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.
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. ”