Nick Crumpton arrived at this year’s NAHBS as one of The Original Six, the cohort of framebuilders who have been represented at every show since its inception. What keeps him coming back? Well, the allure of seeing old friends and colleagues, but most of all an over-riding enthusiasm and joy at being immersed in a life-long love of cycling.
Nick’s first interest in what makes a bicycle frame tick was sparked over twenty years ago when stripping a Schwinn Paramount back to the metal before his first paint job. The revelation of the intricacies of the brazes and lugs fascinated him and led him to suppose that he could do better.
It was in the mid-nineties that he founded Crumpton Bicycles in Austin, Texas. Originally building steel frames, Nick’s search for the perfect material resulted in the development of carbon fiber frames and their associated construction techniques. Nick wielded his brazing torch for the last time over two years ago.
Asked what distinguishes his frames from any other carbon fiber bike builder, he modestly points out that every builder represented at the NAHBS produces great work, but if he were to characterize his own endeavors he would say that it is his passion for the sport and desire to produce the very best bicycle in terms of performance and comfort for his customers.
At the moment, Credit Crunch America seems to be avoiding builders like Crumpton’s and their peers. Nick puts this down to the fact that builders like him have the support of a demographic which still rates quality design and workmanship very highly. This means that Crumpton’s bicycles are still built in America with the international kudos which that promotes and has contributed to Nick now having a European distributor in London, UK.
So, Nick Crumpton’s “selfish enjoyment of riding a bike,” has resulted in the development of one of the most respected businesses in cycling run by one of framebuilding’s most respected personalities.