Imperfection is Perfection

by | Apr 22, 2008

For nine months in 2007, film maker Des Horsfield made a documentary about bicycle frame builder Richard Sachs. Horsfield’s film takes an intimate look into the life and mind of the bicycle frame builder as Richard Sachs talks about why he does what he does, exactly as he does it. The story reveals his reasons for entering the frame building trade, how and why he works only with steel, and why the entities of Sport and Bicycle have remained inseparable to him.

Imperfection is Perfection: A Film About Richard Sachs and his Bicycles

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“Desmond Horsfield has composed a film that comprises superbly each of the dimensions of Richard Sachs’ life. It includes Sachs’ history in the sport, his life as a cyclist, and, of course, his mastery as a builder; as a result, this documentary is an indispensable window into both framebuilding and Sachs himself. It’s a must-have for anyone who loves the art.”   — Padraig, Belgium Knee Warmers

“I felt as if I was peeking through a keyhole into the humble life of a framebuilding legend. The film left me with an even deeper respect for the craft.”   — Brian Riepe, Mountain Flyer Magazine

Imperfection is Perfection is an invitation into the home studio of Richard Sachs, where he shares his story and some of the insights of his career. I loved learning about the early decisions that led Sachs to the craft of bike building. If you are a creative person who has followed your own vision and you have learned that the world sometimes has other plans, this film will appeal to you. What this film does not show is the great influence that Sachs has had in the revival of the craft of bicycle building in North America. Sachs simply offers his wisdom and experience with grace. Richard Sachs humility is a testament to the joy and dignity to be found in doing something that you love, and doing it well, every day.”   — Amy Walker, Momentum Magazine

“This film is a lush behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s premiere framebuilders. It is great that people are recognizing and documenting not only Mr. Sachs, but his craft as well. Through the inter-cutting of Sachs riding one of his own machines we are constantly reminded that it is exactly these excursions that have helped him fine-tune the ride quality of his bicycles.

“What the film does well is bring a humanistic aspect to the process, taking us into his shop, letting us glimpse the unfinished product and what goes into bringing that to life. Some of my favorite shots were of Mr. Sachs building up and working on one of the cyclocross frames that I have grown accustomed to seeing on the many cross courses of New England. The red and white of these frames, at least for me, has shaped the face of the Cyclocross on the East Coast. Thanks for paying tribute to that. ”   — Jeremy Dunn, Embrocation Magazine

Imperfection is Perfection is not about bicycles, nor is it a promotion for a bicycle builder. Rather, I think it is more about a person’s journey. It’s a look at an individuals quest for excellence, from a philosophical starting point, through a progression of experiences, and to a place of relative contentment and understanding. As we follow this journey, we gain an appreciation of both the person and the object of his craft in a way that has nothing to do with the sport of bicycling. The film, and the story within, should relate to audiences on a number of levels, and not just to bicycle enthusiasts or those in the industry. It is very well done and does not pander or promote. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates hand-crafted objects, and the craft-persons creating them, which really should be everyone.”   — Wayne Bingham, Director of Le Cirque du Cyclisme

“Having known Richard for about 4 or 5 years, I know his passion for cycling runs deeper than most. Whether it be his cyclo-cross racing, his framebuilding, or his countless hours surfing cycling sites online, this man is as immersed in a culture as one could be. It truly shows in this film, how deep his roots are within the cycling culture. He is the truly the “Prince Charming” of the cycling hierarchy.”   — Don Walker, Framebuilder and founder of NAHBS

“”An enthralling glimpse into the life of a master framebuilder. Those who have an appreciation of the work of a craftsman will love this film. Everyone who watches will come away with an understanding of how rare Richard Sachs’ attention to his craft is in today’s mass-produced world, and why Richard and those like him are more important now than ever before.”   — Eric Norris, Campy Only

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