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Beantown Builders

Words & Photos by Brad Quartuccio

The Boston Massachusetts area has a particular concentration of frame builders, certainly unprecedented otherwise in the eastern half of the country. Much of what has come to define east coast frame building has its roots in Boston, and much of that can one way or another be traced back to Fat City Cycles. Now remembered as a legendary frame shop and a pioneer in custom steel mountain bikes, the Fat City brand was sold and the factory doors shut back in 1994. Direct from the ashes rose Independent Fabrication, and in the years since any number of frame builders can one way or another trace some part of their development back to Fat City.

Three such area builders are featured here—Independent Fabrications at it stands today, Alternative Needs Fabrication and Geekhouse Bikes. Through bike shows and friends of friends I’ve known the people behind each for some time, and a late summer Boston trip made visits to the three shops a reality.