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Six Eleven Bicycle Co., from Roanoke, Virginia, has attended the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) for just three years, and in those three years, Aaron Dykstra has won three awards, beginning with the Rookie of the Year in 2010, Best Track Frame in 2011, and now in 2012 in Sacramento, Dykstra has tied for first place with Moots’ Psychlo-X RSL in the Best Cyclocross Bike category. It’s an impressive record for the relatively new builder.
Dykstra originally got his start working at bike shops, but after several “real jobs” including a stint in the military, he started building bikes in Chicago a little over four years ago. With the city’s thriving cyclocross scene, he built more than a few cyclocross bikes for friends. Now back home in Roanoke, Virginia, Dykstra doesn’t quite enjoy the same cyclocross scene, but is optimistic that it will grow, and continues to build a bunch of cyclocross bikes.The cyclocross frame Six Eleven Bicycle Co. brought to NAHBS 2012 is made primarily out of Columbus MAX tubing, with a True Temper OX Platinum chainstays, seat stays and seat tube. Dykstra fillet brazes his tubes, but adds plenty of small touches that likely won over the judges to bring home first place.
Near the rear dropouts, Dykstra does a bi-laminate treatment on the chainstay ends, essentially creating a chainstay lug to reinforce the area. The top tube is slightly flattened near the seat tube, perhaps further back than where most people’s shoulders would be while running, and the head tube and bottom bracket are standard 1 1/8″ straight and 68mm threaded, respectively — no tapered or oversize here.
Dykstra selected a Wound Up fork for the front-end duties, partially because it is American-made, and also for its straight-leg look. He painted the legs, crown and brake post bands, and then utilized a similar banded design on rear brake posts on the seat stays for a consistent look.The two most notable features of the bike might be the paint finish and the brass fittings, created with a 1962 New Hermes Pantograph machine. The cream-colored wet paint finish is topped with an intricate dot pattern of different sized and colored dots, with some dots on dots. Each dot was painted with a spoke head. The pattern looks similar to a mud splatter from a distance, and is more concentrated by the areas that would typically get the most mud, like the bottom bracket and chainstays. The dot was created by a local artist, and took a whopping three weeks of five to six hour days to complete. The brass fittings on the rear brake cable hanger and the chainstay protector were made by the Pantograph machine, and allow naming for each customer.
Cyclocross Magazine was the title sponsor of the cyclocross category (but did not judge). For his winning bike, Six Eleven receives a generous ad package for the print mag, digital mag, and online.
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