Gates Carbon Drive

Belted Blog

Custom Builder Spotlight: Victoria Cycles, for Love of Life and Wife

  November 29, 2012

Victoria Cycles is a custom builder based in the Colorado mountain town of Salida. Founder Dave Hill specializes in classic steel frames utilizing lugs and fillet brazing, techniques from a bygone era of bike building that add style and strength.

Mountain Flyer Magazine has featured Hill’s Retro Town Cruiser (above and below) in its latest issue, now on newsstands. “Class and sophistication spin from the wheels of this distinctive dream bike,” write the editors. In addition to its beautiful, swooping frame design and the bike’s Gates Carbon Drive, the Retro Town Cruiser features custom wood fenders, an eight-speed Shimano Alfine internal hub, disc brakes, Schwalbe tires, a generator-powered headlight, Brooks leather saddle and grips, and a custom six-pack holder.

Hill made the bike for his wife, Victoria, for whom the company is named. “She was very supportive in helping me change careers and pursue my dream,” he says. Hill founded Victoria Cycles six years ago after retiring from the US Postal Service, where he worked for 20 years. “This is something I wanted to do since I was a teen-ager.”

Hill, who had wrenched, raced and worked in bike shops earlier in his life, attended United Bicycle Institute to study up on frame building before launching the business. “Airplanes and bikes have always been my passion,” he says.

Hill and his wife have thoroughly enjoyed riding the Retro Town Cruiser, which he says is “whisper quiet.” Want to see it up close? Come to the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, where Victoria Cycles will exhibit. For the second straight year, Gates will award more than $11,000 in cash and prizes as part of its Innovative Belt Drive Bike Contest. Make sure to visit the Gates Carbon Drive booth at NAHBS, where we plan to have Hill’s Retro Town Cruiser on display.