It’s time again for our Road to NAHBS series, your annual primer for what’s to come at North America’s largest showcase of handmade frame builders and some of their biggest, boldest creations from the past 12 months. Of course, we’ll have all the coverage from every booth right here in just a few short weeks, but if you can make it to Louisville, KY (and maybe ride in a cave while you’re there), nothing beats seeing these two-wheeled works of art in person. Now, without further ado, here’s our first participant for 2015: Bilenky Cycle Works!
Now armed with new machinery purchased this past year from the Serotta factory, Bilenky brings to NAHBS 2015 a diverse range of genres and interesting technologies in builds featuring the level of deep thematic detail we have come to expect from the builder. Here’s a little taste…
BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?
BILENKY: We build a fairly even mix of steel and titanium these days.
BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?
BILENKY: Since NAHBS last year, a lot has changed here. We’ve acquired a large portion of the machines and fixtures from the closed Serotta Manufacturing facility, including a FENN F4 swaging machine that allows us to swage (taper) our own titanium chainstays, seat stays, and main tubes. We also pulled off the 9th successful Junk Yard Cyclocross race, which paves the way for next year’s 10th anniversary blow out and moved the Philly Bike Expo to a larger hall in the Pennsylvania convention center for it’s most successful year yet.
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time?
BILENKY: We’re always up to some kind of funny business here and this year is no different. One day we’re building elaborate tandems, and the next it’s sleek track bikes. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
BIKERUMOR: What were some of your newer inspirations for recent bikes?
BILENKY: We were referred to by one industry media outlet as “retro-futurists” recently and that really struck a chord. We’ve been pushing ourselves to continue integrating the most modern and cutting edge components with a timeless and elegant design to really take our customers back to the future.
BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?
BILENKY: We’re bringing more than we should as usual, but one that we’re really excited about it our Shimano STEPS project. We’re pulling out all of the stops to marry Shimano’s new electric assist components with one of our true loves… picking up junk on the side of the road you can’t carry with any old bike.
BIKERUMOR: If you had to build a bike for a Kentucky Derby style race (think short, all out effort on deep, loose dirt), what would you build and why?
BILENKY: Our Titanium Gravel grinder sounds like it would do the trick quite nicely.
BIKERUMOR: Bourbon or beer?
BILENKY: Well, we’ve been petitioning the city to change the street name on our block from North 2nd street to Bourbon street… we aren’t getting anywhere yet, but we’ll keep you posted.