June 18th, 2021

Not sure if y’all noticed, but even though the world is getting back to (sort of) normal, the bicycle world is still all kinds of messed up.

Over here, it’s not too difficult to get the materials we need to build frames, since the tubing and other gizmos are largely US-made. Finishing the complete bikes is nearly impossible, though, due to supply issues from Shimano, and SRAM, as well as quite a few other component manufacturers, mostly overseas, but US-sourced, too. Since we don’t sell frames on their own anymore, rather than beating our heads against the wall hunting for parts all day, we’re not taking orders for new bikes until things begin to look up. How long might that be? Who knows! I certainly didn’t think we’d be in this position this far into a pandemic, but, yet, here we are.

So, if you don’t already have an order in, and approved by me, you’ll need to wait until this mess blows over, or the world blows up, whichever happens first, I guess. It could go either way!

Since frame materials are not subject to the same headaches, we are still offering personal frame building instruction at the shop here, as well as consultation for existing builders at your shop. We are also still able to sharpen tools via The Tool Grinder.

If you have questions about any of this, please drop us a line at info (at) kishbike (dot) com. This works much better than a phone call! Since 90% of calls lately seem to be some variety of scam oriented toward either wasting my time or hoovering out my bank account, I don’t pick it up everytime. So send an email!

In the meantime, everyone try your best to stay healthy and sane. I’ll do the same.

September 14th, 2020

A year, a month and a couple days since the last update, we’re doing great y’all!

I have surfaced from the shop just long enough to assure everyone that we are doing fine, building bikes, and up to the same shenanigans as always. How’s by you? It is an exceedingly weird time to be alive, lots of conflicting feelings. On the one hand, we are grateful to have jobs that can be done safely under these conditions, but on the other, it’s a scary time to exist, and lots of folks are (understandably) not handling it well! I sure don’t have any answers for you, but one of the only things that keeps me somewhat regulated during all of this is getting outside, pedaling around the area, and pretending this was all a bad dream for a little while. Give it a try if you haven’t lately!

Speaking of bikes, we’re still building them. Our lead times have grown just a little, but it’s typically due to (overseas-origin) parts. We are able to build frames just fine – most everything we need is fairly close by. So, like everyone else, we need to duke it out for parts here and there, but for the most part it’s no big deal. If you’ve been putting off that new bike for whatever reason, it may be time to take the leap. You only live once, etc etc.

On that note, the build kit portion of the site is being updated, starting with our most common bike, the humble cross/gravel wagon. Once that’s done, I’ll move on to road bikes, but given mountain bikes’ rabid parts-swapping and standards-hurling, I may just stick to doing each build kit separately. If you need an MTB quote done just let me know and I’ll whip one up.

The good news is while the parts kits are being updated and improved, they are generally not getting more expensive. A few improvements here and there may move the prices up a hair, but the core componentry has stayed at 2019 price points.

I realized in the year (?!) or so since the last update, I’ve taken quite a few photos of bikes on their way out of the shop, here’s a few. More to come. Thanks for continuing on this long strange trip with us!


Alex’s Chapel Hill trail shredder
GRX double gravel gripper
Mary’s single-ring GRX ripper
Complete freak mobile, aka my favorite bike yet, with Kish Titanium Surly-ripoff bars.
More to come with this weirdo – so fast it’s blurry just sitting still!

August 2nd, 2019

Just a few updates and pics you may have missed if you don’t follow us on Instagram (@kishbike)…

First off, the road bike kits and gravel/cross kits have been updated. The main change is all kits now use Industry Nine wheels. This has become such a popular upgrade, it seemed to make more sense to just include them in the kit to make back-of-envelope price calculations easier. If you prefer the Stan’s wheels we’ve used in the past, we can sub those (or pretty much whatever else you’d like) in. Remember, the parts kits are just a starting point – part of the fun of a custom bike can be fine-tuning the components to make it truly your own.

Outside of that, kit prices have not changed much. Where there were price changes they are increases, such is the way of the world. But they haven’t gone up much, and I still think they’re priced well compared to other ways of sourcing your parts.

The mountain kits have not been updated yet, mostly because each mountain bike seems to be radically different than the one before (see below for evidence) and taking a lot of time getting the kits priced out when everyone goes off the map pretty quick isn’t real high on the priority list. If you have questions just let me know, a custom kit can be priced pretty quick.

On to a few recent bikes that we’re proud of!

First up, a Di2 Road Disc flyer that’s now lighting up the streets of Charlotte:

A very fun, possibly dangerous fixed gear mid-fat MTB:

Pinky’s latest whip, a 650B gravel gripper:

Last but certainly not least, a pretty special (check the crank) single speed, now living its best life in (checks notes) Saudi Arabia (?)

That’s it from me! Thanks for hangin in there…will it be another year before this thing gets updated? Hopefully not (but probably)…Be good to each other, and ride yer damn bike!!

August 3rd, 2018


Hey y’all just a quick midsummer check-in from the swampy World HQ of Kish.

I wanted to get some info on here regarding All Things Off-Road Related, with an emphasis on Gravel, And The Grinding Of It. The bike industry loves new standards, and splitting categories until they are a transparent sliver of a formerly-chunky category like ‘Mountain Bike’ or ‘Cyclocross Bike’. People like to carp about this being a thinly-veiled cash grab by Big Bicycle, and I get it, BUT sometimes these things work out for all of us.

A lot of custom builders have been building cyclocross bikes with relaxed, all-day geometries, or road bikes with long-reach brakes to fit fatter tires, or touring bikes with stouter wheels and MTB parts for decades. So, ‘gravel’, ‘road plus’, or ‘adventure’ bikes are nothing new – it’s just a different way of describing something we’ve been doing all along. What IS different, though, is these days we have a lot more parts options for these bikes. You no longer need to Frankenstein together an ‘Off-Road Road Bike’. Chances are the parts you have in mind already exist. Disc brake that plays well with racks and fenders? 40C cross tire, and how about a carbon fork to fit it? All this stuff exists now, and in most cases it’s available from different manufacturers at different price points. From where I’m sitting, that looks good. It’s much easier to build a bike appropriate for the type of riding my customer has in mind, and instead of spending weeks chasing parts that may or may exist, I can now order them free from any human interaction from the safety of my computer hovel. So, as usual, yeah, the jargon can get a bit tiresome, but at least there’s some concrete good coming out of it.

If you’re considering a new bike, whatever space it occupies in the road – road plus – touring – cross – gravel continuum, just drop a line or pick up the phone, we’ll be able to help with parts selection and geometry. You can call the bike whatever you want!

For reference, RVA Grinder!:




A similar thing has been going on with mountain bikes almost since their inception. Most of the confusion in this case seems to revolve around (!) wheel and tire dimensions. I won’t rehash the great wheel-diameter wars of the early-oughts, but I will say for our bikes, we use 27.5” wheels most of time, occasionally 29” if it’s appropriate. That leaves tire width as the random element, and this drives much of the decision making on parts spec, axle spacing and geometry (The same is true for gravel, etc bikes – the first question I ask is usually ‘what size tire you usin’?).

Our mountain bikes tend to occupy the racy/ cross country end of the spectrum more than the gnarly-dude/deathwish end, but we still employ all (or most, at least) of the currently available rear axle spacing standards. Here’s how I arrange them in my mind:

135mm quick release: nothing wrong with this structurally, but the support for quick-release hubs by wheel and fork companies is dwindling, it’s really easier to use one of the through-axle standards. We don’t really use this spacing anymore.

142mm through axle: this spacing is really the same as 135mm, but in a thru axle form. The axle is centered in a 3.5mm recess in the frame’s dropouts, hence the 7mm difference from the old standard. The rest of the drivetrain is spaced the same, too. This spacing works ok for tires up to maybe 2.25”. Personally, I like to be able to go a little bigger, so we don’t use this standard much for mountain bikes (it is, however, our standard for gravel bikes).

148mm ‘Boost’ through axle: this one really stuck in everyone’s craw when it first came out – why make a whole new standard that requires a new crank, wheels, etc just to gain a few millimeters of clearance? Looking at it that way, it is dumb as hell. But if you’re starting from scratch, why not take the extra clearance? 148mm spacing on our bikes works for tires up to 2.4”, it’s our default for cross country bikes.

157mm through axle: also called ‘super boost’ for obvious reasons. We use this for ‘mid-fat’ or ‘plus’ bikes that bridge the gap between cross country and fat bikes. It works well for bikes that use tires from 2.3” to 3.0”, aka the ‘sweet spot’, if you ask me. We use this one a lot (some pictures below of an example).

177mm through axle: the shorter of the fat bike axles. We only build fat bikes for tires up to 4.0”, so this is our preferred fat spacing

197mm through axle: good for fat bikes with tires up to 5.0”, but we don’t build those.

For reference: Mid-Fat Madness!:







One other thing to mention on another subject: we will be attending the US National Whitewater Center’s Outdoor Market in October. This is a weekend market/party/whatever in Charlotte, NC. dates are 10/19-21. The USNWC is an absolutely bonkers 1300 acre playground with tons of kayaking, rafting, climbing and 40+ miles of trails for mountain and gravel riding. There will be lots of live music, restaurants and it looks like beer is available every 5 feet or so.

It’s going to be lots of fun, we’re bringing a bunch of new bikes to look at, and we’ll have a sale on shirts and hoodies and there will be stuff to give away too. We don’t do much in the way of shows anymore, so this is your chance to schmooze with the gang. Come check it out if you can!


June 20th, 2017

I think it’s been pretty firmly established that blog updating is not my thing. Let us move on.

Another constant is the flow of cool bikes through the shop – here’s a few…

Robb’s 650B mid fat (?) single speed shredder:


Bob’s Croatan hydro-electric swamp grinder:

Cathy’s daisied-out Di2 road rig:


And the third constant, we have new season-inappropriate Kishwear, this time it’s hoodies. We haven’t had them since the Oregon days, so yeah, it’s been a while.

They are comfy as all get out, full zip, nifty logos, impossible to describe colorway, the whole deal. They’re available in the store now!


That’s all for now, happy summer!




November 30th, 2016

(Josh S’s ready-for-the-apocalypse bikepacking rig)

Been a while, I know. We’ve been very busy the past few months, and the actual building of bikes has displaced site updates, social media, etc. Sometimes it has to be that way to, you know, make money. A couple of fun recent builds are below.


The least-ignored form of communication lately is Instagram, follow us there if you aren’t already.


2017 will see us making the same great bikes as always, with a couple of pricing changes. If the current pricing structure works better for you, you have until December 31, 2016 to place your deposit. After that, the following changes will supplant the 2016 specs and pricing:

– all standard mountain and cross bikes will be priced at $3100, SL versions will be $3400. BUT, the higher prices include Syntace through-axle dropouts AND a DT rear skewer. Through axles really do work best for disc bikes, so that’s where the line is drawn.

– all mountain bikes (excepting the plus bike, below) will use the Boost (148mm through axle) standard. I hate new standards as much as the next guy, but this one does make at least a little bit of sense.

– 650B+/27.5+/whatchamacallit bikes are only available in the standard (non-SL) configuration, they use an 83mm BB shell and 157mm through-axle spacing. They fit up to a 3.0″ tire. They also cost $3100.

– We have traditionally not charged extra for braze-ons, but it seems like every other bike needs an extra handful of stuff welded on it, so there will be some new upcharges to keep it fair. The fender mount/rack mount/third bottle mount ‘touring package’ will cost you $100. Any of the three options on their own will cost $50.


In other news, we are offering custom frame packs with any bike, they’re made by DFL Slstitchworks right here in North Carolina, each one sewn just for your bike. The best (only) colorway is shown on Josh’s bike below. They’re made from top-tier materials by the best in the biz, you won’t regret it. They’re $200.


Let’s look at a couple bikes!


More of Josh’s bikepacker:

This is a fun one, built for local professor/maniac Josh, who has been pushing his Kish commuter to far flung places for a few years and decided he needs to fling even farther, I guess. Rohloff with Gebla gearbox, Paul Klamper brakes, SON generator hub with light and USB charger. Real Mad Max shit.

Detail of the aforementioned frame bag…

The best way to up the freak factor on your bike, the famed Rohloff hub.


Becky C’s flat bar gravel mobile 

Becky’s bike is built for western North Carolina gravel road and greenway cruising. In style. Becky style. Courtesy of Joe Bell’s paint, and Industry Nine turning the anodizing ray up to 11.


Take that, traditional Kish gravel build of matte black and etched logos…

Especially nice detail by JB  on the Enve GRD fork.


More, hopefully soon!







June 15th, 2016


It’s time to clear out the old stock of shirts and jerseys to make some shelf space for new stuff, so we’re putting nearly everything on sale. A lot of it is only available in a couple sizes, but there’s something for everyone, at least right now.

Head over here now: Kish Fabrication Store

$20 T shirts are now $10

$100 Castelli jerseys are now $65

(Note on the jerseys: order a size, or even two, larger than you’d normally wear. These run small)

There are also a couple Road Hog framesets still available, $1450 with matching Enve fork (reduced from $1700).

Also, the Champion Systems trail jerseys which never made in the store until today, are also on sale. Normally $80, they are down to $50. These are the jersey for summertime, for sure. No pockets, no zippers. Loose, light, vented, fashionable,etc.

Here’s what they look like:

So, hey, the more you buy, the more you save. If you buy enough, you might save enough to buy a cool cruiser like this one:

It’s called ECONOMICS. Look it up.

April 21st, 2016

I’m selling one of my personal cross bikes. It’s about 4 years old.

Standard titanium frame, Enve CX fork, White Industries/DT wheelset, Paul brakes, Sram Force 10 drivetrain. Very good condition. As I am terminally over-equipped and under-skilled, this bike has very low miles on it. 18.5 lbs.

Does just fine as a road bike, too, which is what I used it for, mostly. It even has rack mounts! Call or email for details!


February 16th, 2016

Hi everybody. First off, a little housekeeping update on Road Hogs:

The complete 56cm bike is SOLD.

54cm frames are likewise SOLD OUT.

If you have your eye on a 52cm, 56cm or 58cm… Get On It!

There is one left in each size. As mentioned before, when they’re gone, they’re gone. Not just this particular model, but most likely ANY steel bikes from us. We  stopped building custom steel bikes at the end of 2014, and don’t plan to start again, so this is your chance to get one of the last steel Kish bikes ever built. Destined to become a collector’s item after I’m ironically gored to death on a True Temper chainstay in 2017 (according to my new steampunk Ouija board/magic 8 ball hybrid I’ve been working on).

Here’s a link to the RH section in the store: ROAD HOG SALE.

If you need sizes, info and pricing, just scroll down one post, it’s all in there.

Speaking of things I’m not doing, I’m also going to Not Go to NAHBS in 2016.

Every few years circumstances just line up in such a way that it makes sense to sit one out. This is one of those years! My apologies to anyone who was looking forward to checking out the bikes, or chatting, or serving me with a subpoena. I’ll miss seeing my builder pals, my frighteningly loyal customers who show up every year no matter where the show is, and new buds who always make it a great experience. Also, from the press I’ve seen so far, there will be some seriously weird bikes on display! Wish I could see them in the flesh.

If I were to go, I’d be tempted to bring this bike, just finished up:

I realize the bike is posing upon a bed of gravel, but this is no gravel bike. Nope. It’s a (paved) road bike. With disc brakes! And electronic shifting!

Wheels by our chums at Industry 9, of course.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I can build you one one like it (or not like it, whatever) for what turns out to be quite a bit less than an awful lot of offshore, boring production bikes are going for. Crazy, right?

Welp, that’s it for now y’all! See you in 2-25 weeks!

November 16th, 2015

Well my plan to update the blog every month certainly went off the rails, sorry ’bout that. It was either keep the bikes on schedule, or do absolutely anything else to remind the world that the mighty Kish Titanium Conglomerate is still an active concern. Every bike went out on time, so in that regard it’s been a great year! Everything else fell by the wayside, but that changes…today! Things are calming down a bit. It’s not 200 degrees anymore, the leaves are falling, and the gravel is ripe for grinding.

Here’s a recent example coming out of the gravel factory we’re running over here:

This is a killer setup! Ultegra Di2, Shimano hydro brakes, Industry 9 carbon wheels, Enve thru-axle cross pre-gravel fork, Brooks Cambium saddle, Paul seatpost. It just goes on and on. You should get one.

The low-key etched logos fit the mood, dontcha think? Me too.

This isn’t a standard thing, but we can put the etched state logo on too, to match your mason jar or whiskey glass.

Each frame comes already welded, no need for you to bother with that. It’s included in the price.

Also, FINALLY the no-longer-new grey and orange shirts are finally in the store. You can find them here. To make up for being so slack on this very easy thing to do, the shipping is free until I remember to change that setting in the store, which at this rate should be somewhere around 2017.

Here’s what they look like, they’re that ‘heather’ sort of fabric, where it’s not like a solid color, you know what I mean? Very comfy.

They do have the small Mason jar logo on the back, too:


Lastly, and this should be very exciting for those of you threatened to buy a Road Hog but snoozed on it, for once your lack of follow-through is paying off! Because they’re ON SALE! We are short on space, and want to get rid of the last of these fine machines.

This fabulous green is the only color they come in, because it’s the best color, obviously. If you check out the November 2014 blog post you’ll find a lot more nice photos of them.


Here’s what you need to know:

1. The original price for these steel frames, with matching painted Enve forks (the Enve logos are painted green to match, the forks are still primarily black, as they should be) was $1700. Already way too low, you say? Perhaps. Either way, they are now $1450 with the Enve fork. What?! You heard it right.

2. As of now, all 4 sizes are available, but there is only 1 of the 52cm and 58cm size. The only 56cm is the one you see above. That one is only available as a complete bike, exactly as you see it there, with our Ultegra kit. It was priced at $3650. It’s now an even $3000! It still has zero miles on it. Insane, I know.

3. It’s up to you to figure out what size will fit you, info is below:


4. Once these are gone, they’re gone. We aren’t building more. There are other things to focus on for 2016, so this is your last chance to jump on a Road Hog, maybe the last steel frames to ever go out of the shop. That’s weird to think about.

Anyway, if you’re interested in any of these exciting developments, send an email to info@kishbike.com, or call 805.574.0414. Cheers!