When Jane Faulkner, a UCSB librarian and former competitive cyclist, bought her first bike from Goleta-based Stinner Frameworks — one of the first made for a paying customer — she was supporting her local builder. By the time she bought her third, she was supporting an internationally recognized brand. This became evident to her last summer as she and her husband, Kim Bleth, sipped coffee at a café in the popular road cycling destination of Girona, Spain, and a group of admirers began to crowd around her bike. It turned out those oglers were from Singapore, where their shop had just begun selling Stinner bikes.
The burgeoning success of Stinner Frameworks was something I had noticed closer to home. As I began to see more and more of their machines invading Santa Barbara trails and roads, I couldn’t help but wonder what accounted for the company’s popularity.
Sure, I’d heard superlatives about the bikes from owners, but there are plenty of talented bicycle fabricators who never make the leap from part-time hobbyist to full-time business operator…