Since 1992, Jim Kish has been producing the finest titanium and steel bicycle frames imaginable. As a lifetime cycling enthusiast, bicycle tour leader and instructor at United Bicycle Institute’s prestigious frame building classes, Kish has been able to speak with thousands of individuals about what they like about their bikes, their bike buying experiences—and what they’d change if they could.
Here at Kish Fabrication, we try every day to put our prospective customers at ease. We’re easily approachable by phone, email or in person. We like to participate in the bike-buying adventure with our customers: It’s our job, it’s fun, and it’s invariably a learning experience.
Because reliability is so important to us, we use only top quality materials and we make careful tubing choices. Although our frames are designed to be strong, they are competitively light—without our having to resort to weight-saving trickery.
Much of our business is referrals from loyal Kish owners. We love that part. It means we did our job.
Titanium has always been our preferred material. It offers an outstanding strength-to-weight ratio, and nearly infinite life. So we can create an extremely lightweight frame you can depend on. Your Ti frame will never rust or corrode. It will be an object of beauty and a source of pride for years. In fact, the very first Kish titanium bikes are still on the road and trails today. Beyond its lightness and longevity, there’s something about Ti that’s harder to explain. Once riders have experienced its lively, resilient ride they seldom go back to other materials.
We offer three levels of titanium frames. The standard model uses straight gauge tubing. The SL model uses Reynolds 3/2.5 butted tubes, and the 6/4 SL model uses Reynolds 6/4 butted tubing. With each step up in price, you can expect a loss in weight, with no sacrifice in strength, stiffness or longevity.
We have always used US-made, 3/2.5 tubing for our bikes (the exception being Reynolds’ excellent UK-made butted tubes). Although offshore tubing quality has improved tremendously over the past few years, no other titanium tubes approach the quality and reliability of those made here in the USA. We also use only U.S. made bottom bracket shells, dropouts and braze-ons, courtesy of the mad scientists at Paragon Machine Works. No doubt these are the most expensive pieces out there, but why not build the best bike possible?
Steel is also an excellent choice for a bicycle frame material. It’s light, stiff, durable and repairable. There’s over a century of R&D behind today’s steel bike. Steel frames outperform aluminum and carbon fiber frames, and it can last indefinitely. You’ll still be riding your steel bike long after the others land in the recycle bin-and you’ll have paid less for it. You get a lot of bang for your buck. Plus, you get to paint it pretty colors.
We use the best tubes from Columbus, Reynolds, and Dedacciai. All three offer many fine tubesets, but we primarily use Columbus’ ultralight Life Niobium, and Reynolds’ 853 tubes. Both sets are made especially for TIG welding. Both are formed from fine-grained heat-treated alloys, which deliver high strength and the exhilarating ride steel frame aficionados appreciate without the weight of traditional steel bikes.
About S and S Couplings
"I become I convert to the S&S coupler system after my personal touring bike was seriously damaged on a cross-country plane trip. No effort was made on the airline's part to rectify the situation or even refund the $100 it had cost to bring the bike with me. I didn't even wait until my return trip to retrofit it with couplers. Thanks to a local frame builder friend who lent
me his shop for the afternoon, I was able to send my bike back home in a hard-shell case without worrying about damage or dealing with an excessive baggage surcharge.
Since then I have retrofitted many older Kish bikes with S&S couplers, and built many more from the ground up. S&S couplers are a popular option, especially on our titanium frames. The combination of a virtually indestructible frame material and the flawless coupler system makes for an elegant, lightweight and very reliable bike capable of journeys as far as you wish to go."
Townie with S and S Couplings
Weeks wait: 8
793 East Foothill Blvd. #13
San Luis Obispo, California 93405