Ask anyone in the United States about handmade bicycles and one man's name will always come up: Richard Sachs.
The Godfather of American hand-crafted frame building, Sachs' fingerprints are all over the handmade resurgence, keeping steel alive in a sea of production-line carbon fiber and aluminum bikes. With 42-plus years at the bench, Sachs works in Massachusetts, brazing the traditional lugged joints together one at a time, selling his own tubing and lugs to other builders, and racing on his own cyclocross team. To appreciate a Sachs frame is to appreciate a fine Rolex—the commitment to quality, intentionality, design, and a highly personal building process. But as he's quick to point out, it won't make you any faster.
At the opening of Sachs's exhibition at New York's Rapha Cycling Club last week, we caught up with the famous frame builder who used to have a 10-year waiting list (now there is no waiting list). You may know the 61-year-old Sachs as highly-opinionated, witty, charismatic, and charming. He is still every single one of these.