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Saila Bicycles is a exness fully custom frame building company out of Austin, Texas specializing in tig welded steel and titanium frames. Frame builder Lauren Trout was initially immersed in bike culture through years of being a messenger. Shortly after moving to Boston in 2004, she decided to take her love of cycling behind the scenes and got her start in the frame building world at Seven Cycles.
Saila Bicycles is an independent venture in which she is able to use all of the knowledge and training acquired over the years in a different way. "I like the idea that bicycles can be functional and beautiful, yet simple, all at the same time," she said. That is the philosophy behind Saila. Handcrafted, custom bicycle frames that are simply, beautifully made and awesome to ride.
ITCHY: When did you start Saila Bicycles? Who is behind it?
LAUREN TROUT: Saila was started in 2010 by me and well, me.
ITCHY: When and where did you learn building bikes? What exness trade led you to start building?
LAUREN TROUT: I started learning frame building at Seven Cycles in 2006 when I got an entry level position on the production floor where I started out as a finisher. Before that, I had been a messenger off and on for about 9 years in several different cities in the U.S. After I eventually ended up in Boston in 2004, I had some friends who were working at Independent Fabrication, which was based in the area at the time. I steadily became more interested in the fabrication aspect of things, and although I loved riding everyday, I was looking for a way to get out of slinging packages. I wanted to be in a shop. Soon thereafter, I submitted a resume to Seven and they hired me in June of 2006. I started as a finisher which I really liked but I was hungry. I wanted to learn everything.
ITCHY: A bunch of reasons that led you to start Saila Bikes
LAUREN TROUT: I started learning how to weld on my own time and eventually moved into welding full time. As time went on, I started learning more and more, and then I realized I could make a complete frame start to finish. I started Saila as a side project just to have a way to make my own thing the way I wanted it. I then realized I really liked doing my own thing so I kept at it. I still work at Seven and luckily they are supportive of this, and exness trading have been great to me the whole time. They’ve let me learn all the things I wanted to learn which I feel very grateful for. I’ve been taught by some of the best builders in the industry.
I: Why the name Saila Bicycles?
LT:The name Saila (officially Saila Bicycles not bikes :)) is alias spelled backwards. When I was trying to think of a name they were all nicknames or aliases of mine but I didn’t like any of them. So i decided to flip it and call it Saila.
I: Do you have a favorite material for building?
LT: With Saila I make TIG welded steel and titanium frames, which I like in different ways. I was brought up on mostly Ti so I guess I prefer that in its purity and ability to stand unpainted. But I also love riding and building steel. They’re both awesome- just different. At this point I’m making all things road, track, cross, touring, etc., but i have made quite a few track bikes in the past. I like making track bikes because it’s the cleanest, sleekest look, and I’ve been into that style of riding since my early messenger days. My aim at frame building is making things that are fairly simple, but awesome. I feel like I like to let the bikes speak for themselves. Most things I make aren’t particularly flashy or trendy- just classic, well made, and streamlined.
Read more of Lauren's interview on Itchy