Builder-on-Builder (BoB) interviews are designed for builders to question other builders on the topics they find most relevant and interesting.
I first met Megan Dean of Moth Attack at 2011 NAHBS in Austin. The Koichi Yamaguchi trained frame builder and former bike messenger was the only woman builder representing that year, arms crossed at her new builder table with a real deal velodrome track bike and a furrowed brow. It was day three of the show and Megan was clearly tired and less than stoked to be there. She had the face of someone who had spent the past 50 or so hours trapped on display, having people point out her gender to her, as any woman who has ever been that unicorn at a frame building show has experienced.
I, however, could not have been more stoked to have her there. In fact, I would have called her the most exciting thing I saw at the show that year. See, Megan Dean represented, and continues to represent, the latest incarnation of badass women to join the craft. She knows her shit. She has high standards for her work. And, close to my heart, she’s a passionate track nerd who loves a bonkers paint job.
Questions by Eric Baar of Ground Up Speed Shop. Introduction by Anna Schwinn.
ERIC: What is your favorite racing number?
MEGAN: 22. My age when I started working as a courier with that number.
ERIC: Where do you find your inspiration?
MEGAN: I just want to do cool shit with cool people and hopefully we all get to ride some fun bikes. I have friends making rad stuff, I have customers who want rad stuff, and I get to make bikes I like. Hard to be anything but stoked most days.
ERIC: Bears or wolves?
MEGAN: This is the hardest to answer. Bears. But not by much and only a little skewed because it’s been a summer of bears for me.
ERIC: What was your last tattoo and why?
MEGAN: My most recent tattoo was a friend tattoo with 5 other people. It’s mis-quoted hardcore lyrics and straightedge. There wasn’t much why beyond being funny honestly. The last serious tattoo I started was a tortoise and joshua tree because they’re both cool as fuck and I’ll always be a desert rat.
ERIC: Hand tingles or tinnitus?
MEGAN: Hand tingles.
ERIC: What’s your preferred tire/wheel size?
MEGAN: 700 x 28c
ERIC: What is your favorite color / team paint job?
MEGAN: Elaborate. I love the paint on our team bikes. I never would have tried to mix 4 colors and a pattern in to one bike, but that’s why I have Black Magic. My team bike is the nicest thing I own by a long shot and mostly because that paint is next level.
I have a closet full of black, though. And primarily black bikes. One with black decals. But I’m also a sucker for having every anodized bit on my road bike in purple down to the cable crimps.
ERIC: Steel tubes… Traditional, oversize, super oversize, or shaped?/ Bending for the sake of bending, or only bent as needed?
MEGAN: Whatever is right for the build of course, but leave it to me, it’d all be super-oversized track frames. Bending only when needed. It’s definitely not my steeze to make tubes swoopy.
ERIC: Would you rather travel to Europe watch a UCI World Cup Keirin or to a Japanese Keirin?
MEGAN: I really like sports gambling, so Japan wins. No contest.
ERIC: Frame building is transcendental when it has a soundtrack. I know that zone well. What takes you there?
MEGAN: Best for general shop time: podcasts or audiobooks (current jams: The Nerdist and Harry Potter)
Best for brazing: Explosions in the Sky and Chelsea Wolfe
Best for being tired but needing to work: Gorilla Biscuit’s Start Today
Tune in Monday for Megan Dean’s questions for Erik Noren of Peacock Groove.