October Hand Made Bikes gets rolling in Lynn

LYNN – Make way, Lynn. October Hand Made Bikes is hitting the ground running (or riding).Located in the Lydia Pinkham Building at 271 Western Ave., October Hand Made Bikes has created a niche, specializing in custom-made road, cross, mountain and track bicycles.”The goal is to make bikes that are hand-crafted and high-quality, but fit a specific purpose,” said the company’s founder Andrew Frasca.Frasca uses the finest tools, equipment and raw materials, including titanium and a blend of titanium/carbon fiber, to craft the bike frames.”I’m not the only one who uses those materials, but the advantage is in the stiffness and ride quality,” said Frasca. “It’s geared toward performance riders and racers.”A former engineer, Frasca launched the business in October 2007, while still working at Raytheon, the Waltham-based leader in aerospace and defense systems. Last summer, he devoted himself to October Hand Made Bikes full-time.”I was never fully integrated in the engineering career path,” he said. “Life is too short not to choose what you want to do and make it happen. My true passion is making bicycles. It’s exciting everyday to have a new idea and watch it come to life.”The name October was a personal choice for Frasca, who wanted to pay tribute to his favorite time of year. “I love the month of October, riding bikes when the air is cool and crisp and you can smell the leaves,” he said.A native of Western Mass. and 1996 graduate of UMass Amherst, Frasca lived in Colorado for some time, pursuing his passion for the outdoors. When he returned home, he settled in Somerville and opened the Lynn shop after searching for an ideal work space.”The EDIC was pleased to assist Mr. Frasca in achieving his dreams,” said James Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development and Industrial Corp. (EDIC).Frasca was equally enthusiastic. “I saw an ad for this building, and it looked like reasonably priced industrial space,” he said. “Lynn Woods is also a great local place for mountain biking, as are the coastal routes up into Marblehead and Hamilton-Wenham.”Pleased with his decision, he recently relocated to the other end of the Pinkham building, which has a more desirable layout. He hosted an open house on May 9 to welcome customers and fellow riders to the new location. This year, October also partnered with some of the best manufacturers in the industry to sponsor four talented cyclists, racing from early spring right through cross season. Two of those cyclists attended the open house to lead a group ride.Frasca’s client base extends from the North Shore and Boston to select markets in the west coast.”I just shipped one out to Alaska, another to Hawaii and a few others to Seattle and Colorado,” he said. “A lot of that is word-of-mouth, being at the races.”Currently, Frasca is the sole employee of October Hand Made Bikes, though he hires contractors in areas such as graphics and finish welding. “The entire October family contributes their talents and gifts because they believe in this; it’s a calling,” he said.

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