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Race To NAHBS! ADHD Interview: 11 NAHBS-Related Questions For Winter Bicycles

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In today’s installment of our critically acclaimed (made up) series: Race to NAHBS! We visit with Eric Estlund of Oregon-based Winter Bicycles. Eric had some very deep and honest answers for us.

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?
EE: No secrets- I’m bringing customer bikes with a pretty good cross section of my “typical” builds. Road, cross, city and what I like to call “high performance, non racing” bicycles. I’ve been holding back some photos, but I’m not building anything specifically for the show.

BR: What about the booth, anything extra-special-crazy in the booth department?
EE: I am going with a pretty bare-bones set up this year. I want the bikes to be seen on their own merit.

BR: What do you see as the hot trend at NAHBS this year?
EE: I have had my head down at the bench. I haven’t really been keeping tabs on the trends.

BR: What is the lamest frame building trend ever?
EE: For small builders? Probably trying to chase the big guys with new (and soon to be outdated) tech. Some folks do a great job of integrating, but some folks get lost in the whiz bang. For the big guys- the plethora of BB “standards”.

BR: What is the most challenging or horrible thing you’ve had to do as a frame builder.
EE: I’ve been pretty lucky to have a great client base thats asks for fun projects. I think the biggest challenge is in the work itself. Pushing for the unattainable.

BR: What is your favorite type of bike to build?
EE: I really enjoy track bikes for their deceptively challenging simplicity. I have also really been enjoying the string of performance based every-day bikes I have been working on. Performance based bikes with utility based practical features.

BR: As a frame builder is there anything you absolutely will not to? Like a not-without-a-gun-to-my-head type thing?
EE: I won’t build something I think is unsafe or has to many compromises for it’s intended use. I enjoy oddball projects from time to time, but I need to feel good about it at the end of the day.

BR: Sum up your entire bicycle building philosophy in one word or less. Kidding. How about three words?
EE: Rider specific design

BR: If you weren’t building bikes, what would you be doing?
EE: I used to teach art and outdoor experiential education. I really enjoyed working with youth and would have mostly likely continued with that.

BR: Who is your bike-building idol? Who do you look up to?
EE: No idols, but there are definitely guys I look up to. Jeff Lyon, for one. Jeff has been knocking out great work for as long as anyone and seems to still be on the periphery of the frame building spotlight. There you go Jeff, one more potential search engine hit for you. I really appreciate the whole crop of guys that are putting in the time with their heads down and consistently turning out great bikes for their customers, day in and day out.

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.
EE: I’m a lover, man. To fight is to lose.

For more info check out Winter Bicycles’ website.
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