My Second Nature is One-Of-A-Kind Vintage-Inspired Bike Design


By Steven Bock

Steven Bock never meant to start a business selling custom vintage-inspired bicycles; the Dearborn native studied design and works as a clay sculptor for Ford Motor Company. But he’d always been into vintage bike culture, the early-20th century period when people would race track bikes (aka fixed-gears), so, one day, he decided to build one of those bikes. The result combined a clean aesthetic with unique materials, like copper and nickel plating, and major attention to detail. He did it for fun, but after sharing photos online, he started getting email inquiries. A lot of them—up to 400 a day.

“I created this niche market that wasn’t really there before,” he says.

Steve’s bikes aren’t really for joy rides around town, though he’s thrilled to be part of the bicycle culture in a bike-friendly city like Detroit. Mostly, his customers want specific bikes to display or add to their collection, which can cost $4,000-$8,000. (Steve is exploring bikes with a lower price point.) Because of the design and fabrication process—which includes scouring eBay and bike shows for vintage parts—Detroit Bicycle Company only makes about eight bikes a year. But Steve wouldn’t make them any other way.

“When I first started I just thought I’d do some shows and sell some T-shirts,” he says. “And then you get emails from all over the world.”

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