Street To PBE 2021: PBE x SRAM Inclusivity Scholarship Winner Man Stone of Relstone Bikes


Main as much as the 2020 version of the present, the Philly Bike Expo was able to welcome the most recent recipients of the PBE x SRAM Inclusivity Scholarship for Framebuilders. Sadly, the present was postponed on account of Covid. On the intense facet, the Philly Bike Expo is again on for 2021, and it’s occurring this weekend. That makes all the 2020 Scholarship winners additionally the 2021 winners, who can have their work on show within the SRAM sales space at this yr’s present.

Personally, this yr’s PBE x SRAM Scholarship program is much more impactful as one of many awards has gone to a good friend of mine, Man Stone. I’ve recognized Man from the native mountain bike scene for years. Man is pretty quiet and reserved, however clearly has a burning ardour for bikes. At some point, he simply began displaying as much as rides on a Relstone—a motorcycle that he had constructed himself.

That every one began because of the identical bike dependancy that many people face. In response to Man, his first actual street bike was a {custom} Waterford 1200 with Reynolds 753 tubing — “It was simply evening and day in comparison with what I used to be using earlier than, and I used to be simply hooked.” Early on, Man additionally dreamed of proudly owning a Merckx MX Chief, “the one with the Columbus Max tubing and full lugs.” All the time drawn to basic European lugged frames, finally, Man advised himself that he would by no means purchase one other bike. “If I needed one, I had to determine learn how to construct them myself.”

Guy Stone of Relstone Bikes

So he did. After attending a BREW Racing TIG class in 2015 adopted by a brazing class by Joe Bringheli in 2016, Man has been constructing {custom} lugged metal bikes in his home ever since. When he first began constructing frames about six years in the past, Man says that he was cranking out a brand new bike virtually each month for the primary few years. As a substitute of specializing in the perfection of the end, Man was extra fascinated by how totally different butting alternatives, tubing profiles, alloys, and diameters would have an effect on the trip high quality.

Not desirous to “make a duplicate of one thing that was already on the market,” Man was targeted on creating true lugged mountain bike frames that would maintain as much as the abuse whereas delivering the proper trip for every rider. Man jokes that as a muscular 245lb rider who ceaselessly rides a inflexible single pace, if his frames had any vulnerability, he’d discover it.

brazed fork lug by relstone bikes

Following within the footsteps of basic lugged body craftsman, Man hand builds all of his lugs—beginning with metal tubes which are bronze fillet brazed collectively, then hand-carved into the lug form. The body tubes are then silver brazed into the sockets which takes quite a lot of warmth management as Man factors out.

Relstone Bikes mountain bikes

These lugs and tubes finally make their method into distinctive bikes with enjoyable names. His inflexible single pace? That’s the Outdated Dawg. Add a suspension fork to it, and it’s the New Trix. The child-sized mountain bike Man made for his daughter? That’s a Lil New Trix. And the Relstone identify itself? That’s born from a mixture of Man’s final identify and his spouse’s maiden identify.

Relstone new trix

Every of those frames is custom-built for its proprietor, usually with longer head tubes than you would possibly anticipate. The reason being two-fold: on his inflexible bikes, Man builds them particularly to run inflexible forks with shorter axle to crown measurements, which drops the headtube down. On the different finish, Man believes custom-built bikes shouldn’t have an enormous stack of spacers between the headset and the stem. So the headtubes are longer to offer the correct match with a nearly-slammed stem.

Man factors out that since head tubes may be one of many heaviest tubes on the bike, he makes use of ultra-light head tubes with thinner partitions. However to offer the wanted power, he brazes reinforcement rings on the ends to maintain them from ovalizing.

Relstone bikes tandem

In an fascinating hyperlink to the Philly Bike Expo, whereas on trip together with his household to Philadelphia years in the past, on a whim Man stopped in to see Stephen Bilenky and his store. Man had solely been constructing for a number of years at that time, and after seeing a lugged tandem hanging in Bilenky’s store, Man stated he had needed to construct a tandem for his daughter. Extra difficult than constructing a standard bike simply by way of measurement alone, Man went residence and did it.

Guy STone on tandem with his daughter

The appropriately named Simply the two of Us contains {custom} lugged backside brackets with an eccentric shell on the entrance to stress the timing chain.

Relstone Godspeed ultra endurance road bike

Persevering with with the street theme, Man is engaged on an extra-special challenge he’s dubbed Godspeed. Constructed-in reminiscence of his father who just lately handed away, Man is planning on finishing his first triple century+ to memorialize his father. To take action, he’s been engaged on designing a motorcycle particularly for ultra-marathon street using whereas additionally honing his engine. Man says that he’s already accomplished a double century at a quick tempo, and his subsequent step is to construct a brand new mannequin of the Godspeed—which will probably be his first in chrome steel.

To see a Relstone in individual, cease by the SRAM sales space at PBE—Man tells us he’ll have a particular mountain bike on show that was cooked up only for the present.

9 Questions with Man Stone

Bikerumor: What’s your identify, the place are you based mostly, and the way lengthy have you ever been constructing bicycle frames?

Man Stone: My identify is Man Stone and my model is Relstone Cycles. I’m based mostly in Cincinnati, OH. I’ve been constructing bicycles of every type for six years.

Bikerumor: What’s your most popular body materials and constructing approach?

Man Stone: My most popular materials is metal. My most popular constructing approach is a mixture of bronze and silver brazing. I particularly take pleasure in fabricating {custom} lugs.

lugged BB shell mountain bike

Bikerumor: What units your bikes other than different {custom} builders?

Man Stone: I might say my geometry and brazed lug work units me other than different builders. There are quite a lot of actually proficient builders that make distinctive metal {custom} bikes. There are comparatively few that make {custom} lugs (not bi-lam) and lugged backside brackets for mountain bikes.

Bikerumor: How did you get into this? Who impressed you to get began making bikes?

Man Stone: I’m a lifelong bicycle owner. Regardless of how my day goes a motorcycle trip makes it higher. It wasn’t till my late teenagers that I began eager about constructing my very own bikes. My father was a machinist and he impressed me to work with metals and construct bikes. It wasn’t till my 40s that I constructed my first body. I used to be hooked. On each bike, I attempt one thing new to maintain the training curve excessive and enhance my course of.

Bikerumor: Who evokes you now?

Man Stone: My Father nonetheless evokes me now. Although he handed 4 years in the past I’m presently engaged on designing a chrome steel ultramarathon street bike to finish a 24-hour trip in his reminiscence. I’m additionally impressed by the founders of the Chillicothe VA Bike Share Program. They volunteer their time to offer a motorcycle share service free to Veterans and members of the group on the Chillicothe, Ohio VA.

Bikerumor: How was the COVID period for you? Good, dangerous, about the identical? How did it change your enterprise and enterprise mannequin, if in any respect?

Man Stone: Framebuilding is a labor of affection for me. I’m restricted to evenings and weekends. I’ve a demanding profession and a younger household. COVID introduced the challenges of digital studying for my kids for over a yr in addition to elevated profession tasks. On the identical time, it has been very tough to supply all of the body supplies and elements to construct full bikes. Consequently, I’m not in a position to construct practically as many bikes as I did pre-COVID.

Relstone Lil Trix

Relstone Lil Trix

Bikerumor: What’s probably the most fascinating bike you’ve constructed over the previous yr? 

Man Stone: Probably the most fascinating bike I’ve constructed over the previous yr was positively the 24er mountain bike I constructed for my Daughter. Constructing youth bikes for my Children has been one of the vital pleasant points of framebuilding for me from the start. All the things was rigorously chosen from the body supplies to elements that work for small riders. The body is made primarily of classic Columbus SLX, SL, and EL tubing. Building strategies are a mixture of bronze and silver fillet brazing and a hand-crafted lugged backside bracket to suit the small diameter classic chain stays. Elements are a mixture of Hayes J-Unit youth and Sram 1×11. The crank was even {custom} milled right down to 150 mm. I needed my daughter to have a mountain bike that may carry out identical to a full-sized Relstone. Extra details about her bike may be discovered at this hyperlink.

Bikerumor: What are you bringing to Philly Bike Expo this yr? Any teasers or sneak peeks?

Man Stone: I’m bringing a lugged XC mountain bike to the Philly Bike Expo. It may be run with gears, single-speed, suspension or inflexible. It’s presently at my favourite LBS (West Chester Cyclery) getting the ending changes so it is going to be prepared for the present. Keep tuned for sneak peeks…

Nati Fatties photo Bill Brune

Photograph c. Invoice Brune/Nati Fatties

Bikerumor: Should you needed to do a multi-day bikepacking journey with anybody else within the biking trade, useless or alive, who would it not be and why?

Man Stone: I’m a member of a bunch of mountain bikers [who love fat bikes] within the Cincinnati, Ohio space referred to as the Nati Fatties. Through the years, life occurs and I don’t get to see or trip with them as a lot as I want to. They’re an important group of individuals and I might like to spend time round a campfire catching up with them.

To get in contact with Man, you’ll find him on Instagram @bean_biker—a play on phrases between his ardour for bikes, and his day job as a excessive degree bean counter (accountant).

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