At some point in my life, I plan on buying a frame from a custom builder. There is just something cool about having a frame/bicycle that you don’t see everyday. Something almost like bicycle street cred. Anyway, while surfing the cycling related web as I usually do, I stumbled upon 616.
616 Bicycle Fabrications, based proudly out of Michigan, is pumping out some quality, head turning rides, at a decent price for a smaller frame builder. One feature that stands out is their paint process. Since they do not believe in decals, every logo is painted on, using the process of reverse masking. Another nice touch is custom metal ID badge with the bike’s information. Add those touches to a hand crafted steel frame, and that is well worth the price of admission.
Only a few spectacular models are available at the moment, including a 29er and 650b hardtails, and also a fatbike. According to their website a cross bike is coming soon:
Even though they are relatively new, I feel that 616 is going to stick around for awhile, especially with such great looking bikes. They will definitely be on my short list when the time finally comes for a custom frame. Also, as with many other bike companies these days, 616 is always looking for pro level racers to throw some swag to, check them out if that is your thing. Now if only I could find a company looking to sponsor a beer drinking, non racing, everyday rider…
Maybe I am really pumped for my vacation in northern Michigan this summer, but the last few topics have been about brands based out of there. There might be more to the state up north than cherries, lakes, and the upper peninsula.
Just keep spinning…
All photos from 616’s site, go check it!
So in my search for the end all be all bicycle, here are a couple more that I have found, which seem to be pretty versatile. First up:
Vassago Fisticuff: Self described as “A love child between a 29er and a cross bike.” I couldn’t agree more. Clearance for wider 700c ‘cross tires, or up to 2.0″ 650b, with rack and fender mounts. Seems to be pretty versatile. The only downfall for this is it is a frame set only, which unfortunately I do not have a sufficient parts bin to build on up. Nice bike though.
Second on this short list:
Surly Ogre: This bike has it all. Rack mounts, front and back? Check. Fender mounts? Check. Fatties fit fine? Check. Single speed ready? Check. Mounts for a trailer? Check. Looks like the Surly Troll? Check. This bike is like the Troll’s big brother. Basically it is just the 29er version. Amazing. I really think there is not a bike that Surly has done that I have not liked. I am a Surly whore without a Surly, something about that is very wrong.
Two more very nice rides to add to my list. I think at this moment, the two bikes in the contention for my next bike are the Salsa Fargo 2 or the Surly Ogre. Thanks for playing!
Photos from Vassago and Surly respectively.