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Old 11-07-2012, 10:15 AM
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William William is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 27,392
Geekhouse Bikes

Savine Cycles has been at the front of the Paceline for a while now but its time for him to pull off and let Boston based builder Marty Walsh take a pull. So, this week at the front of the Paceline: Geekhouse Bikes

Founded in 2002 by bespectacled bike-geek Marty Walsh; we produce a range of bicycle frames for all types of riding. We work hard to source as much as possible from within the United States and we hold green business practices in high esteem. By utilizing a small staff, we take the time to personally cater to your ideas and we love watching each and every build take on the personality and individuality of our customers.

Marty started his career in the bicycle industry more than a decade ago working at retail shops, component manufacturers, and for other frame builders soaking up everything he could along the way. After spending some time designing his own out sourced frames he decided to pursue his own handmade operation by apprenticing under Mike Flanigan of ANT (Alternative Needs Transportation) Bikes. Shortly after a two-year apprenticeship Marty secured funding from the City of Boston and Geekhouse was born. Marty hired Bradford Smith in 2010. Brad facilitates fabrication and is in charge of Sugarcoat, our powder coat extension.

Beautiful bicycles are a lot of fun to admire but theyíre more fun to ride. We work with American steel because itís built to last. We TIG-weld because it gives us the freedom to customize every joint to your exact specification. We work with powder coats because they are durable and non-toxic. We do everything we do with a level of intentionality that simply isnít found in off-the-shelf bikes.

We would love to have the pleasure of building you a custom bike. With a host of options we want to get creative with you so that what comes out in the end is nothing short of your dream ride.

Geekhouse Movie
Marty was kind enough to answer a list of questions for us that are a mix of standards and member 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. Marty 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.

Q&A with Marty Walsh:

How / why did you decide to become a frame builder?
I started working at bike shops when I was 16 and have always had a deep love for bikes. After graduating college I worked in the bike industry for a few more years. In 2002 I started doodling bike frames I wanted that had a few little features that weren't available at the time. This lead me to contact an engineer, and then a fabrication house to make the frames. This is how Geekhouse started. Then in 2006 I decided I wanted to learn the 'craft' and do everything myself. This is what led me to me apprenticeship at ANT.
I've just always had that deep love of bicycles, they just feel like freedom to me. And no matter how long I work with them, or ride them, it just always stays fresh and holds my attention. I can't say the same for anything else in my life, bikes are just the one thing that always stays true to me.

What influences the artistic side of your designs?
This can change year after year for sure, and is something that's evolved over time. I love neon 90's mountain bikes for sure, like the stuff from Fat City. Also, I'm a huge fan of earlier French style Rando bicycles.
Other interests of mine include modern and industrial age furniture. Colors can really come from anywhere, the other morning I was in the shower looking at a light blue and mustard yellow bath loofa's and I was like "Man this would look so good on a bike!" Haha!

What is your method to determine fit?
We normally take a persons stand bone length, or static fit measurements. But certainly recommend setting up a person on a Fit cycle and doing more of a dynamic fitting. In a company like ours we build many styles of bikes, so standard road fittings get manipulated quite a bit. A city bike fits differently than a road bike or a CX bike. Many of our geometry's have evolved over the years, and we work with a person to take into account all of their needs, history, and preferences to make the ideal fitting bicycle.

What is it that keeps you passionate and focused?
Riding my bike is number one, it reminds me every time why I'm doing this. Other than that is just plugging away on the shop, trying to make it and the products continually better year after year.

How many times have you burned yourself?
More times than I can count. I like to say it's not a bike if I don't burn or cut myself on it at some point in the process. Literally a little bit of me goes into everyone, haha!

What's your favorite beer?
The beer flavored kind.

Heard any cool music lately?
Yes, the new Kesha is amazing! ;-P

How did you meet your spouse or significant other?
Actually at a CX race!

What's there to do for fun in your town?
There's a ton of stuff to do in Boston and the surrounding area. For fun, I usually work late at the shop, then on the weekends either race CX or go on an epic ride with the guys.

Do you put ketchup on your hotdog?
I use no Ketchup on my tofu-pups..

Who would you want to build a bike for you?
Myself, I only have one at the moment!

What is it about your approach to building/designing bikes makes you unique, or separates you from the other builders out there?
People always ask this question. I think that every custom builder is unique. And actually ever single bike that we build is unique for that particular rider. That's what's great about custom, it's just as much the customer's bike as it is the builders. There's a ton of talented builders out there, I think that you should find one that you feel emotionally connected with for one reason or another.

How long is your wait list?
It depends. Right now we're maybe around 6 months, but this fluctuates. We are working on a plan next year that's going to involve certain types of bikes at certain times of the year. More info on this coming soon..

How long have you been building frames.
I started my apprenticeship at ANT in 2006, so about 6 years now.

Do you have a favorite part of the building process?
When they are finished! Haha! Nothing's better than seeing a complete bike that you've built up and is ready to ride. I feel the most accomplishment from seeing the finished product.

What is the most unusual / unique bicycle you've ever built?
The Oregon Manifest bike that we built in 2011 was the craziest thing we've ever built. Check it out here:

What is your favorite non-cycling obsession?
Finding industrial steel furniture on Craigslist for under $50.

Poe-tay-toe or Pah-tah-toe?
I'm from Boston, Pah-tah-tah!

Many thanks to Marty for taking the time to answer our questions! Please feel free to post up any questions that you would like to ask.


PS: In case you missed it, the previous Builder Spotlight can be found here...

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Last edited by William; 12-04-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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