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NAHBS Seminars:

The NAHBS seminars are three intense days of learning sessions in which the world’s pre-eminent frame building minds divulge the knowledge it has taken them many years to gather. These are ‘do not miss’ events for anybody looking for deeper knowledge about bicycles – be you an amateur builder, a new professional, or simply a cycling enthusiast.

NAHBS 2011 Seminar Schedule

Friday – Feb 25th

10:30 AM Dwan Shepard Co-Motion Cycles
12:00 PM Gary Prange Screen Specialty Shop Inc.
2:00 PM Wade Barocsi Cycle Design
3:00 PM Ric Hjertberg Wheel Fanatyk
4:00 PM Joe McCrink KVA Stainless

Saturday – Feb 26th

10:30 AM Don Ferris Anvil Bikeworks
11:45 AM Brent Curry The Bicycle Forest
1:00 PM Ric Hjertberg Wheel Fanatyk
2:00 PM Bob Parlee Parlee Cycles
3:30 PM Tom Ritchey Ritchey Design
4:30 PM Craig Calfee Calfee Design

Sunday – Feb 27th

8:30 AM Carl Strong * Strong Frames
* This will be the final seminar Carl gives at NAHBS
11:00 AM Lora Van Dixhorn Westlake Insurance
12:30 PM Kent Eriksen Kent Eriksen Cycles
1:45 PM Ben Serotta Serotta

The Business of Framebuilding with Carl Strong

You’ve heard it a million times: “Don’t quit your day job.” Well, this seminar will Carl Strong covers the things a builder needs to know in order to run a successful frame building business so they can quit their day job. Building frames is only a small part of running a successful Framebuilding business. If you want to build frames for a living you have to be equally as good at running the day to day operations of a small business. As Framebuilding grows in popularity and more builders enter the fray it will become even more important that you follow sound, professional, ethical and effective business practices. Topics will range from start up strategy and business models to necessary skill-sets and specific areas of focus like organization, time management, accounting, marketing, sales and fulfillment.

Introducing New Stainless Steel with KVA Stainless

KVA Stainless is introducing new stainless steel tubes and tube sets, which will open the market for stainless bicycle frames to a wider range of riders and builders. We've created seam welded tubing that has the same levels of formability as conventional chromoly, while exceeding strengths of current market alloys. We aim to keep our ears to the tracks and grow with every builder and rider who's willing to give us a shot.

KVA STAINLESS™ processed martensitic stainless steel tubing is Precision Made in U.S.A. for high-performance bicycle frame applications.
Already proven by KVA STAINLESS™ in other industries, patented KVA STAINLESS™ martensitic stainless structural tubing can now be integrated into high performance bicycle frames to reduce weight, increase strength and stiffness, at significant cost decreases over competitive materials.

Located in southern California, KVA STAINLESS™ is a growing R&D venture focused on developing and promoting uses for lightweight, ultra high-strength, low cost, stainless steel alloys. KVA STAINLESS™ technical staff, with a combined 60 years experience in heat treating, metallurgy, automated welding, brazing, and mechanical design, have developed numerous proprietary and patent-pending processing and manufacturing methods to enable the use of lightweight, corrosion-resistant, hardened stainless steel components throughout a wide variety of industries.

Why Is Fiber Important?

Bob is going to talk briefly how he developed his frame building methods, why he chose carbon fiber as a material, what differentiates PARLEE; in other words, how/why we build bikes at PARLEE Cycles.

Bob Parlee has had a diverse work history.  He spent many years in the boat building industry working on numerous high-performance, power boats and on Olympic-class sail boats.  He built the mold for and completed the Flying Dutchman that won the 1984 Olympics.  He also built traditional wooden as well as cold molded boats for 16 years.  During that time he also designed and built processing equipment for an oyster farm that he was developing in a 30 acre saltwater pond in Essex MA.  He grew the best oysters on the North Shore but the tenuous nature of farming precluded this as a career as he was starting a family at the time.  In and among his projects, he was also developing designs for cleaner and more desirable ways to build carbon fiber bicycles.  He just wanted to build a great bike. Actually his goal was and continues to be to build a no-nonsense bike that is one of the finest in the world, a functional work of art.  Through research and networking he found friends and consultants in the aerospace industry. He negotiated shop space in an aerospace prototype lab where from sheets of carbon fiber he designed and developed his own tubing and lug designs among other things….

Atomic Number 22, the Space Age Metal (Titanium) with Kent Eriksen

Kent will be talking about his use of titanium: Why, how, what and benefits of titanium as a frame building material. Ample time will be given for Q and A and allowing an open format discussion.

Kent Eriksen epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit, starting from his youth.  Arriving in Steamboat Springs in the 1974, it was to be a stop in his year off between high school and college.  After starting a bicycle repair and retail shop known as Sore Saddle Cyclery, college still waits. It was inside this cone-shaped shop where Eriksen began fabricating the first generation of mountain bikes, pre mass production frames under the Moots brand.

Kent developed Moots cycles into one of the finest titanium frame manufacturers with a worldwide reputation for attention to detail, function and design.   In 2005, Eriksen left Moots to start his own signature brand; creating custom designed bikes under the name Kent Eriksen Cycles.  Today, this award winning business produces titanium bicycles, evacuation equipment for the ski industry and adaptive equipment for disabled skiers and cyclists.

BikeCAD-emy with Brent Curry

Brent Curry, the developer of BikeCAD and BikeCAD Pro, will give an overview of BikeCAD's basic functionality and describe the new features of BikeCAD version 7.0. Whether you’re a frame builder, shop owner or bike fit specialist, Brent will explain all that you need to know to get the most out of BikeCAD.

BikeCAD is constantly being updated. Come to this seminar to learn what new features are being planned and to suggest ideas of your own.

Introduction to Brazing with Wade Barocsi

A brief introduction to brazing, and how it works.

Brazing alloy selection considerations, why we use the alloys that we use.
Bronze vs Silver, Lug vs Fillet.
Flux varieties and uses including paste, powder,liquid fluxes and "butters"
Why flux proper flux selection is so critical.

Joint Preparation, edge preparation, internal fillets
Brazing Stainless Steels and air hardening alloys
Corrosion Issues, Micro Cracking, Acid Cleaning, cooling rates.

Some basic safety will also be covered;
How to not; blow up, go blind, suffer pulmonary or cardiac failure, or otherwise hurt your self.

We will have a question and answer or group discussion at the end of the talk

Wade Barocsi is a Welding and Metallurgy Instructor at
Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury CT.

Wade started building frames in 1987 and has been a well known
member of the framebuilding community for many years.
He became the Director of Cycle Design in 2010.

At Cycle Design he is responsible for alloy and flux formulations,
product use protocols, and builder education.

Serotta and Columbus, Steel Crazy after all these years….25 years of collaboration in the planet’s most noble material.

Serotta Competition Bicycles and Columbus of Italy have a business relationship that spans four decades. Together both companies share a passion for cycling and a commitment to providing superior products that place true performance values ahead of marketing hype. Twenty five years ago the companies embarked on a collaboration that changed the way bike designers viewed tubing, with a lasting impact on the industry. Join Ben Serotta and principle staff of Columbus while they look back on the history and look forward to the future of steel


Ben Serotta, a life-long cyclist and tinkerer from an early age first started a bicycle store in his home town of Saratoga Springs as a 14 year old entrepreneur in 1968.  But for a brief flirtation with academia, he has been in the bicycle industry ever since.  A stint as an apprentice at Witcomb of London (preceding Richard Sachs and Peter Weigle who arrived shortly thereafter) made a lasting mark and Serotta began building frames above “The Bike Shop” in 1972.

Having built just about every imaginable type of bicycle at least once, Serotta is best know for road bicycles- with appearances in almost every Olympics since 1976.  From 1983-1988 Serotta was tapped to build the Murray/Huffy bicycles for the 7/Eleven team as it paved the way for the future of American cyclists on the professional world stage.  It was a relationship that cemented Serotta’s position as a leader in the US custom bicycle market as well as the company’s 30 year commitment to elevate process and quality control to levels not previously seen in the cycling industry.

Among Serotta’s accomplishments is establishing what has become the recognized leading method of bicycle fitting.  In the pursuit of “delivering the best bicycle in the world, one cyclist at a time,” Ben developed a holistic approach to bike fitting which utilized the Serotta SizeCycle as an instrument and eventually opened the first school for bike fitters in 1998.  Today SICI (Serotta International Cycling Institute) hosts students of bike fitting who come from across the globe for its programs.

With headquarter facilities in Saratoga Springs, NY (where all the welding, brazing, machining and finishing operations occur) the company opened its own composites facility in Poway, California in order to have full control over every aspect of manufacturing. Serotta utilizes this complete vertical integration to the fullest enabling a full range of ‘ride tuning’ properties in all of its frames and forks.


Since 1919 Columbus of Milan, Italy has been at the forefront of Italian engineering specializing in tube design.  From the onset its customer list reads as a complete who’s who of renowned frame builders from around the world.

In recent years, under the discerning eye of Antonio Columbo, the youngest son of founder A.L. Colombo; the company expanded its range of specialty frame components to include Aluminum and Carbon Fiber.  But Columbo’s commitment to steel is obvious as the company continues to push the boundaries each year, continually innovating and refining what many consider to be the most noble material for crafting the world’s finest bicycles.

Find a Need and Fillet with Tom Ritchey

The Fillet Brazing Framebuilder: it’s what Tom Ritchey frames are best known for. TR will go through how he learned, why fillet is still relevant today, along with some early challenges in his own framebuilder years and how he overcame them.

Tom Ritchey is known as one of the  founders of the mountain bike, but his roots as a custom framebuilder go back to 1972.  Throughout his career, Tom’s made significant contributions to frame building technique, tubing and frame components, as well as an ever-growing list of significant innovations in bars, stems, tires, pedals and wheels. Today, Ritchey is known worldwide as a leader in cycling component technology and design. Tom remains as owner head of product development and also founder and president of Project Rwanda. He still manages to ride over 15,000 miles a year, and there’s almost always a frame in progress up at his Skyline Ranch.

That's Fitting with Craig Calfee

Legendary designer and framebuilder Craig Calfee will demonstrate the Calfee Sizer fitting cycle, showing how it can speed up fitting sessions using any fitting method. Craig will show how this fitting cycle is particularly adept at satisfying those difficult to fit clients. Attendees will also learn Craig's own fitting method developed in his 20 years of professional fitting experience.

Craig Calfee started building carbon frames in 1987, when “plastic bikes” weren’t very popular. Greg LeMond discovered Calfee’s bikes in 1991 and that meeting introduced Craig into the world of fussy professional racers. Being a custom frame specialist, Calfee became familiar with the limitations of sizing programs and adjustable fitting bikes. Framebuilder Bernie Mikkelsen had been working on a better sizer for many years when Calfee proposed to help bring it into production. A deal was struck and now there is a steel fabrication corner in Calfee’s carbon fiber frame shop. That is where the Calfee Sizer is produced. Now it’s easy to obtain the exact geometry needed for a custom frame.

Bike Building - Business Basics

  • Buying Components and Subcontracting Work – Am I responsible for their parts or their work?
  • How do I protect myself and my family assets?
  • Selling Overseas – Why not? What could go wrong?
  • How do I prevent problems? Warehouse vs. In-House – Who is responsible for my inventory?
  • What are pitfalls and advantages of renting space vs. my garage? What should I look for in the lease?
  • Working with Quality, Seattle Bike Supply, J&B and Others. Corporation, LLC, or Sole Proprietor – Which should I use?
And much more……

Learn key simple ideas to SET UP YOUR BUSINESS, PREVENT PROBLEMS in the future, and REDUCE INSURANCE COSTS. Before you start, protect yourself and your family financially.

Lora VanDixhorn is a highly-acclaimed authority in the bicycle industry, insuring large retail bike distributors, manufactures and importers, as well as the smallest part-time custom bike builders for 25 years. She attends local custom bike conventions as well as Interbike yearly, is an invited guest speaker at many conferences and conventions, and is President of ISU Insurance Services of Westlake in California. Her company is licensed in every State for all forms of insurance, with an attentive and professional staff.  They access more than 200 insurance companies for the best rates and the broadest coverage, tailored to each client’s needs.  Come to this seminar with your business concerns and questions. Ask the expert!

So you want to mount decals with Gary Prange, Screen Specialty Shop, Inc. / SSSink

Discussing the various forms of decals and which will work best for your application. This seminar is for builders and painters and will discuss the possibilities and pitfalls of branding your frames. Wet paint and powdercoating will be compared from a graphic standpoint.

Screen Specialty Shop has been producing bicycle decals for close to thirty years now.  For the first ten years SSSink was a one man shop located in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I was introduced the the world of bicycle decals by the late Dave Tesch. The American custom frame builders did not have a good source for graphics for their creations. which are generally screen printed, and I was a screen printer. That is we it began.

In 1989 I packed up my young family and moved the the mountains of North Carolina. My family grew, and so did the business.  The large bicycle companies found out about our products and we continued to grow. We then  got involved with other sporting goods industries and grew more. Then a certain president said it was time to convert from a manufacturing economy to a financial services economy, and SSSink has again become a small company catering to the needs of artisans who actually take pride in making something.

Thank you.
Gary Prange

It Wheel Be Good with Ric Hjertberg

Ric Hjertberg is mad about bicycle wheels. He founded Wheelsmith and has become widely known for many fundamental improvements in wheel design. The author of over 40 articles on the subject, he tries to spread the word at every opportunity. Recently New Technology Manager for FSA, he's now the founder of Mad Fiber and, as Wheel Fanatyk, representative of Ghisallo wood rims.

Nature’s composite, wood, was the exclusive material for road and track racing rims for over 70 years. Following the aluminum age, we’re entering an era of carbon fiber. Today’s cycling aficionado’s have an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy all 3 materials. The Cermenati family in Italy, with 4 generations of wood rim experience, has restarted their artisan production. Aluminum rims are ever more sophisticated and carbon fiber is delivering unapproached performance and weight. Ric will explain why wood’s fans were so  crazy about the ride quality, light weight, and reliability. Is this success a clue about the rising popularity of carbon fiber? Learn why bicycle wheels are so fundamentally different from other cycling components and so well served by composites. Ric will show some little known examples of influential wheels, old and new. Find out why bicycle wheels have been called the most ingenious contrivance in all of human engineering and come away with a few tips about your own.

Tooling Around with Don Ferris

Don Ferris, owner of Anvil Bikeworks, has been a leading supplier of framebuilding tools & fixtures to the bicycle industry since 1999. Don will share his experience and knowledge in framebuilding, machine shop practices, and tool manufacture with a special emphasis on design, modularity, and metrology.

Tandem Frame Design with Dwan Shepard - Co-Motion Cycles

Ignoring the pleas of his friends and family, Dwan Shepard founded Co-Motion Cycles in 1988. After years of toiling in self-imposed slavery, Co-Motion Cycles emerged as a leader in tandem bicycles and a beacon for small American bicycle manufacturing. For NAHBS 2011, Dwan will present a seminar on tandem frame design, discussing tandem configurations of the past and present, the reasoning for their different structures and the effectiveness of the issues they attempt to resolve. He will also discuss resources for tandem frame materials and strategies for working with tubing intended for non-tandem frames.