The Cycle Life

Our Favorite Bicycles From NAHBS 2013: Gängl Custom Cycles Vintage Track Bike

Of the more than 200 small bicycle manufacturers that gathered to show off their designs at the 9th annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver last week, these seven stood out

Our Favorite Bicycles From NAHBS 2013: Gängl Custom Cycles Vintage Track Bike

Photo: © Farid A. Abraham

Though he has been building bikes for 32 years, Rich Gängl has never before publicly displayed his handiwork. He’s a reclusive man who likes to focus on creating the finest bikes, and he never saw any point in spending the money on tradeshows given that he’s always had plenty of business. But when his customers heard that NAHBS was coming to Denver, Gängl’s hometown, they took matters into their own hands, purchasing a booth for him, creating printed materials, and rallying customer bikes to display. If that’s not testament to the quality of his bikes, then perhaps Gängl’s two-time world champion status is. (He won them both aboard his own creations, naturally.)

Gängl began building in steel only but has since branched out into titanium, aluminum, and even carbon. Today he specializes in TIG-welded titanium and lugged steel frames. His designs mostly look classic and straightforward, but the no-nonsense geometries belie the incredible detailing that goes into every frame. “I do all the pinstripes by hand,” he says, pointing at millimeter-thick piping on the fork of one bike. Gängl was inspired to build this wild, green track bike, which was UCI legal at the time but would no longer be today, after Francesco Moser came to Colorado Springs in 1984 and best Eddy Merckx’s hour record on a similar frame. “When I saw Moser’s bike, I knew I wanted to race one like it,” Gängl remembers. “So I built it.”

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