Among the many builders I’ve interviewed in my career, I can say that Erik Noren is truly unique. In a room full of unusual cats, he still manages to stand alone. This episode, and the next, because honestly, the conversation was that long and too interesting to chop into a half hour, are going to be unlike anything I’ve produced previously.
Noren’s Highlander bike.
Part of that is Noren’s fairly colorful use of language. He drops f-bombs in this interview like flakes of snow in a winter storm. Fortunately, iTunes has an explicit setting. So if you’re offended by coarse language, maybe drop by two weeks from now.
The headtube/top tube lug of the Highlander bike showing all the windows he cut.
Noren’s mantra for Peacock Groove is “deep custom.” By that he means more than just designing a bike that fits you and handles the way you want. More than picking the perfect tubeset. He is referring to his preference for creating a bike that speaks to your passions, and very often that leads him to build theme bikes.
One of Noren’s less controversial bikes, a bike polo rig.
It takes a different sort of builder to dig such a rabbit hole, and Noren is just that guy. He himself is as unfiltered as his language, and that makes this particular interview unusually revealing. I never have builders open up to this degree. Not all of this interview is easy to listen to; he talks about some difficult issues including depression and child molestation.
The MPLS Bike Polo ride had a watermelon paint job with red primer underneath so that chipped paint would remind you.
Because our conversation went on for nearly two and a half hours and because I could find so little in it that wasn’t interesting, I’ve cut the interview into two episodes. Not only that, there were elements of our conversation prior to the official start of the interview that were just too good to leave on the metaphoric cutting room floor. With his blessing, I’ve pulled some of those moments out to share with you.
The Pull is brought to you by the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the world’s premier annual gathering of bicycle framebuilders and framebuilding enthusiasts. The 2019 show will take place March 15-17th at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California.
Red Kite Prayer is hosting its first-ever event October 12th through 14th, 2018, the Red Kite Ronde et Vous. The two-and-a-half day event will feature bikes from some of the industry’s top frame builders, two gravel rides, some of the world’s finest craft beers, which are brewed locally, plus enough food to make the pedaling fun. For more information, or to register, go here.
For more information about Erik Noren visit Peacock Groove.
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