It never hurts to remember from whence you came.
Two decades ago when Oregon’s Mike DeSalvo got the opportunity to purchase the tools of the trade for a frame builder he had one problem, he did not have the cash to pay for the gear.
Fortunately, what he did have was a 1968 VW crew cab he called “Curley.” DeSalvo sold Curley, bought the welder, jig, torches and the rest of the gear and the rest is history.
Now based in Ashland, Oregon, the one-man DeSalvo Cycles shop has been building custom steel and titanium frames for 20 years now.
Seeing DeSalvo at NAHBS is de rigueur for Cyclocross Magazine at this point. We saw a custom titanium cyclocross bike in 2012 and a titanium gravel racer in 2016.
This year at NAHSB in Sac-Town, DeSalvo Cycles showed off a 20th-anniversary steel gravel bike dedicated to the memory of Curley and how DeSalvo got his start.
Curley, the 20th-Anniversary Steel Gravel Bike
Last weekend’s show marked the 15th time Mike DeSalvo has attended the annual gathering of hand builders. DeSalvo does not just share his craft through his steel and titanium bikes, he is also a guest teacher at the United Bicycle Institute.
He officially unveiled the 20th-anniversary steel gravel bike at NAHBS. He is doing a limited run of 20 for the bike, so if you are interested in getting one for yourself, contact DeSalvo like yesterday.
The Curley gravel bike comes in two colorways—white and blue and silver and black. In recent years, DeSalvo has taken a minimalist approach with his display bikes at NAHBS, so he only had the white and blue one on display at the show.
The Curley frameset is priced at $2,500 ($2,600 with a carbon ENVE stem) and also has some stock builds available as well.
The bike as shown at NAHBS had a Chris King headset, Shimano Ultegra build (with the RX800 clutch derailleur) and Stan’s Grail tubeless clinchers with Donnelly X-Plor MSO 700c x 40mm tires. The stock build is also available with 650b wheels.
Complete builds start at $4,500.
For a closer look at Curley, see the photo gallery below.
More info: desalvocycles.com
Stay tuned for more handbuilt bikes from 2019 NAHBS show in Sacramento.