Albert Eisentraut  

Bicycle Ensemble, 543 East Eleventh St., Oakland, California
 

A great podcast interview with Albert Eisentraut by Diane Lees on the "Outspoken Cyclist" Sept. 2014    HERE

Updated 8.6.2018                          Click on images for larger view

     Albert Eisentraut acquired an appreciation of hand built bicycles at the elbow of legendary Paramount maker Oscar Wastyn in Chicago, and Albert, in many ways, is the dean of modern (post Korean War) USA custom frame builders. His frames, especially the famous "Model A" frames of the 1960s and 70s, had a special sculptural aesthetic and unorthodoxy in their shaping. This set Eisentraut bicycles apart from the European mimicry that influenced other builders at that time. Albert Eisentraut grew up with cycling in his blood. 
     Following in his fatherís footsteps, he began racing in 1955 on the Kenosha Velodrome. He gained an appreciation of hand built bicycles working as a mechanic in the shop of legendary Schwinn Paramount maker Oscar Wastyn in Chicago. According to Albert, Wastyn didnít teach him the craft, "More than anything, I learned from Oscar that one person could make a bicycle by himself."
     Albert built his first frame in 1959 in his fatherís basement aided only by a frame jig that he machined himself. In 1969 he became a full-time frame builder, working for Velo-Sport in Berkeley, CA.
     Branching out on his own in 1971, his clients include world class racers George Mount, John Howard, Mike Neel, Tom Prehn, Tom Schuler, Connie Carpenter, Miji Reoch, and Sheila Young.
     Albert has also taught dozens his craft; his notable students include Bruce Gordon, Joe Breeze, Skip Hujsak, Mark Nobilette, and Bill Stevenson - making Eisentraut the American godfather of modern day frame building. Albert commented, "The only constant in my life is the forever changing bicycle business."
     His sons now work in the shop, ďif the frame has the Eisentraut name on it, an Eisentraut had his hands on itĒ.
                                           Special thanks to Brian Ignatin

Bicycle Guide
Sept-Oct 1987


Investment cast lug
 

  
Photos taken at New York 
Bike Show in late 1970s

Deciphering serial numbers 
Example: the serial number on the BB and on the fork steerer tube is E130475.  This translates as being the 13th frame built in April of 1975.
Thanks to Bill Kloos and Ed Litton 

A tape measure showing earlier location

Brian Ignatin's 1973 track bike
Custom made for Bill Best for use in the 1973 Detroit & Los Angeles Six-Day races, the last such professional races held in the United States. Belgians Ed Demets and Willy De Bosscher won in Detroit; Australian Graeme Gilmore and West German Klaus Bugdahl won in Los Angeles.

            

               

#E020773 (2nd frame built in July, 1973)
Made for John "Marmaduke" Dawson, founder/leader of the "New Riders of the Purple Sage" a 70's San Francisco area rock group.
 

Mid 1970s "A" frame 
Note Eisentraut's unique bottom bracket shell with integrated cable guides.

            
wpe11B.jpg (15660 bytes)                

1977 Eisentraut 'A' frame #100377
Using the unique and short lived cast lugs & bottom bracket.
 
 

The model "Limited," 
Model produced in the late 1970s to  provide a lower priced alternative to the custom 'A' frame.

     

Bruce VanRemortel's 
"Neo-Classic" Eisentraut 
 

                  

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