by
Bling Builds


A little over 20 years ago Mike Desalvo was working at UBI as a mechanic's course instructor and helping out in the framebuilding classes as well.  He knew he wanted to build frames, and when UBI got a fax from a previous student who was looking to clear-out some tooling, Mike started looking around to see if he might be able to find a way to afford it. 

It was only when a second fax came in a month or so later with an even lower price, that Mike decided that he just had to buy it.  As he tells it, the only thing of value that he owned was his 1968 VW crewcab truck, nicknamed "Curley", and that had a blown engine.  As luck would have it, he was able to find a buyer for the truck, and got just enough out of the deal to but the framebuilding tools.  The rest, as they say, is history.

When Mike finished the first Desalvo Custom Cycles frame in February of 1999, he knew he wanted to continue making frames, but 20 years is definitely quite a milestone.  For his 20th anniversary, he's making 20 steel gravel bikes that will have colors based on Curley, and on his current VW van.  At $4500 base price for the bike, these aren't cheap bikes, but mike says he's always tried to deliver a good value, and the immaculate welds and clean lines of these bikes fits that aim perfectly. 

One of Mike's two 20th Anniversary designs.    Photo: NAHBS

We hope you were able to swing by Mike's booth at NAHBS to see these bikes in person, but if not, take it from us: they look even better up close!


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