My name is Glenn Thompson and my shop, Daltex Handmade Bicycles, is located in the Bishop Arts District section of Dallas, Texas. I build Road, Cross, Touring, Fixed, and Mountain bicycles using steel and mostly lugged construction.
The bicycles that I build are designed to fit the specific rider and a specific type of riding. My bicycles are definitely not race bikes, they handle solid and stable. The fit is more upright than a typical production road bike. My designs allow and expect the rider to use the drops more often than on a typical bike. Too many riders spend 100% of their time using only the brake hoods hand position. It is my viewpoint that if the only hand position that works for you is the brake hoods, the bike may not fit you properly.
My typical client has a limited amount of riding time and has no need or desire to pretend to be a professional racer. I try to design a bike that excels on weeknight club training rides and 60 or 70 mile rides on the weekends, while also being useful to get around town on. That is always the goal.
I don’t sell framesets, I only sell complete bicycles. Have I ever lost a sale as a result? Yes. Do I regret not ever compromising this policy? No. I don’t take special requests on the design either. I design the bikes to handle the way that my bikes handle. Potential clients are often under the false impression that they can isolate out one variable from the bike design and then dictate that parameter: “ Let’s make the ST angle XX* “. My answer is always no. The complete design is dictated by putting the rider in the correct position and making the bike ride the way it should.
I first met David Cheakas around 1994. I had seen an article on David in the old Bicycle Guide magazine’s ‘Hot Tubes’ section. A friend and I had decided to order frames from David. My friend ordered a frame, and David allowed me to watch the build process. I never ordered my frame, but I did begin a great relationship with David that lasts to this day. Over the years, David taught me his method and his process of framebuilding. You may remember me working the Cheakas booth at Portland NAHBS and Indianapolis NAHBS. David still ranks as my favorite American framebuilder, and one day I will put a deposit down on that frame that I planned to buy back in 1994.
Monday nights are ‘Open Shop’ night at Daltex. Newbie builders, potential clients, and hobby builders all come by to watch the build process, have access to the equipment, and drink beer. The group is varied: We’ve had grads from UBI and elsewhere that need access to the equipment, serious self-taught guys, too many engineers, etc. Open Shop night is for people that may have a bike or two already under their belt and have done their due diligence. Some participants that you may know are Jay (PCW), Wade Patton, Steve Flusche, and Wes the Welder.
NAHBS this year was an especially rewarding experience. Richard came by my booth and we had a very interesting discussion on community, participation, and perspective. Dario Pegoretti liked my little stainless steel Texas shaped bottle boss reinforcers, asked for 4 of them, then gave me a big hug! And of course, getting to see all the other Texas builders, who I count as my good friends is always a treat.
As anyone that knows me can tell you, the most important thing in my life is my daughter. I have had the luxury and privilege of raising her by myself since she was about 4 years old, she is now in 7th grade. She bakes cookies & pizza for the guys in the shop, she helps me with graphics and color choices, she goes on every delivery with me. If you saw the Daltex cowboy hats that we gave away at our booth in NAHBS Austin, you have seen her work. She painted our logo on about 100 hats the week before the show.
Thanks for listening, see you all in Sacramento!