When Helio visited Velo Cult with one of his recently built bikes we were all blown away. We all wondered the same thing – who is this guy? These bikes have such an insane amount of detail and custom features it took us a few days just to take everything in. The Ascari style goes against the grain of common builders and truly embodies the element of artistic expression in frame building. We had the great opportunity to both photograph several bikes and visit the Ascari workshop right here in town. Watching Helio and Gary work was more like watching a painter who is never done with his work. New ideas are thought of and executed daily, constantly being added to their steel canvas. It has been great watching what these guys have built over the last few months and we think they are a great addition to the ever growing frame building community in Portland.
You can check out their website here.
A collection of luxury bicycles, handcrafted in Oregon
“The Ascari Bicycles was founded in the state of Oregon, USA, in December 2011. When building the brand, Helio Ascari (designer and creative director) and Gary Mathis (constructor) had the goal to create handmade bicycles that would combine style and an ageless design with an eternal appreciation for the refined process of crafted construction. In their hands, luxury is created through soul and passion. Created to offer a classic and contemporary design for people with style, the Ascari Bicycles pursues to become a synonym of elegance through a continuous legacy in cycling in its purest level of sophistication. Just as the renowned pilot Alberto Ascari, who eternized his surname, turning it into a symbol of success in the Formula 1. Ascari Bicycles are carefully hand-made using the finest materials available. They are made out of steel, with Columbus tubes and hand brazed constructed with high quality chromium molybdenum, frame, fork and stem handmade in the USA. The details, as logos and lettering are made out of copper and are carefully brazed onto the frame. The wheels are also hand built in the US using sophisticated Italian wood rims as well as Brooks accessories. Using efficient, practical resources, Ascari supports local businesses in Oregon, using as much as possible from small companies.
Helio Ascari Still in his childhood Helio found out his great passion: restoring antique goods, such as clocks, phonographs and, of course, bicycles. When he was a teenager he worked at furniture and steel factories where he gained a lot of experience in handcraft work, as well as leather shoes factories, where he started to develop attention to details. But it was in his time of working in the fashion industry that he developed his style. By living in different countries and experiencing different cultures he acquired his unique taste and discovered a life style that united practicality, environmental awareness and a lot of style and that, would soon, be his own.
Gary Mathis Gary Mathis has been working on and around bicycles for most of his adult life. His interest in riding and racing as a child drew him to a mechanic job with Topeka Schwinn in Topeka, Kansas. Since then he has traveled across the U.S., working for multiple bicycle shops and fabricators. Gary has also been a bicycle educator, leading small classes for individual bicycle maintenance and repair as well as teaching the finer points of framebuilding.”