SaltAir, hand-crafted bikes Launches in Utah

SaltAir, hand-crafted bikes offer lugged or fillet brazed custom steel frames and forks for avid and competitive cyclists right here in SLC.

SaltAir, hand-crafted bikes offer lugged or fillet brazed custom steel frames and forks for avid and competitive cyclists right here in SLC.

Matthew Nelson shows off one of his new SaltAir bicycles.

When and where was the company founded? Who founded it?

The roots of the company go back to the Summer of 2011, but only started as an actual business by myself (Matthew Nelson) early this year (2014), in the Liberty Wells neighborhood of Salt Lake City.

What types of bikes do you build? Do make particular models, or custom frames?

SaltAir, hand-crafted bikes builds predominantly road, cyclocross and touring bikes, but mountain and other off-road adventure bikes are definitely something I can offer . Almost all the frames I offer are custom, but I do have a line of cyclocross bikes that the SaltAir Cross Fever Race Team (SACxF) are racing on in the Utah Cyclocross Series A-Flite this season.

Where did you learn framebuilding? How long have you been building frames?

I learned the trade of steel framebuilding at the United Bicycle Institute, under the guidance of Joseph Ahearn and Gary Mathis in North Portland. My first frame was built in that setting in June of 2011 and I have been building bikes ever since.

Who does the painting?

I have been developing a good working relationship with Jeff and Ryan at Armor Powder Coatings in Taylorsville – they have done the last 5 frames I have built, including the SACxF Team Bikes in Team Turquoise.

What’s the best thing about your bike and company?

Besides the fact that I get to design, build and test the custom steel bikes of our collective dreams, I wanted to bring the experience to the Wasatch Front, where our cycling community would have the option to invest in local artisan craftsmanship and the concept that you get to know the tradesman that fabricated that one of a kind ride – a more traditional, small scale and personal approach to the bicycle manufacturing process.

Tell us about your cyclocross team:

One of the things I am most excited to talk about is the inaugural season of the SaltAir Cross Fever Race Team (SACxF). Thanks to the support of Epic Brewing and Saturday Cycles, I was able to sponsor a small competitive cross team this year – it’s a project inspired by the likes of Richard Sachs and Sacha White (Vanilla), that I have been floating around in my head for the last 3 years. I had gotten to know local racer Richard Knutson through my participation with the SaltCycle-Intelitechs race team and I ran the concept by him. He seemed interested and helped me enlist Joe Waters and Reed Wycoff to round out the “A-squad”. I spent the next couple of months designing and building the team cyclocross bikes for them and, thus far, they have been giving some of the more established local cross teams a run for their money. The team is open to all racers at any level.

Why did you choose to move or stay in Utah?

I’ve resided in SLC for the last 14-plus years and consider it my home – It’s where my family and community of cycling friends are.

Where can someone buy your bikes?

At least for the time being, cyclists interested in the bikes I offer can get more information from my website: http://saltaircx.wordpress.com

 

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