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Monday, July 11, 2011

Custom Cycling's Big Wheel [via WSJ]

Sacha White is a rock star in the elite, $100 million handmade-bicycle industry.
[CREATING white]Toni Greaves for The Wall Street Journal
Sacha White at his Portland, Ore., headquarters. Customers wait five years and spend from $5,000 to $12,000 for his creations.
Last year, five of his bikes appeared in an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Mr. White has a long list of customers who wait five years to spend from $5,000 to $12,000 for his creations. Lance Armstrong's people have contacted him about getting a Vanilla bicycle (as Mr. White's brand is called), but "I don't know if he wants to wait," Mr. White said.
The appeal of Vanilla bikes lies in both fashion and function: They are known for their smooth ride and speed and for a unique look that blends retro features and unusual paint colors with hand-carved lugs and silver bonding. Mr. White, 34, won't say what he earns, but the company sells about 50 custom bikes a year plus almost 100 of its newer Speedvagen line, which is built in-house by other frame makers, all of which would generate about $600,000. "I am not living large, but I am living well," he said. 


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