By the time my first decade at the bench ended, I was only beginning to get a sense of things – the processes, my tools, bicycle design, as well as getting familiar with the materials. It was an interesting era to enter the trade because the many tasks that were routinely done by human hands were, little by little, being replaced by automation and technology. A framebuilder’s metalworking skills, once part of the job, were giving way to the next generation of components made using the investment casting method. After ten years of filing what must have been thousands of pressed steel lugs and small parts, I finally transitioned over and left a part of my past behind. At the International Cycle Show in 1982, Tetsuro Harada from Samson Cycles walked into my booth, showed me his beautiful products, and I became his first client in North America. I used Samson framebuilding parts on more than 1,200 Richard Sachs frames made through the late 1990s. This article in Bicycle Guide shows some of the work in progress. To read it, click here.
Mr. Harada and I have reconnected, and I am pleased to offer his range of material to framebuilders in North America. These include the lug sets in traditional as well as OS sizes, fork crowns for either 24mm pista or Max dimension blades, and dropout sets for road and track use. I’ll add to the menu in the coming months. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or to place an order. The Samson framebuilding material is elegant, precise, and represents the highest level of design in our trade.