If you were to hack your way eastward through the Mordor-like city of Lynn, Massachusetts, you would find yourself in Nahant — a small, idyllic town that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean like the fleshy growth on an angler fish’s head. In Nahant you would find a small house with a large “Bullitt Edition” Ford Mustang parked outside. Inside that house you would find a man (who looks an awful lot like French actor Vincent Cassel) hunched at a computer, banging out bicycle frame designs. That man would be Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli. This is his pre-NAHBS interview…consider yourself warned.
11 NAHBS-Related Questions:
BR: Are your plans for NAHBS a secret, or can you tell us a little bit about what you’re showing?
CG: I don’t do well with secrets. I’ll have one bike there- a di2 specific Corsa with internal wiring and a custom battery mount on the ISP. It’ll be equipped with the normal go fast shit- 3t stem and a bar, a Concor saddle in case Lance wants to buy it as a retirement present for himself, and some super secret high-five wheels built by the incomparable Justin Spinelli of Luxe Wheelworks.
BR: What about the booth, anything extra-special-crazy in the booth department?
CG: Of course- I’m going for a whole under-employed, overly pickled working class Euro theme. Not only will i be wearing dress shoes with jeans and some horrible windbreaker that says “official club supporters schaerbeek mattress fabrique”, but i’ve also invested all my 2010 profits in a $35 fridge from 1948. It’ll be full of contra-band half liter cans of Jupiler beer- Jupiler is Flemish for “wife beater” I think. In accordance with NAHBS rules, this beer is for display purposes only. Plus, the sketchy guy named Dirk who shipped that shit to me charged me like, 4 Euros a can, so you’re not getting one unless you buy a bike. I’ll also have a woman in a sweater dress, an amazing piece of art created by Jeff Huckleberry that plays with conepts important to Gaulzetti Cicli- so, mostly skulls and shit, and Spinelli. Hopefully he’ll have brought his TV tray and his knucklebuster.
BR: What do you see as the hot trend at NAHBS this year?
CG: I don’t know- I build race bikes. I’m pretty oblivious to anything else. As long as it’s not mountain bikes you could never actually ride in the mountains, or bikes that cost more than my car that use BMX bottom bracket shells I’m cool with it. I hope there’s an actual working flame-thrower this year though.
BR: What is the lamest frame building trend ever?
CG: Being so ahead of the curve that certain task that should be easy get a bit more challenging. I’m so next level, I’m like a time machine. I’m using industry standards from the future. But really, why won’t my good god fearing friends at park make me and all my chums a PF30 bottom bracket reamer? No big deal though, I just used Spinelli’s teeth.
BR: What is the most challenging or horrible thing you’ve had to do as a frame builder?
CG: This is off the record right? I once built a rain bike. It took fenders and everything. Man-the only reasons anyone should ever ride in the rain is because a) you’ve had your license to operate a motor vehicle suspended by the state. b) you’re in a bike race in which case you’re not allowed to use fenders anyway. c) you’re from Portland- in which case my main problem is with your neck beard- not your bicycle. Here’s the deal- I don’t build bikes for transportation- I build bikes for racing. If you need to train when it’s pissing rain- buy a trainer or one of those cheap charter flights to Mallorca.
BR: What is your favorite type of bike to build?
CG: I only build one kind of bike. So that one.
BR: As a frame builder is there anything you absolutely will not do? Like a not-without-a-gun-to-my-head type thing?
CG: There’re a lot of things I won’t do. I will not compromise my design. I honestly believe that a racing bicycle is the most comfortable, efficient and enjoyable way in which to ride on all road conditions. It requires a limited degree of fitness and skill to be be sure, but no more than most activities and a hell of a lot less than most sports. I believe almost anyone can ride a race bike in a race bike position. Thousands of geriatric Italian gummers prove it everyday. I know what I know- and it’s designing a decent race bike. If you want something else, I can refer you to someone who gets what I really don’t.
BR: Sum up your entire bicycle building philosophy in one word or less. Kidding. How about three words?
BR: If you weren’t building bikes, what would you be doing?
CG: Blow. Just kidding- I’d be selling them, riding them, dicking with them or otherwise engaged with the industry and the sport in some way. Short of writing, bikes are my only skillset that I actually am sorta kinda decent at.
BR: Who is your bike-building idol? Who do you look up to?
CG: Idol? I’m not too into idolatry, but the guys I most respect in this industry are the guys who stick to their principles and their methods and keep on doing the best job they can. Obviously Richard Sachs is probably my biggest influence in this regard and has been an awesome friend and sounding board and confidant through this whole adventure. Mike Zanconato and Don Ferris are two other industry guys who I greatly respect and admire. I also have a man-crush on any number of Euro builders who at the other extreme- know bike building is a business and design is key- the happiest day of Ugo and Ernesto’s lives was probably the day they had enough money to hire some guy to do the actual shit work of building the bikes….so they could focus on the design and the business.
BR: This one is important. Of the people showing at NAHBS, who is the last frame builder you would ever want to fight? Like physically.
CG: There aren’t really a lot of people I wouldn’t fight. I support my local fist fight at all levels. But I guess if you are asking, who could kick the living shit out of me? I’d probably say just about everyone there except Sacha. (just kidding dude.)
For more disinformation and dat-information visit Gaulzetti Cicli’s website.