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Thread: Richard Sachs Cycles

  1. #1681
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Unearthed

    On some levels IG is a foreign language to me because I don’t know who sees what or how deep folks go into the images already stored. But I’ve been posting the transparencies recently unearthed here at Ground Zero in the 06417. Many are 4 X 5 sizes and come with a story or at least an observation. Just today I found several hundred color positives taken by Michael Furman from Philadelphia. They all show a 20th Anniversary Frame I made in the 1991 period. I added some text to one about a week ago if you’re interested in the backstory. Now I’ll begin pasting in detail shots. Luscious is the only word that comes to mind when describing Michael’s camera work. If anything is NSFW, his photographs fit that acronym perfectly.



  2. #1682
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    Q & A

    Peter Brentlinger took the original photograph and I took this one. It’s from 1996, or maybe a year before. We shot a series for a printed piece that this became part of. This image was selected for the cover and had some type laced over it. It read, “Why buy a frame from a one-man shop still using tradtional hand-building methods?” The answer was inside the brochure and simple. Because technology alone is a poor substitute for experience. I first used these words in 1990 for an ad placed in Velo-News’ 20th Anniversary issue. On many levels they’re more germane today than ever before.



  3. #1683
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    Challenge

    This is a 4 X 5 transparency shot by Bruno in the late 1990s. It was used as a glam image to accompany a 9,000 word article in Cigar Aficionado about the handmade niche. To my mind, and I felt similarly at the time, the assembled bicycle represents as far as I could take my work in what was already a decidedly nonferrous era. Components were still mostly silver and alloy at that. Though up to date parts-wise, this one is 4.1 on the meh scale according to my opinion. A 5.0 would be completely meh. What I needed, what I looked forward to, was to be able to deliver bicycles that didn’t look like vestiges from the 1980s, Ya I just said that. Me, a maker who uses steel and brazes pipes together with lugs. And also makes his own forks. Twenty years have passed and I’m even more resolute. The challenge is to fabricate frames to the best of my ability, to optimize the material, to take my skills as a joiner and craftsman as far as I can, but still be able to look at the bicycle when it’s complete and believe the challenge has been met. Up until a year or three ago I was still content. Now, I think most components look like crap and belong only on manufactured frames that are sold on the street corner. That’d be several subway stops from the one I stand on today.




  4. #1684
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    Confluence

    A 1991 detail shot by Michael Furman. For the RS 20th Anniversary Frame I brought back some materials long since mothballed as I transitioned over to the IC era in the early 1980s. The Nervex Ref 32 lugs. The playing card suit fork liners. These pantographed dropouts too. The reliefs show the pattern I milled into the raised area. But the rest was typical hand-work of the day. I kept using and filing forged dropouts until 2008 when I introduced my Piccolo Gioiello designs. I reckon I must have brazed and filed well over 25,000 dropouts until that fateful day that my work was cloned using the casting process.

    Look at this photograph of a color transparency. No amount of staring will speak to the patience, skill, and vigilance it took to get every curve, edge, line, radius, point, and all other dimensions so perfect. It’s a balancing act of optimum fit, excellent brazing, and fastidious filing. By me. Through all the years and changes, I was always supremely confident and beyond proud that I could produce this level of work. By the time this picture was taken, my dropout confluences all looked this way regardless of frame model.

    Had horizontal dropouts not been made completely redundant by Y2K I might have not pursued the vertical shapes I use now. But alas, the future happened and another piece of the puzzle became something I once did when I was younger, more interested, and the trade less watered down. One day in the not so distant future, all bicycles will come from just four sources. But until then, I’ll keep going to the bench each morning and find a way to bleed for my art.




  5. #1685
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Making

    Iím not making bicycles, Iím making decisions. Making choices. Hundreds of small roads to go down in the three days between looking at a piece of paper, grabbing a mental image of what I want, and then accepting all of it. The accepting is part of the making too. The idea of it is the beauty, the craft. Itís what I do. I stare down the subassemblies which really are assemblies all on their own and try to reimagine them playing nicely with each other. Over three days Iíll feel like a campaign manager, a producer, a band leader, an editor, and even a publisher if all goes well. Iíll be Kissinger. And Auriemma. Maybe Wintour. Maybe Hammond. All these little creations have to be elegant. They have to work well. They have to sing.




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  6. #1686
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Deliverance

    Some of mine, What I like about them, what I miss, is the simplicity, the trust. The paper, ink, and text tell a complete story. How to find me. For the 38 years I lived in town, as long as my name was on the outside of something I’d get it. Didn’t need door numbers or streets. Mail arrived with nothing more than Richard Sachs and the zip code. The guys behind the counter knew, and all of it got dumped in Box 194. The combination was G and then C and then in the middle of the I and J.

    I don’t think the system accepts so little information anymore. It’s gotta be formatted for the machine or whatever technology replaced the thinking. It probably wasn’t even thinking when Bib, Carm, Enza or the others grabbed an envelope and routed it. It was muscle memory. Or maybe just knowing all of us and never looking below the first line. Weird thing is there aren’t more people now, just different people. And they won’t know you like back then because the future happened.

    We left the village in 2009 and recently came back to a place so near but also a world away. I haven’t had business cards since 1983. Or stationery for that matter. I’ll be tossing a hat back in that ring soon. A pal who works at Crane & Co. sent a samples kit. I’m ready to go back in time. The Slow Food movement but for bicycles.




  7. #1687
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Ran into Rich R at a booksigning for the new House book in NYC last week. We've got it all mapped out. Stay tuned.
     

  8. #1688
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsegal View Post
    Ran into Rich R at a booksigning for the new House book in NYC last week. We've got it all mapped out. Stay tuned.
    Make postage stamps great again atmo.

  9. #1689
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    My Story

    All makers will have a similar story. This is mine. No matter what I pick up. No matter which tube, what frame joint I’m assembling, or component I’m working on. Regardless of how far into the three days I am. On every bicycle I’ve ever made. When, and it’s always a matter of when. When the road turns and I realize I’m in the right spot and want to take it further. Or down the wrong path and need to find a way back, or out. It’s during these times, and they always come so it’s important recognize them as they look at you. These are the times that my collection of Bahco barrette needle files becomes my compass. My North Star. My safety net. If I can’t enhance what I do with these gems, or get myself to higher ground, I’m fucked.



  10. #1690
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    My Job

    By the late 1980s and as a maker with a decade and a half of standing around, ideas in mind, tools in hand, and thousands of chances to get it right – I began to think that there was no right to get. The higher plane that alluded me was a moving target. That my ability to summon up all my best skills and experiences and imbue one bicycle with all of it and I mean ALL of it was only a concept. At worst, it became a calling. One I can’t shake. In all the years since, I’ve still tried as hard as I’ve ever tried, but long ago accepted that it’s a partnership. There’s me. The metal. And the room I’m in.

    The fascination I once had with perfection has lately become an interest in elegance. Defining it. Channeling it. Embracing it. I think about how to bring back the elegance because I don’t feel enough of it around in daily life. When I’m stopped in my tracks and pause, it’s often to notice something elegant. It’s what gets me out of my own self. A connection. That’s what’s missing atmo. Elegance will make me look up. It will make me appreciate, and covet. But mostly appreciate. And I think it happens at a slower speed.

    Elegance should inspire. It will inspire. And being inspired isn’t part of my job. It is my job.




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