One of the most admirable qualities of the custom frame building world is its sense of community. So when Steve Bilenky’s daughter Bina got together with Casey Sussman of Mars Cycles and decided it’s high time Bilenky had a custom bike to ride, several members of the community stepped up to lend a hand.
Looking left to right in the pic is Chris McCown of Excitement Wheelworks, who built the wheels, Brook Fowler of SRAM who contributed old school SRAM components from their personal collection (Steve is into old-school parts), Jesse Iozzio, who made the shotgun stem cap (you really should check this out), Carl Schlemowitz of Vicious Cycles, who made the forks, Steve, Bina and Casey, Johnny Coast, who made the front rack, and slight out-of-frame Casey’s good friend Jake.
“It was kind of crazy,” explained Bina. “For years and years he’d been riding around on an old beater that belonged to an ex-boyfriend of mine, so that tells you how long he’d been on that bike!”
Casey has recently been doing contract work in the Bilenky workshop, and for better or for worse, that’s where he decided to assemble the frame. He made discreet enquiries and measurements here and there to get the dimensions right, but needless to say, after not too much time Steve wanted to know about this mystery bike project Casey was working on and why he’d not been made aware of it.
“It’s a bike for Janet Jackson,” said Casey, who may have learned from reading the news in recent years: the bigger the lie, the more believable it is.