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Lugged Steel Bicycles

All our bikes have lugged steel frames, which makes 95 percent of the country think they’re old-fashioned and slow (not true), and 4.5 percent think they’re homages to the past; also not true. Lugged steel is the strongest and most beautiful way to make bicycle frames and we've been doing nothing but lugged steel for almost 20 here in Walnut Creek, California.

There's a range in our line from an as-light-as-can-be steel road bike to a tough-as-nails trails and touring bike. Your needs are likely somewhere between. Look around on the framesets page and find out which one fits your needs best, or call us, we do this all the time. Once you've settled that, we figure out a size, then start assembling the parts. Most folks wind up going with a Build Kit since those parts just plain work well together.

It's not just click and buy. We don't do that. It's too big a decision to just do on an impulse. We intend you to ride this for life so it's got to fit your body and your needs. Anyone who sells bikes like that is selling you short, it's not a car, there's not just one size.

Can't decide which one? Click here for the bike picker widget. Back by popular demand: Staff Bikes.

We size by Pubic Bone Height. Measure yours like this.

More about our Bikes

High quality CrMo (chrome-moly) steel is the best bicycle frame and fork material in the land. It’s safe, light enough, and lasts a long time.

Let's talk about looks for a second (more important matters will follow). On the surface, "looks" might seem like a frivolous topic, but you care about the looks of everything else in your life, so why not your bike, too?

To us, and I'm guessing we aren't alone in this, carbon frames look like fat smooth cartoon bikes where the cartoonist forgot to include the headset. They look like high-tech sissy toys designed by guys in their late '20s. Even more sobering is that there isn't a carbon frame today that's going to be on the road and trustworthy in 10 years; not if it's lived a hard life, at least. If all you do is look at it and, with a faulty sense of aesthetics, admire it's "sleek, sexy, plastic, computer-drawn contours," that's another story.

Steel has always been and still is the material of strength, structure, endurance, safety, toughness, and peace of mind. It's tough enough for bridges, skyscrapers, loading cranes, hammers, machinery, electricity towers, kettlebells....and it makes the bossest and best bike frames. It looks better and lasts longer. If you like the idea of buying a frame and growing old with it as you run through tires and chains and bar tape and other replaceables, then steel is the only way to go.

The best way to join steel tubes is with lugs. Lugs reinforce the joints, make replacing a tube easier than welding does, and make the joint more interesting and sometimes beautiful. One may appreciate, on some inner zenny level, the spartan look of a tig-welded joint, but if you've seen one you've seen 'em all, and there's nothing to even see.
Tig-welding is an economical way to make strong joints, and despite the skill that goes into a good tig-weld, the completed joint itself is bland. It's tube-meets-tube, and dull. (But when cost savings is an issue, and it often must be, tigged steel is a great way to go.)

If you can handle the cost of a high quality lugged steel frame, and you can get one that fits and is well-suited to the kind of riding you intend for it, then that's the way to go. You'll never look back on it and think, "Dang....I wish it were tig-welded."

All of our bikes ride the same way. Nicely neutral. They all allow you to raise the handlebar good & high. The biggest difference is tire capacity and brake type. If you ride mostly huge tires, get a bike like the Hunqapillar or Atlantis or Bombadil, made for V-brakes or cantilevers. If you ride 32s to 40s almost always, get one of the others.

Geometry Charts Here.

We’re not against disc brakes and internal gears, but we don’t do them, and it’s our opinion that they’re often oversold. They have their place, no doubt. We also don’t do folders or recumbents. At some point we’ll have a tandem, but not yet.

The eight or so models we offer are all really, really nice bikes. Let us help you pick the parts. You can equip them with “normal” parts packages from SRAM or Shimano etc., but we can put together a harmonious hodge-podge of parts that will work dreamily, look fantastic, and be a much better value. We’ve done that for 16+ years, and it has gone smoothly for at least the last fifteen.

Thinkin' 'bout a custom color? Read this.