September 25, 2017 - May 6, 2018
Bilenky Cycle Works
Firth & Wilson Transport Cycle
Since the late 1800s, residents of Philadelphia have embraced bicycling for transportation, competition, and recreation. In the 1920s, with the new demand for cars—their popularity, accessibility, and convenience—lessened the enthusiasm for bicycling among the general population.
But like automobile manufacturers that strive to build safer, better, sexier vehicles there are custom bike builders who are devoted to “enhancing the world of cycling, one hand-built frame at a time,” said Stephen Bilenky founder of Bilenky Cycle Works considered the most established shop in Philadelphia. Bilenky’s notoriety has “placed Philadelphia in the national spotlight” and his efforts have “helped build the bike community” throughout the region, noted Grid Magazine, 2014.
The 5 bike building shops featured in this exhibition are representative of the current artistry, innovation, and types of custom bikes made within the Greater Philadelphia area. To make a high-performance bicycle, “bike-building balances the worlds of craftsmanship and artistry with utility,” wrote Grid. From road bikes, city bikes to cargo, utilitarian bikes, and much more, renowned frame-builders Bilenky, Engin, Firth &Wilson, Haley, and Woody want all cycling enthusiasts to experience a well-made custom bike.