Not NAHBS But Still NAHBs

April 6, 2015
A few weeks back while everyone was posting their NAHBS write-ups I spent the afternoon with local custom frame builder Matt Mowat of Paramour Bicycles. It was a good afternoon with great conversation ranging from bikes, bike history, frame building, beer, and places to ride in Austin.

Matt started Paramour Bicycles on Valentines Day 2012 and has been steadily growing the brand ever since. If he weren’t building bikes he’d still be using his hands to make something creative. Currently he is working on his most challenging build so far, a touring bike with fenders and a rack, and everything has to be integrated for just the right fit. I was lucky enough to stop by as he started the brazing process.

Riding mass-produced bikes all the time, where robots do the majority of the assembly, you can easily forget that bikes are works of art. Watching Matt sand the lugs until they fit just right made me appreciate the precision and love that goes into a custom bike. I asked where he sees Paramour Bicycles in 5 years and there’s visions of attending NAHBS, being nationally known, and having a long wait list. If he’s still building bikes he will be happy, as Matt puts it, “If I were just building bikes all day life would be pretty easy.”

Custom bikes aren’t for everyone, but if you ride a couple thousand miles every year you owe it to yourself to buy a custom bike. It might not be your everyday ride, it might not be as light or aero as your race bike, but it will be custom-built for your dimensions and feel better than any other bike you’ve ridden. I look forward to the day that I tell Matt I’m ready and within a few months can be riding my own custom Paramour Bicycles frame.