During the mid 1980’s, a fellow named Greg Smith started to build frames under the Cyclesmith name in a workshop on Pier 23 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Like probably a lot of people who get into framebuilding, he found out how much work was involved for limited returns, so he turned Cyclesmith into a retail store.
In 1989, a bike mechanic named Michael Thomson convinced his friend and fellow mechanic Mark Beaver that they should take over Smith’s old framebuilding shop on Pier 23 and build their own bikes. They bought Smith’s framebuilding and painting equipment, and learned how to build bike frames. Thus was born Tamarack Cycles.
Thomson went back to school to pursue an engineering degree a few years later but Mark Beaver carried on and became a full time framebuilder in 1995. After a year, he bought Greg Smith’s Cyclesmith store and with his new responsibilities, his frame building started to taper off, only building one or two frames per year in the off season. In 2021, after a twenty-five year career running a retail store, Mark sold his shares in Cyclesmith to his younger partner Andrew, built a new building at the end of his driveway to house his framebuilding shop, and resumed making custom frames under the Tamarack Cycles brand.
In 2021 he exhibited his frames and bikes at the Philly Bike Expo in Philadelphia and has been building frames and bikes for people around North America. Mark is best known for his touring bikes and gravel bikes and has gained a reputation for building take-apart travel bikes with couplers for airline travel.