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Have you been Going to Bike Events in 2022?
2022 saw a return of many of the events we usually support, and it was fun to get back out there and learn how to be social again. Here's a few reports from the events we've loaded up the vans for so far this year:
Photo Credit The Radavist
SSAZ Feb 4-6th by Cjell of Mone Bikes
 In February of 2020 I was sitting with Paul at a bar in Bisbee Arizona, the site of that year's Single Speed Arizona. I asked Paul... "Why do you do it? Why do you drive thousands of miles? Why do you insist on feeding everyone? Why do you give a way all the dopest schwag?" Paul looked at me, slightly puzzled as to why I would ask a question like that... "Cjell, these are my people. This is the culture, the single speed culture that feeds me. Coming to Arizona in the winter is an easy choice."
  After a little worldwide virus outbreak we were back on for 2022...SSAZ was headed to Cave Creek north of Phoenix, and Kaolin of Flat Tire bike shop was hosting. I called Paul right when I heard about it..." You in?"...."Hell yea brother".
   Kaolin set everyone up in a national forest campground north of town. Lots of room to make noise and jump naked over a campfire.
   Friday there was a rockus party. The family had reunited. The band was back together. Seeing Paul's beautiful shiny head set off by the bonfire flames was nostalgic and borderline emotional... We are his people.
   C7 was the trail. As beautiful as it was gnarly... A true back-country experience. Dirty Reichel and friends had resurrected the trail a number of years prior for SSAZ 2015 and g-dangit it was just good enough for a repeat.
   Because there wasn't more than a whiskey tree and big stands of saguaro out on the remote course, Paul's nourishment/free candy van was set to deliver a hot breakfast of bacon and coffee from the campground at the start. Jon Palmer was Paul's hired bacon gun, while Erika of Moně carried the coffee efforts with assists from me and Sean from Oddity.
   Fully nourished on a Paul breakfast along with a few casual beers and boomers, riders set out. C7 was chunky and purdy. Highlights included a fun spotting of a nested crested saguaro and the coining of the term gnar-coochie... Which has something to do with old chamois and classy trail snacks laid out on a board.
   The after party went hard... A very AZ classic Deores - Pork Torta lineup shredded. Light moshing and yummy din din. I would be remiss to not mention the u-haul shuttle for all participants the 40 minutes back to the campground... No one thought it would be a good idea to hotbox the thing but SSAZ isn't big on good ideas.
   Gotta thank Paul for making the trip and giving a sense of identity for to all the lost souls that show up to these things. We're a family, that's a little demented... And it feels good.
Sea Otter Classic April 7-10 by Lucas

   Having one of the largest turnouts ever, the 2022 Sea Otter Classic came back swinging only six months after the delayed 2021 Classic was held. When our friends at Sierra Nevada asked us for yet another bike and with only six months to get it built, we knew it had to be a special one. Teamed up with CAMTB and some of the best brands in the US, we managed to make one of the coolest bikes yet, the Sierra Oddity.

   Burnsey over at Oddity Cycles stole the show with the titanium frame, squid fork, and handlebars he provided for the build. Then with help from White Industries, Velocity USA, Phil Wood, King Cage, Dynaplug, WTB and of course plenty of our own parts we had everything else we needed to create such an amazing bike.

   If you love the trails you ride in California you should be thanking CAMTB. The California Mountain Bike Coalition advocates at the state level to give mountain bikers a unified voice to help increase bike friendly trails all around California. This year with the help from the awesome volunteers from CAMTB, we managed to raise $30,000 in the Sierra Oddity bike give away.

With our booth and display cases set up in the beer garden, the PAUL crew had a weekend full of nerding out about our bike parts, hanging out with industry friends, checking out all the bike races and of course having a beer or two along the way.

Lost and Found June 3-5 by Paul
   Whoopie! Covid is over, right? The first event we did after the two long years of the Covid isolation and weirdness was, and is, called The Lost & Found Gravel Grinder. It is held in a small ex-logging/railroad town of Portola CA. It’s a 2-hour drive into the mountains from the valley town of Chico. We’ve done several of these, and it’s usually the funnest. Although that may just be because we’ve been in winter mode until then and we’re ready to get back on the course and cook some bacon!
   This one though was post Covid and all kinds of pent-up emotions, memories and desires were slowly leading to a head right before we left. Did we bring enough beer? Bacon? Potato chips? Yes, beer. We are known for bringing the party to these events. Sure, we have electrolytes and all that jazz but we also offer beer, whiskey, pickles, chips and a variety of other salty snacks. Well, we did and we left for Portola.
   Usually there is some Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship fun thing on Thursday night. Besides getting lost for forty-five minutes trying to find a big ol’ renovated barn, it was indeed fun. There was Sierra Nevada and yummy food. Then Friday is the night we do pizza. This year we did a small aid station for a VIP ride Friday morning just to get things kicked off. Thing is we also started drinking Friday at the aid station so by dinner time we were really tuned up. It turns out that when you have a big van overflowing with beers in coolers you can over do it a touch. Well, we over did it. And then we over did it on Saturday, the day of the race. Then Saturday night we stayed in a more remote camp spot but all our friends found us. Only the rain at 2 am got us to stop.
   Upon reflection I can only think we had been denied this kind of fun, kinship and service for so long there must have been a pent-up demand to PARTY. It was all fun, all the time. For four days straight. Get my drift? Word to the wise: this kind of behavior leads to a death gripping head pounding depressed brain hangover. That lasts for at least a week. Yea, we all paid for that fun big time.
   Aid Stations have been a passion of mine. I just love being on course bringing some happiness to those who bonk, break, or boil in our hot Nor Cal sun. We’re scheduled to do a couple more next year when the Downieville Classic returns and we head to Kansas City for SSUSA 2023. Those will too be fun I’m sure. I just hope we got it all out of our system this time.
Butte Creek Bikecamp June 25-26 by Travis

  I had a harebrained idea to try and rustle up a group of folks for a local bike-camping trip in the Chico area, and shared the idea with Kelsey of Campus Bicycles and Tyler of BTCHN' Bikes. With our combined enthusiasm, we were able to get the idea off the ground and managed to get 30 people out for an overnighter at a BLM campground right along a cool clear creek up at the Forks of Butte Creek.
   With the temperature slated to hit 105^ right as we hit the hardest, steepest, chunkiest climb of the first day, I was a little concerned that everybody would get roasted, have a shitty time, and never want to bikepack again. But after pulling into our shaded campsite, cooling off in the creek, and enjoying each other's company around some big coolers of cold drinks Haley drove up there for us, everybody's biggest question was: "When's the next one?!". This kicked off a series of monthly trips over the summer. If you live in the area and would like to get involved, shoot me an email for info on future rides at travis@paulcomp.com.

7 Questions with Kristofer Henry of 44 Bikes
  1. So, you’re doing a full suspension steel bike that is NOT a single pivot design. This seems hard, but better on many levels. The additional work seems daunting but you are going for it, which I admire. It seems like you’d need to build more than a couple of them to really get it right though. What pushed you over the edge to get that complicated?
   First off, thanks for the opportunity to answer your infamous 7 questions! But to get straight to it, a bit of backstory. Before tackling this project, the last time I had honestly ridden a FS was back in 1998… I was working for Rodale Press / Bicycling Mag helping out with their graphic design and splitting time between that job and as a wrench in a local bike shop after graduating from PSU. When I started 44 Bikes in 2011/2012, there was so much just to learn about fit, geometry and handling all on its own and how those 3 pillars essentially balance the rider between the wheels making the bike an extension of the rider. It took countless prototypes and the drumbeat of design, build, ride, repeat to wrap my head around how all of those play off of one another and influence “how” a bike handles. I’ve always wanted to make a full suspension bike, but just did not know enough about those first three pillars to layer on moving parts. 
   So when I did start this project 2 years ago, I finally felt as though I had a handle on those attributes and was ready to apply what I learned building hardtails to a full suspension design. A single pivot was the obvious choice to get my feet wet to test geometry, pivot locations and play with simple kinematics. I learned so much from that first builds process.The pandemic also hit around that same time and luckily where we live here in Southern NH, we’re a bit off the beaten path so I was essentially able to ride and frequent our trails like I could pre-pandemic. Same goes for our home and my shop. I had literally no restrictions with the exception of when I’d head into town which in retrospect, really allowed this project to grow naturally. 
   Once I had enough time on the single pivot, I wanted to challenge my process, methodology and push my skills. I tend to not ever do anything half way to a bit of a fault, and with many platforms patents being up, a Horst Link seemed like the logical next step. And with this next version of the of the FS, I really wanted to do a deep dive into Fusion 360, build out a full CAD model, and spend the winter essentially being really thorough in the design phase before I cut any metal. For this project, I wanted part files I could send off to a CNC shop and or to be 3D printed. After a costly delay last season, I ended up going back to the drawing board and redesigning just about every part to be 3D printed. Essentially that delay had me rethink the entire project and leverage additive manufacturing. So I guess really what pushed me to get this complicated was a urge to learn something new, push my skillsets and further refine my process and methodology.
  1. Besides building frames I know you also do some graphic design work. In fact you did my 25th anniversary logo. Are you still doing that or is it mainly frames?
   Yes! I remember the 25th anniversary project. Super honored to have done that work for you and the rest of the Paul Component team. Here’s basically the trajectory: When I was at PSU, I was studying goldsmithing/silversmithing. I was an apprentice for a number of years before I graduated in 1998 but while I was there, I learned of a profession called “Industrial Design”. I looked high and low all over campus speaking with every department head I could get ahold of who would talk to me. Basically I came to a dead end. Penn State didn’t offer Industrial Design. However, everyone kept saying this acronym: RISD (aka Rhode Island School of Design). Upon graduation, I moved back home north of Philly and while working as a wrench in a local bike shop I somehow landed an internship at Bicycling Mag the summer of 1998 and into 1999.  I decided to visit RISD’s campus that fall to see if maybe I had the chops to enter their grad program for ID. I was quickly asked a question: Do you have the degree and job you want and you’re just looking to run up the payroll or do you need a degree to get the job you want? I needed and wanted the later, so I was officially an undergrad. 
   3 years of intense study and a handful of internships and I found myself just after graduation as a shoe designer at Reebok. Later over to Converse. And then I left Converse to start my own product and graphic design studio. Many businesses would hold their ID work really tight, but I had a natural knack for 2d/graphic design work. During those years I also really wanted to start my own bicycle company. That was the ultimate goal. So I leveraged the time spent doing graphic design to feed my passion for bicycles and to create the foundation that is 44 Bikes. After all those years I now balance 1 long term design client in the automotive industry with my day to day work at 44 Bikes. I essentially run two businesses. Typically I’m working on graphic design for that long term client until about noon.  Then I’m down in the shop till about 6-7pm. I’ve always thrived where I’m handling a few projects at once where each one plays off the other and inspires each other. At any point during my day I’m working at the computer designing, then off to pick up the torch welding, or at the mill or lathe. Then back up to check email and revise designs from earlier in the day. Then back down to the shop to pick the torch back up. And so on. It may seem like a lot from the outside looking in, but I’ve managed to balance work and life fairly well. Being disciplined to put down work is a challenge of course, but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get any time to ride which is what this is all about, isn’t it? Being able to ride your bike when you want to ride your bike!
  1. Give me a few paragraphs on 44 Bikes since the inception. Was it always 44? Did you start in your current workplace you have now? How long have been selling frames? What were you doing before this?
   I guess this also plays into what I’ve just spoke about with the previous question. The brand was always going to be named 44 Bikes. 2022 marks 10 years of building bikes under the name 44 Bikes. When I was a kid, I’d draw bicycle frames inside the backs of notebooks or in my sketch books. Dreaming up something cool I’d want to make. Starting a bicycle company was something I always aspired to from a young age.
   Growing up where I did, I basically had an ideallic childhood. I won’t lie. I had it good in a solid middle class neighborhood  I’m really grateful for all the opportunities this afforded me.  And maybe that’s why I’m so open about my process and giving back to the community in any way I can. Both pairs of grandparents lived a short bike ride from my front door.  The neighborhood had tree lined streets. Public pool.  Baseball diamonds in a park. And just out of town was woods.  Lots of open space. A best kept secret: The Upper Perkiomen Valley. I’m saying all this because I had a close connection to family, and all of my family and relatives grew up and lived in the area. 
  The reason for the number 44 was this in a nutshell: My Dad’s father was a big story teller of tall tales and football and the old Buxmont league was a favorite of his. My father played on the same field he did. And I played on that same field. Talk after dinner would lead to story telling and the conversation would steer towards Upper Perk and “the good old days” sort of thing (so a lot of fond nostalgia from my grandparents for the area and their lives). My father wore #44. There was a picture of him smashing into the end zone my grandmother would show me in a scrap book. That was my Dad. Someone I looked up to and would try to emulate each and every day. I learned so much from my father. So it was only natural as a kid, when I was old enough to play, I’d want to wear that number. Which I eventually did. So all that nostalgia and history is packed into that number for me, which as I’ve aged and grown, the number became a lucky number of sorts. So that’s why on everyones seat tube badge, they get to have their lucky number stamped. That’s the backstory essentially in the name. It’s about family, it’s about history, it’s about a field, shared toil and pushing oneself mentally and physically. To do your best each and everyday. Because that’s the least you can do. To wake up the next day, do it all over again but maybe look a bit deeper and see what can be done better.
  1. What is the best part of the career you have chosen?
   The melding of passion (bicycles) with skillsets, methodology, design and fabrication. It’s all balled into one big happy hot mess of fun.That balance of work and play but making work less like work and more about living so its all seamless. Being able to essentially live and breath bicycles. But one aspect about building bicycles that is personal for me is TIG welding. This actually puts me closer to a grandfather I didn’t know as he passed very early in my childhood (my Mothers Father, Henry Malasky). He was an ironworker, welder and eventually went on to start his own small business (Superior Welding) and late in his career was a TIG welder working on more difficult projects that needed someone with a lot of experience who could spend long hours welding in odd locations. 
   As a kid I’d go into the garage at my Grandmom’s house which had all of his tools. I’d just pour over them. That was my connection to him and the Grandfather I unfortunately didn’t know all that well. So every time I pick up a TIG Torch, I feel that connection and it brings me closer through that mutual work perhaps. And my Grandmom’s house which was located on the old Malasky farm was really where I learned to love being outside. All roads led there, paved and unpaved. Literally and figuratively. 
  1. What would be your career if this wasn’t it? Why?
   Wow. That’s a tough one. So much of my life has been about figuring out how to get to where I currently am. Call it a life’s work and plan? Everything has been one step closer to realizing this dream I’ve had of starting my own bicycle company. So I guess I can’t imaging myself doing anything else. I’d be lost. I’ve done other jobs. I was a lifeguard, probably one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had. I was a goldsmith/silversmith. Very challenging to work that small in such great detail but at the same time challenged to aesthetically create simplicity and balance of line and form. I was a student. And still am in many ways as there’s still so much to learn, pushing your skills, honing your process and refining your methodology. I was a shoe designer. The corporate setting ground me up and spit me out. Working on a team like that was really wonderful. But the flip side of meetings for meetings sake, long commutes, even longer hours? That led me to strike out on my own and become a product designer and graphic designer specializing in branding. I had a lot of clients to juggle, a whole host of different projects and challenges to take on. And now I’m a builder of bicycles. All of what I’ve done has led me to this moment and the path I’ve chosen has been one step at a time; always keeping my eyes set on this goal of owning my own bicycle brand. But what would I be doing if I wasn’t doing this? Like I said, that’s a tough one because everything has led me to where I am now.
  1. As we’ve talked about you give out free knowledge all the time. And it’s very detailed and specific. It’s so good I’ve gotten nervous for you, but then again not many people have the drive or resources to take it to your level. What’s your impulse for practically writing a book on how to build really nice bike frames?
   I hinted at this earlier. I’ve been really fortunate to have tremendous mentors, teachers, friends and family in my life that have passed on knowledge and understanding freely with incredible generosity. My nature is naturally a very generous one. Perhaps to a fault but the reason that I give back to the community at large is to repay that debt in a way. I stand on the shoulders of many before me. I couldn’t be where I am, doing what I do without their help. As much as I like to hear the phrase “I’ve done it all on my own” in one sense there’s some truth to that. In another however, its not acknowledging those who have helped you get where you are presently. So much of all of our collective accomplishments are because of others before us who have helped shine that proverbial light where there was darkness. To show us the way. To lend us a hand. To impart knowledge where there was a blank slate. So in many ways, that’s why I give back all that I do because that’s the least I could do. I feel so very grateful to be able to do what I do each day and if I can help anyone else realize their ambitions and dreams, or even serve as an inspiration in someone else’s pursuit, that’s my time well spent.
  1. What is your very favorite meal?
   Easiest question out of the seven! Beans, fish and rice. Or just beans. I could eat black beans for every meal. But a running joke I have is "Last Meal Request". Like you’re at the crossroads, and this is it. What’s it gonna be? For me, that would have to be my mom’s lasagna. Every birthday as a kid, my mom would ask me “What do you want for your birthday?” And I’d blurt out “Lasagna!”  It became sort of a joke. Even now, every birthday, Lynn will make me her vegetarian lasagna which is to die for. But for my last meal request desert? That’s gotta be my Grandmom’s cherry pie. Their house I spoke of earlier was up on a hill overlooking some fields that rolled down to a man made lake. All of which was the old Malasky Farm. And off to one side was a really big cherry tree orchard. My Grandpop (that’s the TIG Welder) he was involved in a US Agriculture project where they’d send him cherry tree whips, and he’d cultivate them and then report on how the trees withstood weather, what the cherries were like, how they tasted etc. They were all numbered. Tree #99 had the absolute best. Grandmom had this big freezer and each year we’d all pitch in and pick cherries. One year, my Mom’s side of the family is fairly large, we all pitched in and grabbed this monster load of cherries. Which my grandmother meticulously froze. Years and years worth of cherries. And every Christmas and Thanksgiving, she’d make a cherry pie with this crumble top and a crust that just melted in your mouth. One year back while I was in High School, she joked, “Well, that’s it. That’s the last of the cherries.”  And we all thought that was the last cherry pie from #99. A couple years later, she found another bag of #99’s cherries lost to that freezer. It was a gift. Boy do I miss my Grandmom and her baking.
Are We Still Making Hubs?
   Some of you may have noticed that we've been out of stock on some of our more popular hub variations for a while now. What gives?
   From Patrick (our Manufacturing Manager/Process Engineer/#1 Dog Dad):
"The increased overall demand in recent years required us to innovate and acquire the latest technology in manufacturing. This, in turn, changed our manufacturing processes. We decided to focus on a few but very desirable products. With the changing of our processes and slimming down our production line up, hubs were placed on the back burner. As the efficiencies of the new equipment are realized, we have seen an increase in our manufacturing capacity and look forward to putting our much beloved hubs back into production. We hope to provide our lineup of quality, USA made hubs in spring of 2023."
   While we have definitely sold out of quite a few 32 hole hubs, we do still have a handful in certain configurations left, and a lot of other drillings like 28 hole. With rims getting a lot stronger over the years, many folks can get away with running 4 less spokes these days. Check our website for current availability, or give us a call, but if you don't see it listed in the pull-down menu, we probably won't have them again until 2023.Thanks for your patience!
A Day With Paul Price on BikePacking.com
"Last month, Evan Christenson stopped by Paul Component Engineering in Chico, California, to spend time with founder Paul Price and learn about the celebrated company he built from his garage more than three decades ago. Find a look inside the lively manufacturing space and get to know Paul and the fascinating story of his hand-machined parts empire HERE."
Every Question You Could Ask About Klampers, ANSWERED.
We sat down with Mr. Paul himself to answer all of your most-asked questions about Klamper Disk Brakes. Some of his answers might surprise you!
Still have questions? Call our tech line at 530-345-4371 or email us at tech@paulcomp.com.
Steal Your Face PAUL Decals
Paul is such a huge Grateful Dead fan that we just had to make a limited batch of decals based on Bob Thomas’ original Steal Your Face logo. Available on our website until they’re gone!
Copyright © 2022 Paul Component Engineering, All rights reserved.


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