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Thread: YiPsan Bicycles

  1. #1
    YiPsan's Avatar
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    Default YiPsan Bicycles

    First off, thank you V Salon, Richard et al for setting up this segment.

    I came from Hong Kong, China. Legal alien since 2002.

    I learned the mechanicals of bicycles through my early teens playing with BMX and small wheeled bicycles and mostly through readings, then working at bike shops enhanced the actual experience in problem solving and situational maintenance.

    My desire to build bicycles stems from an early age when my dad told me about the lug construction on a BMX frame that was displayed at a local bike shop. My dad is very mechanically inclined as he was a motorcycle mechanic during the 60’s. I was very influenced by his leanings and likings. As is the case, he named me after his favorite motorcycle chain, Renold.

    I attended vocational school at 16 to learn basic engineering stuff. After 2 years, I went to the UK for my university education. Aerospace was my choice, but I did not get in, and went with manufacturing engineering knowing that there might be a career in Asia for such knowledge. I was back in HK around 91’ and started working for factories and then consultancy firms and the underground train company until 02’.

    The Asia economy in 2002 was going through lots of local and international turmoil and my then girlfriend, Leigh, now wife, was offered a career in Seattle which prompted us to move to the US.

    The Seattle area provided me with a very good intro into the US cycling culture and especially the variety that is available. Due to a lack of a work visa, I was stuck at home reading from the Internet and library and doing some riding around my local area. A move to a new suburb community and my legal rights to work coincide in late 02’ to start my bike repair business. It did not last long as we left the area only after a year, moving to Germantown, MD. I went to work for a local bike shop that has a strong niche in custom bikes and fitting. During this time, I attended UBI and Serotta Fit School and built a few bikes on my own. We moved again in June 06’ and this time to Fort Collins, CO. The 3 years between going to UBI and showing at NAHBS in Portland was crucial in trying different designs and honing skills to build these designs. During the fall of 07’ I decided to start YiPsan.

    I have been showing at NAHBS and other regional shows since then.

    My focus is a first rate fit, design for the intended use of the bike and tasteful details and finish on the bike. I like simple and elegant overall appearance, but also enjoy small features that turn a bike into a one-off. I enjoy building a variety of styles as the different demand makes me think more during each build. I work alone in my home-based garage workshop and mainly rely on hand tools. Happy times are when bikes are delivered and hearing that customers enjoy the ride.

    I hope this gives a good intro to YiPsan and myself. I do not know most of you Salonistas, but am looking forward to the conversation here. Cheers,

    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles
    Last edited by YiPsan; 08-17-2010 at 06:15 PM.
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

  2. #2
    Dave Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Hello,

    Thanks for taking part.

    Can you tell us what the history behind your logo and avatar is?


    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  3. #3
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Dave,

    Good to hear from you.

    I am clipping some text from my webpage here.

    The circular one is a stylized version of my last name, Yip, in simplified Chinese. It is common to put ones last name on items that they are proud of, e.g. the front of red packets (a tradition during Chinese new year for married couples to give well wishes to singles, it usually contains cash in modern times). This is quite similar to the use of the coat of arms.

    The square one with Chinese characters simulates an approval stamp used by ancient kings to signify their approval of policies and legislature. The meaning of the 4 Chinese words is “Hand made in steel”.


    As for naming my brand Yipsan, I thought it sounds better to have a 2 syllable name instead of single, it also rhymes with Mr. Yip in my native tongue – Cantonese. It is a city where cultures of east and west truly commingles and it is under this environment that I grew up to learn many of western cultures and also a lot of interesting eastern customs.

    As every bike is a part of me, I feel it is meaningful to brand them with my heritage.

    And thanks for asking. Do you feel there is too much ethnic stuff?

    Cheers,
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

  4. #4
    Dave Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by YiPsan View Post
    Dave,

    Good to hear from you.

    I am clipping some text from my webpage here.

    The circular one is a stylized version of my last name, Yip, in simplified Chinese. It is common to put ones last name on items that they are proud of, e.g. the front of red packets (a tradition during Chinese new year for married couples to give well wishes to singles, it usually contains cash in modern times). This is quite similar to the use of the coat of arms.

    The square one with Chinese characters simulates an approval stamp used by ancient kings to signify their approval of policies and legislature. The meaning of the 4 Chinese words is “Hand made in steel”.


    As for naming my brand Yipsan, I thought it sounds better to have a 2 syllable name instead of single, it also rhymes with Mr. Yip in my native tongue – Cantonese. It is a city where cultures of east and west truly commingles and it is under this environment that I grew up to learn many of western cultures and also a lot of interesting eastern customs.

    As every bike is a part of me, I feel it is meaningful to brand them with my heritage.

    And thanks for asking. Do you feel there is too much ethnic stuff?

    Cheers,
    No - not in the slightest. It's part of what makes us what we are and influences what we build. I think it's very cool.

    Keep up the good work.


    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Renold,

    Your sunflower bike in Richmond was out of this world awesome. What was your favorite feature on it? What was the part that gave you the most trouble to execute?

    Thanks,
    Tony
    Anthony Maietta
    Web Site | Blog | Flickr
    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."

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    sfghbiker is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    your bikes look great! good luck with your continued success.

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    I saw your bikes in Richmond and I have to say they are very impressive.
    Do you have a favorite type of bike to build, and are there any special things that influence you artistically?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    No - not in the slightest. It's part of what makes us what we are and influences what we build. I think it's very cool.

    Keep up the good work.


    dave
    Thanks Dave. If you head south and pass through Fort Collins, do let me know. Need to buy you a drink and learn more.

    Cheers,
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

  9. #9
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonymaietta View Post
    Renold,

    Your sunflower bike in Richmond was out of this world awesome. What was your favorite feature on it? What was the part that gave you the most trouble to execute?

    Thanks,
    Tony
    Thank you, Tony. Sorry I did not get to speak with you or stop by to say hi during Richmond.

    The Sunflower was a long winter. My favorite feature was how the twin lateral tubes tie in the the rear dropouts through the chainstay / seatstay support brace. Sure, the brace was not necessary, but I need something to land the lateral tubes on and I find the more common method to put them all on the rear dropout a little too busy. I wanted to take advantage of the twin tubes as well to hide the cables going to the back, so what better than just doing the brake brace and land the twin tubes there. Sorry, a bit self congratulatory here. I was also happy to have convinced the customer to go with those low mount paragon dropouts, and a EBB instead of sliders and normal BB. The fender lines are more controlled and there is no hassle to placement of other parts. I normally do not like EBBs because they alter the relationship with the rider, but for that type of city / commuter, it is acceptable.

    I was also happy with the flower pattern on the base of the front rack. I did not have any idea of what / how to incorporate on the bike when customer told me they wanted something to do with flower on the bike. The idea came right after the rectangular outer frame was done, and I was surprised how well received it was.

    The difficult part would include those twin tubes too, as they were hand bent and placed free hand, so lots of clamps and triple checking from various viewpoints. I had initially planned to use a straight line, but realized that the height of the tubes along the seattube was still somewhat high if the rider was to wear a skirt. Bending it a little bit helps bring is lower and also tuck it in so it is not a trouble for heel clearance. The front rack was also somewhat troublesome for me, I do not have dedicated rack building tooling.

    But all in all, it was a great build and I am very happy how it turned out.

    Cheers,
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by sfghbiker View Post
    your bikes look great! good luck with your continued success.
    Thank you. Did you go to NAHBS Richmond?
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    I saw your bikes in Richmond and I have to say they are very impressive.
    Do you have a favorite type of bike to build, and are there any special things that influence you artistically?
    Eric,

    Thank you.

    I like all sorts of riding, and so I like building all types, the change of thinking in geometry, tube size, equipment, even braze on position keep things fresh and my nose to the grindstone. But if I had to pick one, I would likely choose those that have incorporated fenders, racks and lights. They require a bit more fore thought and a certain accuracy in placing those integrated mounting points. It is a challenge I welcome.

    There are lots of things that influence me artistically, although I do not think I am artistic. A lot of british theme / flair objects, I guess I grew up in a British colony and went to UK for a few years had made some impressions on me. I am a big fan of the original Mini. I like its simplicity and its boxy yet slightly curvy outline is very interesting. It also has some pretty cool mechanical / engineering stuff too. I do not like art for art's sake. If it does not have a function, it has to be so small / unobtrusive that it is easily overlooked. Case in point, seat stay caps. They are areas that you can put some art in, yet it really does not affect the function and to some people, they do not know its there.

    Have I answered your question?
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    hey renold, glad to meet you and see your work up close at richmond. thanks for playing.

    have you done any more flower bikes?






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    Craig Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Renold, it's great to learn a little bit about you. I think it's pretty cool how you describe your little yellow bike coming together. Not knowing how to handle the rack, and choosing to wait, letting it come at it's own time explains a lot. A project like that one takes a lot of pre-planning, yet the patience and guts to go with ideas. Congrats on getting it right! At Richmond, Susan was smitten with your work, and just commented on how truly nice you were when she talked to you! I hope I have a chance to spend some time with you in Austin.
    Craig

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    Blue Jays is offline VSalon ClincherKing-ista
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    Thumbs up Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Love VSalon Smoked Out to learn about various builders.
    Best wishes for continued framebuilding success, Renold!

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by WadePatton View Post
    hey renold, glad to meet you and see your work up close at richmond. thanks for playing.

    have you done any more flower bikes?
    Wade,

    It was great meeting you.

    I have not had a chance to make another one of that bike, which I do plan on doing. I want to have one for my wife for around town use. Customer bikes take priority.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by YiPsan; 08-18-2010 at 01:02 PM. Reason: typo
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ryan View Post
    Renold, it's great to learn a little bit about you. I think it's pretty cool how you describe your little yellow bike coming together. Not knowing how to handle the rack, and choosing to wait, letting it come at it's own time explains a lot. A project like that one takes a lot of pre-planning, yet the patience and guts to go with ideas. Congrats on getting it right! At Richmond, Susan was smitten with your work, and just commented on how truly nice you were when she talked to you! I hope I have a chance to spend some time with you in Austin.
    Craig
    Thank you, Craig.

    I guess I missed speaking with you? or maybe Susan was browsing on her own? Anyhow, Richmond was a great time. Can't wait for Austin.

    Can you share more of what Susan likes among my bikes. I had 5 bikes there (too many) and they are of different types. It is great to learn more of what attracts people.

    Cheers,
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays View Post
    Love VSalon Smoked Out to learn about various builders.
    Best wishes for continued framebuilding success, Renold!
    Thank you, Blue Jays.

    Can you share of the reason of your handle? Are you a bird lover?
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Hi Renold,

    seems you left HK about the same time as I. I lived there from 97 - 01. I'd move back in a second if I could.

    I had a look at your Flickr page and I really like the sunflower bike. I noticed the cables enter the 2 toptubes but I couldn't tell where they came out. Can you explain that a bit? Are they full housing or does the housing stop where it enters?
    Cheers
    Kevin

    PolyTube Cycles

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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Will you explore your small wheeled beginnings through the art of frame building? I think your frames are particularly artfully carried out, artful enough to be demanding to be ridden.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: YiPsan Bicycles

    Renold, am I making an assumption your time invested in each bike represents a barely break even venture? Can you expand on this perhaps to say how this jives with your approach to handmade bicycles as a business?

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