Sunday, December 03, 2006

Custom Racks and Banjo Cycles (Ahren Rogers)

A few months ago Ahren wandered into Madison after spending the past 5 years working as a welder for Seven Cycles. He was looking for some shop space where he could do his own thing (touring bikes, city bikes, custom racks, etc...) so Jeff (owner of Revolution Cycles where I "rent" my shop space from) and I decided to find some space for him in the shop.

Since he's been here he has been able to get some small run production work building racks for Velo Orange, and is well on his way to building frames (he even has a few orders already). He's also been working hard at getting some nice equipment: New frame and fork jig, a mill complete with mitering fixtures. Combined with the tools I already have it looks like we are going to have one nicely tooled shop! It's still in the initial planning stages, but we have been talking about teaming up to do some work: Maybe a run of stock size Jonny Cycles frames, maybe some other contact work, who knows...check the blog in a few months for more info on where we go with all that.

Custom racks: Since Ahren is a great welder and I really like the racks he has been building I'm going to offer custom racks built by him as an option on Jonny Cycles frames. What's so great about a custom rack? Since Ahren is literally right across the room from me, I can just give him the frame when I'm done building it and he can build a rack to fit that frame perfectly. No need for any ugly adjustment/sliding/whatever stuff, just a nice rack designed to fit the existing braze-ons perfectly. The rack can also be designed to fit the particular clients needs: Something for fully loaded expedition touring, something for light touring, a cute little front rack to carry your newspaper to work every morning...really anything!

I've been building a touring bike for my friend Lesley. Since it's for Lesley and I am bringing it to the the Handmade Bike Show, it has to be something special. I've decided no existing production rack will do so it's the perfect project to try out some front and rear expedition touring racks from Ahren. Since the frame is going to be fairly fancy with polished stainless steel lugs, we decided that a rack constructed from stainless steel with a nice brushed finish would compliment the frame well. The photos I have posted here are all taken while Ahren was building the rack. The rear rack is finished (as you can see in the photo) and I'm very happy with it. I'm anxious to see what he comes up with for the front rack!

Want to find more info about Banjo Cycles? No web-site yet, but Ahren can be found at