True North Cycles was founded in 1993 when Hugh Black started building frames in the workshop of his parents’ farm near Alma, Ontario, Canada. Hugh’s dedication to custom-frame building was tested and proven in the early years: the workshop was heated by a woodstove, and Hugh had to repeatedly collect firewood to keep warm to work! Most of the early frames that Hugh designed and handcrafted were mountain bikes, but he steadily expanded his repertoire over time to include frames for other types of cycling. Hugh graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), where he built and rode a number of prototypes of mountain bike frames. Upon graduation, Hugh was underwhelmed by the typical engineering jobs available in the labour market. He was fascinated with bicycle manufacturing, and excited about the possibility of dedicating his engineering skills and attention-to-detail to bicycle frame building. Hugh merged his passions for bicycles, engineering, and craftsmanship into what is True North Cycles.
Every bike we make is custom - designed with you and built for you. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to categorize the bicycles we handcraft. Please consider the headings on this page only as suggestions!
Since you spend a lot of time on your touring bike, it is important the that your frame fits you perfectly. We make bikes across the entire touring range: from light touring bikes with relaxed geometry for day tripping and supported tours to expedition touring bikes with clearance for fenders and endurance tires for months of unsupported travel to the far corners of the world.
For recreation or competition, the fit of a custom road frame increases your power, efficiency and comfort. We make our frames from steel (welded or lugged) and titanium, with the option of carbon fiber stays. Each material has its advantages in terms of cost, weight, durability and the ride performance that can be achieved. We work with you to determine the material selection and frame geometry the best meets your needs.
Hugh’s first frames were mountain bikes, and hardtail mountain bikes are still our specialty. A lot of customers opt for single speeds, or frames with eccentric bottom brackets that can be set up with gears or single. We are big advocates of 29″ wheels, and the number of 29ers we make dwarfs the number of frames for 26″ wheels we build. However, based on rider size and intended bike use, 26″ and 650B wheels definitely have their place.
Looking for a CX race bike? Steel or titanium, you can choose a carbon rear end on your custom frame for mud clearance and compliance. Geometry, top tube placement, cable routing and frame features are all customized to your ‘cross style. Or, you might be looking for a ‘cross bike as a good all around bike - capable of handling road as well as trails and off-season training.
Looking for a track bike? A winter fixie? Something special? Something that defies categorization? Well, this page is for you.
True North Cycles
79 Regal Road, Unit #15
Guelph, ON N1K 1B6
Phone (519) 585-0600
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