New Hampshire frame builder Ryan Burnham steps into the large shoes of the legendary Ted Wojcik, purchasing his business and the rights to build a legacy line of lugged frames based on his classic style.
“I am honored to carry on his legacy, as Handz Bicycles, with a line of frames dedicated and inspired by the master himself!” says Burnham, who has had a lot of contact with Wojcik in recent years, and says Ted still spends some time in the shop and offers up advice from his deep well of knowledge.
Ryan Burnham’s own frame building experience began back in 2016 and included some time working at Independent Fabrication before setting up shop under his own name.
“My passion for building bikes parallels my love of riding them, especially gravel. Being from New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die state, I am lucky to have beautiful, quiet, peaceful gravel roads right in my backyard. I would be lying if I said I did not still love the speed of a spirited road ride, or the flow of a sweet single-track, but my passion remains on gravel roads where I found peace after the passing of my brother, faced fears of where my life would take me, and joy in planning future adventures. I do my best thinking on gravel roads, simply stated: It is my church.” Amen to that!
The Handz gravel bike on display at Philly Bike Expo was designed as Ryan’s quiver killer. He has used adjustable dropouts to allow lowering of the bottom bracket height and lengthen the chainstay for stability, and to accommodate a wider tire. For an increasing number of multi-surface riders, this is a must-have frame feature.
Another feature of this drop-out design is the easy replaceability of the derailleur hanger. As somebody who had a plastic bag blow into the gear cluster and half a second later feel the drop-out bending backwards almost 180 degrees from the axle, this reporter knows how much time it saves to simply purchase and install a new hanger bracket.
Handz also offers a flip-chip fork option. The adjustable chainstay length feature paired with a flip-chip fork to change the rake allows for better handling when using larger tires, a useful feature on a frame made to fit up to 700 x 45 or 650B x 2.0 tires.