There’s a fantastic Vimeo channel called Art In The Age that presents footage of Stephen Bilenky in the process of fillet-brazing one of his frames, and it’s a great exposé into the alchemical process involved with producing a handmade bicycle. With a workshop full of characters like Bilenky Cycle Works, it’s obvious the elemental mix is spot-on, as the frames they produce are true works of art. Take this ‘Artisan Lugged Travel Tandem’, for example, winner of the 2009 North American Handmade Bicycle Show’s Best Tandem Award.
Bilenky’s Tandem must be one of the most well equipped bikes two people could hit the road with. It can accommodate no less than 6 bidons, there’s also a cheeky hip flask holder for when the conversation (or the inspiration) gets a little dry. Hydration isn’t the only challenge that’s been trounced; transportation is a breeze with six S&S couplers enabling the bike to be packed into a traveling case. Bilenky also specialize in paint and restoration, so it’s no wonder this tandem looks a million dollars. A maroon and antique white scheme provides a sublime contrast with the leather and green canvas saddlebag and the Brooks Flyer Specials.
Anticipation is rapidly increasing as the 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show approaches. As our favorite builders prepare to show off their finest creations, one thing can be relied upon: Bilenky Cycle Works will hold us spellbound. Keep updated on Bilenky’s blog, Twitter and Flickr.