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Old 01-16-2013, 10:06 AM
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Firefly Bicycles

Steve Potts Bicycles has been at the front of the Paceline for a while now but its time for him to pull off and let Boston based builders Jamie Medeiros, Tyler Evans, and Kevin Wolfson take a pull. Jamie, Tyler, and Kevin are going to fan out to form and echelon at the front of the Paceline. So, this week: Firefly Bicycles

Quote:
Firefly was born because we love our craft. We’re serious cyclists and we know you’ll appreciate the intelligence, passion, meticulous attention to detail and quality materials that go into every frame we make. Boston has long been one of the nation’s most influential hubs of handmade bikes. We’re here. Our hearts are here, and we draw inspiration from our home’s rich heritage and cycling community. Every single Firefly bike is made here in Boston from the highest quality stainless steel and titanium tubing.

Firefly Bicycles
http://fireflybicycles.com/

FireFly Shop Build Blog
http://fireflybicyclesbuildout.tumblr.com/

Firefly Bicycles/Paper Fortress Video


Jamie, Tyler, and Kevin were 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. Tyler 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 Firefly Bicycles:

How / why did you decide to become a frame builder?
Tyler: I just decided one day. I saw bicycles as the ultimate connection between man and machine. I loved metal, I loved making, I rode bikes- I called up Merlin and so it began.

Jamie: I have always enjoyed making things and riding bicycles. It seemed like a way to combine both.

Kevin: I was racing for IF when I landed a job there designing frames. I knew plenty about how bikes should fit and ride from my years of riding and racing, and learned the technical side on the job.


What influences the artistic side of your designs?
Tyler: Art, design, architecture, nature & machinery.

Jamie: Artistically I am into a modern simple aesthetic and I like to stay true to the material.

Kevin: Food, design, fashion, and photography mostly.


What is your method to determine fit?
The exact method always depends on the customer. Generally, we start by looking at a person’s current bike and body measurements. We’ll then talk to the customer about how they like the fit of their current bike and what they want from the new bike. Often we’ll look at photos of the customer on their bike, or see them ride in person. We use all of that information to design the frame. If the customer is nearby, we’ll transfer the new contact points to a fit cycle or adjust their current bike to test the fit. If not, we can inform the customer of simple changes to handlebar or saddle position to test out the fit.

We don’t use any lasers.


What is it that keeps you passionate and focused?
Tyler: Sleep, food, friends & work.
Jamie: Creating new things, Coffee
Kevin: Food, friends, bike riding and racing, music.


How many times have you burned yourself?
Tyler: Many many times.
Jamie: Today?
Kevin: My computer hasn’t burned me in weeks.


What's your favorite beer?
Tyler: IPA's around 7-8% ABV with IBU's between 85-100.
Jamie: Dogfish head 60 minute IPA
Kevin: Maine Brewing Company Lunch.


Heard any cool music lately?
Wax Tailor, The Peach Kings, Batsauce, Peggy Sue, Kraftwerk. More every day.


How did you meet your spouse or significant other?
Tyler: Met her in art school in the metal shop.
Jamie: It was a long time ago in a galaxy far away...
Kevin: We met in High School and started dating when we both moved back to the Boston area after college.


What's there to do for fun in your town?
Boston was just named the drunkest city in the US. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice. Plus anything else you want.


Do you put ketchup on your Frankfurter/Wiener?
Tyler: Mustard on the sausage.
Jamie: No ketchup on anything.
Kevin: Ketchup and Mustard


What is the main difference between working with steel vs. Titanium?
Steel is dirtier and ti is cleaner. You also don’t have to paint titanium. Beyond that they are very similar to work with.


Who would you want to build a bike for you?
Tyler: Lugged or brazed Steel. Stanridge Speed, Ellis, Bishop, Spectrum, Sachs. Welded Steel: 44 bikes, Pegoretti, DeSalvo. Carbon Fiber: Crupmpton, Parlee, ArgonautTitanium: Baum, Strong, Moots, Seven.

Jamie: The late Sir Alex Moulton, I have always been curious about Moulton's and have never ridden one.

Kevin: Parlee, Pegoretti, Ellis, Bishop, Seven, Hot Tubes.

What is it about your approach to building/designing bikes makes you unique, or separates you from the other builders out there?
Our skill set, aesthetics, and a uniquely intimate customer experience.


How long is your wait list?
As of 1/8/2012, seven months


How long have you been building frames.
Tyler: Since early 1995 at Merlin Metalworks in Cambridge, MA.
Jamie: 14 years
Kevin: Designing frames since the middle of 2008.


Do you have a favorite part of the building process?
Tyler: Packaging.
Jamie: Tacking a frameset together and watching the tubes become a bicycle.
Kevin: Seeing the happy customer ride it, or hearing from them after the first ride.


What is the most unusual / unique bicycle you've ever built?
Jamie: 20" wheel mini velo road bicycle.


What is your favorite non-cycling obsession?
Tyler: Graphic Design and Photography.
Jamie: Obsession is such a harsh word.
Kevin: Food.


Bub-bler or Bub-blah?
Tyler: Water Fountain. I'm a Hoosier.
Jamie: Bu-ba-lah
Kevin: Water fountain. Not a Hoosier, but never heard “bubbler” growing up.


Many thanks to Jamie, Tyler, and Kevin for taking the time to answer our questions! Please feel free to ask them any questions that you would like to ask.

William


PS: In case you missed it, the previous Builder Spotlight can be found here...
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:08 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:09 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:09 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:10 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:11 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:11 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:13 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:14 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:15 AM
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