About Chris

The lightweight bicycle is the center of my life, whether racing or riding, building new frames or refinishing old ones.  My racing career spanned 22 years, from 1965 to 1987.  I was Category 1 rider who competed locally (winning many Minnesota district titles in both senior and veteran events), regionally, nationally, and internationally, and I was invited to the 1967 PanAm trials (placing seventh in one event) and the 1968 and 1972 Olympic trials.  In 1977 my brother Kevin and I set a transcontinental record, riding frames built by me; in 1979 we were invited to Paris-Brest-Paris by the organizers of the event.

The intensity of racing helped me understand how important the frame was for any rider to reach his or her potential; the first custom frame I had was built in Italy. With the bike boom of the 1970’s modern American frame building became established, and I had a series of American-made custom frames.  The availability of tubes, lugs, fork crowns, and other frame parts through a local importer inspired some riders in the Twin Cities to begin building their own frames, and a few sought my advice on design because of my racing and touring experience. 

Combining my experience on the bike with my mechanical skills, I completed my first frame in early 1976, and began painting bicycle frames soon afterwards. I am essentially self-taught, working by and for myself while incorporating advice and guidance from many other framebuilders.  After building frames full-time in my home for six years, I have been in two commercial locations building and painting frames without interruption to the present day.

My style of thinned, tapered lugs expresses my sense of beauty and minimalism through simplicity  where  form follows function.  My preference for the simple and the practical extends to my paint jobs, both for CKC frames and classic restorations; the end result is an elegant working bicycle. 

I continue to be a recreational cyclist, riding about five thousand miles a year, and every summer take a few friends on a tour to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Long a devotee of the fixed gear, I train on a track bike in the spring and commute daily on a fixed wheel throughout the year.

chriskvalecycles@gmail.com    +1 612-724-8843