Wheel World

Some of the planet’s finest bicycles are made right here in Dorchester.

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Evans’s wife, Alessandra Mondolfi, incorporated the orange in Firefly’s logo into the Dorchester workshop’s design.

Customers—from professional racers to serious cyclists trying to improve their riding experience—are encouraged to visit the studio for a fitting, during which Evans and his team of technicians use a stationary bike to measure the client’s pedal stroke and body angle.

Wolfson uses this data to generate a computer-aided mockup of the frame. “The closest analogy is a tailor making a suit,” he says. “We take measurements, talk about style, and that informs the design and construction.”

Finally, it’s time to build the bike. Medeiros begins by polishing the tubes before cutting them at precise angles so they will fit together flawlessly. Next, the frame is tack-welded in place and checked for alignment.

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Every finished bike (like the one shown here) comes with a USB key that holds complete photo documentation of the design and construction process.

Once the bike is completely straight, it’s permanently welded, polished to a velvety finish, and decorated with custom graphics. “The design possibilities are endless,” Wolfson says.

A finished bike ranges in price from $6,000 to $20,000, depending on the frame style and additional parts, such as handlebars, seat posts, wheels, and saddles from top-end manufacturers like Chris King and Campagnolo.

For a three-man operation, Firefly’s output is impressive. “We try to make about 12 bikes per month, and almost 150 per year,” Evans says. “We strive to get to know the customer by inviting him or her into our space for a front-row look at the process of building their machine. Our goal is to make the experience of buying a bicycle as personal as possible. ”

  • Todd McClafferty

    It’s true that there aren’t many (and, I mean, anywhere on the planet) that can approach Tyler’s craftsmanship with Ti. Any article about Firefly should also give to mention the amazing work they do with stainless steel. Just as building with Ti requires skilled hands and a controlled environment, the steel many of their customers choose (over Ti and carbon, and when money is not part of the equation) is the finest ever produced, rivals high-grade Ti in cost and performance, and is used by only a select group of master builders who have the skill and have taken the time to learn how to use this incredible tubing in bicycle fabrication.

    For many, it’s the steel work of Firefly that draws us. Regardless of the material, however, all of their work is beautiful and they represent extremely well US custom bicycle builders in both craftsmanship, innovation, and attitude.