Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 102

Thread: Vendetta Cycles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Vendetta Cycles

    Hi,

    I'm Conor Buescher, co-owner of Vendetta Cycles.

    I first garnered an interest in real bikes during my college days. I was ski racing for the University team and a friend mentioned cycling as a way to stay in shape. I got my first bike that following spring and haven't looked back. Sure I had bikes as a kid but a Schwinn Continental is no Zeus 2000 road bike. The Zeus was quick and fast.



    Riding it was almost like skiing. It really opened my eyes to the idea of cycling as a sport, although I did ride that Schwinn right through the front sliding-glass doors the local Pay-N-Save once, but that's another story.

    My first interests in framebuilding also occurred during college. I had purchased the Talbot book, which piqued my initial interest. Being a metallurgy student I decided to build a frame using 6061 T6 aluminum as a school project. Unfortunately after many calculations related to heat-treating and annealing the material back to its T6 temper, I concluded that I wouldn't be able to adequately heat-treat the frame after welding. I thought that using external lugs and bonding the bike might be a good idea. Trek released the very same design that spring ('85?) and I left the aluminum idea alone.

    Over the next several years I raced, finished school, and worked in a local bike shop. Even after graduating and getting other "professional" jobs I always worked part-time in a shop somewhere. I spent time in shops across the country including Moscow, Idaho, Anchorage, Alaska, Scotch, Plains New Jersey, and Salem, Oregon. I liked the employee discount and would work normally just for parts. Along the way I developed a knack for getting people on the right bike and making them happy.

    One of my most memorable cycling experiences was having Mark Gorski teach me to ride on the track at the Marymoor Velodrome. Having the current Olympic champion in Match Sprint teach me about sprinting was unforgettable.



    During the 90s my cycling was curtailed quite a bit due to degenerative hip arthritis and I ended up having both of my hips replaced in 2001.



    Following my hip replacements I was delighted to get active in cycling again. Searching for a new frame for myself is what renewed my interest in framebuilding.

    I wanted a steel, lugged frame like the ones I had raced and ridden on as a way to celebrate my new hips and being back on the bike. Since these were the types of bikes I had ridden in the past, I wanted a new one.

    Ultimately I discovered the online framebuilding community and was one of the first in line to get the original Pacenti lugs. Once I had the lugs I ordered some tubes and tricked my friend Garrett Clark, the other half of Vendetta, into helping me build a bike. It helped that the bike was for him.

    I figured with his background in Mechanical Engineering and racecar building skills coupled with all of my years of experience riding, racing, and selling bikes would combine nicely to produce safe, functional, and exciting bikes.



    We started building in 2004 and ultimately it's been about getting people on the right bike and making them happy.



    Doing this has been a real source of gratification for me.

    Conor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    4,842
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Hey Conor- nice to have you guys here.
    As a one guy operation I always wonder how the building teams do it. Can you talk a bit about the "division of labor" you guys use? Do you guys have separate skill sets that you apply to every build, or do you mix it up and trade build and order steps? How has this process evolved for you two?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Estlund View Post
    Hey Conor- nice to have you guys here.
    As a one guy operation I always wonder how the building teams do it. Can you talk a bit about the "division of labor" you guys use? Do you guys have separate skill sets that you apply to every build, or do you mix it up and trade build and order steps? How has this process evolved for you two?
    Hey Eric,

    Thanks for being the first one up with a question.

    Garrett and I definitely have certain things that we do in the shop. First of all, Garrett does all of the brazing. He's had welding experience and training along with the oxy/acetylene torch setup so it ended up making sense for him to own that part of the fabrication process.

    For other things the answer is 'it depends.' For something like lug carving we both work on this together. We'll start with the base lugs and some sharpies and draw designs until we both agree that's what we're going to do in terms of design. The key is that we both have to agree. Once we agree Garrett will normally rough cut the lugs with the grinder and then we'll both work on finishing them. Along the way we'll say, "hey, look at this," and I'll go over what he's doing and vice-versa. This helps keep things moving along and fresh.

    In terms of more regular parts of the build process we both work on various steps. We do most everything using hand tools so things like mitering tubes or finishing dropouts is relatively simple with some space and a file. We do tend to have multiples of 'favorite' tools so that way we can both stay busy. I've even got some extra 8" half-round files stashed away in a drawer.

    When we first started we worked together very closely essentially doing everything together. As our experience grew and our process developed so did our tendency to divide and conquer. The key for us, though, is that we both have to agree on a path forward before taking the next step.

    Thanks again,

    Conor

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    18,114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by conorb View Post
    The key for us, though, is that we both have to agree on a path forward before taking the next step.


    that's awesome atmo.
    mad props to you both for taking the initiative.
    i could never work with anyone; i had an assistant for 3 long months in 1983.
    worst experience in my professional life.
    more power to you cats for having the right wiring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    417
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Hey Conor,
    What shop did you work at in Salem? That is where I cut my teeth wrenching (at Scott's). Salem is a good place be and a great place to be from. I met some of the coolest inspirational bike people there, but it just didn't have what I needed. Lot's of friends at Bike Peddler, and the old Bike Doctors, I also worked at Santiam before Troy owned it, but still with Troy. That was the best bike shop I ever worked at.

    Those x-rays look intense. Is that all still in there?

    Is Vendetta your only gig? I thought you guys both had day jobs too...

    What has been the high point of your framebuilding trip so far?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    that's awesome atmo.
    mad props to you both for taking the initiative.
    i could never work with anyone; i had an assistant for 3 long months in 1983.
    worst experience in my professional life.
    more power to you cats for having the right wiring.
    Hey, thanks for chiming in.

    I'm not saying we've never had a contentious discussion. We learned early on, however, that having a discussion until we both agreed ultimately led to the best decision. For us and the customer.

    Garrett is fond of saying that he's never set me on fire, well on purpose anyway.

    Conor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cannon County TN
    Posts
    5,748
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    thanks connor for the inspiratoin and for taking your turn. now get garrett to pop-in and say "hi".

    and what richie said wrt shared work. kudos

    i think of you and dazza and bohm when i think of polished.

    thanks for your input and inspiration. mof i mentioned "vendetta" to my graphics guy today--you know the "illegible from any angle" thingie?

    qs: does polish begat polish or does the expense keep the demand down?

    who's the color guy? "saffron" is exquisite --dammit man, who put those bottle cages on there! oh well.






  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    Hey Conor,
    What shop did you work at in Salem? That is where I cut my teeth wrenching (at Scott's). Salem is a good place be and a great place to be from. I met some of the coolest inspirational bike people there, but it just didn't have what I needed. Lot's of friends at Bike Peddler, and the old Bike Doctors, I also worked at Santiam before Troy owned it, but still with Troy. That was the best bike shop I ever worked at.

    Those x-rays look intense. Is that all still in there?

    Is Vendetta your only gig? I thought you guys both had day jobs too...

    What has been the high point of your framebuilding trip so far?
    Matt,

    Thanks for visiting.

    I worked at South Salem Cycleworks with Michael and his shop. Michael and I stay in contact and I still help him out occasionally with computer issues and such things. In fact I replaced all of his computers in 2001/2002 and he was still using those the last time I was at the shop. Those computers definitely need to be replaced. I've purchased a couple of bikes from the nice folks at the Bike Peddler as well.

    The x-ray is of my left hip and my right hip looks nearly the same except for perhaps the placement of a screw or two. Everything is still in there and I will have to have both replaced again sometime within the next ten years or so. They wear out and will need to be replaced again.

    Garrett and I both have day jobs working full-time at HP here in Corvallis. Garrett designs printheads for ink jet pens and I've been working on our new commercial web press solution as part of the software development team. We both have backgrounds in engineering.

    In terms of high points of framebuilding there have been quite a few. Having someone win a road race on a bike we built is one. I had a gentleman call me after getting his frame and just say, "Wow, it's wonderful." Another one recently occurred when a customer came down from Portland to pick up her bike and after her first ride just exclaimed, "I can't believe it, it's like, it's like...." and I said, "like it was made for you?" And she said, "yeah, like it was made for me."

    Conor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    267
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Conor,

    I missed the chance to speak more with you and Garrett during SD. What is the future of Vendetta as you (and Garrett) see it?
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Yo,

    How do most of your customers find you? Do you do much local business or are the bulk of your customers from far and wide?

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


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Posts
    9,110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    Salem is a good place be and a great place to be from.
    I'm from there, up until 2nd grade & then back for one year of high school, my last - S. Salem. I'll be there in Sept. to see my mom & sis - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Posts
    9,110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Do you guys ever think about going into different types of joining? what are your thoughts on this? - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    19,311
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Do you look at old bicycle designs and draw inspiration or is everyday a new day so to speak?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by WadePatton View Post
    thanks connor for the inspiratoin and for taking your turn. now get garrett to pop-in and say "hi".

    and what richie said wrt shared work. kudos

    i think of you and dazza and bohm when i think of polished.

    thanks for your input and inspiration. mof i mentioned "vendetta" to my graphics guy today--you know the "illegible from any angle" thingie?

    qs: does polish begat polish or does the expense keep the demand down?

    who's the color guy? "saffron" is exquisite --dammit man, who put those bottle cages on there! oh well.
    Wade,

    Thanks for the note. It's doubtful that I'll get Garrett to pop-in, but maybe I can work on him.

    It wasn't our intention to make our logo intelligible, it just worked out that way. It is, however, intelligible either right-side up or upside down.

    The polishing comment is interesting. In some respects I do think that polishing leads to more polishing. In terms of pricing our pricing for polishing lugs is what I would consider 'low' compared to other folks but there is no denying that it adds to the overall cost of the bike. Demand for polishing seems to ebb and flow. At one point we had done 5 or 6 polished bikes in a row. I couldn't even snap the fingers on my right hand anymore and then it curtailed off. Demand seems to be picking up again.

    Our color guy is a local bloke, Harry Phinney.



    He's been a mainstay racer in California and Oregon since the early 70's. It's really nice to be able to work with someone local for choosing colors and seeing how the painting process works up close. I like saffron as well. You should see it outside in the sun.

    Conor

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by YiPsan View Post
    Conor,

    I missed the chance to speak more with you and Garrett during SD. What is the future of Vendetta as you (and Garrett) see it?
    Renold,

    Thanks for hanging out here. Nice to see you. I did stop by your booth in SD but missed chatting with you; hopefully we can have a live conversation sometime in the near future.

    In terms of the future - that's a really difficult question. Garrett and I have discussed the topic and right now we're quite happy being where we are; a small, under-the-radar custom frame shop. I don't really see us trying to grow or get any bigger with Vendetta. We have a small and loyal clientèle and we develop personal relationships with each one of our clients. I like that and I believe it provides for a positive experience for the customer.

    Still, if any of us could accurately predict the future then we should be using our powers for good. At least I know I would <cough>.

    Conor

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    Yo,

    How do most of your customers find you? Do you do much local business or are the bulk of your customers from far and wide?

    dave
    Dave,

    Thanks for the question. Honestly we don't do that much local business. Portland is pretty full of builders and we will rarely pickup an order from folks there. Overall the bulk of our customers are far and wide.

    From talking to our customers it's apparent to me that they find us predominately via two main routes. The first is the Internet; website, show website, cycling specific website like RoadBike Action or CyclingNews. Additionally there is word-of-mouth but even that can take place on the Internet as well.

    The second way that folks find us is through shows like NAHBS, Oregon Bicycle Constructors, Oregon Manifest, and others.

    Now, can it be broken down into a distinct percentage one way or another? I don't think so because there's so much crossover between shows, forums, and the Internet in general.

    After all, it's a series of tubes.



    Conor

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by steve garro View Post
    Do you guys ever think about going into different types of joining? what are your thoughts on this? - Garro.
    Steve,

    I really consider myself a lugged guy through and through. We have started making fillet brazed stems and I see more of those in our future but I like steel and I like lugs. So, no, I don't see us getting into different joining techniques.

    Conor

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by conorb View Post
    Dave,

    Thanks for the question. Honestly we don't do that much local business. Portland is pretty full of builders and we will rarely pickup an order from folks there. Overall the bulk of our customers are far and wide.

    From talking to our customers it's apparent to me that they find us predominately via two main routes. The first is the Internet; website, show website, cycling specific website like RoadBike Action or CyclingNews. Additionally there is word-of-mouth but even that can take place on the Internet as well.

    The second way that folks find us is through shows like NAHBS, Oregon Bicycle Constructors, Oregon Manifest, and others.

    Now, can it be broken down into a distinct percentage one way or another? I don't think so because there's so much crossover between shows, forums, and the Internet in general.

    After all, it's a series of tubes.



    Conor

    I didn't know that was what the webbernet looked like. So those tubes must be full or porn then eh?

    A follow up question if I may - do you find that being in Portland gives you a resource that most other builders in most other cities don't have with so many other builders to draw upon? Is there any kind of competitive vibe in Portland between the builders there to be the biggest/best/coolest....etc?

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


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    680
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Do you look at old bicycle designs and draw inspiration or is everyday a new day so to speak?
    Josh,

    There are times where we'll definitely look to old bicycle designs based on a customer request. John wanted a "Hetchins" themed bicycle so we looked at older Hetchins bikes and their designs for inspiration as to lug carving and implementation.

    This lead to our (Vendetta) interpretation of a classic design.





    Along with curved seat stays as a design element completely borrowed from Hetchins.



    I also look for inspiration in things outside of cycling. I look at watches and cars quite a bit along with more esoteric items like Samurai swords and try to think of ways to integrate certain shapes or motifs into our bicycle designs.

    Does that answer your question?

    Conor

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    19,311
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vendetta Cycles

    Yes sir Conor, great reply. I've got lots more questions but will (aheem) curb my enthusiasm for now.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •