Gecko Cycles was
founded in 1983 in Santa Barbara, Ca. by Ken Beach ("KB"). It all
began when I started racing downhill in 1979. I applied my skills as a
fabricator to the bicycle industry, designing, building and repairing frames and
components. I designed several products, including a long throw thumb shifter
for Shimano, a chain tensioner for the Descender downhill bikes and tandems, double-ovalized stem,
a one-piece bar stem combo, and a long cage front and rear derailleur.
Still racing MTB's
I decided to settle down in Santa Barbara in 1983 and start building my
innovations. The models I built at that time were the Slickrock (light, fillet
brazed and beautifully finished fillets), Survival ( a world tour bike ),
Camuesa (Mtn. Tandem ), and the Lightfoot (beefy road bike). All of these early
bikes were meticulously filed and finished.
Also in the early
1980’s, I worked for Chris King of King Headsets and Richard Cunningham
of Mantis Bicycle Co. I learned a tremendous amount about machining, and frame
building during that time.
In 1987 I rented a
shop in Santa Barbara and took the bicycle business to another level. At my shop
I built over 250 frames and painted well over 500. I developed several bikes, 2
of which were the Y-File It, and the Genesis. The Genesis was in Mountain Bike
Action's most innovative bike of the year issues in both 1989 and 1991. The Genesis and
Y-File were both fillet brazed, but not filed. I still produced the highly
finished models, but most all were of the unfinished joint variety. I did have a
go at hiring a few people, but the quality was too hard to maintain. No one
lasted more than a week or two at the most. To this day I still do all the work
my self and in house. The highest quality is assured when you get a product from
In the early
1990’s my priorities changed from racing and full time bicycle production.
I got married in '90 and we had our first boy (Jason) in '91. In '92 I
became Mr. Mom and bike production all but stopped. While raising my son Jason
to be a full blown toddler, I produced only a few bikes.
In 1993 we moved to
Boulder, Colorado and I started working for Zinn Cycles in Boulder early in '95.
I moved all my machines and equipment to his shop and I produced a few Geckos
out of his shop. After about a year he scaled back. I rented another space in
Boulder and I took over his whole production, replacing all 6 employees in the
shop. This kept me quite busy building lots of Zinn bikes but again only
producing a few Geckos until early 2000.
In May of 2000, I stopped building Zinn's bikes. I found it to hard to produce Zinn's, take care of our second boy (Victor), build Geckos, and study to become a computer network engineer. The computer industry crashed with 9/11 and I started doing Handy Man work, drywall and also making some parts for my latest toy, the Samurai. Old age caught up with me I guess and it is getting too hard to do Drywall anymore. I have set up a new shop once again with more frame building and machining capabilities than ever before.
As Gecko Cycles, Inc. I build all types of custom bicycle frames and fabricates custom anything. I’ve built check scanners, replicas of lunar rovers, auto, motorcycle and Suzuki Samurai parts and yes all kinds of bicycles. I build custom bicycles for other companies as well. Gecko Cycles Inc. specializes in extremely high tolerance production and unique building techniques unmatched in the industry. I also do custom paint and bike repairs. All my bikes are made by hand, start to finish.
I will talk to you anytime about ordering your own custom Gecko Cycles Frame or other custom built dream, remember my logo is “Art That Works”.