Just as Christoph and I were about to leave for our tour of Zurich’s gastro hot-spots, I spotted a bike shop located beside Smith & Smith HQ. Priorities first!
This wasn’t just a bike shop, it was the workshop of renown and respected frame builder, Wim Kolb (Grubenstrasse 23).
In his earlier life, Wim was in the media game, a video cutter to be exact. Building custom bikes was a hobby of his for as long as he can remember and approximately seven years ago he decided to hang up his digital equipment for an analogue career. He moved into his Binz workshop, just over a year ago.
In addition to his custom-built frames and bikes, Wim offers full-service and repairs on all types of bikes as well as frame-building courses. A standard custom road-bike frame costs approximately CHF 1.500,00 or if you’re itching to build your own Columbus steel masterpiece, for CHF 2.450,00 you can take part in Wim’s 6 day frame-building course.
When I asked Wim if he also works with carbon, his answer was a quick and definite “nope”. Though many people identify steel with a vintage era, and heavy frames, but Wim states that there have been a number of technical developments in the making and engineering of steel tubing which has little to do with the steeds of yesteryear. So today it’s possible to build lighter and sturdier bikes with all the advantages of a plush ride, which steel frames offer.
And when it comes to the plush ride steel offers – old and new – I’m definitely a fan considering all of my bikes have steel frames.
In addition to his custom-built frames, Wim also makes wooden handlebars (out of hardwoods such as ash, cherry, acacia, and plum) as well as custom wood and aluminum fenders.
You’ll find Wim in his shop from Monday to Friday between 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Stop in for any service need big or small, or just to say hello. Wim is super-easy and fun to talk to.
And who knows? Maybe we’ll even see each other during one of his frame-building courses. I’m definitely getting the itch.
Tel. +41.(0)79.730 95 31