Interbike Blog

San Diego Custom Bike Show

This last Saturday was a busy day for me and cycling. First up at 7:30 am was a date with David Bernstein and several other bike industry types for a recording of the Spokes Cycling Roundtable podcast. I’ve done it once before in addition to recording a holiday gift picks piece back in December. I love listening to the podcast myself, and the chance to participate and chat with David, Tim Jackson of Masi Bikes, Carlton Reid of Bike Biz UK and Richard Masoner (better know by the name Fritz) of the was something I wasn’t about to pass up. Had a good time talking about a range of topics going on the industry lately. You should give it a listen. Check it out at

Following the recording (via Skype) and while Julie and the kids were still out at a friend’s, I managed to squeeze in a couple hour ride out to PCH. It was a gorgeous day and I missed riding all last week with the work load.

To top off the day, after a show and lunch, I headed down to the Mission Valley area of San Diego for the inaugural San Diego Custom Bike Show. Having followed the success of the 3 year old North American Handmade Bike Show from a distance, I was really looking forward to seeing some of the craftsmanship first hand. As an added bonus, Tim – a fellow San Diegan – was going to be there.

While I expected to be floored by aisles full of of amazing bikes, I am really amazed by the sheer number of custom builders that are out there now. Truly unbelievable the quantity of creative craftsmen (and women) that have sprung up over the last 5-10 years. The SD show attracted builder from a number of staes including Oregon and Arizona. Wish I could have taken literature from each, but I didn’t have that much time to spend at the show.

I snapped a bunch of photos of all the beautiful bikes, but am having some trouble with my Flickr account and WordPress’ image uploading is too slow and cumbersome to handle so many photos, so I’ll post the rest in a bit. Here’s a selection of some of the scenery at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center:


I love kids’ road bikes an I saw a few here. Abby’s a lucky girl.

Argonaut Cycles had some just beautiful work and attention to detail like this treatment of a new Dura Ace crankset. Improvement over the matte finish, I say.


I had never heard of Argonaut before checking the show’s website for the exhibitor list. I have to say, from top to bottom, they’ve got every detail covered: clean building, awesome paint and professionally designed logo. Argonaut is based in Portland, OR.


Form Cycles also impressed me with how pristine their bikes looked – just so clean. Form is from Sedona, Arizona.


Hey, this is a Southern California bike show, after all. Oh, yeah.


Taylor is originally from Australia and had some sweet looking bikes with tastefully embellished lugwork and paintjobs.


Richie Ditta of Ditta Cycles from here in San Diego is a bike messenger by day and framebuilder. He had some tough looking fixed gear bikes on display and is a part of the MASH crew based in San Francisco.


Proprietor of my local bike shop, Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside, Chuck Hoeffer (L) is a former Masi employee from the days when they had just moved to California back in the early 1970′s. On the right is fellow Masi alumnus, Robert Morgan who was showing his custom Masi from circa 1976 that had about 8 miles on it. Conveniently (or frustratingtingly) it was exactly my size (61cm c-c).


Not a fan of the band, but this Holland Grateful Dead bike (about 70cm by my guestimate) is just so nice. Love the skeleton’s hands painted holding the cable stop. Holland is one of the premier San Diego builders. Super impressed by everything of his I’ve seen. He works a lot in titanium and carbon.


Can’t resist the kid racing bikes. Can you imagine having a Ti-Carbon Holland as a 9 year old? Or even a 37 year old, I guess.


I have to say, that the builder that impressed me the most was Slow Craft Maldoror. Didn’t get a chance to speak with him (or them?), but the bikes and the craft were both stunning and unique. They’re a San Diego builder.


A detail of the seat stays from another Maldoror. So clean and such beautiful lines.


I’ve got a bunch more photos to upload, but it’s late and like I said, I need to get my Flickr account running again to post the rest, but no post about San Diego custom bikes would be complete without a mention of master builder Brian Baylis – a real legend in these parts. There, I mentioned him (that’s him in the center), so now I can go to sleep. Look for more soon.


  1. 70 cm Holland with Grateful Dead paint would be for NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton. Not his first, won’t be his last