Steve Potts Bicycles (Redux)
Stanridge Speed Bicycles has been at the front of the Paceline for a while now but its time for him to pull off and let Point Reyes, California based Steve Potts of Steve Potts Bicycles take a pull. So, this week at the front of the Paceline to take another pull: Steve Potts Bicycles
Steve was kind enough to answer a list of questions for us that are a mix of standards and member contributions...plus a few off-the-wall thrown into the mix. Our hope was to convey the builders love of their craft, hard details, and offer a few questions that bring out a bit of the human element that that helps them create the works that we love. Ian is also a member of the forum so if you have additional questions you would like to ask him about his craft, please do so.
Note: One of the first Builder Spotlights was done on Steve Potts Bicycles without Steve's direct input, I wanted to give him a chance to participate in one. So, this is a Spotlight Redux as it were and I'm very happy to have him being a part of this. You can see the original Spotlight as well as more photos of Steve's fine work here:
Q&A With Steve:
How / why did you decide to become a frame builder?
I started fixing up paper boy bikes when I was in high school in 1967 at Tamalpais High School. I would buy frames at the old dumps for 25 to 35 cents apiece and then take them to my high school machine shop and fix them and tey to make them stronger. lot of fun !
What influences the artistic side of your designs?
I have always liked things to be in there simplest forms, no more and no less to get the job done, but it has to be clean and well done!
What is your method to determine fit?
Of course I use several body measurements and some measurements from the current ride for reference, but I rely on the riders riding experiences and feedback, I think it is really important to have a detailed dialog with the rider to see what works and doesn't work for them.
What is it that keeps you passionate and focused?
Life is a continual process of learning and refining your skills, whether it is building something, or learning how to understand yourself and others in life, it is a continual challenge to strive for excellence in life , that is what keeps me passionate about my work and life in general.
How many times have you burned yourself?
More times than I can remember, I have had some good ones too!
You started building with steel, what influenced you to work with Titanium?
I got some titanium to work with and was rally impressed with it's properties. It is also a material that is either done correctly, or not done at all as far as the preparation, fabricating and welding. I like that there is no in between with this material, it demands to be handled properly !
What's your favorite beer?
My son brewed some beer for fun, ( guys just like to make stuff!) and I have to say it was really the best I have ever had ! Both light and dark beer. But truth be told , I don't really drink a lot of beer.
Heard any cool music lately?
If you have your ears open these days, there is really a lot of great music out there . Music is just a wonderful way to communicate!
What's there to do for fun in your town?
I live in the country, so there is a lot of riding , both road and mountain, swimming, sailing , diving , fishing , hunting , vegetable gardens, great people, great ranching familys, lots of hard work and lots of great family events!
Do you put ketchup on your hotdog?
Of course, relish and onoins too!
Who would you want to build a bike for you?
That would be Kent Eriksen and Carl Strong, two great builders and wonderful people!
What is it about your approach to building/designing bikes makes you unique, or separates you from the other builders out there?
Since I work alone I see the process from start to finish, so no detail goes unnoticed as far as the quality goes.
How long is your wait list?
Six to 8 months, which is too long for me and I am trying to get it shorter, as it is a lot of logistics and information to handle.
How long have you been building frames.
I have been building bikes full time for a living for 33 years .
Do you have a favorite part of the building process?
I really enjoy welding titanium and also seeing the final bike come together !
What is the most unusual / unique bicycle you've ever built?
I have built a lot of mountain tandems , a lot of travel bikes and now some of the more unusual bikes I am building are the belt drive bikes .
What is your favorite non-cycling obsession?
I would have to say that fly fishing is my favorite thing to do, just being on a beautiful stream is reward enough!
Toe-may-toe or Toe-mah-toe?
Many thanks to Steve for taking the time to answer our questions! Please feel free to ask him any questions that you would like to ask.
PS: In case you missed it, the previous Builder Spotlight can be found here...
Last edited by William; 12-31-2012 at 03:33 PM.