Skwisgaar: Anna Schwinn’s Waterford 22-Series Track Bike

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

As you’d expect, Anna Schwinn — great-great-granddaughter of Ignaz Schwinn, founder of the Schwinn Bicycle Company — has some pretty cool bikes. This, however, is Skwisgaar, and if her house was on fire, this is the one she’d be running for.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

Skwisgaar is named after Skwisgaar Skwigelf, the guitarist from Metalocalypse, and it is the very personification of speed metal: Anna’s own track bike, which was built for her in 2010 while she was working for ZIPP in Indianapolis as time trial cockpit engineer.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

Anna is a massive fan of Marshall Taylor and one day, ZIPP product manager Nate Schickel took Anna to the Major Taylor velodrome in the middle of the city and taught her how to ride track.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

It was 2009, and Anna had just finished coordinating and manning her father’s booth at NAHBS for Waterford Cycles and, as her family has always adhered to a work/trade arrangement, she asked for a custom track bike as ‘payment’.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

Ornate and intricate lugs were the flavour of the 2009 and 2010 NAHBS and Waterford had already established themselves as specialists in that field, thanks to the work of engineer Marc Muller, one of the founders — along with Anna’s father — of Waterford.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

Marc had been perfecting a lug set whose angles could be varied to custom geometries. Formed from two parts, they could be applied to anything from a step-through frame to one with a horizontal top tube. They were also stainless, polished and beautiful to boot.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

Marc is a legendary engineer in his own right (and racer, coached by John Vande Velde). He’s been called “the godfather of full suspension” and he and Erik Buell used to meet in a diner on Friday afternoons in Wisconsin to sketch out new frame designs.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

When he moved to Waterford, Wisconsin, Marc took a neighborhood kid under his wing, whose father was very sick. He had a Schwinn BMX tube set sent from the Chicago factory and, holding his hand, taught him how to braze.

That young boy, who Marc eventually adopted, was EJ, who is now Waterford’s master brazer and, about twelve years ago, taught Anna how to braze. Anna describes him “as one of those visceral brazers, whose mouth starts to water when the silver starts to flow”.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

Anna watched EJ braze that frame over three hours and when it was completed, asked for it to be painted in Anniversary Black to highlight the Fleur de Lys lugs — “like an idiot”, she tells us, “because I hate black bikes”.

Due to a career move to All City Cycles where she assumed the role of Lead Engineer, she was professionally compelled to ride the Thunderdome, which she designed, so her Waterford sat unbuilt for about five years before she sent it back to Roger Krueger.

Roger has been the master painter and ‘bike stylist’ at Waterford for decades and is touted as a legend “when it comes to precision viscosity-driven paint effects”. The frame was stripped and Roger applied his ‘Freaky Jackson‘ style to it.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track

It’s a tricky paint job, having to wrap those high-pressured drips around a tube, but now that it’s been built up, Skwisgaar is an heirloom bike. Anna grew up in the factory this bike was built and painted in, and it’s full of amazing memories.

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Massive thanks to Kevin Sparrow for the incredible photos.

Belle Of The Board: Anna Schwinn's Waterford Track