Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Framebuilder Questionnaire: Hottubes
The first Framebuilder's Questionnaire is from Toby at Hottubes. Toby has made frames for some of the best American cyclocross racers out there.
1. How'd you first get interested in bicycles in general?
A: I started as a bike racer in the 80's. I moved from that to running a bike shop and from there to building and painting.
2. At what point did you begin building bikes?
A: I built my first bike in 1989. It was a lugged road bike for me.
3. What were some of the challenges you faced when you first started out building bikes for people?
A: Some of the first challenges were getting people interested in buying one of your bikes. I was fortunate since three of the first guys riding my cross bikes were Jonathan Page and Frank and Mark McCormack. JP began racing cross on one of my bikes, so over the years, I've gotten good feedback from all three about how to make them better.
4. How is your approach to build a cyclocross bike different than say
in building a mountain or road bike?
A: I build cross bikes for racers mostly, but, that said, in cross, racers come in many different shapes and sizes and abilities. You need to make a bike that fits their riding style, their body and their riding style. For road bikes, you make it fit their body mostly.
5. What's your favorite bike that you own or have owned? What made it special?
A: The first bike I ever built. It was the first bike I ever built.
6. Do you race cyclocross?
A. I don't race cross, but I run a team that does and I have been in the pits for Frankie, Mark and Jonathan at the biggest races there is.
7. In your opinion, why are custom steel cyclocross bikes still so popular?
A: Why are custom steel cross bikes so popular, because they are the only affordable custom bike option for cross and they ride as well or better than anything else out there.
8. What's your current wait time for a custom cyclocross frame?
A: Time frame for a custom bike is usually four weeks from receipt of deposit to the finish of the paint. That said, don't wait until the start of the season.
9. Is there anything else you think readers would want to know about
your approach to bikes, cycling and building frames?
A: My best advertisement is the happy, satisfied customer base. They are responsible for most of the new orders I get.
The photo attached is a bike I built for the team mechanic from CSC. He could have anything he wanted but he bought one from me.
Director: Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team Inc.
75 Webster Street
Worcester, Massachusetts 01603 USA
Top photo is for the CSC mechanic, the cyclocross frame pics are taken from a poster on RBR here.