Glenn Erickson has been in the bicycle business since 1968. He and a partner started R&E Cycles, and built it into one of the best pro shops in the country. Glenn has been involved in frame building since 1973, and currently owns and operates Erickson Cycles. Glenn is an experienced racer, having won numerous state and national medals. But mostly, Glenn Erickson loves bicycles and cycling.
Glenn and his Calvin and Hobbs frame
A comment from Glenn regarding his personal BTC equipped bike
"I recently returned from a seven week tour of the Southern Alps. I climbed over 200,000 feet on my Calvin and Hobbs road bike with BTCs. The ride was about as stiff a challenge as a bike is going to see. There is no degradation of efficiency even on the stiffest and hardest climbs. I am totally pleased with the bike".
Fit = Comfort = Efficiency = Endurance
The most important aspect of performance is proper fit. While the beauty of an Erickson frame is obvious at first glance, what isn't instantly apparent is the time Glenn spends sizing each frame to the rider. The perfect fit often includes a custom, hand-built stem. Male, female, large, or small, no frame will fit you better than an Erickson custom frame.
Steel....Still The Best
Whether measured in feel, durability, versatility, strength, reparability, or attractive proportions, steel is still the material of choice for a world class bicycle frame. Steel gives a skilled frame builder a freedom in sculpting and joining that is unmatched by other frame materials, and it is this freedom that makes the art of an Erickson frame possible. Using a selection of the best tubing available, Glenn crafts each frame to provide just the right combination of flex, stiffness, and suppleness, for you.
Simple beauty. Whimsical designs. Wild, baroque figures. Glenn brings a unique creativity to the traditional craft of frame building. To Glenn, each frame is a chance to create a one-of-a-kind bicycle. Regardless of the design theme you choose, from subtle to wild, from classic to beautiful, each bike is a true work of art.
A custom Erickson with this carved BTC was raced to a first place finish in the Masters Nationals road race championships. Click here to see and read about the bike.
Creating a strong joint between paper-thin steel tubes takes an unusual level of skill and experience. Doing it as beautifully as Glenn does is an art. Whether you choose classical lugwork, Erickson's unique and fabulous fillet lugs, or perfectly executed fillet brazing, you get the strength that results from flawless brazing, with the beauty and satisfaction of a work of art.
Ultimately, a bicycle must perform, and performance depends on the precision of the building process. Glenn cuts each joint precisely with a milling machine. Every Erickson frame is checked and aligned after each brazing step. All threads and bearing surfaces are carefully machined. Each frame comes together with care and patience, and the resulting precision translates into an unequaled ride.
Every Erickson frame has an exquisite custom finish, the result of a creative collaboration between Glenn and the customer. Your involvement can range from color suggestions, to complete detailing. In the end, each frame's finish is unique, durable, and beautiful.
Glenn provides completed bicycles, using the components of your choice, to ensure harmonious performance. The same precision and attention to detail that gives any Erickson frame its excellent performance is applied to the assembly of the components. Every completed bicycle is a one-of-a-kind that rides as beautifully as it looks.
Signature Erickson Road
The Signature Erickson has earned me a truly unique niche in the frame building business. The most original aspect of my frames is the carved lug work. I have used some designs many times, while others were created specifically for one person. The price of these frames depends on how much time I spend carving the lugs, and how elaborate the finish is. I have never made two identical frames.
I usually use prestige tubing, the gauges and diameter determined by rider size and riding style, although any tubing selection is possible, Columbus, Reynolds, or other. However, when using some of the oversize tubing, there are no lugs available for me to carve, so I either have the lugs machined (very expensive) or I use fillet brazing with gloss smooth finishing of the joints! All the Signature frames have my own unique "hidden" seat bolt.
The paint is first class with 2 or 3 sanded prime coats, color coats, pearl coats, and 3 sanded clear coats over the decals. Your imagination is the only limit on what can be created with paint. Chrome is available on lugs, stays, and forks. Some of the lug designs are best painted and others look incredible when chromed. In every sense this is really a custom frame.
Competition Erickson Road Frame
The Competition Erickson is really a new frame for me, coming from the need to have a high performance frame for the racing crowd, at a more affordable price. Because most Competition Erickson's use oversize tubing, I fillet braze the frames, thus eliminating the fancy lugwork featured on the Signatures. The competition is still a custom bike so any tubing can be used and any geometry or fit is possible.
The cost savings result from reduced finish work, unsanded fillet welds, exposed seat binder, and paint with no sanding between coats.
I race this frame, and I don't mind if it suffers some wear and tear. I really like the performance, especially with the Erickson Signature cranks. These bikes are still one of a kind and look great.
Erickson Tandems - The Best, And Not Just In Looks
As an accomplished tandem rider and racer (Seattle-To-Portland record holder, 1992 Burley Duet Champion), Glenn knows how to design tandems. Each tandem is sized to fit both the captain and the stoker, providing natural, single-bike positions for both riders. Erickson tandems are built with large-diameter, thin-wall tubes for light weight and efficiency, with enough flexibility, for comfort. Climbing, sprinting, cornering, descending, time-trailing, or touring, Erickson tandems perform like single bikes, only faster. In comfort, lightness, performance, and, of course, beauty, Erickson tandems are the best.
I have been building tandems for 16 years. From 1977 - 1987 they were built under the Rodriguez label. Since starting my own frame shop in 1989, my tandem designs have evolved, taking advantage of advances in material and components as well as innovations in frame design.
My tandems are designed to fit both riders, but I pay particular attention to fitting the stoker so that a position similar to their single bike is possible. This positioning enables both riders to cycle with the same rhythm, stand on hills and in sprints, and experience much less perceived flexing of the frame.
The front end steering geometry handles much more responsively than traditional tandems, allowing the captain to steer more by leaning than by turning the handlebars. My tandems can easily be ridden with no hands if you are so inclined.
The tubing is my own special mix of thin gauge oversize tubing from a variety of suppliers. Some tubes are custom ovalized to achieve maximum efficiency and comfort. I like to use short seat tubes with long seat posts. The low-slung frame combined with the thin gauge of tubing creates a tandem that absorbs more road shock, and hence is more stoker-comfortable than any other tandem. (This is not just my opinion but feedback from many stokers.) The frames typically weigh 10 - 10.5 lb with forks less than 2 lb.
Most of my tandems are road bikes using 700c wheels and sidepull brakes. The dual pivot brakes from Shimano or Campagnolo are incredibly strong and positive, better than most all sidepulls. However, these are custom tandems so nothing is written in "stone" except high quality.
Custom Tandem Frame Set
- Erickson tube set
- Custom sizing
- TIG welded joints
- Custom paint
Signature Tandem Frame Set
- Custom sizing
- Erickson tube set
- Finished fillet construction
- Exquisite detailing of all frame work
- "Incredible" custom paint
The Erickson Signature tandems are the most beautiful tandems in the world, winning most beautiful tandem in every show and rally they have attended.
When selecting components I like to use what I consider the best. However, "the best" changes constantly as components can be used, as long as they are good quality.
Note: I have developed a way to use Shimano STI shifting on triple cranksets, so yes, you can use STI on touring or racing tandems
'On this tandem we have now cycled a total of over 9,000 miles. Of those, over 5,500 miles were done in 1995. Those miles include some of the most difficult rides on the West coast. We successfully completed 6 of the 7 California Triple Crown double century rides, the Kern Wheelmen's Hideous Hundred Spooktacular (100 miles & 10,000 ft.), The Northfork Grizzly Century (100 miles & 10,000 ft), and Fresno Cycling Club's famous Klimb to Kaiser (160 miles & 14,000 ft.). Note on the Klimb to Kaiser only 6 tandems attempted the ride, only 3 finished. Of the 3 that completed the ride, Theo & Cynthia first and Joan & I second, all on Erickson tandems.
In our travels to various parts of California to participate in cycling events, we are constantly being complimented on our tandem by other cyclists. What we have really enjoyed the most is how well it works. After years on other tandems, this (50th-ish year old) couple knows just how much difference a good tandem makes. As the sometimes exhausted captain on some of the most difficult rides, there is always some point of any event where on a climb or a downhill, that I recognize that this tandem is working so well. That it is the one factor that makes the difference in our ability to complete an event. As I have said to Jim Askew many times, my Erickson tandem is the best investment I could have made. My usual remark to compliments on our Erickson is, "Yes it is beautiful to look at, but the real beauty is how well it works Thanks again for building such a great tandem". Jim & Joan
"Pam and I would be remiss if we didn't provide you with some written evidence of how delighted we are with the tandem you built for us!
Any number of adjectives come to mind, like "thrilled", "excited", "ecstatic", etc. -- but I think the truth is a little closer to "amazed" or "awestruck". The reason is simply that we never expected the bicycle to be so excellent in every aspect of its character. We've owned (and put a fair number of miles on) two very finely made, custom-built tandems before this one, and we are flat shocked by the superiority of our Erickson!
This morning I was tidying up my file on the bicycle, and stopped to read a promo sheet we picked up from you at the bike show in February of 1995 -- the one with all the testimonials. To be honest, I don't think we paid much attention to it back then. We were so attracted to that stunning red and white frame you displayed at the show, and so anxious to get a little more room for Pam in the Stoker position, that we were happy to start the project on that basis alone.
I had to laugh out loud as I read through the comments on the promo sheet, though, because it was a real "deja-vu" thing. Wasn't it just last week I called to tell you how perfect the fit was for Pam, how quick and yet stable the handling was, and how comfortable the ride was when the road got rough? Believe it or not, Glen, we were not doing a Laura-Bill-Paula imitation -- the bike screamed these things at us on our first ride! If you ever encounter a skeptic about those testimonials, feel free to give them our phone number.
Last but not least, we want you to know how sincerely we share the pride that is so evident in the artistry and craftsmanship you bring to your creations. Our tandem is a feast for the eyes, and the closer one looks, the more beautiful it becomes. Kudos to your paint/chrome folks -- the beauty of their work is a perfect compliment to yours.
Thanks again, Glen, for building us a really fabulous bicycle. The appearance, fit, handling and comfort are all "11" on a scale of "10", and the components function together like a Rolex.
"Best in the world" is a pretty sassy claim, but you can certainly add Pam and me to the list of true believers. We wouldn't trade our Erickson for any other tandem on the planet, and if anything ever happens to it, you can expect to find us on your doorstep the next morning!" Mike & Pam
"I am the proud owner of the beautiful travel bike that you saw at the Seattle Bike Expo. With our less than pleasing weather the last 4 months, it's mud spattered but well used on my 50 mile 4-5xper week commute. Due to the bad weather, I have been using the fender-equipped travel bike for hard core training rides as well as commuting. I certainly can't tell the difference between my chic racing bike (also an Erickson) and my travel bike as far as performance and handling go (except for the fenders!)" Nancy Bruce
See some of the custom carved lugs that Glenn and others have done
6119 Brooklyn N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: (206) 527-5259