Mark and I were drinking beer our front of my shop. Not Norther Cycles, but my old shop, Kenton Cycle Repair.
I'd started Kenton Cycle Repair with nothing more than a collection of used tools and parts, and crossed fingers. I'd hoped it to be this radical all encompassing space that could help the broke keep their bikes on the road, but also be able to stock and sell all the high end bike parts I lust over.
It couldn't. I couldn't afford them, and the customer demand for cheep repair parts sucked every penny we made every month. I was a part time frame-builder with dreams of becoming the next Rene Heres, but all I was really doing was tune ups on junky worn out hybrids, and day dreaming.
Bicycle repairs on less than inspiring bikes took all of my time. I could hardly work on any of the few custom projects I had going in my little frame-builder's corner.
Mark and I would drink beers at the shop every Sunday afternoon and talk about about a proper studio, building custom frames and selling all the seemingly abandoned pretty parts most bike shops and manufactures can't seem to be bothered with any-longer: quill stems, quality components and accessories, and of course polished silver everything.
We seemed to be on the same page, Mark had a little money set aside, and my Partner at Kenton Cycles seemed content enough and was willing to buy me out. So, over beers and the World Famous Kenton Club the concept of Norther Cycles was born. Traditional steel lugged bikes with classic style and custom frame geometry that optimized performance and comfort instead of the latest industry driven fad. Real world lightweight steel do it all bikes, lighter than touring bikes, more realistic than plastic racing bikes. Bikes based on integrated lighting, luggage capacity and real clearances for cushy tires and fenders that actually fit and provide full coverage.
I sold Kenton and started this web site. Started ordering all the tools, hardware, and new and New Old Stock (NOS) shiny high end components I could find.
The only thing left to do is find just that right spot, and believe me we are looking, so we can start building and offering the best dang small batch, and one off, custom bikes around!
Hope you like them... and hope you buy them... starting a new business is frightening!