The Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association is a guild in the traditional sense of the word: a group “of artisans or merchants who control the practice of their craft in a particular town.” Oregon must have the highest concentration of frame builders in the world so the alliance is an important one.
Eric Estlund of Winter Bicycles is the OBCA vice-president and with the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show coming up on the 28-29th of September, he must be a busy man, but he still manages to find the time to create wonderful bicycles, like La Balade.
La Balade can be translated as The Walk, or The Stroll—an apt description for the style of riding this bike is designed for. It’s a city bike that tips a hat to the French constructeurs like Ernest Csuka and René Herse, built with a combination of lugs and bilaminate construction.
The frame uses tubes sourced from the US, finally painted by the legendary Keith Anderson, another Oregon local. Eric dressed La Balade in Paul brakes, Spécialités TA Pro Vis cranks, an internal rear hub and modern lights. The stem and rack was custom formed by Eric.