Design and Engineering
Folk Engineered bikes are engineered for the rider. Whether custom or production, FE frame design takes into account the person riding the bike, how the bike will be used, and how we want the bike to look. This includes body measurements, geometry, materials, braze-ons, component selection, and paint and decal design. We engineer bicycles for people.
Folk Engineered specializes in practical bikes for our region – touring, sport touring, city commuting, road, track, and mountain.
A Folk Engineered bicycle ensures:
- A frame and fork handmade in Newark
- High quality chromoly steel materials
- Thoughtful design and geometry
- Attention to detail
- Personality and character
- A means to have fun and adventures
- A lifetime guarantee
Folk Engineered manufactures handmade steel bicycle frames with love and care. We design frames and forks based on the intended rider’s measurements, cargo, and purpose.
It’s not just about profit and efficiency. It is about making something that you’ll use forever and never throw away. It’s like fine china, a mason jar, or a Rohloff hub. It’s about building with stuff you cannot find in a store, like lugs, fillet brazes, and stainless steel. It’s about building with details that major companies cannot provide, like scalloped seat stays, decorative water bottle reinforcements, and cut-out designs. It’s about riding a bike that was actually made in the US. And it’s about supporting a small, local business.
Building bicycles is an art form; it is a precise personalization of a mode of transportation; it is an optimization of human efficiency; it is geometry, physics, and chemistry; it is visual thinking and sculpture; it is making something that will be used; and it is extremely rewarding. Folk Engineered aims to work with these concepts to create dream bicycles, from the elegant simplicity of a traditional frame to an overly practical utility bike. In Newark, a city that has made everything at one time or another, we hand build bicycles.
Ryan Reedell teaches middle school science and stuff at Discovery Charter here in Newark, NJ. But that doesn't mean he can't have a hobby. He is a custom bicycle builder creating one of a kind bicycle frames by hand. Ryan rediscovered his love of bicycles at the Bike Church in Santa Cruz, Ca. With the assistance of volunteer mechanics, Ryan learned about bikes by building one up for himself and helping others with theirs. Ryan took his bike education on a couple bike trips around the country, and then to back to New Brunswick, NJ. There, he helped co-found the Bike Library, a tool collective, where members' donations supply the tools, and volunteers assist with repairs. While in New Brunswick, Ryan met Marie, and the rest...well, that can be told over coffee. Ryan graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from Rutgers University.
Outside of school, Ryan spends most of his limited time at Folk Engineered mitering, brazing, and making new tools and fixtures. Ryan graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from Rutgers University. Ryan’s hobbies include riding his bike, gardening, checking out machine shop auctions, teaching people to fix bikes, and thinkering.
Marie Pasquariello Reedell is the Boat Building Instructor and Horticulture Programs Manager at Project U.S.E., a Newark-based educational non-profit. During the school year, she teaches middle and high school students the maritime history of the region and the science and art involved in boat building. The project culminates in the building and launching of wooden canoes or sailboats in the Passaic River. In the summer, Marie manages Park Works, a summer work experience program in landscaping, and the Rooftop Garden, a new initiative that brings urban farming to Newark. These programs provide Newark high school students valuable work experience in the field of landscaping and farming, educational advancement in the arts and sciences, and development of character and community stewardship.
Marie spends all of her spare time working at Folk Engineered. This includes general management and oversight, maintaining and developing the website, “the numbers”, and all kinds of creative processing and direction. Marie holds a BA in Visual Arts and Mathematics (with a concentration in pedal powered devices) from Rutgers College. Marie prides herself in having an assortment of hobbies, including riding her bicycle, volunteering with local bike groups, crafts, food and spirit making, building custom bicycle frames, and farming.
In October 2004, we (Ryan and Marie) met in a warehouse in Philadelphia and soon became close companions. Then, we parted ways -- Marie to Africa and Ryan on a desert bicycle ride. In August 2005, we reconvened and embarked on a 1500 mile bicycle tour of the Northwest. More excited about bicycles than ever, we became extremely involved in the New Brunswick Bicycle Library. One year later, Marie went to the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR. At the same time, we began our thesis Pedal Power: Creating and Utilizing Pedal Powered Devices. It was a quest to create practical pedal powered contraptions from mostly recycled bicycle parts. In May 2007, the thesis culminated in a very long paper, 10 pedal powered devices, a gallery opening, a research symposium, and a degree from Rutgers College. The following summer we worked on a farm near Albany. Then, we made our way back to New Jersey seeking employment in addition to the beautiful and ever-alluring goal of building custom bicycle frames and repairing people's bicycles. So here we are, in Newark, building on our dreams, by building dream bikes.
Folk Engineered was founded in 2009. In the first two years, the focus was custom handmade bicyles. This year, FE is expanding to include a handmade production bike.