Meet The Maker: Reyes Soriano – Steel Frames Made By Hand In La Rioja

Reyes-Soriano-Custom-Steel-Bicycle-La-Rioja

What is is about a bike? Why do we love to ride? Why invest in working with an artisan to build a one of a kind bicycle, just for you? Reyes Soriano makes custom steel bicycles in his workshop in La Rioja. For him a custom bicycle is more than science, more than a perfect geometry & precision welding; a custom bicycle is a journey of self-discovery. Get it right & work with the right builder & you’ll not only have a two-wheeled companion for life, you’ll also discover landscapes, routes & journeys from a whole new standpoint.

Here’s what Reyes had to say – it turns out Reyes is just as much a master of words as a master of steel.

¿De dónde eres? / Where are you from?

Nacido en León y después de vivir en varias ciudades, hace ya 15 años que llegué a La Rioja, es una zona con un clima agradable y gran diversidad de paisajes y terrenos, siempre hay sitios nuevos que poder descubrir en bicicleta entre montañas y viñas.

I was born in León & after lived in various cities. It is now 15 years since I arrived in La Rioja – it is a region with an agreeable climate & great diveristy in routes & terrain, there are always new palces to discover by bike between mountains & vineyards.

Reyes-Soriano-Custom-Steel-Bicycle-La-Rioja-Workshop¿Cuándo empezaste a fabricar bicicletas? / When did you start to make bicycles?

En 2014 Mattia Paganotti (Legor Cilcli) fue el maestro que me enseñó las bases y el camino a seguir; desde entonces todos los días son un constante aprendizaje y evolución, siempre creciendo, siempre probando el comportamiento de las bicis que hago para poder sacar conclusiones y mejorar. Disfruto tanto con las bicis que hago para mi como con la felicidad de los clientes satisfechos.

In 2014 Mattia Paganotti (from Legor Cycles) was the maestro who showed me the basics & the route to follow; from then all the days are a constant learning & evolution, always growing, always testing the behaviour of the bikes that I make to draw conclusions & imporve. I enjoy everything – the process of making the bikes & the satisfaction of a happy customer.

¿Por qué acero? / Why steel?

El acero tiene un fuerte componente histórico, romántico, heroico… pero además la tecnología ha permitido evolucionar las aleaciones mejorando las características técnicas y reduciendo el peso. El acero es un material muy versátil, eterno, con un comportamiento muy noble y que transmite perfectamente las características del terreno por donde ruedas, es cómodo pero también reactivo.

Steel has a lot of history, it is both romantic & heroic… but moreover technology has permitted an evolution of the alloys – technical characteristcs are improved & weight reduced. Steel is a very versitile material. It is eternal, with a noble character that perfectly transmits the characteristcs of the land where the wheels go – it is comfortbale but also reactive.

Reyes-Soriano-Custom-Steel-Bicycle-La-Rioja-Workshop-Welding¿Qué preguntas le haces al cliente primero? / What questions to you ask your client first?

Un aspecto fundamental es escuchar y poder entender qué tipo de bicicleta quiere y qué uso le va a dar el cliente; siempre hay quien lo tiene muy claro, y quien todo lo contrario… y es entendible, muchas veces nos cuesta analizarnos, entendernos y saber cuales son nuestras necesidades, nuestros deseos y tomar una decisión firme; esto es algo inherente a muchos aspectos de la vida, no solo a definir una bici… es una parte muy bonita del proceso, una especie de conocimiento personal muy enriquecedor. El resto del proceso consiste en toma de medidas, diseño de geometria, seleccion de materiales, fabricación y pintura.

A fundamental aspect is to listen & to understand what type of bike the customer wants & how the customer wants to use it. Always there are those who have clarity & those who are the opposite… and this is understandable! Lots of the time it is hard for us to analyse ourselves, understand ourselves, our needs & desires to make a firm decision; this is something inherent in many aspects of life, not just in defining a bike. This is a very nice part of the process, a way to enrich our personal knowledge. The rest of the process consists of taking mesasurements, designing the geometry, selecting materials, fabricating & painting.

¿Hace todo usted mismo? / Do you do everything yourself?

Si, hago todo en mi taller en La Rioja excepto la pintura.

Yes, I do everything in my workshop in La Rioja, except for the painting.

Finalmente, ¿Andas en bicicleta? ¿Cuál es tu ruta favorita? / Finally – do you ride bikes? What is your favourite route?

Tanto en carretera como gravel mis rutas favoritas son las que no tienen hora límite de llegada a casa, me encanta tomar decisiones de trayectos de ruta sobre la marcha, apostar por la aventura, explorar, perderme, descubrir, hacer paradas sin prisa para disfrutar del paisaje, de la gente, de pueblos perdidos y por supuesto de la gastronomía!

Both on the road & on the gravel my favourite routes are not limited by a deadline to arrive at home, I love to make desicions about the trajectory of a route on the go, betting on an adventure, exploring, getting lost, discovering, making stops without a rush to enjoy the journey, the people, the lost villages, and of course the gastronomy!

Custom Steel Bicycles

We’ve just taken delivery of a RS Cycles Greta Gravel frameset & over the coming weeks we’ll be blogging about the paintwork, the build decisions – groupset, wheelset, finishing kit & sharing scenes from the stand in our Girona workshop. If you’d like to find out more simply get in touch or browse our Custom Bike information. Make sure you follow Reyes on instagram at @rs_cycles & on the RS Cycles Facebook page.

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