- ABOUT US-
Henry James Bicycles, Inc.
Phone: 310-540-1552 - Fax: 310-316-8202
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Our philosophy for 30 years has been to supply American Made Bicycle Frame Parts to Custom Framebuilders. We are doing our small part to improve public awareness of the advantages of custom built bicycles, and provide high quality well-designed parts and equipment for the benefit of both custom framebuilders and their customers
We began with Henry James Custom Series lugs. I pushed the state of the art in steel investment casting in order to save custom framebuilders a lot of time usually spent filing and fitting mass produced stamped lugs, the only readily available lugs in the '70s. We were not the first to produce investment cast steel lugs, nor the last.
Our initial customer base was about 25 custom builders, operating from one or two person shops. When Eddie Schwinn revitalized the Schwinn Paramount (later, Waterford) line, and Ben Serotta expanded his framebuilding, and Masi licensed their line in the USA, we grew with them as the demand for high quality investment cast lugs took off. Inevitably, economic and manufacturing changes reduced their need for Henry James lugs. But the thousands of custom quality bikes they produced created a wider awareness of what a quality bike frame is. This increased the demand for the work of the individual builders who we had always supplied. Henry James has always supported people who build for the challenge, or as a hobby, as we know that they are spreading awareness of custom bike frames, and some go on to make the commitment to become professional builders. Many new builders today are using Henry James.
Only Henry James Bicycles continues to have investment cast lugs, BB shells, crowns, and dropouts made in the USA. No importer can match the breadth and quality of our Custom Series components. We take great pride in the way all our cast parts relate to each other esthetically.
We continue to expand our investment cast steel Custom Series. We added oversize road lugs. These are styled to match our traditional size lugs, so builders can mix-and-match regular and oversize tubing on the same bike to get the bike just right for that unique customer. Coming soon are lugs and fork crowns to accept 1 1/8” steerers, and lugs for Compact style frames.
In 1986 we became the Exclusive Distributor of bicycle tubing for True Temper Sports in Tennessee. Most well known for their golf shafts, True Temper also makes other tubing products, and double butted steel bicycle tubing was a natural product for their Mississippi factory. We now stock over 140 different bicycle specific steel tubes in 2 alloys and 4 strength levels. Custom builders can fine tune designs easily thanks to the logical wide range of diameters, gauges and lengths. Henry James works closely with True Temper to keep up with the ever changing needs of Custom Framebuilders.
In 1990, we introduced our original Henry James Framebuilding Jig. Henry James is taking advantage of the advances in computer aided design programs, and rapidly improving economics of computer controlled machining to expand and evolve our line of framebuilding equipment. We now have the UNIVERSAL Jig, the ACCESS 65 Jig, and the ACCESS 100 Jig, for lugged and/or lugless frames, in any material, to match any builder’s needs.
We also publish the Paterek Manual for Bicycle Framebuilders, and distribute the highly regarded fluxes and brass brazing rod of the Gasflux Company in Ohio.
We are expanding to keep up with the growing demand for our quality American made products.
Henry James is Henry James Folson, or more commonly, Hank Folson. My business philosophy is to stand behind my products, so I used my name for my business. However, as people seldom spell Folson correctly, I stopped after Henry James.
On rare occasions, I am asked if Henry James is connected with the famous author. No. My paternal grandfather died in a car-train collision when my father was a youth, so my first name is Henry, in memory of my grandfather. James was the first name of my maternal grandfather.
My education as it relates to bicycles includes:
My main interest in bicycles is riding them, for just about all the reasons people ride a bike, with the exception of competition. Making components for custom bikes appeals to me as I know that really enjoying bicycling can be a lot easier with a properly fitted bike, designed for the type of riding you want to do. I develop frame building equipment to assist my Custom Frame Builder customers, and for the design challenge.
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