Frank the Welder | The Legacy of Frank ‘The Welder’ Wadelton
Jake Goss just beamed over this beauty of a video about Frank the Welder, if you don’t know who Frank is then this will be an education!
Aluminium has long been the staple of the bike frame business, everything from super light XC machines to the Honda RN01 were built from this stuff. This video charts the history and bikes Frank Wadleton, having spent time at some of the biggest bikes brands in the world after being one of the founders of Yeti Cycles he’s pretty humble and likens himself to ‘a bump on a gear in a machine, that’s my legacy’. Many would argue his legacy is a lot more than that, he built early aluminium bikes for Julie Furtado and John Tomac that they rode at the highest level.
This film is a great insight into someone who literally helped shape the bike industry and worked aluminium into the core of the bike world. With the evolution and subsequent boom in carbon it’s good to be reminded of what can, and has been, done with aluminium.
We featured Frank in the mag back in issue #65 when Steve went on a mission to the east coast of the USA, that was when Frank was working on Sinister bikes.
Words & Photos: Steve Jones
Passion is a very common word used by managers and marketers in the mountainbike industry. Everyone is passionate about bikes, but none of us go f**cking broadcasting it. Frank the Welder is a man who rides bikes. He loves drinking beer too. He can probably ride better than most. He has also built thousands of bikes. Try asking Frank why he does it. It’s a pretty dumb question. Frank was one of the founding memebers of Yeti Cycles in the mid-eighties. In the early nineties Frank had an industrial moment and did his own thing in other places. He still rode and made bikes…obvisoulsy…but running bike companies wasn’t his thing. He is part owner of Sinister.
He is the artist that can do without the politic, spin and bullshit often spewed out of the mountainbike industry. A day with Frank in the hills near Woodstock was not half long enough, but it was enough for us to get some shots of a guy fast approaching 50 and getting even faster by the minute. This guy rocks.
If you want some home grown bike builders then check out the BTR Fabrications boys here.