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qclabrat 06-07-19 09:01 PM

RIP Bruce
Ive reached out to Bruce Gordon a few times with questions on my RnR and he was always a gentleman, I know many have written about his abrasiveness. Anyone else have stories about Bruce?

calstar 06-08-19 05:11 PM

No stories from me but the man was a pioneer of the small frame builder shop in the US. Lots of sites posting stories, pics of his work and interviews on the net.

RIP Bruce,


PS Bruce was also a founding member of SOPWAMTOS

curbtender 06-08-19 07:04 PM

Bruce had a swap meet at his shop with all the local frame builders attending. Afterwards we did a short ride through the backroads of Petaluma. He did seem happier riding than selling. RIP

Cynikal 06-08-19 09:34 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting on a few occasions. He was always fun to chat with. I will miss his spirit.

fietsbob 06-09-19 10:02 AM

We both lived in Eugene in the 70s .. I gave living in San Francisco a go in the 80s ..

Bought touring racks & Beckman needle works bags, back when they were co operating..Both still in Eugene,

one sunny day was at the toll plaza SF end of the GG bridge, Bruce on his bike asked directions I obliged..

jade408 06-10-19 03:56 PM

Hmm I guess things are sort of full circle. So when I was sort of considering the custom bike build I am doing now a few years ago, I reached out to Bruce Gordon. Since he was local for me. I had a great chat with him, and told him what I was looking to do. He was super honest, and helpful. And told me to get a Rivendell. :D

I hadn't set a budget at the time yet, but his lovely frames were probably too rich for my blood.

bargainguy 06-11-19 08:25 AM

Met him in 2015 at an event called Bicycle Art Meets Form in High Point, NC. He was one of four framebuilders who were invited to display one of their bikes in an art gallery setting to coincide with a cycling race held that weekend.

It's a Friday nite, a bunch of us bike geeks are standing in said art gallery looking at four beautiful bikes on stands. Bruce is standing next to his bike, and someone asks him, what's the trail on that fork? He looks at it for a few seconds, rubs his chin and says, hell if I know....which bought the house down.

Then in that spirit, he tells the story of his mechanic coming up to him recently and saying, uh, Bruce, you know, you don't have to build up all these frames you're still can leave that to me, OK? Bruce asked him why, and the mechanic says, because every time you do, I have to redo everything you did. If you stick to framebuilding, we're all good.

There was a display of classic bikes in a huge atrium, and one of them was a Bruce Gordon that had 24k highlighting. Bruce said that he asked the owner if he could buy it back, but the owner wanted a small fortune, which of course Bruce didn't have at that point. I could tell when he told that story, there was some wistfulness. Days gone by. Edit: Found a couple pix I took of that bike.

More than anything else, those three little vignettes told me more about him as a human being than as a legendary framebuilder. I respect him for both. RIP, Bruce. Your memory lives on.

curbtender 06-11-19 08:34 PM

Andrew R Stewart 06-11-19 08:55 PM

barginguy- I believe this bike was the display bike at a NYC retail dealer show. Unsure of the year but it was fairly early in my frame building efforts, early 1980s IIRC. I remember a later interview of Bruce's where he mentioned having to do an after the gold plating braze on correction and having the flame only 3mm from the gold plate. Andy

bargainguy 06-11-19 10:00 PM

Great, thanks for the info, Andy. I remember Bruce mentioning how disappointed he was in the bike's overall condition. It's not necessarily obvious in the photos, but the frame and components had significant rust and had not been taken care of. Shame, because it was such an unusual frame, certainly different than any other BG I'd seen.

Andrew R Stewart 06-12-19 09:45 AM

One reason I mentioned the possibility of this being a show bike is that this provenance would add value. It is sad that art/tooling/stuff sometimes isn't handled/stored well. I've seen some bikes that were really nice in their before life but now are un rideable and beyond cost effective restoration. Andy

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