How Godzilla ended up as the emblem of Stoemper Bikes is a mystery that may only be explained by the founders. But it does give a clue to the confidence that their frames inspire. By the looks of things, this all-road rider is ready for some serious stomping.
‘Built By Todd’ is Stoemper Bikes’ catch-cry, which may lend a clue to the origins of the Godzilla head badge: the builder, Todd Gardner, used to ride bulls back in his heyday. Stoemper is Flemish for ‘mashing a big gear’, which is what these bikes are designed for.
Todd Gardner has been building frames for more than twelve years and has been a welder for a few years longer than that. He teamed up with David Alvarez to form Stoemper and have been quietly building a reputation for serious racing frames since.
The reputation exceeds national boundaries: In 2014 Australia’s Daniel Fighera headed over to Portland to learn how to build a titanium frame under the tutelage of Jim Kish. Dan also embarked on a mission to visit some of Portland’s numerous frame builders.
He visited Speedvagen and a few others and had teed up a meeting with Todd and David, when Todd messaged him to say he’d broken his leg while mountain biking (Todd also builds MTB frames under the Bronto moniker), but that he should still come and visit.
With a full leg cast, Todd showed Dan around the workshop and paint room and talked welding, bikes, and chickens. Dan headed home to start university, but not before deciding that he wanted “a bike that could be a winter roadie, a hitter on gravel, ‘crosser and a tourer. A ‘do-it-all’ workhorse… a bike that meant business.”
Dan got back in touch with Todd, and a plan was initiated. “I’ve always loved the Klein paint jobs of the 90s, so this fade was an homage to that. The components were picked to combine comfort, longevity, and reliability. I tried to keep them as subtle as possible to ensure the frame was the main attraction.”
“And gum walls..?” Dan continues. “Well… because gum walls.” Fair enough. The frame was built with S3 True Temper steel, a Gravel Road ENVE fork and Ultegra 6800 — except for the 105 5800 levers and flat-mounted front-and-rear 105 5800 callipers.
Shimano’s Ice Tech rotors are fixed to White Industries hubs and H PLUS SON rims, built with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. A Canyon VCLS post stands above a ZIPP Service Course stem and 3T Ergo Nova bars. A Silca pump, painted to match, is the icing on the cake.
Daniel shot some photos of Stoemper shop while he was there, which reveals a hardworking, hard-listening workspace — spot the turntable and vinyl collection. It’s easy to see that stomping is most definitely woven into the DNA of Stoemper Bikes.