NAHBS 2013: Gängl Custom Cycles

The finest frame builder and painter you've never heard of

Rich Gängl's awe-inspiring, jam-packed booth at NAHBS almost didn't even happen – but you should be glad it did.

Despite having over three decades of experience building and painting world-class frames, Gängl had never displayed his wares at any sort of trade show. Gängl's countless customers, however, not only insisted that he have a booth at the Denver show (especially since it was just half an hour away from his workshop in Golden, Colorado) but they even donated the money to pay for it.

Gängl brought six of his own bikes to show in the booth with the rest being loaned by customers and all of them were fantastic to behold, from the craftsmanship to the paint to the detail work and even the build quality.

Gängl builds just 20-25 frames annually in titanium, steel, carbon fiber and aluminum but specializes in TIG-welded titanium and fillet-brazed and lugged steel. He also does exceptional restoration work, his frames have won world and national championships, he has a 6-12-month waiting list, and he himself is a two-time world champion on the track.

You wouldn't hear about these accomplishments from Gängl himself though – in fact, getting him to boast is near impossible. Humble almost to a fault – hence the forced display at NAHBS – his work is anything but.

We'll certainly be paying Gängl's workshop a visit for a tour soon.

Rich gängl was inspired to build this bike for himself after seeing francesco moser break eddy merckx's hour record in 1984:

Rich Gängl was inspired to build this bike for himself after seeing Francesco Moser break Eddy Merckx's hour record in 1984

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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