April 2nd, 2015

As promised, I’m back to update the world on the goings-on of Kish Fabrication. ‘Well sure’, you might say, ‘but you’re a day late’. To which I would say, ‘who are you, strange being that actually cares about my blog, and what can your civilization teach us?’ Then I would explain that the internet is absolutely awash with ‘humorous’ April Fools ‘prank’ ‘articles’ from bike blogs and every other filthy corner of the internet, and I took the day off from getting anywhere near an internet-accessing device. Now that we have a blissful 364 days until unfunny people try to be funny en masse again, let me tell what’s been going on ’round here.

As you no doubt have heard, NAHBS has came and went, and all in all it was a good time, as usual. If you weren’t there, let me sum it up for you.

A lot of people risked apocalyptic weather to deliver themselves and their wares to Louisville, Kentucky, a nice mid-sized, usually less-apocalyptic city. Not exactly Midwestern, and not exactly Southern, Louisville’s citizens appear to appreciate baseball bats, horses running in circles, and wearing the color red. Had it not been ass-freezing cold, I would have liked to explore the city more. Conditions being what they were, I was more or less forced to keep within the confines of the habitrail that connects the convention center, the hotel, and hotel bar that features 150 different bourbons. It could have been worse.

As for the show itself, there were A LOT of fat bikes, here’s one we brought:

And there were A LOT of gravel bikes. We brought this one:

And there some bikes that are not allowed on gravel EVER. This is ours:

You’ll be able to find plenty of other NAHBS bikes online, I bet. But I liked ours the best. Or at least that’s what my therapist said I should tell myself.

The remainder of the month was spent slowly  driving back from Louisville, stopping approximately every 5 miles at whiskey distilleries. There’s lots of neat stuff to look at, most of it filled up with liquor.

Lest you start feeling a little alcoholic-y, every once in a while you can pepper the non-stop boozing with a little art, like this Dale Chihuly ceiling at Maker’s Mark:

We wound our way back to North Carolina, dining in the finest eateries and resting our weary heads in the many-starred accommodations that befit famous framebuilders.

(No pre-drooled-on pillow cases for us)

And now we’re back, rested, almost sobered up, and back to work. Soon I may even unpack the boxes from the show that have some of our new t shirts and trail jerseys. Check back in a month. more or less.

March 3rd, 2015

From here on out  (or until I get sick of it, most likely sometime around June) this blog is going to be updated once a month, whether there’s anything to write about or not! Why not, right? It’s not like the internet is already clogged with all kinds of boring crap no one reads.


So what’s going on this month? Well, for one thing the ol’ North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show is coming to town! Or, it’s coming to town if you happen to live in Louisville, Kentucky.


I’m especially looking forward to the brazing demonstration by 2008’s Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, apparently named after what he will be leaving on the floor during the demo. So, come to our booth first, I don’t need that stuff tracked around, plus I can’t imagine what the thieving carpet rental company would charge to clean it up.

Speaking of booths, ours is #536. We’ll have bikes you can ride on snow, sand, dirt and even paved roads if you have those where you live.

Or you can ride them on tree stumps in metal shops, I don’t really care.

We’ll also be displaying a built-up version of our steel Road Hog production road bike among all the other titanium bikes, and a gravel bike with some nifty new parts from our friends at Zipp, so new and nifty in fact that there is an ’embargo’ on photos of said parts until the show, so no photos yet. Just use your imagination. You’ve seen bike parts before.

There will also be new shirts, and trail jerseys, and a special Kentucky-themed limited-edition money-loser surprise item. I know, right?! Wow!

Aaaand, we’ll have a bike in Campagnolo’s booth, too, it should be easy to spot being as it is not made of carbon fibers.

Once the Big Brown settles on this trip, all the new merch will be added to the site, as well as more pictures of the Road Hogs, sorry for the delay on that.

See y’all in Louisville!!






December 2nd, 2014

 What else is going on? Are prices going up?

Glad you asked, imaginary question-asker.

The answer is: sort of. On January 1, standard titanium frames are going up $150, to $2950. SL frames are going up $100, to $3300. BUT, and this is used to be a $200 but (?), there will be no upcharge for 44mm (tapered steerer type) head tubes anymore. The frame prices will include whichever head tube you wish to use. So, for some frames, the prices are actually going DOWN. A shrewd business move, no doubt.

The reasoning is that the 44mm head tubes have become pretty much a standard on bikes with disc brakes, and it doesn’t seem fair to add a ‘yeah, but…’ to the majority of the frame prices. So there’s that. Otherwise, pricing is staying put for the foreseeable future.

OK, that’s all well and good, anything more interesting? 

Sure. You know that cool etching that you see on our bikes from time to time? Well, in the past, we sent the frames out for that work, since a lot of  it was pretty complicated. Which means it’s expensive, and adds to the time it takes the frame to be completed. A lot of people asked for simpler etching, just the standard logos, which we had been sending out as well. But no longer!

We’re doing the basic etching in-house now, and it’s coming out great. Instead of adding weeks and hundreds of dollars to your frame, it now adds only $100 and zero extra time! Hot d0g!

The logo can be etched horizontally along the down tube, like our typical decals, or vertically along the top (or bottom, I guess, it’s your bike) of the down tube. The ‘K’ logo is also etched on the seat tube. The standard stainless steel headbadge is still used. The whole package is understated and stealthy.





November 19th, 2014

We have a few changes on the horizon, here’s a little heads-up…

Thing the first:

In an effort to best use what time is available to us, we will not be making custom steel frames in 2015. It’s important that we keep our lead times reasonable (8-10 weeks), and the best way to do that is to concentrate on our bread and butter, titanium bikes. But all is not lost! Read on…

Thing the second:

We will be doing small runs of production steel road frames when time allows. Introducing the…

The first run of these fellas will be available right around the first of the year. Frames and Enve 2.0 forks will be painted in the very popular army-ish green seen here before:


(like this but a road bike)

Price for the first run is $1700, frame and Enve 2.0 fork. They can be preordered for delivery in early 2015. If you’re interested, just contact us at info@kishbike.com, or call 805-574-0414.

All other pertinent info is below:

October 29th, 2014

I’m selling one of my personal steel mountain bikes. It’s probably about a 2006 vintage. It sports 26″ wheels (remember those?) and  a 1 1/8″ straight steerer (whoa!) which is why it’s being offered for the laughably low price of $950.

It has a very nice Spectrum paint job, black and pink, with a little metalflake. logos are painted on, not decals. Brazed PMW dropouts.

It’s in very good shape for its age, BUT it did suffer some scratches when it made the cross country trip to North Carolina in a moving truck. The fork lowers and one side of the front rim got some damage that doesn’t affect anything, but does have the look of something abrasive rubbing against it for 3000 miles or so. I have pictures if you need them. Beyond that, the bike has no issues.

The frame specs are as follows:

seat tube c-c 17.25″

top tube effective 23.5″

head tube 4.75″

chainstay 16.5″

standover 32″


XTR 970 3×9 drivetrain, 180mm crank

White Industries disc hubs/DT rims

Mystery Manitou fork, maybe a 7? Was that a model? It has a lockout & 90mm travel.

King headset

Thomson stem and post

Easton Monkeylite Carbon bar

Email jim@kishbike.com, or call 805.574.0414 for more info. If you are in the NC triangle/triad area you are welcome to check it out in person.







August 15th, 2014

It’s been hella wicked really busy this summer, and I’m grateful for that. Thanks everyone whose buying bikes! Unfortunately for the millions of people who read this blog religiously, that has meant that it’s been severely update-challenged. Rather than dust off the camera and take more pictures of the bikes pre-, during-, and post- build, I’m taking the low-effort way out and showing some pictures of our customers’ bikes we’ve received over the past few months.

This first one is Chuck’s, Chuck and his Rohloff 650B live in New Hampshire, a state far to the north.

There’s a lot going on here, but let me direct your attention to my favorite theme on this bike:

It takes true dedication to disassemble a Rohloff hub and anodize it sour apple green. May as well throw every other raw aluminum part (slider insert!) in the hopper while you’re at it.

In time, this photo in particular will soon reveal Chuck’s aesthetic eye to be truly ahead of his time. just wait.

Vince sent some pics of his Campagnolo EPS road rocket all the way from Ohio. This thing is so stealthy and cool looking I almost forgive him for asking me to leave off the decals:

(I know it’s sacrilegious to photograph a bicycle from the non-drive side, but I wanted you to see the EPS/Di2 port)

Vince assured me the bar tape is not made from natural materials. It’s easier to just believe him.

We built Josh, in Durham, a ‘commuter’ a while back, and apparently his commute is pretty lengthy, or he’s bringing lunch for everyone today:

Looks like a nice commute, though.

I can only assume that the red crocs in the last photo are on Josh’s feet at this point. Disturbing.


Alright, that’s a wrap. Don’t forget to follow Kishbike on Instagram, and Twitter. The updates are more frequent, but more pointless. So there’s that.

Thanks for checking us out!










June 18th, 2014

Hey! Been a while, huh? In case you’ve been wondering if we went all Rip van Winkle on you, we have not.

The blog has been backburnered somewhat, we’re trying to do a little more updating, shameless promotion and general snark via @kishbike on Twitter , kishbike on Instagram, and the usual  Facebook page. And for crying out loud people, follow us on Twitter and Instagram! I think my grandmother has more followers, and it’s just downright embarrassing at this point. Since most of the bikes we’ve been working on have been well documented there, I won’t repeat the pictures here.

This is old news for some of you, but we officially have a titanium fatbike in the lineup now.

We’ve been meaning to get this one out for an official photo shoot, but it keeps getting dirt on it somehow. So, they don’t have a place on the website yet, but here’s the salient features:

-This bike has big-ass tires

-This bike is fun as hell to ride

-This bike makes you attractive to whatever people you are trying to attract (and even more of whomever you don’t want to attract, but geez, what do you expect, you big baby?)

Also, they are all custom, like all of our bikes. They fit 3.8″ tires, and can be set up for 1x 2x or 3x gearing combinations. The standard configuration has a 170mm QR rear end, but thru axle is an option. 44mm headtube, post mount 160mm disc. Of course there’s lots of other options, and we will have a standard 1x parts kit with a couple of wheel options on the site soon, but in the meantime just ask. Frame price is $3300.

Speaking of fun things in the woods, our bud Moonshiner Wayne from the *cough* reality show Moonshiners showed up here during a , uh, business trip and picked up one of those damn mason jar cages we never shut up about. We signed a 10 year, 5 million dollar endorsement contract, which I hope will work out alright for us. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I guess I was feeling a bit lightheaded when I signed it. Also I was temporarily blind.


(business tip #1: don’t wait until after a product you sell is unavailable to snag a celebrity spokesperson)

(business tip #2: don’t let Wayne be your celebrity spokesperson, he’s a bad influence)

In addition to being ‘some goober from a TV show’ as he put it, he’s also a fast MF on a bike and a good storyteller. Sometime I’ll tell you all the cool stuff I learned about his show (spoiler alert! they all get really drunk!)

Outside of that nonsense, we’ve been busy with GRAVELPOCALYPSE 2014. We have a new fast-as-hell gravel racer flying the Kish flag, Kelly Klett. We’re super stoked to have him on board, you’ll be hearing more about him as he wages his campaign of hurt across the Southeast.

Also, word on the street is one of our bikes is featured in Road Bike Action’s Tribute to Crumbled Rocks this month, but I haven’t seen it. From what I hear that is an actual print magazine, and I don’t know where you’d even go to buy something like that.

Last, we’ll have some new jerseys available in about a month. We’ll have them in a couple of different weights, so you can fine tune your wardrobe according to exactly how disgustingly hot it is where you ride. For the first time, we’ll have matching shorts and bibs too. Exciting, right!? Yeah buddy!!








April 9th, 2014

Hey are you guys sick of talking about NAHBS yet? That’s what I was afraid of. Well, I’m not.

I can’t believe 3 (4?) weeks have passed since that glorious event, but here we are. As I said earlier, we could not have been happier with the support and turnout. So much so that we have decided to continue building bikes, for at least 4 more months.

There’s plenty of coverage of the show out there, you can see our bikes at bikerumor.com , roadbikerider.com, velonews.com, and probably some more. I haven’t looked–I know what these bikes look like, I was trapped in a 10×20 booth with them for 3 days!

Just in case you haven’t seen them, here’s a few more pics from our new superphotog, Ish Abdelkhalek:

I learned a while ago that this is NOT a cross bike AT ALL. It’s a Gravel Grinder ™. Apparently, about 80% of the cross bikes I’ve been building have actually been Gravel Grinders ™ all along, what with their (1/2 degree) Radically Relaxed ™ geometry, and ChillGrind ™ (1cm longer) wheelbase. So, if you bought one from us over the past 20 years, look for your recall &rebranding notice in the mail soon.

Anyway, here’s Matt B.’s:

It’s worth noting that this is literally the dirtiest ‘Dirty Durham’ location possible. I noticed an abundance of abandoned footwear on the railroad trestle. Ish, his trained photographers eye never missing a detail remarked ‘and an uncomfortable amount of underwear’


(note the snazzy new aren’t-you-laying-it-on-a-bit-thick? NC pride decal)

(another stunner paint job from Spectrum)


Another Matt, Matt C. of New York, got himself a nice new Tarmac Twiddler ™:

(this location was like a surgical theater compared to the last one)


Last, for now, is Sam “just call me Matt” S.’s boogie-around-LA bike:

yes, we still make steel bikes once in a blue moon (not pictured: blue moon)

There are a few more pics up at our flickr page

As always, Like us (please, we need validation) on Facebook

And we have a very tiny presence on Twitter, but what a presence it is!

One last thing…the green logo T shirts we had at NAHBS but sold out, ARE BACK! Check em out here.

Thanks for making it this far! Go ride your bike!

March 17th, 2014

We had an absolutely fantastic time at NAHBS this past weekend in Charlotte! Thanks to everyone that came out and said hello, especially the zillions of North Carolina people we hadn’t met yet. It was awesome to see all of you.

Also many thanks to the fine gentleman at Back Alley Bikes for helping in the booth, as well as merch-gal extraordinaire Kim Motter, and head cheerleader Jerry Motter.

If you haven’t done it already, please  like us on Facebook here

And follow us on Twitter here

I promise to be better about updating all this stuff, we have some fantastic new photos to share of some of the show bikes, new shirts, and other NAHBS stuff too.

I’ll be back soon with lots of cool stuff, pinky swear!



December 19th, 2013

Happy holiday season y’all!

Speaking of, presently we’re gearing up for what I’m assuming will be a last-minute onslaught of orders ever since we got top billing in the ‘For Him’ category in Walter Magazine’s 2013 Gift Guide:


Who’s Walter, you might ask? Dunno. Some rando that some people in Raleigh named their magazine after I guess. Anyway, now that this is prominently plopped on top of the gift pile (edging out other worthy gifts like something called a ‘Horween Work Wrap‘, which sounds pretty X rated, and some other gizmo terrifyingly billed as a ‘Super Selfie‘)  :


We’ll probably be pretty busy getting these stocking stuffers shipped in time for Saint Nick to chuck em down all the good little girls and boys’ chimneys. Oh, and note to Walt, bicycles make a dandy gift for HER as well. Welcome to the 21st century, dude, geez.

Moving on, I was alerted to the fact that I don not have the market cornered on boring blogs. This one comes from Josh S., a smarty-pants librarian at Duke University, one of 45 institutes of higher learning we have with a 10 mile radius of  us here in the backwoods south. The article is called ‘The Library is as Awesome as My Bike’.

Whatcha got for us, Cletus?

“You might not know it but one of the world’s best custom handmade titanium bicycle builders lives just down the road in Chapel Hill, a guy called Jim Kish. I am a bit of a road biking nut; so I had him build me a bike. If you’ve ever ridden a completely custom bike you know what a life altering experience it is. The bike becomes an extension of your body. It is awesome, just awesome. I even got to go watch him build it, measure, miter, weld the tubes.”

Wow! That’s a great start! Please, go on!

“And man, if you’ve ever seen someone build you your own custom bike, you know you’ve never seen anything so … dull!”

Oh, cmon, now you’re making me blush…wait, what?

“Jim teaches bike building and tells his students, who are all gung-ho to learn this exciting skill, that most of what you do is measure, file, remeasure, polish, clean. In other words, this completely awesome machine is the result of painstaking, disciplined, thoughtful, creative, composition of very many less awesome things.”

The article goes on for roughly 20,000 more words, I think mostly about books, but it’s a little too ‘inside baseball’ for me. I’m not really what you call a ‘smart’ guy who ‘likes to read’, or even ‘knows how to use quotation marks’ for that matter.


Josh does hit on a theme that I’m fond of though, the awesome thing being a result of a lot of ‘many less awesome things’. I heard the same thing called the ‘ditch digging part of art’ (I’m not saying bicycle building is art, it’s not, sorry) by actual artist Wayne White, in a really great documentary about him called ‘Beauty is Embarrassing‘. You should watch it. If you aren’t sold yet, Wayne is the guy who built this set, along with plenty of other cool stuff:


So that’s got to be worth something.


Back in bike news, here’s some bikes that are getting finished up here this week. Mountainous bikes, cyclocrossin’ bikes with disc brakes, road commuter machines… :


Ok, back to the ditch!