Saturday, July 07, 2007

Framebuilder's Questionnaire: Rocklobster Cycles

1. How'd you first get interested in bicycles in general?

Nothing like a bicycle to get one out of... the house,away from dicplinary parents and combatitve siblings. Bicycles always represented freedom for me as soon as I got one.

2. At what point did you begin building bikes?

I built my first frame in 1978 when I had been a bicycle mechanic for two years. I wanted a good frame but also wanted the experience of building a frame. Framebuilding represented the final frontier of knowledge for a bicycle mechanic.

3. What were some of the challenges you faced when you first started out building bikes for people?

Getting a customer of any kind was the first challenge. When I started building frames nobody knew that you could get a frame built by a guy in the states, rather than from some european or Japanese company.....or Schwinn. The next challenge was being able to build a frame and not go crazy with frustration.

4. How is your approach to build a cyclocross bike different than say in building a mountain or road bike?

I build cyclocross bikes with the idea of making a bike that can be ridden really fast and be stable and remarkably un-scary. That is my quest with just about any frame but it is paramount with 'cross frames.

5. Whats your favorite bike that you own or have owned? What made it special?

The bike that I rode today was my favorite today. It might be different tomorrow.

6. Do you race cyclocross?

I do participate in 'cross races but I am usually so lousy at it I am reluctant to call myself a real racer. I have a really good time doing it, though.

7. In your opinion, why are custom steel cyclocross bikes still so popular?

Steel works really well for 'cross frames as long as the frame isn't underbuilt. Steel is inexpensive and easiest to work with and very durable making it a good choice for 'cross.

8. Whats your current wait time for a custom cyclocross frame?

3 1/2 months.

9. Is there anything else you think readers would want to know about your approach to bikes, cycling and building frames?

I listen to riders who race at the highest levels of 'cross to help me build better bikes. I also listen to just about anybodys feedback concerning my frames in general....not listening to people is death for a framebuilder in my opinion,for what it's worth.


Unknown said...

Without a doubt, Paul is one the best frame builders in the world. I remember his first bikes ever produced, they would be rolling around santa cruz in the early eighties, they had the intricate hand holding the cable ferrel as a cable hanger, and wonderful paint jobs. Nothing has really changed to this day, other than producing alum. frames. He's just better at it.

Anonymous said...

Paul said:'Steel is inexpensive "

What's the price of a steel CX-frame?


swiggco world said...

Steel frames start at $ 1,100- forks at $ 195. It's not cheap but for custom from a guy who has slaved as long as I have to try to make 'em better every year it might be tough to find a better deal. Cheers, Paul.