Regardless of what Albert Eisentrauts' personal feelings are towards his own early work and that of all others; in my eye he has always been "The Father of American Framebuilding". The spirit of what we know as "American Framebuilders" today and what that represents; was first embodied by Albert Eisentraut. I believe Albert stylized the custom frame in a whole new way that began to influence Americans after him (in one way or another) immediately and profoundly. I know it did me. I owned an Eisentraut even before I had ever dreampt of making such a thing. Sure, the paint job was not the best available; but graphically and in quality of construction and ride quality it topped even my Colnago Super and Masi GC I owned at the time. By the time I began to work at Masi I was already convinced that careful construction is more important than minor differances in materials and frame geometry. My Eisentraut frame taught me more about the nature of frames than any other. Mike Howard and I made a pilgrimage to Oakland, CA shortly after we started Wizard Cycles in 1974 to buy some Reynolds tubesets from the master himself. A few minutes loading up 25 tubesets in the 1966 Rambler American station wagon, and we were back on the road. Albert cut us in on some cool tubes, but no epic visit; and yet I remember it well.
The list of builders who either worked with or for him, or have taken his framebuilding classes would read like an American framebuilders' Who's Who. The current era in the US was resurrected by the bike boom of the 70's and Albert Eisentraut had already began setting the new standard in about 1959! Every single one of us owe him a debt of gratitude, wheather he accepts or acknowledges it, or not! I personally don't understand how he can have no sentiment for the past, but that's his business. His contributions are clear and profound, and to me he is and always will be the Godfather of American Framebuilding.
Anyone know of a 1972ish 50cm "A" bike for sale with small Prugnat lugs? I already asked Albert.......he just said "what the hell do you want that for?"
Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA He's the Godfather even though I call him Uncle.