Since LocoMachine and Stijl Cycles will be bunking together at NAHBS this year, it made sense to group them together here. Hinmaton Hisler talks about emerging trends in the small builder industry, going deep with titanium, and branching out after the jump.
Hinmaton Hisler: I think this year is really the dawn of a new type of builder. Frame builders that are diversifying into other product genres: Tooling, Components, other modes of transportation. (IE: Groovy and what Rody is bringing with his frame jig and his other components.)
I am not saying that this is a new thing, many of these builders and the builders that came before have meddled in these same genres, but it seems as if this behavior is becoming more mainstream and generally accepted within the field. The lines have been blurred and now they are coming back into focus with this new type of builder.
BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?
Stijl Cycles: Right now, Stainless and Ti are where I want to put my focus.
LocoMachine: Titanium makes up the largest group, but everything I offer in Ti, I offer in Steel and Stainless.
BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?
Stijl Cycles: Breaking into Stainless and Titanium materials has been the largest change for Stijl.
LocoMachine: Last Year, I had made my first step into the world of machining Titanium, and now I have really hit my stride.
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time?
Stijl Cycles: The XCr “breakaway” frame still stands out as the biggest leap for Stijl Cycles.
LocoMachine: I broke into coping fixtures recently upon the request of a client, and I really liked the results. Expect more to come.
BIKERUMOR: What were some of your newer inspirations for recent bikes?
Stijl Cycles: I typically work with my clients to arrive at a final design and allow the process to be the spark for the inspiration, but recently I have been enjoying a synthesis of design happening between Loco and Stijl, each one feeding the other.
LocoMachine: it’s been great to have an in-house design sounding board as well as being aware of and responding to the market.
BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?
Both: I think some of the R56 style dropouts are going to be crowd pleaser this year, I’m hoping to complete a prototype frame using them for the show.
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?
Stijl Cycles: I would build a thru-axle Ti 29+ hardtail frame with drop bars, a huge track style chainring up front and a Nuvinci 360 hub in the rear, belt drive. Because it’s a horse of a bike.
BIKERUMOR: Bourbon or beer?
Me: I prefer Whiskey