“Museum of Arts & Design Show”


Over the holidays I got a call from Sacha White at Vanilla Bicycles. Sacha had called to say that he wanted to nominate me to join the Frame Builders Collective. I asked a few questions about what it was that I would have to do to be involved and then decided that it would be a good thing to be a part of. When the collective first came about there was some talk among the frame building world about who will be in or out and that it all seems rather “clique’sh” which is impossible to avoid when you start something like this.  I still feel that the overall message of the collective is a positive one and that is the message that I want to send; however I always wished I had been invited to join the “SOPWAMTOS” [Society Of People Who Actually Make Their Own Shit]. Anyway I am sure that new membership will be slow going and that we have figured out that not everyone can be involved. [I had tried to write about this earlier, but sometimes my wordpress blog, just won’t let me upload things!! and then I give up and get back to work] 

After Sacha talked to me about joining the collective he asked me if I would like to take part in a museum exhibit in NYC. I was immediately interested. The show will be at the Museum of Arts & Design and will run from May 12th 2010 to mid July. Here is what Sacha had sent me: 

Bespoke, The Handbuilt Bicycle at The Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle, NYC is a project that I have been working on with Michael Maharam for about a year now. Michael owns a textile company focused on design and is a collector and bicycle enthusiast who is associated with several museums. We want to capture the scope of work happening around the world from builders who embody the pinnacle of their particular style. 

It is my personal goal to give the public a window into what we do and show the deeper value and usefulness of the handmade bike. taking it off is pedestal as a “Luxury Item” and showing why it is technically relevent in today’ market. We plan to do this with displays including text, photos, drawings, raw elements of our frames in various stages of construction and of course, with complete bikes. 

The show will include: 

  • Vanilla Bicycles
  • J.P. Weigle
  • Jeff Jones
  • Dario Pegoretti
  • Richard Sachs
  • Ant

Each builder bringing work that represents what makes them a “first” in a particular style or method or as a reinvention of a particular style. My style is the black city bike with a D-Rack [Original Light Roadster] and my antique style bikes, like the Major Taylor. Also a cargo bike, like a Basket Bike. 

I just got the call last night that the show is really going to happen and is now coming at me at full speed! Having 3 show bikes ready for mid May was tough enough, not to mention my last minute entry into NAHBS and Betsy and I are going to San Francisco in April [she has a conference]. To add to this I found out last night that they want to make a book with all the bikes [a very nice book] and that I now need to have the bikes delivered to NYC by the end of March! 

I definitely have my work cut out for me. 

Here is what I am taking to NAHBS. 

Mark L’s Black Roadster. It has a curved top tube with an extra top tube and with the Fat Frank cream tires [700 x 50mm!] 

Grace Bicycles Fire ANT Road bike. Multi color paint job, by Circle A Cycles 

Steve M’s Scorcher fixed. A dark red Scorcher 

Next in line to be built are: 

  • Rich P.   67cm Touring bike
  • Don J.   Rohloff Roadster
  • Dylan B.   SS Light Roadster
  • Eugene L.   3 speed Roadster
  • Jason N   Road frame
  • Jason R   Fixed frame & fork
  • Metro Ped  2 Basket bike frames & forks
  • Jackson P’s    frame class for a Longtail 🙂

I have a few bikes that are on hold for various reasons: 

  • Joel N.    29er
  • Jennifer C.    Mixte
  • Peter B    Touring bike
  • Rod L.    Basket Bike
  • David M.    Roadster

Now the bikes for the Museum are: 

Light Roadster – Single speed fixed, Black, D-Rack, Hammer tone fenders, all silver parts. 

Light Roadster


Major Taylor/Truss frame- Black bike with red rims, fied, no brakes, steel crank with full suit ring, built antique style. 

Major Taylor


Basket Bike-Black bike with red rims 

Basket Bike


It would be very nice to be able to pre-sell these bikes for the Museum show, but not at the integrity of what the bikes should represent. The frames need to be a medium size to look right and I am leaning towards single speeds to keep the amount of cables down, but could change that. Also the bikes will be in the show from May to July…could you wait that long? However if you did buy one of these bikes you would have the prestige of a museum show bike that would be in finely made book for the show.

If anyone in interested in buying  one of these museum exhibit bikes, please do get in touch.






16 thoughts on ““Museum of Arts & Design Show”

  1. The NYC show sounds wonderful, as does the book!

    Also very glad to hear that you are going to NAHBS 2010.

    Of course you know what bicycle I am hoping you will make! That would be a showpiece indeed, though I know you probably dread approaching that sort of project right now : )

    • Matthew, I think someone that is 5’4″ to 5’10” would make a nice size bike. I am still waiting to here from the organizer about the bikes I am to show. One may be nixed and only take two [maybe nix the basket bike, but don’t know yet].

  2. Congratulations, Mike! Please consider a loan of my Light Roadster for the museum show. It has all that you are looking for and despite use is still nice and minty. I just ordered a pair of White Industries pedals for it (gotta buy your bicycles presents now and again)! I’d be willing to deliver it to the show or you could stop by and pick it up on your way down. What do you say? I’d be honored!

    • Hey Randy, Thank you 🙂 Sorry, it has been requested that I only bring black bikes [and at least one with red rims]. Those White pedals are very nice, wish they made them in a two sided model.

  3. Fantastic news Mike, congratulations! Sounds like it will be a great exhibit. Wonderful to see you and your work being properly recognized.

  4. Congratulations, Mike. I think you’re got a great eye for what looks good on two wheels. I like looking at my ANT almost as much as I like riding it and I ride it a whole lot.

  5. Mike,

    First time browsing around your site and your bikes are beautiful! You truly put together aesthetic, function and style. Major Taylor is my inspiration for riding so I love the MT/ Truss bike! BTW, there is a video on YouTube with him racing on a Truss bike. it titled “Tribute to Major Taylor”

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