The exciting thing about covering new builders is seeing patterns between them and current, established builders and not knowing exactly what they will turn into as they mature.
Ontarian and new builder Patrick Gauci of Patrick Cycle Works is one of a group of builders that started their careers in aerospace before trying their hands at frame building. Patrick works as an Aircraft Structures Mechanic by day, and builds frames by night. Still at the stage where he is building for friends and family, Patrick has acknowledged that he’s learned a lot over his short career as a builder. He is enthusiastic, however, that he’s found a way to explore his passion of cycling in a deeper way…
BIKERUMOR: Why did you first decide to build your first bike? Who did you build it for?
PATRICK: I decided to build my first frame/fork for myself. I wanted to ride something that was truly mine, not something I only owned, but something that 100% belonged to me. It was always something I had thought about, and when I had the opportunity, I couldn’t pass the chance up. I built myself a track frame/fork that has almost permanently resided on display in my shop, instead of on a track.
BIKERUMOR: What is your origin story? How did your company get its start?
PATRICK: Patrick Cycle Works started immediately after my first frame, and I realized I had just started a very expensive hobby… all of my frames to date have been for friends, fellow workers, or people I ride with. I build out of my garage, which is an incredible shop. It gives me access to my work at any time I need it. I have always wondered why there are almost no North American frame builders who have frames at comparative prices to on-the-shelf steel frames. After building them, I now know it is because of the outrageous amount of time, labour, and skill involved. Patrick Cycle Works is alive because I am able to make frames for an affordable price, and give people their dream frame for a price comparable to store-bought frames. My day job lets me build frames out of passion, instead of out of a need for income. Being an Aircraft Structures Technician, my knowledge and skill is transferred as much to my frames as it is to the plane you flew to NAHBS in.
BIKERUMOR: What got you excited about building bikes when you first started out?
PATRICK: I have had a life-long passion for cycling, and an equally life-long passion for working with my hands. In my eyes, building frames was the only way I could enjoy cycling more, or even enjoy something more than cycling itself.
BIKERUMOR: How has your style changed from your first year? Are you still building what you initially set out to build?
PATRICK: I think that my style has remained essentially the same. I am still only in my second year of building, and may have minimal experience under my belt, but my style is still the same as it always has been. Simplicity over everything. There is nothing more elegant than a smooth lined, simple frameset. I think many people concentrate on too many aspects and they forget how beautiful a simple, strong, fillet brazed frame really is. I think for now my style will remain similar for a long time; a simple, attainable, high-quality product.
BIKERUMOR: What’s the cool thing you’re bringing to the show this year?
PATRICK: This year is my first time coming to NAHBS. What I am bringing is going to be a simple, versatile, sleeper of a road bike. In a market saturated with almost unattainable prices—not only for custom framesets but for components too—I want to bring an attainable, performance driven bike, that is affordable for bike shop employees.
BIKERUMOR: What advice would you give someone wanting to do what you do?
PATRICK: They have to have an absolute love for cycling, and for the craft of frame building. The beginning is tough if you don’t have the shop space, or tooling in order to punch framesets out quickly. The love is what gets you to spend the outrageous amount of time—that you don’t have—working on framesets and leaving your shop excited to go back every day.