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Old 10-09-2013, 08:18 AM
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Ellis Cycles

Stinner Frameworks has been at the front of the Paceline for a while now but its time for Aaron to peel off and let Waterford, WI based builder Dave Wages of Ellis Cycles to come to the front to take a pull. So, this week keep your wheels close and watch Ellis Cycles...

Quote:
...Early in 2008, I started Ellis Cycles. I'd always enjoyed working directly with customers; Ellis was the next logical step. I now have the freedom to collaborate with cyclists to craft beautiful frames that are utterly gratifying to ride.

With a leap of faith, a 500lb alignment table, some oxy-
acetylene tanks and the help of a handful of good friends, I started building frames! Thanks to all my early clients, the business gained momentum. At the 2008 Cirque du Cyclisime, one of the first Ellis frames won "Best Track Bike". More frames followed and word began to get out about Ellis Cycles. To cap that first year off, we were thrilled when Team Ellis rider Jame Lalonde won the Cyclocross Single-Speed National Championships (read about his victory).

At the 2009 Handbuilt Bicycle Show, an Ellis 953 frame was awarded "Best Lugged Bike" - quite an honor considering the collection of talent there.

That bike was reviewed by Road Bike Action (read the positive review of the "Modern Classic").

The judges honored Ellis again at the 2010 Handbuilt Show in Richmond, Virginia. This time, a Lugged 953 Ellis took home "Best of Show" award. 

In 2011 a stunning randonneur was tapped as "Best Road Bike". Again in 2012, Ellis received "Best Steel Frame" honors for this randonneur. We're humbled to bring home awards four years running.

So Whoís Ellis?
Those of you who know Dave Wages may be wondering: "Whoís Ellis?" Itís my middle name, and my great-Grandmotherís maiden name. I never met her, but my Grandfather Wages always spoke very fondly of his mother. It is with pleasure that I use this name for my bicycles; Iím sure heís proud as well.

http://www.elliscycles.com/

Dave 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. Aaron is also a member of the forum so if you have additional questions you would like to ask him about his craft, fire away.



William
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Last edited by William; 03-04-2014 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:20 AM
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Q&A With Dave Wages of Ellis Cycles:



How / why did you decide to become a frame builder?

The irony is that I don’t think that I ever really decided to be a framebuilder, it happened in kind of an indirect way. I got into road riding in the mid 80’s, as a teen and did some racing as a junior, but I was particularly taken by the bicycle as a machine, all the different uses and permutations of parts and designs really fascinated me, and I even started designing my own brand of bikes for my high school art classes. My bike drawings were intricate, all the way down to the chain links and spoke nipples, and every one had a complete parts spec as well, mostly they represented the dream bikes that I could never afford as a high school student and junior racer. I got my first job in a bike shop in ’89 and after another shop gig or two, I found myself taking a job at Serotta in the shipping department. Even then, I never looked at this as my opportunity to learn the framebuilding craft, I’d done some woodworking as a kid, but never any metal work and the possibility of becoming a builder never realistically crossed my mind until I’d been working at Serotta for at least a couple years. What got me going was an offer from Kelly Bedford to show me the basics of brazing one day after work, and from there I was hooked, I spent countless days mitering and brazing up scraps of tubing on my own time after work and eventually started building small projects like bars ends for my mountain bike and eventually collaborated on a frame with Dave Kirk, (I did all the prep and finish work and he brazed the frame). He even managed to light a significant chunk of his hair on fire while doing this, and I can attest that burnt hair does not smell good! At that point had learned the basics of brazing, but I was hardly a framebuilder, and it wasn’t until Ben bought Serotta back from his investors in 1997 or so that he invited me to officially join the brazing department and train to become a full fledged builder. I jumped at the chance, and with a lot of guidance from Dave Kirk and Kelly I started down the path that I’m still following to this day.
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Last edited by William; 10-09-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:21 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:21 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:22 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:22 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:23 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:24 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:24 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:25 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:26 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:26 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:27 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:27 AM
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:28 AM
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