In March, 2002, we sent in our order for a custom Richard Sachs frame.  Richard is a Campy Only sponsor, and it makes sense to put the world's best components on the world's best custom-made frameset.

Click to read Bicycling Magazine's article on Richard SachsWe posted photos and notes as we progress from submitting the order  form to delivery and assembly of the new bike.  Follow the links below to see the entire progression from raw materials to finished bike, thanks to the craftsmanship of Richard Sachs and Joe Bell.

Photo left:  Richard was selected as the best custom framebuilder in the world by the editors of Bicycling Magazine.  Click here to read their thoughts on why he is the "best of the best"
Scroll down to read the Richard Sachs Project ...

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April 2008--Richard Sachs is now the subject of a documentary.  "Imperfection is Perfection" follows Richard as we works in his shop, and explores the mind of the legendary craftsman as he creates industrial art.  Read about it and order it here:  http://www.richardsachs.com/dvd.html  
See a sample here: http://www.deshorsfieldvideo.com/ 

June 14, 2006--Campy Only sponsor Richard Sachs is profiled in the July issue of Popular Mechanics magazine. Click here to read the article

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July 1, 2004--"Brazed Alchemy"  Bikes built like a Swiss watch?  Check out the profile of Richard Sachs (a Campy Only sponsor) in "WatchTime" magazine.  Two flavors to choose from:
  

Click to visit Richard's web site  

What We Ordered--Richard doesn't build "custom" frames, in the sense that you don't specify size, angles, tubing, etc.  You send him a variety of measurements of yourself and your bike, and he specs everything, right down to the length of the handlebar stem.  Still, you can order a few custom items, specify the color, etc.  Here's what we asked for:

  • Richard Sachs frameset in classic red/white RS color scheme
  • Internal brake cable routing (made with a stainless steel tube inside the top tube)
  • Two sets of bottle mounts
  • Chain hanger
  • Pump peg
  • Silca frame pump painted to match the frame  
    (Every Richard Sachs frame is painted by Joe Bell, a Campy Only sponsor.  Click here for more information on Joe Bell Bicycle Refinishing)

Click for Chester, Connecticut Forecast Richard's Weather!
See what it's like at the shop in Chester, CT.

Click here for the latest stuff on this page
Road test is in "The Joy of Sachs"

 

Click for a larger version
The Richard Sachs shrine at the offices of Campy Only
April 15, 2002--Tax Day was made brighter by the arrival of a handmade "Thank You" note from Richard, thanking us for our order.  It's a little work of art in itself.
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The Sachs Figurine exults, "I win!"
April 22, 2002--Richard sent this photo of an antique cycling figurine wearing a familiar logo:
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The Sachs Votive Candle
April 26, 2002--We have lighted a votive candle at our Richard Sachs shrine.  The eternal flame will be kept alight until our frame arrives.  Also on this day, Richard tells us that his 30th Anniversary model will be a real knockout.

April 29, 2002--Richard sent a batch of photos of other riders' frames in progress to show the early stages of frame construction.  Our frame in months away, but this is what it will look like . . .  Click here for photos

Click here to visit www.richardsachs.com May 6, 2002--Richard has posted photos of the new 30th Anniversary Edition frame on his web site.  Here's a sample--click on the image or the link above to see more photos:
Click for a larger version May 23, 2002--Another win for a Sachs rider!
June 2002--Richard is back on the road following a long recuperation from a cycling accident in February!  Meanwhile, here in Davis we have collected most of the items we'll need to build up the new frameset.  Only about 4 months to go!
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Vlad Luskin and his Sachs
July 2002--We're finding that there's quite a support group out there among other riders who have endured the wait for their Sachs frames.  Reader Vlad L. sent this nice message: 
Click for a larger version July 8, 2002--Richard has built a new bike for himself (he owns just one bike).  Click here to see what Richard rides.
mvc-033s.jpg (63909 bytes) July 8, 2002--Richard is back on his bike after a long recuperation (a crash in February sidelined him and destroyed his bike).  Here's a recent photo . . . 
sachs_delivering_25th.jpg (90742 bytes) July 12, 2002--The owner of one of Richard's 25th Anniversary models is selling his bike on eBay, and posted this photo of the happy moment when he took delivery of the bike.  The auction ends July 17th--click here to see the eBay auction page.
mvc-002s.jpg (40607 bytes) July 12, 2002--More photos of in-progress work from the Sachs workshop!  Click here for more photos
abb1.jpg (39972 bytes) July 15, 2002--Another installment in the assembly of a Sachs frame--bottom bracket cable guides.  Check out the amount of work needed for just this one small task.  Click for more photos
rsachs30th.jpg (82731 bytes) July 29, 2002--Here is a photo of a 30th Anniversary frame, built up in proper fashion with period Campagnolo components.  Very cool, very retro.  Click for more photos at Richard's web site
Click for more photos! August 2, 2002--Watch step-by-step as Richard attaches dropouts to the fork blades.
Photo source: Cycle Disciple
Signature and 30th Anniversary frames
August 18, 2002--Cycle Disciple visited Richard's workshop in Connecticut and came away in awe of his craftsmanship.  Click here to read the CD article  A sample:

"After my interview with Sachs in his workshop in Connecticut, he casually asked me if I'd like to take his bike for a quick ride. Despite the fact that I had on sneakers and that the bike was a little short for me, I jumped at the chance to try it out. I'm going to skip the frilly language about how supple the frame was and how it handled. Instead, I'll just say this. As I rolled back into Sachs' driveway I shouted, "Man, you just sold me a BIKE!""

August 27, 2002--Although Joe Bell does the amazing paint work for Richard's bikes, here is Richard doing a little touchup.  (Click on the image to see some of Richard's customers eagerly awaiting their frames)
  mvc-018s1.jpg (26943 bytes) September 12, 2002--Let's take a real close look at another feature on Richards' frames--water bottle bosses.  Richard doesn't use fancy reinforcements, just really clean brazing.  (Photos are of Richard's personal bike)
September 20, 2002--Richard sent along this bit of news:

"I started your frame" !!!

We're heading for the home stretch!  Check back for photos of the raw materials, and watch as our frame takes shape.

Click for a larger version September 23, 2002--Richard dashed off a photo of the bottom bracket that will grace the Campy Only Sachs.  Watch for upcoming features as our frame takes shape, and watch the amazing transformation from raw lugs and tubes to finished product!
September 26, 2002--We are proud to announce that Joe Bell, the painter who lays down the extraordinary colors on Richard's frames, is joining Campy Only as a sponsor.  Click here for info on Joe Bell
October 1, 2002--Now that Richard has started on our frame, we've started obsessively re-reading the rider testimonials on Richard's site . . . Only a few weeks to go!  Click here to read what Sachs owners have to say about their bikes
co9.jpg (40023 bytes) October 1, 2002--More good news!  Photos of the Campy Only frame starting to take shape!  Check out this unique look behind the scenes at the master's workbench.
October 3, 2002--Rumors are floating around about a three-year wait for one of Richard's frames . . . the actual wait is about 12-14 months, says Sachs.
October 3, 2002--Richard Sachs announced his sponsorship of a Cyclocross team for the 2002/2003 season.  Click here to read Richard's press release
6norris.jpg (40340 bytes) October 4, 2002--More photos of our frame . . . the front triangle has taken shape, and Richard has been busy working his magic with the file.
Click for more photos October 4, 2002--Still more photos, this time of the seatstays.
Forks start to take shape, and the stays are attached in this installment  We're almost ready for final brazing on the frame!
today7.jpg (42501 bytes) October 8, 2002--The bottom bracket receives more work today.
today17.jpg (39865 bytes) October 8, 2002--Seatstays are attached to the rear dropouts.  It is now a full week since Richard began work--hand craftsmanship is not a quick and easy process!
Click for this installment in the Richard Sachs Project October 9, 2002--The brake bridge is coming together, and Richard has brazed the chainstays to the seat lug.
Click for more photos October 10, 2002--Our frame is complete!  In this installment of photos, we see the last step--checking the alignment to make sure everything is perfect.  Last step will be assembling the fork--watch for more photos!
October 14, 2002--Last step in the framebuilding process is the assembly of the forks.  Next stop is the painting shop of Joe Bell--watch for photos as JB works his magic with the paint gun.
October 15, 2002--Final photos of the fork assembly process.  Next step: Box it up and ship it to Joe Bell!
Next Step--Our frame flies cross country to Spring Valley near San Diego, the home of Joe Bell.
ups.jpg (40176 bytes) October 16, 2002: . . . And It's Off!  Our frame is beginning a 9,000-mile odyssey: A 3,000-mile flight from Chester, Connecticut, to Spring Valley, California; another 3,000-mile flight back to Chester; and a final, 3,000-mile flight from Richard's shop to Campy Only headquarters here in Davis, California.  (Do we get to count those miles on our annual cycling mileage log?)
Joe Bell Bicycle Refinishing

October 21, 2002--Our frame has arrived at Joe Bell's shop! 
Click here to see detailed, step-by-step photos of JB's painting process

035_35s.jpg (57883 bytes)October 27, 2002--JB will begin work on our frame this week, starting with prep work.  
033_33.jpg (331770 bytes)November 1, 2002--JB has sandblasted and primed our frame.  Hand-sanding of the primer is the next step
sachs10.jpg (142797 bytes) November 4, 2002--Luke van Iwaarden sent this photo of his Richard Sachs from Amsterdam in the Netherlands--it's a 25th Anniversary Edition, equipped with Record parts and Nucleon wheels.

Another reader sent these thoughts today . . . "I especially love your photo essay of the Richard Sachs project!  I know Richard personally and I've visited his shop on a number of occasions, and boy, are you in for a treat when you get your bike!  He builds great frames and you're going to be very happy!"

029_29s.jpg (50894 bytes) November 6, 2002--Sanding of the primer is complete, and color could start going on tomorrow!  Click here for a description of this step in the painting processClick here for detailed, step-by-step photos of the entire process
Click for a larger version
Joe Bell Bicycle Refinishing
November 8, 2002--JB is getting ready with the first color step: painting the panels.  After that comes masking, sanding, then colors.  "There are many more steps than most people think," says JB.
November 11, 2002--Color goes on this week!  We're still looking at delivery by Thanksgiving, JB assures us.
023_23s.jpg (62711 bytes)November 12, 2002--JB reports, "It is RED.  Decals and cutout work today"
November 13, 2002--The first coat of clear is on--now comes more hand-sanding, more color in the lug cutouts, and three more coats of clear.  Click here for more step-by-step info from JB
018_18s.jpg (56690 bytes) November 18, 2002--JB reports that final detail work will be finished today, and the last coats of clear will be applied today or tomorrow--it's getting close!
009_9s.jpg (90905 bytes) November 20, 2002--The final clear coat went on yesterday. Today, JB does a final check, takes off the masking tape, and declares it done.  JB wrote to us: "The frame looks PUSS! I'm very happy with it."
"Welcome to the WORST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE!" Reader Dwight Moore, of Redlands, CA,  who has had his Sachs for four years wrote to us about this last phase in the long wait:  
"Welcome to the worst week of your life.  I've had my Richard Sachs for just over 4 years now - got it at the beginning of October, 1998.  Mine's the signature version with the Anniversary paint, pearl white with flamboyant red panels.  It started full Record 9, but is now full Record 10.  Completely current components, except the wheels are last year's Nucleons and the crank isn't carbon.
I have an assortment of nice bikes - Richard Sachs, Brian Baylis, Bill Holland, Ciocc, Litespeed Ultimate, Specialized E5 (racer).  But the Sachs remains my #1, and it's the bike I rode today in 90 degree
weather back down here in Redlands. 
You're going to love that bike!!!"

Compare that with reader Steve, who wrote:
"Damn you!!! I'm about a month behind you in the Sachs build queue. I get to listen to you gloat while I wait another 2 months!!!!!"

Sorry, Steve . . . think of the other guys out there gloating who got in line ahead of me!

005_5s.jpg (92068 bytes) November 21, 2002--Our frame is on its way back to Connecticut!  When it arrives, Richard will perform final checks, box it up, and ship it to us.  

November 25, 2002--It's back in Richard's hands!  Tracking results from UPS . . .

Status:   Delivered
Delivered on:   Nov 25, 2002 2:06 P.M.
Signed by:   SACHS
November 26, 2002--Our frame is back on its way to California--this time, it's coming to Campy Only headquarters!  Richard installed a headset and bottom bracket (both Record) for us, boxed it up carefully, and shipped it out.  Scheduled deliver date: November 27--just in time for Thanksgiving!
ct02sachs1[1].jpg (70985 bytes) November 27, 2002--Richard doesn't just build 'em, he rides, too.  Here he is on his way to a silver medal in the Connecticut State Cyclocross Championships in Farmington, CT.  Congrats, Richard!
It's Here! November 27, 2002--Eight months of waiting have ended!  Our frame arrived today via UPS.  Click here for first photos, and check back for more pics as we build and ride it.
First ride on the new Sachs November 28, 2002--We took the better part of the day carefully building and then riding our new Sachs!  Click here for photos from the building process
November 30, 2002--Thanks to Richard for this shot of the season's first snowfall in Chester, Connecticut
jpagegloucester.jpg (84816 bytes) December 15, 2002--Riding on a rain-drenched weekend in the Napa Valley, two members of the Richard Sachs cyclocross team took home top spots at the Cyclocross Nationals.  Jonathan Page won the Elite Men's title; Alicia Genest placed 3rd in the Under 23 Women's division. For more info: http://www.galeforce.org/cx2002.htm For more info on Jonathon: http://www.richardsachs.com/articles/cybcjpeuro.html 

We here at Campy Only applaud the Sachs team's exploits, but we still ask, How can you take those gorgeous bikes out in the mud and muck and get them all scratched and dirty?!

Photo from Bike.com January 16, 2003--The online magazine Bike.com published a great article on Richard's national championship-winning cyclocross frame.  Click here to read the article
Click for more photos January 23, 2003--Photos of the finished bike are now online!  Click here for the photos
sachs_new_lug.jpg (11408 bytes) March 14, 2003--Richard has announced the release of a new line of framebuilding lugs.  Check out news at http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/?id=2003/news/mar07 
More photos online at http://tinyurl.com/6pga (bookmark the page once you get there)
mvc-020s.jpg (37966 bytes)mvc-021s.jpg (38962 bytes) March 14, 2003--Want to put together your own Sachs?  How about trying this out . . . you put together the pieces.
rs11.jpg (83676 bytes) March 14, 2003--(Yeah, we've been busy . . . )  How about a trip down memory lane to the days when Richard Sachs was one guy working alone in a small workshop in Chester, Connecticut?  Well, OK, he's still one guy working alone in Chester, but here's a chance to see some samples of Sachs promo literature and photos from the 70s and 80s.
Click here to see all the scans
Click for road test results March 20, 2003--Road test results are now online! See what it's like to ride the world's best frameset! Click here to read our road test results
March 21, 2003--We're on Richard's web site!  Check it out at http://www.richardsachs.com/riders/enorris.html 
movie_sachs.jpg (7741 bytes) April 9, 2003--Richard on video?  Yep, we've ordered a video that profiles Richard and fellow framebuilder Peter Weigle.  Look for a review here, or visit the Classic Rendezvous web site for info on ordering your own copy: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/ClassicPb.htm 
April 18, 2003--The video has arrived, and it's obviously a "must have" for Sachs fans.  It's only about 18 minutes long, but you can see both Richard and Peter at work and hear their thoughts about the business and aesthetics of framebuilding.  Just the thing if you're waiting for a Sachs frame, or to watch while you're polishing the Sachs you already have.
Click to see this and other Richard Sachs materials "I am Richard Sachs.  I have been building bicycles since 1972. And unlike many of my peers in the trade who may put their names on frames built by their assistants, or on frames built in Taiwan for them to sell here, I work alone.  On a Richard Sachs frame I select the geometry, cut and braze the tubes, file the lugs, and do all the tasks necessary to complete the 8 - 10 frames I build each month. It has always been this way."
Want more?  Click here for this and other classic Richard Sachs promotional materials and photos
Click for more DC photos May 17, 2003--We completed our 20th Davis Double Century on board the Campy Only Sachs.  
Click for more photos May 29, 2003--Great shots of a vintage 1974 Sachs are now online in our Retro Gallery
July 2003--The Rivendell Reader has published an extensive, 11,000-word interview with Richard!  Click here for the article
September 1, 2003--Several years ago, Richard was interviewed for a video featuring him and fellow Connecticut framebuilder Peter Weigel.  We captured two clips of Richard, which can be viewed by clicking on the links below.  To see the entire video, go to http://www.classicrendezvous.com/ClassicPb.htm and check out the order info there.  Clips on this page shown by permission
Clip 1: Framebuilding and Art?
Clip 2: Talking About Lugs
Richard at speed ... in the mud! November 2003--Richard's sponsorship of a Cyclocross team is profiled in VeloNews--click here for the article  (We ask once again, "How can they take those gorgeous frames and toss them around in the mud?!")
paeng_2.jpg (79103 bytes) December 3, 2003--Paeng Nepomuceno is a world champion bowler and the proud owner of a 1984 Richard Sachs.  Click here for more photos.  According to Richard, Paeng owns another Sachs frame which is one of the oldest still in existence--definitely a connoisseur of the finest things!
March 2004--Richard is building up a period-correct 1970s track racer.  Click here for photos and words
watchtime.jpg (40002 bytes) July 1, 2004--"Brazed Alchemy"  Bikes built like a Swiss watch?  Check out the profile of Richard Sachs (a Campy Only sponsor) in "WatchTime" magazine.  Two flavors to choose from:
Click for a larger image October 2004--Davis, CA, resident Chuck uses his Sachs for (gasp!) commuting! Campy Only caught up with him on the way home from work and snapped this photo of Chuck and his 1987 Richard Sachs. Still gorgeous after years of use ...

www.richardsachs.com
Richard Sachs: The eyes of a craftsman

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