-an ongoing series spotlighting companies proudly waving the Made In America flag
All sports and hobbies have their devoted fans, perhaps none so more than bike riders. But then there’s also the next level fanatics, the ones that eat, drink and live their obsession. For these devoted few bicycle enthusiasts, the holy grail of the sport is a handmade, high performance touring bike custom made just for them. Costing upwards of $3000 just to place an order, with the top makers boasting a two-year waitlist, the obsession also requires deep pockets and patience. For many, the wait – and cost – are worth it just to own the Rolls Royce of bikes. The latest in our series, MADE IN THE USA: BICYCLES, spotlights some of the best companies hand making high performance bikes in the U.S.
In the game for over ten years, Denver, Colorado based Alchemy Bicycles is a leader in the hand made performance bike game. Crafting their bikes by hand from either a carbon fiber or stainless steel frame (based on your preferences or needs). One of the larger manufacturers around, Alchemy bikes can be ordered directly from Alchemy, or through one of their authorized dealers. You can order a completely custom made bike, or start with one of their stock frames and build from there. Alchemy also offers a lifetime warranty on their bikes, offering a major discount for repairs should you ever crash and damage your bike. A completely custom bike from Alchemy will run you in the neighborhood of about $6500-$7000, costs are slightly lower for stock options, and there’s no waiting list, as soon as you place your order and submit a deposit, construction begins on your ride.
Former Air Force man and life long bike enthusiast, Aaron Dykstra started Six Eleven Bicycle Co. in his Roanaoke, Virginia basement in 2009. In addition to honing some serious technical skills in the Air Force, Dykstra trained for a year under master bike frame maker Koichi Yamaguchi before striking out on his own with Six Eleven. Aaron is personally involved with the construction of every frame ordered from Six Eleven, with frame prices starting at $2350, with a final cost around $5500 for a completely hand made bike for Track, Road or Mountain biking. Six Eleven currently has a 12-month waiting list, so place your order and non-refundable $500 deposit soon!
Ira Ryan has truly been a lifelong bike enthusiast, racing and touring since the age of 16, his first job as a teen was repairing bikes at a bike shop. He has raced in the US as well as Europe, started Portland’s only collectively run bike messenger service, where he still lives and runs Ira Ryan Cycles. At Ira Ryan cycles, Ryan personally builds every bike that comes out of the shop. His passion for the sport is legendary. A devotee of steel tubing framework, Ryan’s shop offers many packages for your custom build, where the prices can get pretty stratospheric depending on the materials and package you choose. Basic frame starts at $2700 and there’s a 24-month wait from the time of order/deposit. Completely worth the time and wait, Ryan’s deep love of the sport and commitment to quality are included free of charge.