and close peeps at the moment…and yes, 4 frames is plenty to get you into NAHBS. ONE is enough. That’s why it’s called a new builder’s table. Doesn’t undermine the craft, it just means that builder’s timeline is just beginning. When she does start building outside commissions, she’ll likely price accordingly and grow her costs with her portfolio. I have a deposit down on a new builder’s 8th frame (including his own bikes). It was the only way I could afford custom steel. Is is going to emulate a Richard Sachs? No. Is it going to be a fantastic and safe bike? Probably.

nick
nick
7 years ago

She’s just as bad as those d*mn Wright brothers, who started selling airplanes after just building a few!

It’s funny to hear people who probably haven’t done more with their hands than cash a paycheck (or peck at a keyboard) criticize a craftsperson anonymously. Prove ’em all wrong, Julie!

Josh
Josh
7 years ago

I think that frame is beautiful and love the intention of her artistry. Most of what makes us fast is placebo. Inspired art is a better placebo for me than gram shaving and cable hiding. That bike would inspire me to ride every day. Go her.

Loki
Loki
7 years ago

She says she has built four frames, not that that is her total welding experience ! So easy to make assumptions based on false logic.

sascetti
sascetti
7 years ago

I’d rather read about her four frames than a damn Apple watch…

quickgeezer
quickgeezer
7 years ago

Count me with thumbs up! Ridiculous to kvetch, chasejj, because here’s an article about a woman building frames. But hey, thanks for illustrating the rudiments of sexism for us.

Liability insurance? Really? Did you ask about that when you bought a bike, ever?

Her frames pictured are beautiful, and how can BR NOT do a story about somebody named Pedalino?

MikeC
MikeC
7 years ago

It’s great to hear about new builders presenting at NAHBS. There’s always going to be coverage of the “stars” of custom bikes; it’s articles like this about the noobs which are inspirational.

KnowsAThingOr2
KnowsAThingOr2
7 years ago

You guys do know she’s only building for close friend’s now, right? She’s not claiming to have the best bikes or the most skills. She went to NAHBS to showcase what she worked really hard on and to get get feedback and tips from other builders. It’s not a lottery to get into NAHBS like the Leadville 100, you just have to meet the minimum requirements (which are usually x amount of frames and liability insurance) and pay the fee for a booth. Chill people.

Chasejj
Chasejj
7 years ago

Quick geezer-your comment is thick with irony. Running a fluff piece on a rookie frame builder just because she is female is sexism. Just not the version you you were thinking.
It is purely PC run amok.
The facts is that a male building the frames with the little decorations on them would be crucified on this website except by the hopeless utopian rubes on here daily. Same ones touting the superiority of balsa and bamboo as frame material.

That Guy
That Guy
7 years ago

Wow! Most commenters on here must be AMAZING at building frames, and I bet those of you who are butt hurt about Ms. Pedalino’s success obviously have built ’50 frames or more’ by this point.

If I ever met VeganPotter and he started talking smack about 9 speed drivetrains or NAHBS talent, I’d dick punch the hell out of him.

Keep up the good work, new NAHBS builders. Don’t let the dumbass peanut gallery on here affect ya!

MikeC
MikeC
7 years ago

Has BR ever run an article on a new builder from the new builder section of NAHBS? Yes, they have. Is a woman builder news, considering the sausage-fest that is NAHBS, and the bike industry? Yes, she is, especially as runner up for a show “Best of” award.

reverend dick
7 years ago

“hopeless utopian rubes”

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

ThatGuy…I’m not a bike builder but I am a metalsmith with HUNDREDS of hours of brazing experience…brazing small scale objects that are actually more temperature sensitive than a 4lb bike frame. I also know how important full penetration is when it comes to your brazing material. You can’t always tell if this is successful from the surface of a bike. This is something that comes with experience and something everyone screws up from time to time…only less often with experienced builders. That said, I’ve seen a Pegoretti with a cracked headtube, I could see it was a failed braze job. It can happen to anyone but is probably more likely with a beginner. I’ll blame the Pegoretti to a screw up after many hundreds of likely perfect bikes.

briderdt
7 years ago

Good on ya Julie. As a new builder myself (I’ve built for myself, family, and close friends — and yes, my liability insurance is current), there’s always that inner turmoil about “when one is ready to sell”. I’ll be at the Oregon Handmade Bike and Beer Fest this fall (and I’m not even an Oregonian), likely sharing the space with another new builder who lives a little farther north. Is four enough? I say, if those four are sound, then yes. Not that it would warrant a high-end custom price tag. And there’s the possibility that the 4-bike builder doesn’t have the background in bike design. But really, what’s the magic number? Sachs would say it’s in the neighborhood of 200. As if. The opportunities to start at a manufacturer, and then break out on your own from there are somewhere between slim and zero — the industry has changed in the last 25 years.

The Conductor
The Conductor
7 years ago

Don’t think her building is “proven”? Then don’t buy one. Simple.

How “bout all the recalls from the big companies in the past few seasons? Big numbers don’t equal perfection, in some cases.

But please, why all the negativity around here lately?

I was glad to read about her and her bikes. Nice work! Best of luck going forward.

ascar larkinyar
ascar larkinyar
7 years ago

would you get your hair cut by a barber that has only done 4 haircuts?

would you have brain surgery by a surgeon with only 4 operations?

how about investing all your money with a stock broker that has only made 4 investment…

by copying the other experienced builders a new frame builder can rely on their years of work. i have learned to weld and can tell you that experience makes a big big difference.

i fear that her promotion is the same as girl bands. a lot less talented or copying the boys they get instant stardom just for being a “girl”.

Bud
Bud
7 years ago

She also apprenticed with a framebuilder. Just saying, it’s not like she went out and bought a torch and a tubeset with no experience.

Bud
Bud
7 years ago

@ascar, you serious? Oh yeah, those broads just get all the breaks! lol, really? What world are you living in? in the world of cycling too? Dang dude, as somebody who has worked in the industry for over 2 decades, I can attest that women are sorely underrepresented and are absolutely discriminated against. I will also tell you this, there aren’t many cyclists, if any, I know who would drop $2k on a custom steel frame without doing some serious research. I would also say that a lot of men will NOT buy from her based solely on the fact she is a woman.

Drew Diller
7 years ago

@Bud, I had a frame builder rob me of two grand, I had no idea what was happening! He approached me in a dark alley and was like LOOK AT THESE GORGEOUS WELDS, NOW THROW ME YOUR WALLET BEFORE THINGS GET UGLY.

Next time, it could be a woman!

David T
David T
7 years ago

@ascar larkinyar:
“would you get your hair cut by a barber that has only done 4 haircuts?”
Heck yes, why not? If I can ask and see the past 4 haircut clients about their experience and if they’re happy with the result…then I have no problem at all having him/her cut my hair.

This is a steel bicycle frame building, not brain surgery or building 200+ airliner, or investment trading.

Steel bicycle frame building has inherent safety feature built into the process. Do you actually think a new inexperienced builder’s bikes will crumble as soon as people start riding them?

Millions of people are riding junk steel bikes, and there are no rash of cheap steel bikes exploding like you would like to believe.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

If she’s making awesome bikes in a few years, I may be a buyer. Two equal builders for the same money…a man and woman, I’d likely go with the woman every time, mostly because I own a lot of bikes and it would be nice to say for sure, at least one of them was built by a woman. US made carbon Treks are built by women(I used to have one years ago) but its a bit different since you don’t have any connection to them since they aren’t custom bikes. The same goes for plenty of Chinese/Taiwanese frame factories…the carbon layers tend to be women which I think is awesome. I like my high tech bikes but also love custom bikes…someday I’ll have one made by a woman…maybe this woman.

There are tons of women in the manufacturing process of bike production and the general cycling industry. What’s rare is having a face to those parts. This case, or bike painters, mechanics are really only the way to get that.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
7 years ago

Wow. There is a lot of ugliness in this comment section. I wonder on what day chasejj, ascar, and the rest of the misogyny club go bowling together?

The lady in question is a new builder and was in the new builders part of NAHBS. What’s the problem? Oh, that’s right: it’s a lady that’s a new builder. Of course none of the experts, from the self-professed expert metalsmith to the political hack, have examined Julie Ann’s work, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know better!

Carl
Carl
7 years ago

i’ve seen both of these bikes, in person, pre-nahbs, and they’re more than worthy to be there. I’m super proud of her, and her detail with these builds is nothing short of impeccable.

if you haven’t seen it in person, shut your mouth, because she is doing the work you’re scoring from your la-z-boy, and getting the props you wish you could get.

keep it up, julie!

WHBradford
WHBradford
7 years ago

Very nice details on the white bike , the red one is pretty sick too !
Nice work , as a fellow frame builder it’s great to see new female builder’s .

Gillis
Gillis
7 years ago

She’s a beginner but that doesn’t mean she’s barred from criticism.
I don’t care if it’s a man, woman, or child, from the few pictures available, that brazing doesn’t look good to me. There’s too much material. It looks like body filler and not well sculpted. That much brass just adds unnecessary weight and detracts aesthetically.
The little brass pieces are an interesting touch though. I don’t care for the top tube pieces, but I like the badge and seat tube pieces.
I’d be interested to see her 100 frames from now.

Padrote
Padrote
7 years ago

a woman building custom frames is actually more interesting than 75% of the stuff at NAHBS

ascar larkinyar
ascar larkinyar
7 years ago

reality here is that a newby female makes a few nice frames and gets notoriety. the thousand of other male newbies and male experienced builders go unnoticed.

other than being an example to get other females to try building frames, its an exploitation of woman in a male dominated field for no other reason than sexism.

there is no males are better than females here. its just that add a female to the equation and it sells better. females support females and males like females. know psychological fact. sex sells!!!!

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
7 years ago

Keep telling yourself that, ascar. One day you’ll believe it.