frame builder | Arregui Velazquez
You started building frame in 2009, what made you decide to start frame building?
To have complete control over the bicycle. At that point i was making the wheels (still love to do that!) and building completes with the parts i liked. But there was a moment when that wasnt enough. It was easy to see how steering changed when changing forks with different rakes, or how two "different" road bikes behaved. From that point i said " i have to be able to control all this too!".
What did you do before and how was the transaction to building frames?
I was working at the university, in the Chemical Physics department, while finishing my PhD. Everything moved naturally. There was not a breaking point, everything was gradual. I started playing and doing whatever i wanted with frames. Friends will come and pay for materials to try new things and everything evolved to became something to live by. I used all my free time to learn as much as possible. At that time i also worked in my bike shop Ciclos La Universal (cicloslauniversal.com). Im still 50% of La Universal but all the work is being done by my great partner Eduardo Gasca, who is also responsible for the mechanic of the custom builds.
As a self thought builder the beginning must have been an interesting time. How was the learning process?
Its still really interesting and I'm still at the beginning of the learning curve.
Learning alone is frustrating and joyful at the same time. I was used to had clear references of what was good and wrong. In science thats clear (more o less). Learning without references makes you go really slow as you have to figure out things alone. But it also its very rewarding. When you find out how to do one thing you have acquired that knowledge learning some stuff that perhaps is not relevant for what you originally wanted to do, but those things will be useful later for other things. Perhaps this is a way to have a broader point of view...
Who where the main contributors to your learning experience?
Time, mistakes, self-criticism, respect and love for what you try to accomplish.
You make hand built frames, how did the connection with POLO&BIKES happen and how does it translate to their frames since they need a bigger number and volume for the public?
David, CEO of P&B approached me to make a top of the range bike for him. When he asked me i said i could design it but not make it. We were trying to find someone we liked to make the frames but we couldn't find what we were looking for. Long story make short, David asked me again to make the frames and after thinking it i thought it was a great opportunity to get into a small production and learn a couple of things in the way. Im pretty happy with the result. Everything took a little longer that we expected but thats something that reflects in the final quality of the bikes. Everything was worth it.
How is the Fixedgear/Track scene in Madrid?
As live as ever and perhaps in a better way now that when it was a hype thing to do. More people, more crews, more ways to do things, more people doing things.
The are of course my boys, The Roosters, who have recently came back from a long fixed gear ride from Japan. They have worked hard to get the sponsors and the way to make everything possible.
Fortuny, from Fixedland, always working hard.
Hash Madrid, Burning Asfalto in Madrid and then the crazy guys from Pedalea o Revienta y Barcelona.