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Excerpt from Richard Schwinn interview below: 

"People still talk about my name pretty regularly.   It's probably been more of a handicap than an asset to me personally, but I appreciate the good will it's generated through the years."  

But First...

Touring Cantilever
Our Touring Canti was once a staple on the CX circuit until the MiniMotos stole the limelight.

Still, when it comes to mud clearance, the Touring Cantilevers shan't be outdone. We see them used to class up commuter bikes, especially for those riders who like to detour through forgotten, quieter terrain on their way home - like maybe an abandoned golf course turned mud pit. Or a bog.

Outfitting them with fenders obviously wouldn't be a problem. The arms angle upward lending them a much narrower profile (without compromising stopping power), so you're in no danger of hooking your bulging calf muscles, HENCE their popularity in cross.

Further deets live on the product page of the site.  
Neo Retros
The same qualities of the Touring Cantis apply to the Neo Retros, only Retros have a wider profile with high leverage arms - so yes, you COULD snag a calf muscle on these, but if you're not planning on repeatedly jumping on and off the bike as if your life depended on it (say in a CX race), you'll be fine.

The perks of this brake are they, theoretically, provide a hair more stopping power and were designed with POT in mind:

Meaning, Polar Opposite Technology - Everyone else was making low profile brakes at the time we brought these to market, so we were just being the ornery donkeys we are when we decided on these.

But there was history behind the design too: The Neos are inspired by the old Mafacs, so anyone with an appreciation for French cycling of the past (post-war era), you'll get it. Also, Le Tour is happening right now, so this all feels totally relevant.

More deets on the project page.

Poor Man's Dropper

Our video this week features our new(ish) Quick Release Seat Post Collar, which we sorta introduced during this other video, but that one was mostly memorable due to the blooper. 

So we wanted to do a more focused spotlight to show how the Quick Release Seat Post Collar is assembled and to demo how to make adjustments. You will never have to take this component apart to service it, so this is strictly FYI for the mechanically nerdy. 

Local Artist & DJ Designs Super Metal T-Shirt for PAUL 

Matt Loomis killed it (with a battle ax) on our latest t-shirt design. We've got other Matt art hanging around the shop, so we just kinda called him up and said, "You're an awesome artist, we want a t-shirt, run with it," knowing he'd deliver. 

These are most definitely available on the site and you most definitely need one if you like art, bikes, and metal.

7 Questions with Richard Schwinn of Waterford Precision Cycles

1. That 22-Series Artisan Stainless frame is stunning. How many of those do you do a year? Is it a pain to polish?

We don't build a lot of them - especially the custom lug versions.  They can be a pretty big project.  We are blessed with a contract polisher, Dave, who has dedicated his life to creating dream finishes.  Our forks need to be chrome plated.  Even though most chromers have their own polishers, we still have Dave do it.
2. How many frames total are built per year? 

We build 1-2000 a year.  
3. I’ve heard a lot of Waterford’s equipment came from the Paramount operation. True or false?  

Quite a bit comes from various Schwinn factories.  The Paramount factory had been outfitted with a lot of nice equipment during the late 80's.  We've added plenty of our own.  I'd say we're down to less than half being the old stuff (pre-1993).  For example, we got rid of an old small punch press that looks like it was built in the days when factories were driven by belts and driveshafts - 1920's or earlier.  Only later did they bolt on it's own motor.  

4. Can you give us a brief synopsis of how Waterford got started and when?  

Waterford as a separate entity in early 1993.  Marc Muller and I bought the equipment and inventory from Schwinn.  We started off by continuing to build Schwinn Paramounts, but soon added Waterfords to the line.  Things really kicked in starting late '94.  We also added private label bikes, which make up a lot of our business .  During our first 19 years, we built a ton of BMX, flatland and related bikes for a brand named Standard.  When that market colapsed after the turn of the milllenium, we had to regroup.  We also built a close relationship with Rivendell, which continues to this day.  We've also been the framebuilder for Shinola, makers of luxury urban bikes.  We build bikes for some other notable brands, Boulder (rando bikes), Terry (women's designs), to mention some notables.  

5. When it comes to the frame building business, it seems like we have two extremes in terms of size - there's either one guy and it's his solo venture or it's a big company.  Waterford seem to fall somewhere in the middle. How have you made that work?  

We blend our private label work with our own brands.  Waterford as a brand is a lot closer to the constructeur crowd, but we can offer it on a more predictable schedule.  Our higher volumes let us learn disciplines that are hard to learn building one-offs.
6. As a business owner, we know you work your ass off. How much vacation time do you get and where is your favorite place to go?  

Vacations are rare but usually long.  This year my wife and are cycling through Europe for three weeks this summer.  The rest of my exotic biking happens when I travel around to visit customers.  The west coast has endlessly rewarding riding opportunities.  Truth is there are some nice places to ride just about everywhere if you have an open heart and pick the right time of day and/or year.  Wisconsin remains one of the finest places on earth for road riding.  We're on the edge of the Kettle Moraine district, so we have plenty of nice rollers.

7. We noticed your last name is Schwinn. Does that lead to a bunch of small talk conversations you’d rather not have for the millionth time, or does it not come up that much these days?  

People still talk about my name pretty regularly.   It's probably been more of a handicap than an asset to me personally, but I appreciate the good will it's generated through the years.  I feel very uncomfortable when people treat me like  royalty.  Like everybody else, I prefer that my skills, accomplishments and character draw more interest than my heritage.

Schwinn as a brand has generally moved away from bikes shops and bike magazine advertising, so to "bike people", the name is fading as a distant memory.   To bike people, Waterford and Gunnar mean a lot more.  For the general public, Schwinn is still probably the only bicycle brand they can recall.  Trek, Specialized and Cannondale are only now beginning to show up on the brand awareness radar.
Richard was kind enough to answer our questions, and at the end of our email exchange, he quiped:

"Hey you didn't ask about my new bike - which sports some very cool red annodized Klampers on the reddest (if not raddest bike you've ever seen). Photos coming by another email."

So that's what these gorgeous photos are all about. We like your bike, Richard. We like it very VERY much. 


530-345-4371 ext. 202.

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