I recently interviewed the Director of Operations and Frame Design for Firefly Bicycles, Kevin Wolfson. We distilled that interview into what we like to call a builder profile. We think that our readers will find their fully custom bicycles worth a closer look.
G – Who are the key players at Firefly?
K – Firefly consists of a small and talented team. My role is to work with customers to select all of the components and bike specs to make sure that it matches their needs, Jamie, takes the design and gathers all of the raw materials, and the custom components. He does the machining and mitering and spot welds the preassembly together. Tyler does the finish welding and alignment of the frames. Kate is responsible for the anodizing and custom finishes of our bikes. Scott is our mechanic. He does the final build and makes sure that our final product works perfectly before we ship it to our customers.
G – Firefly recently produced a custom Fat Bike that almost broke the internet and we wanted to get the full scoop on Firefly. Tell our readers the Firefly Legend (and if appropriate how you’re related to other historic Boston fabricators)
K – I met Tyler and Jamie at Independent Fabrications when we all worked there together and Tyler worked at Merlin Metalworks before he joined IF. We started Firefly in 2011, so I’d say that we’re very much the product of Boston’s frame-building lineage and history.
G – Tell us about your process when it came time to create this stunning titanium fat bike
K – The client for this bike lives in Northern Illinois and he wanted a fat bike to ride on his local icy multi-use trails. The bumpy nature of multi-use trails is why we went with the Lauf fork. He also wanted a fat bike that he could race in ultra-distance events like the Arrowhead 135.
The client wanted us to create a custom anodized finish with a northern lights theme. The finish is applied using varying electric voltage to create the different colors and it’s a time-consuming process that is all done in-house. All of our bikes are fully custom from the ground up. We manufacture our own Ti headset, seatpost, and seatpost binder along with our own dropouts. Our bikes are far more custom than many other custom bikes.
G – Please share the full build specs for this bike
K – Frame Ti Fat
Fork Lauf Carbonara
Extra frame options Custom finish
Internal dropper routing
Tapered head tube
Parts Kit Details
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR, long cage
Front Derailleur None
Cranks SRAM XX1 Eagle Carbon Fat Bike Crankset, 175
Chainring Wolftooth Stainless, 32t, with Camo spider for SRAM
Brakes Hope XCR Pro – X2
Shifters Shimano XTR, rear only
Disc Rotors Hope Floating, 160mm rear, 180mm front, black, 6-bolt
Cassette Shimano XTR, 10-51
Chain Shimano XTR, waxed, Kevin supplying
Bottom Bracket Ceramic Speed BSA DUB, 30mm, coated ceramic
Headset Firefly Ti
Handlebars Thomson Ti, flat 12 degree sweep
Stem Firefly Ti, includes matching spacers and top cap
Tires 45 Nrth Dillinger Studded, 120 TPI
Wheels HED Big Half Deal 27.5″, Onyx Hubs, DT Aerolite Spokes, black hubs
Seatpost Firefly Ti, includes a matching seat collar, with 30.9mm-27.2mm shim
Saddle Fizik Antares
Grips ESI Chunky
Bottle cages King Ti, x2
Pedals Shimano XT
G – Where’s your favorite east coast winter bike destination?
K – My favorite local trails are the Middlesex Fells and the best regional fat biking is at the Kingdom Trails in Vermont.
G – If one of our Readers/Listeners wants to order a fatty, what should they do?
K – This link outlines our purchase process: https://fireflybicycles.com/contact-ordering/, and they can email me at email@example.com or call 617-825-3473.
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