Founded in 1983, Bilenky Cycle Works makes hand crafted custom bicycles. Bilenky bicycles have won many awards over the years for their fine quality, design and function.
- address: 5319 N. 2nd St.Philadelphia, PA 19120-3230
- telephone: (215) 329-4744
- fax: (215) 329 -5380
- website: http://www.bilenky.com
- e-mail: [email protected]
“Hold a book or similar object between your legs.” Amazing, but that’s the first step to getting yourself a bike of “heirloom quality” from Bilenky Cycle Works. Steve Bilenky describes his bikes as, “functional art.” It is no surprise one of his frame builders has a degree in Fine Arts & Sculpture. Purchasing a Bilenky is a hands-on adventure that begins with that book between your legs, while reading their highly detailed, online, do-it-yourself fitting instructions. Or you can travel to the company’s Philadelphia location or one of a handful of dealers to be measured. Either by phone or in person, Bilenky frame builders spend time talking with customers.
The hard part is after the measurements—the wait. It’s 6-12 weeks for a stocked Eco frame built up to the customer’s unique specs or an excruciating 6-18 months for a completely custom Artisan. In crafting their top-of-the line Artisan bikes, Bilkeny selects each tube, “to meet the needs of the buyer.” According to Simon Firth, one of the frame builders, these bikes are for people who have been riding a long time. Once finished, a Bilenky can be painted to whatever color or design a customer wants.
The company sells touring, single-speed, commuter, track, off-road, and cargo bikes, and is known for one of their tandems, the Viewpoint. This unusual bicycle is a hybrid of sorts with great views for both riders, because the front position is recumbent. The stoker in back is also more upright and relaxed than on a traditional tandem, and with independent gear trains, can coast while the front rider continues to pedal. That’s not all. The front position folds down to become a platform, turning the Viewpoint into a single-person cargo bike.
Bilenky will outfit any of their frames with S&S couplers to make them travel-ready. In addition, they’ll retrofit other company’s bicycles with couplers so they, too, can be taken apart and securely packed into airline-ready cases small enough to be checked as regular baggage. The company says couplers add about 8 oz. to the finished weight of the bicycle. Bilenky also repairs, upgrades, or restores bikes from any manufacturer. That includes replacing a damaged tube or repainting a whole bicycle to match its original look, down to the decals if available. They request photos for restoration work.
Bilenky’s tag line is “Artistry in Steel Since 1983.” That’s when Steve Bilenky started building bikes with frames and components proportioned to meet the needs of women cyclists.
Hours of work
Monday – Friday
9 am – 5 pm
- Standard Frames: Yes
- Custom Frames: Yes
- Retrofitting old bikes: Yes
- Year Established: 1983
- Products Made In: Philadelphia, PA (USA)
- Availability: Direct and from Independent Bicycle Dealers in the USA
- Types of Bicycles: Road, Touring, Tandem, Utility/Cargo, Commuting, Off road / Mountain
- Construction Methods: Tig Welded, Fillet Brazed, Lugged, S&S Couplers (for breaking down a frame)
- Frame Materials: Steel