Monday, February 17, 2014

Waterford Precision Cycles - A visit

Not alot of riding to speak of lately and there is a significant re-shuffling in the works on my daily rider front but more on that later.  I'm actually home relatively briefly between trips and had to get up some shots of a very brief visit to the friendly and amazing Waterford Precision Cycles in (where else) Waterford, WI.

Waterford is 8,000 sq ft of American manufacturing, and it might be the highest volume MUSA steel bike shop in the country. (anyone have an idea of who might be larger?)  Not only are they bigger than the average custom bike shop but they put out some extremely high quality frames for some very hi profile customers... Rivendell (Atlantis, Hunqapillar, A Homer Hilson to name a few), Boulder All-Road's, Gunnar (house brand), small batch Schwinn Paramount Anniversary editions, and of course the Waterford branded custom bikes.  Quite an impressive brag sheet in my mind

I checked in via phone and email ahead of time and let the good folks at Waterford know that I'd love to stop in and see the place as I'm a current Rivendell rider and they very kindly obliged. I got a spectacular walk-around with Richard who really knew his way around the shop.  Given that I didn't and haven't ridden an actual Waterford product (my Atlantis is a Toyo built frame) I can't give any feedback from a rider perspective.. so the pictures and captions really just give you my wide-eyed, curious view of a really cool bike shop.

Thanks very much to Richard for showing me around and Johanna for taking my calls.  This is a cool shop with good people and gorgeous bikes coming off the line!  Enjoy the pictures.

TIG welding at a very hi level.

A pair of seat stays being miter-cut for the frame in the next image down

As each frame moves through the work floor it is paced by its spec sheet that gives the geometry, materials, customer and other information.  Every frame, even the 'stock' Gunnar's go through as a single item built up from scratch.

Brazing station

A future Waterford in paint

If I remember correctly these are all Gunnar's but I'm not sure...

Here's what I was hoping to see!  post-paint Riv's and Waterford's all lined up and ready for final touches!

Here's what I was hoping to see!  post-paint Riv's and Waterford's all lined up and ready for final touches!

The chrome frame is one of 25 Schwinn Paramount Anniversary editions... a very rare bike at the very start of its lifetime!

Hunqa - hunqa - hunqa

I wonder who's lovely orange Homer this is!

And a gorgeous blue Homer getting worked on

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