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.