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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:58 am 
retrobike rider
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bushpig wrote:
We used to carry his bikes for a while at the shop I worked at. Early 90s. He was an ex-Rocky welder. Nice bikes.


Welded and badged them with his signature badge. Team Tantalus was the first mention of him iirc (1990). Assume he built others but with the generic handbuilt stickers on, else he'll not have had much to do.
May have also made frame for the other Canadian companies at the time as they all shared their workers/contracted out/in so it seems :lol:

info of course based on internet/catalogue/.. rumours ;)


Last edited by FluffyChicken on Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:13 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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suburbanreuben wrote:
brocklanders023 wrote:
Thanks for the info gang. So are they hand made, and what steel is used for the tubes? :?
Early ones, to about '97 used Ritchey Logic (My '94 18.5" weighs 3.75lbs :shock: ) Later ones use 853,first with 725 stays, then full 853. The Generation used 725 thenm eventually 853. Here's a brief history:
http://www.dekerf.com/aboutus.asp#hist
You thinking of getting one? I would if I were you! Go on, it's Christmas! Why should the nippers have all the fun?


Unfortunatly way out of my reach at the mo. :( I guess my retro Orange addiction would lead me towards a Vit T if I had the cash anyway! :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:08 pm 
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brocklanders023 wrote:
suburbanreuben wrote:
brocklanders023 wrote:
Thanks for the info gang. So are they hand made, and what steel is used for the tubes? :?
Early ones, to about '97 used Ritchey Logic (My '94 18.5" weighs 3.75lbs :shock: ) Later ones use 853,first with 725 stays, then full 853. The Generation used 725 thenm eventually 853. Here's a brief history:
http://www.dekerf.com/aboutus.asp#hist
You thinking of getting one? I would if I were you! Go on, it's Christmas! Why should the nippers have all the fun?


Unfortunatly way out of my reach at the mo. :( I guess my retro Orange addiction would lead me towards a Vit T if I had the cash anyway! :roll:
I paid £200 for mine, with everything except gears!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:33 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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there not that expensive, just hard to find.

type in dekerf in e-bay etc and you rarely get anything at all pop up.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:50 pm 
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saltyman wrote:
there not that expensive, just hard to find.

type in dekerf in e-bay etc and you rarely get anything at all pop up.
You need to ask around, and get ready with a funny handshake! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:54 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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ha ha, i love the way the fact no one knows what one is.

my moutain biking mates have never heard/seen of them before, that even includes people who work in bike shops!

they also do not stand out, something that i dont mind when riding a rarer bike.

im so tempted to order up a titanium frame one day........just need to sell the wife and everything else first.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:00 pm 
retrobike rider
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I'm surprised by this discussion. My impression has always been that de Kerf is well-known and has an very high reputation. Yes there are very few of them in the UK, but then there are very few of any one-man builder's frames in the UK. How many Paul Sadoff Rock Lobsters are there? Very few. How many Strongs? Not one that I've ever heard of.

He has also reduced the scale of his market by having a rather odd business model. Just about every other builder who charges the kind of prices he does offers a full-custom deal on both sizing and paint. de Kerf's charge for off-the-peg sizing and a range of standard colours is getting on for the price of an off-the-peg titanium frame. He also doesn't bother to do much in the way of marketing. So in a way it's almost a miracle that any find their way across the Atlantic at all.

I agree they don't always fetch much on eBay, but I'd guess that's because everybody uses eBay via a search engine that isn't very sophisticated. If everyone who would like a de Kerf was aware of it whenever a de Kerf was for sale, they would fetch far higher prices. But people don't look because it seems futile, so then when there is one they don't see it.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Anthony wrote:
I'm surprised by this discussion. My impression has always been that de Kerf is well-known and has an very high reputation. Yes there are very few of them in the UK, but then there are very few of any one-man builder's frames in the UK. How many Paul Sadoff Rock Lobsters are there? Very few. How many Strongs? Not one that I've ever heard of.

He has also reduced the scale of his market by having a rather odd business model. Just about every other builder who charges the kind of prices he does offers a full-custom deal on both sizing and paint. de Kerf's charge for off-the-peg sizing and a range of standard colours is getting on for the price of an off-the-peg titanium frame. He also doesn't bother to do much in the way of marketing. So in a way it's almost a miracle that any find their way across the Atlantic at all.

I agree they don't always fetch much on eBay, but I'd guess that's because everybody uses eBay via a search engine that isn't very sophisticated. If everyone who would like a de Kerf was aware of it whenever a de Kerf was for sale, they would fetch far higher prices. But people don't look because it seems futile, so then when there is one they don't see it.
Not any more. His custom colour range is enormous, as are the details of frame construction. Not a full custom build by any means , though. Also the Dekerf GB was the only model made spedifically for any market. I think he has decided "Small is beautiful".
Can't argue with that! 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:00 pm 
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What Anthony said.
I was always aware of De Kerf and his good reputation, but they are relatively scarce around here.

I remember chatting with some friends in a bar after work - we got onto bikes (of course) and people were telling tales of the new-fangled suspension or boutique Ti bikes that they had. One guy simply said, "I've got an old, steel De Kerf hardtail" = Instant respect-points.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:51 pm 
retrobike rider
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This history is from a late 1999 copy of www.dekerf.com that is on the wayback machine

The History of Dekerf Cycle Innovations

1991: Dekerf Cycle Innovations was incorporated by Chris DeKerf, the principal framebuilder and designer whose frames bear his name. Chris was the head of the handbuilt division of Rocky Mountain when the need to create and design without the constraints of a large company compelled him to venture out on his own. The initial years of the company consisted mainly of a high end fabrication shop working on a contract basis for larger manufactures including, ironically, Rocky Mountain.

1993: the Dekerf 'Mountain' frame was launched. It had no real model name due to the fact that is was the only model offered and there was nothing else to get it mixed up with.

1994: The Softride road frame was introduced, bringing the Dekerf line to two. The ever popular Tangerine and Emerald Green colors were the only colors offered.

1995: A change in the road frame brought back a Columbus Neuron traditional 'double-diamond' lugged road frame. The mountain bike frame was now officially called the 'Dekerf Mountain' frame, because of the introduction of our first full suspension frame, the 'Dekerf Suspension'.

1996: The Generation year. This type of frame had been requested for al long time - a Dekerf at a lower price point. Oddly enough, the popularity of the 'Generation' increased the popularity of the 'Dekerf Mountain' (now called the 'Dekerf Team' because of the added cool factor). 1996 also saw the suspension frame using a 100% Dekerf designed and built system, taking 1st and 2nd in the Canada Cup Mens Pro Elite Downhill Series, and 2nd overall in the overall Womens.

1997: The year of the funny brochure. Big changes here for the flagship hardtail for the first time in four years. The biggest being the switch to the UK made wonder steel, Reynolds 853, for the main triangle. There was also a switch to a lighter investment cast dropout. As a result of the dropout switch, the tops of the seat stays, which had traditionally been left open, were now closed off with a small, black plastic cap. The frame was renamed the 'Team SL'.

1998: The Team SL got a further refinement with the addition of Reynolds 853 chainstays. The Generation also joined the Reynolds family by being constructed of Reynolds 725. The road frame ('Prodigy') was back, also sporting a Reynolds 853 main triangle and chainstays. The most talked about frame for 1998 was the Team ST - the softtail. This frame used a steel spring in the monostay and special chainstays from Ritchey to provide almost an inch of travel on an otherwise hardtail frame.

1999: With supply problems hampering the availability of the steel chainstays that we used in 1998, we had proceeded on putting into production an idea whose time had come for the 1999 frame. We replaced the steel chainstay with a titanium version. In a page of the July issue of BIKE magazine, Mike Ferrentino referred to the '99 version of the ST as the 'best handling bike in the world', and created a feverish demand for this new version of the frame. The 'Generation' also gets onto the air-hardening wagon by switching to Reynolds 631 tuning, the little brother to 853.

2000: Three new models and one new address. For 2000, our expansion into paint-booth friendly premises in sunny Richmond also allowed us to introduce our first ever titanium models: the Team SL TI and the Prodigy ST TI. Our steel lineup has been augmented by the Implant (no pun intended), our beefy out-of-bounds hardtail. The addition of a wet paint booth to our facilities is a great leap forward in the control and management of our production.

What you may gather from this is that over the course of our first ten years, Dekerf has been in a relatively constant state of expansion in terms of production, models, shop space and staff. That is testament to the creativity and vision of Chris Dekerf and to the passion and labour which has been invested in every bike which leaves the premises.


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Chris de Kerf in c1999.jpg
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