My guest today is frame builder David Wages of Ellis Cycles. There was a time when the most common career path for a frame builder was to put in solid years building bikes for a brand that sold bikes in production sizing. Only after having put in a couple of decades at the bench was a builder established enough in reputation to venture out and order decals with his name.
I had the opportunity to introduce Dave to John Murphy of Columbine Cycle Works at the 2006 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Murphy was very complimentary of Wages work and I remember him getting choked up at the praise.
David Wages may be among the last builders to have worked for established brands before he concluded it was time to make his name known. Of course, by the time he did decide to open his own shop, he was one of the more experienced builders in the U.S. with more than a dozen years split between Serotta Competition Cycles and Waterford Precision Cycles. By any contemporary standard, Wages was a master builder by the time he set up his own shop.
Since then, his work has gone on to be highly recognized. At the North American Handmade Bicycle Show he has won the categories of Best Road frame, Best Steel Frame, Best Lugged Frame and Best Fillet Frame, as well as winning Best in Show. To my knowledge, he is the only builder ever to win both the best lugged and best fillet categories, which speaks to the breadth of his talent.
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The Pull is brought to you by the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the world’s premiere gathering of frame builders and frame building enthusiasts. The 2020 show will take place March 20th to 22nd at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas Texas. We hope to see you there.