Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bike Industry Rolodex - est.1991-1997

Yeah, I never throw anything away.  Ever.

Working for bike shops for years, I collected a few business cards of folks I dealt with.  I dig it today; reads like a who's who of the heyday of the mountain bike cottage industry.

Original EWR card, their painter Fresh Frame, Original Ringle, when there was a man named Geoff actually involved.

Thomson from when they weren't yet Thomson, but were a CNC shop testing the waters with a new fangled two bolt post that is now legend and the industry standard, Early IF, SRP titanium bits.

Pre Glens Falls Fat, Green Cycles, makers of the under appreciated 'Hornet', Waterford and Risse. Spline; 'twist our nipples'  Indeed.

One of the best shops to ever live a short life, BWA in Gainesville, FL.  Mavic, Control Tech, Ionic, Ventana and McMahon.  I bet McMahon's warranty line rang for hours straight.

Fishlips, makers of the "Toxic Tuna" frames.  Pre Oregon relocation King, Topline, WTB before the OEM pandering disease took hold.  Local Florida BMX favorites, Profile.

Rocky, TNT, Mountain Goat, Hope. More Ventana, this one a Sherwood card. Titus card from the Cocalis heyday.  He now fronts Pivot and Titus is in shambles selling cheap garbage.

Post Glens Falls Fat\Serotta, Moots, Kelly, Ellison, and Sachs. Critical Racing, makers of the perforated I-Beam stem.

Ted, Ritchey, Reynold's Steel.  My old boss Frank Vogel with X-It \Sports Garage in Boulder.  Frank would go on to start Maverick with Paul Turner.  They have since sold out and I'm hopeful Frank is living phat.  Frank is a true good guy and was a pleasure to work for.  I learned a lot from him.  He was a lot like my dad in that he just wanted to be left alone to work. "Don't bother me, I'm welding!" we would joke.  One day in the shop I broke an espresso cup of his and his eyes watered up and he said it was his grandmother's.  Worst day I ever had in the shop.  You know I had to do what I could so I picked him up a nice set of cups for his pressed coffee habit but I'm sure it wasn't the same for him.

Lou's was a great shop in Palm Harbor FL.  I bought my red M800 from him off eBay a few years back after he closed his shop.  He told me that he just lost the love.  The shop numbers were eroding and he didn't feel the passion to figure out why so he just shut down.  He was a good guy.  My first Rascal came from Lou's shop.  If you wanted race quality MTB kit back in the day, Lou stocked it.  Even in blue-hair rich Palm Harbor!

Cook Bros, Ibis, Paul and east custom painter Gary Cole.

My favorite bits, Altek.  TWP, Avid, and Hershey, a veritable who's who of CNC.  Amp and Steelman.

King of purple, Grafton. King of brittle garbage, Kooka. Sycip shortly after their launch following apprenticeship under Sadoff of...

...Rock Lobster.  Spooky before they sold their soul and went tits up.  Clearwater VW, because if you drive an old VW, you better know where the used parts are.

Yeti even made their cards in the shape of Rolodex inserts.  Of course their card is team teal colored to boot.  This one still has the Bodo Drive contact information.  I may have snagged this from their shop when I went out west for the first time back in '93, or it came from Interbike Vegas that same year.

Save your old junk!


Steve Reed said...

I saw how you snuck that Sandhill Bicycle Wheels card in there. :)

Needless to say, I have not saved any Rolodex I ever owned. But I don't think any of mine were ever this interesting. They were just filled with the cards of city planners!

Dan O said...

Cool little pile of bike history 'n' culture there...

utahDOG! said...

RE Sandhill. Hey, I sold like 11 wheels under that moniker!

obi-wan-mtb said...

That was some interesting reading. Good you saved all those cards!