Friday, April 3, 2009

Magpie Frame #1

You may not know Curtis Dobbins' name, but chances are you know his face. He's been riding, racing and wrenching on bikes around here since the 80's. He's made more friends than most of us put together, almost all of them while representing REI during the last 15 years.

Curtis has a dream, and he's close to achieving it. He's about to hang out his shingle as a custom framebuilder. His friendship with McLean Fonvielle planted that seed way back, and Curtis is now taking a big first step. Here's his first frame, a steel cyclocross build for himself. Check out the details..

Lugged bottom-bracket shell
TIG-welded elsewhere


Blade_Rockwall said...

I just had the pleasure of meeting Curtis the other day. Fascinating fellow with quite a few years of being right in the thick of things. I wish him luck with his "new" venture (I understand he built many a frame back in the day), and hope that someday I will be able to afford a gorgeous machine from him.

Curtis Dobbins said...

Hey Mike and Branson,

Thanks for the photos and very kind words. Let me make a couple of corrections just to set the record straight. I have only been in the Raleigh area since 1981. I had a keen interest in frame construction when I moved here and met McLean Fonvielle in early 1982 when he and I made some improvements to an old frame that I was racing on. McLean's shop was in Durham at that time. McLean and I were actually negotiating my working with him as an apprentice/file rat when he passed away in early 1983. I hope to be producing frames regularly by the end of this year.

Aloha, Curtis

bullcitybiker said...


Sorry about the 70s thing- wasn't trying to make you older! I fixed that. Thanks for setting me straight.


Unknown said...

Does anyone have current contact information for Curtis? I found him in Hawaii 3 years ago, and I hear he's back in NC.

The Chain Ring of Fools (a group from Cycle North Carolina) is having a reunion this year after the ride, on 10/3 and 10/4 and we would love to include him. If you have contact info, or Curtis, if you are reading this, please please email

Thanks so much!