[CR] Re: Richard Gangl

(Example: Bike Shops)

Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2007 14:23:15 -0400
Subject: [CR] Re: Richard Gangl
From: "Doug Fattic" <fatticbicycles@qtm.net>
To: "classicrendezvous@bikelist.org" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, <bvanbaush@ameritech.net>

From: Brian Van Baush <bvanbaush(AT)ameritech.net> wrote:

I had to comment on the Gangl thread...

Richard is not a recluse; he can and will talk for hours about subjects he is passionate about... bikes and racing are just one topic, among others.

Although he has BS degree, he's had his own frame shop since the late 70's and has continued to strive to improve his product over time. He cut apart frame's to evaluate how well he brazed, and then did the same with competitor's frames... he has a very interesting collection and some real surprises on the 'quality' of frame builders.

Today Richard builds in titanium, aluminum, carbon and steel and will do a combination of ti/carbon. Most of his frames are road or track, but he has done touring frames too.

He also does his own paint. I'd stand a Gangl paint job up to anyone's. Innovative, attention to detail and first class quality. He even built his own paint oven to ensure he could feel comfortable with what he produced.

And he has the cleanest, most organized shop I've been in.

Brian Van Baush Anacortes, WA. USA

I agree with you Brian and, as a fellow framebuilder, I have knowledge to make a judgment. Rich is one of those American framebuilders that doesn't get the attention that the quality of his work deserves. I've often thought that marketing trumps quality when it comes to evaluating the skill of a builder. His shop is without a doubt the most impressive single framebuilders shop in America or the world. That paint drying oven Brian mentioned is a masterpiece of design and execution. It is really an illustration of the length Rich goes to when he sets his mind to making something. I keep telling Rich to will it to me if he dies. His college major was in geology I believe. I often chat with him on the phone and we swap painting and building techniques.

Another American builder that does great work both building and painting is Jeff Bock in Iowa. He has been building since 1976. Some years ago he switched from building full time to teaching but still does plenty of bicycle work in the summer and after school hours. His filing is particularly nice.

In a day when fancy websites and higher numbers of frames built (so we get familiar with the name) has a greater influence on reputation of what to by, I would suggest finding these guys for the bikes of your dreams. Of course you can't just sit at your desk with your computer to make a decision by evaluating pictures on the web, you'll have to call them in person and see for yourself what quality of work they do. It is the old fashioned on-topic way.

Doug Fattic