Some people like the finest in restaurants and others the finest in jewelry. For them, there is Tavern on the Green and Rolex.
And then there are others who like the finest in bicycles. For them, there is Richard Sachs—a craftsman builder of lightweight bicycle frames—tucked away in a basement store on Main Street in Chester, Conn.
“A lot of people don’t care if their bike was made by a human or a robot,” said the 38-year-old artisan. “They don’t care that two million other people are getting the same kind of bike. Well, I think a well-made bike makes a hobby more enjoyable and enhances riding for racers.”
Sachs builds bikes for people all over the world from Olympic racers to weekend peddlers. “My customers are people who appreciate something well-made, have money and don’t mind waiting,” he said. Each of the 100 or so frames he makes per year requires an average of three to four months’ delivery time and “bikes rarely leave here for under $3000,” he said.
Sachs started building bikes during the bike boom of the 1970s when he exchanged a college education to learn the craft because “it seemed too interesting to pass up.” He learned but then grew “tired of being rushed into making more bikes,” he said, adding that one of his bosses “was making too much of a business out of what I liked to do so I went out on my own to build bikes my way.”
Sachs decided to settle in Chester where he has been running his business for about 20 years. He said that “the reason I’m still around is because I haven’t diversified. I haven’t veered off my original intent. “I build bikes.”
Sachs said he advertises “a little.” If you do good work, people come to you.
The preceding article (including pricing) was originally written by Pamela Close for The Companion: Your guide to Eastern Connecticut, and appeared in April, 1992.