Renold Yip Q&A – building bikes
Part two of a series of five interviews with frame builders (as published in RIDE #61, volume 3, 2013).
Yipsan Cycles (Fort Collins)
How long have you worked with your hands and what is your background? “I have a background in engineering and consulting before I came to the US (from Hong Kong). Since 2002 I have been working with my hands in bike shops where I was living. I started building bikes in 2005 and became a fit specialist since 2006.”
When did you begin building frames? What inspired you?
“I started building frames in 2005. I was motivated by my own desire to control another aspect of the bike and inspired by long-time builders to continue the craft of framebuilding by single person workshops. My goal is to integrate modern fitting concept, frame tubing and components with traditional building skills.”
“Most of my builds are a mix of various types of bikes. They can handle wider tyres for various terrains, carry a bit of luggage, they may use disc brakes and often times allow for integrated fenders and dynamo lighting system. Call it what you want, most importantly it is built for the rider’s particular riding preferences.”
What is your preferred frame material? “Steel.”
How many frames do you build in a year? “Fifteen to 20.”
From what other builders, artists or influences do you draw inspiration? “Inspiration comes from many fields. The high level of quality as seen on works of long-time builders really set the baseline for all who are now doing their thing; design inspirations come from many objects – it could be cars or fashion or anything. It’s most important to have a core objective to design for purpose and its user. For bicycles, we need to ensure the right fit, and have features and functions for its intended terrain and conditions.”
What makes Colorado and its bicycle builders so unique? “Colorado provides a fertile ground for various forms of cycling. Of course a large base of outdoor enthusiasts who understand and appreciate finely crafted product is also very important.”
What is your favourite thing about attending NAHBS? “I have been showing at NAHBS since 2008. The best thing is meeting customers and fellow bike enthusiasts and also catching up with other builders.”