paul brodie-makers series cover.jpg
VIDEO

Makers - Paul Brodie

Words Cam McRae
Photos Hailey Elise
Video Ollie Jones
Date Sep 15, 2021

This is the debut of our Makers Series, which focuses on companies and individuals who are manufacturing products for mountain biking right here in. British Columbia., We're beyond stoked to present industry legend Paul Brodie as our first subject.

paul brodie-makers series1.jpg

Paul Brodie in his amazing shop.

The name Paul Brodie will be familiar to mountain bikers who have been in the saddle since the 90s. Paul's handbuilt chromoly hardtails were some of the best you could buy in those days, particularly if you were interested in winning races. He's one of the true pioneers of mountain biking and one of the first innovators to see the benefits the now ubiquitous sloping top tube. As one of the first frame builders for Rocky Mountain Bikes, along with Derek Bailey, Paul helped B.C. become a leader in mountain biking from the very beginning of the sport.

Paul spins an entertaining tale and his easy smile and. incredible memory for detail made for a fascinating interview.

Without further ado, we present Paul Brodie.

paul brodie-makers series3.jpg

Of course Paul has an elevator in his shop. And of course he built it himself.

paul brodie-makers series6.jpg

Paul didn't just participate in vintage motorcycle races, he won them.

Paul no longer builds bikes for retail customers, but he has never stopped building.stuff, ever since he made his own "mini bike"* for himself in the early 70s. Along the way he's built reproduction vintage motorcycles from the ground up, taught scores of framebuilders, and had a life-threatening crash warming up to race one of his board track racers. And you'll get to hear it all in his own words.

Follow Paul here:

Instagram

Youtube

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB

Comments

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Sept. 15, 2021, 9:08 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

cerealkilla_
+2 Mammal Pete Roggeman
jdt  - Sept. 15, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

Always dreamed of having a Brodie Catalyst. I finally found one.

https://nsmb.com/photos/view/510/

Reply

xy9ine
+3 Pete Roggeman jdt Cam McRae
Perry Schebel  - Sept. 15, 2021, 9:22 a.m.

sick! love the gatorblade fork. the (fillet brazed) romax is one of my all time lust machines. paul is such a treasure. looking forward to watching this vid; such a great concept.

Reply

Wanderlust
+3 Pete Roggeman jdt Cam McRae
Wanderlust  - Sept. 15, 2021, 10 a.m.

Very pretty:)   I still have my 88" GT karakoram ordered it and owned it since new.  Has some crazy old school upgrades on still. Growing up mtb'ing ontario early 80's always wanted a Brodie.

Reply

khai
+3 Pete Roggeman Geof Harries Cam McRae
khai  - Sept. 15, 2021, 10:31 a.m.

I remember buying a Brodie Brake Booster in the early 90's (purple ano ftw!) as that was the only high end piece of kit that I could afford.  It was awesome, and the nicest part of my (fully rigid) Hard Rock...

I always dreamt if taking the Paul Brodie frambuilding course, but never made the time.  I don't know that he offers that anymore...  :(

Reply

gdharries
+2 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
Geof Harries  - Sept. 15, 2021, 1:59 p.m.

I had a 2001 Brodie Evolution that I thoroughly abused and equally adored for about 5 years. It was no 8-Ball, but for my (very low) budget at the time, it was perfect. Thanks Paul.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Cam McRae
Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 15, 2021, 8:03 p.m.

I had an Evolution, too! The very first one - orange with a blue RockShox Judy (80mm) and Hayes mechanical brakes that had to be re-bled after every.single.ride. Eventually Brodie sent me a set of hydraulics because West Point told them what a hassle it was to service the brakes over and over for me. Loved that bike. Then I had a Heckler that didn't have  disc brake in the rear, which I also loved but didn't hang on to for too long because I really wanted a rear disc. Then I got a Bullit...

Reply

Shoreloamer
+1 Cam McRae
Greg Bly  - Sept. 16, 2021, 10:24 a.m.

Apparently the first man to fit a sloping top tube to a mountain bike. He helped forge the path of what mountain bikes are today. 

His videos on modified motorcycle s is absolutely fascinating. Plenty of old school hack saw and drill press action . 

This is awesome . Think globally act locally. Plenty of local local companies pumping out bike parts and gear. 

Some nostalgic moment s would be sweet. Remember Core Rat ?  Is Straightline still churning out parts?

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Sept. 17, 2021, 8:44 a.m.

Actually I don’t believe Paul takes credit for the sloping top tube. I recall him mentioning seeing one on his trip to visit frame builders in California. Joe Breeze maybe? I remember not liking them when I first saw them. Apparently the Deep Cove crew had a similar reaction initially.

Reply

Shoreloamer
0
Greg Bly  - Sept. 17, 2021, 12:01 p.m.

Was reading another publication . MBA has a story mentioning how the builders in Cali saw the sloping top tube on the frame Brodie built and borrowed his idea. 

I'm terrible at links and copy paste . I could PM you the story.

Sloping top tubes were big, and I give Canadian builder Paul Brodie credit for making that happen. The first days of Kona, we called the bikes Cascade, and we also raced and sold Brodie bikes. So, we adopted the sloping top tubes pretty much before anyone else and used the 71/73 geometry. Frame geometries never really changed until we started making the top tubes longer. I recall getting a prototype Marin made with a 23.5-inch-long top tube, 70-degree head angle and a 130mm stem. Times have changed!

Quote from Joe Murray.

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Sept. 17, 2021, 12:59 p.m.

i believe charlie cunningham was the first to use a sloping tt (starting in the late 70's). the mid 80's rockies & brodies appear to be the first mainstream production bikes to use the design though.

Reply

lamar454
+1 Cam McRae
Peter Appleton  - Sept. 16, 2021, 2:54 p.m.

More of this please!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Sept. 17, 2021, 8:42 a.m.

On the way!

Reply

DemonMike
+1 Cam McRae
mike  - Sept. 16, 2021, 4:48 p.m.

You see that board track bike beside Paul. I had the pleasure of meeting Paul thru that project. Machined dozens of parts for the motor and other bits and bobs he needed. Been out to his shop a few times. Even had a home cooked meal with him. An amazing craftsman of various trades he is. Does he still have the Peacock cage beside his shop?

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Cam McRae mike
Perry Schebel  - Sept. 16, 2021, 9:52 p.m.

the excelsior project is amazing; fabricating everything - including engine - from scratch. just noticed he's got one for sale still (sitting up in the corner of his shop) - for $139k USD (!).

Reply

DemonMike
+1 Perry Schebel
mike  - Sept. 17, 2021, 3:16 p.m.

He did 10 complete bikes , and had motor parts for 20. I have some of the linkage for the brakes. He brought in the original parts. We reproduced what we could . And Paul made what he could. We did most of the tube bending as well. And made lots of parts for the motors.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+1 mike
Cam McRae  - Sept. 17, 2021, 8:42 a.m.

So cool you were involved in that! If you watch the video you’ll hear and see his peacock!

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.