Wikipedia tells us that the Ashland campus of the United Bicycle Institute houses the city’s second-largest solar electric generation facility which provides 60% of the school’s needs. It also informs us that David Bohm of Bohemian Bicycles is an alumni.
There’s definitely plenty more that aren’t listed, like Mike DeSalvo, who is both a graduate and, after establishing DeSalvo Custom Cycles and winning numerous NAHBS awards, was asked by UBI to become a teacher. His titanium gravel grinder is a good reason why.
Mike is considered by many of his peers to be one of the best frame builders in the business. After watching the short video documentary on his website, the reason becomes evident: He simply exudes a lifelong passion for bikes and cycling.
DeSalvo Custom Cycles LLC is a one-man operation, but he refers to it as a group effort: including his family, friends and customers that support him as the team. The company was founded in 1999 in Ashland, Oregon, and is currently building sixty to eighty frames a year.
As well as being one of Speedvagen‘s primary frame builders for the first five years of its existence, Mike produces some of the finest ti frames in the US, and he now teaches students to use that material at the UBI.
Although it’s called a ‘gravel grinder’, Mike prefers to describe it as a bike for riders who want options — rather than a pure race-bred machine. It was built for the 2015 NAHBS to showcase the ENVE gravel fork with integrated fender and Paragon Syntace compatible rear dropouts.
The frame is built with 3/2.5 ti tubes with a butted down tube and a 44mm Paragon head tube, and has clearance for 35C tyres with fenders, and bigger tyres without. The finishing kit is Shimano Ultegra and hydraulic disc brakes, laced to Chris King hubs and a 12mm through-axle to match the forks.
It goes to show what a revered seat of learning the United Bicycle Institute is, when it produces bikes like this, and students and teachers like Mike DeSalvo. Special thanks to Tim Tidball for the photography.