In the annals of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show few builders have been as celebrated as Curtis Inglis, the man behind Inglis Cycles and Retrotec. Inglis has taken awards home more than a half dozen times from the show, due in no small part to the artful curves of his Retrotec frames.
Inglis is likely also the only builder on the planet to build frames under two different brands. His Inglis frames are reasonably straightforward in that they all share straight tubes, while the Retrotec frames are known for curves that a boat builder would appreciate.
While Retrotec wasn’t Inglis’ creation, he took what began as mountain bikes inspired by the Schwinn Excelsior cruiser frames on which mountain biking was founded and ran with the inspiration, both beefing up the frames to prevent them from breaking and riffing on the one idea until he had created a whopping seven different styles.
In addition to his work as a frame builder, Inglis has an interest in restoring old cars and scooters. I decided to drive to his shop in Napa to interview him, as well as take a zippy ride in his Woolsley, which is like a Mini Cooper, but with some funky flair that only the English could manage. And believe me, seeing the tallest builder I know fit into the second smallest car I’ve ever seen is a sight I’ll never forget.
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.