If you subscribe to the ‘Steel is Real’ mantra and appreciate a little design flourish on your bicycle, Vendetta Cycles could be for you. Builders Conor Buescher and Garrett Clark hand polishes the lugs and shapes them into true works of art, giving an already custom made frame that little something special to set it apart from any other build they’ve done.
BIKERUMOR: What have you been working on since NAHBS last year?
CONOR: At Vendetta, we’ve been doing pretty much the same thing that we have always done – beautiful and functional lugged steel frames. All of our bicycles are custom, and we tune every bicycle for the specific customer, so our ‘model year’ only lasts for one bike! That being said we have been doing some exciting stuff this year, including race winning track bikes, and a city bike with extensive lug carving and a slick and functional design. Of course, as you would expect, we’ve also been spending a lot of time polishing stainless steel lugs.
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds?
CONOR: All our stuff is killer! Seriously, we’ve done some really cool road bikes that continue to demonstrate how we can come through on both design and functionality. Although we are known for exquisite detailing like polished lugs, custom-mixed paint colors, and a holistic design, our bikes get ridden a lot, and the owners rave about the stability, handling, and ride. One unique thing we’ve started doing more of this year is the selection of contrasting primer colors on bikes with polished lugs – check out the red primer “pinstripe” around the polished lugs on “Black Fire.” (directly above) Another distinctive feature is that we pin all of frames. These pins, while small, are visible on polished bikes and normally we use 1/16” stainless steel rod as a pinning medium. We have, however, used 1/8” diameter brass to really showcase the pin. This provides an interesting aesthetic to a functional technique.
BIKERUMOR: Did you see anything last year that’s inspired you?
CONOR: The quality of the finish work at the show gets better every year. Each time we get back to the shop, we know we really have to put out something very special. What really inspires us are the bikes at the show that are actually meant to be ridden. For this reason, we don’t build “show” bikes. All of our stuff, including this year, is built with a person and a purpose in mind, which is why our customers love both looking at AND riding their bikes.
BIKERUMOR: Can you give us a teaser of what you’re bringing to NAHBS 2012?
CONOR: We’re bringing our interpretation of a city bike this year (red one shown at top and throughout this post). It has all of the functionality you expect from a city bike, including an internally geared hub, generator lights, fenders, and a custom stainless steel rack, but it isn’t clunky or cluttered in design like some city bikes. Of course, it also has numerous details that you don’t notice at first glance, from extensive lug carving to hand painted pinstripes to a one-off disc brake caliper mount. Check out the full gallery here.
BIKERUMOR: If you had to race all the other builders, who would you want to inch out for the win right at the line?
CONOR: We don’t see framebuilding as a competitive sport but if there was one person that I wouldn’t mind edging at the line it would Don Walker at the Velodrome in a match sprint.