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Way of the Dragon
Both hipsters and Taiwanese manufacturers benefit from the rise in handcrafted bikes.
Photo by Adam Ryan Morris


Schlick Cycles 

Clockwork Bikes


Nick and Ben Ginster
Greg Smith and John Schlick  Joel Greenblatt and Tim Teesdale

What they make

A handful of varied bike models plus 40 accessories,
including holsters for wine, beer and Frisbees. 
Cruisers and “fat bikes” plus “The Shark,” a low-slung model aimed at parents and baby boomers. Also: curved bike stems.
A dozen varied models aimed at everyone from senior citizens to kids. With these elegant bikes, form trumps fashion.

Price range 

Starting at $1,400

The Taiwan connection 

Fyxation bikes are designed in Milwaukee and built in Taiwan using Taiwanese-made parts.  Schlick bikes are built and designed in Milwaukee, primarily using parts made in Taiwan.
Greenblatt builds Clockwork Bikes in Milwaukee using Taiwanese parts and others welded by Teesdale in Iowa.

Who’s buying?

Most riders of the Eastside model live in Tokyo, though Fyxation has built models for Colectivo Coffee and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.
Customers in Colorado, Florida, Texas and the Midwest.
The winner of this January’s Arrowhead 135, a 24-hour race held in Minnesota. Ninety percent of the other riders are recreational-only.

Niche in a nutshell 

The Ginster models appeal heavily to budget-minded cyclists and commuters.
Schlick is the go-to shop for fat bikes, wide-tired cycles that roll through snow and sand with aplomb.
Clockwork appeals to recreational riders who “like nice stuff,” according to Greenblatt.

Extremely hip? Mildly fashionable?

This maker’s frames and accessories elicit a lot of buzz on bike blogs.
Awfully chic for something that handles well at a state park.
Designs are simple and understated, and often employ just one color.
This article appears in the April 2014 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
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