The Industry Insider Series is our look behind the curtain at the folks who keep the bicycle industry rolling. This interview features Paul Sadoff, who has been building custom bicycles under the Rock Lobster brand for more than 30 years.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
What do you do for/with/to bicycles?
I’m a full-time frame builder , manage a cyclocross team and do a bit of cyclocross racing . I also teach a class annualy at United Bicycle institute in Ashland , Oregon.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Making people happy.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
Keeping on schedule.
What was the path that led you to work with bicycles?
The bike was what got me my freedom as a child…..it has given me the ability to stay free from working a job that I don’t enjoy.
What was your first bicycle?
It was a ‘Rome Sport’ , some sort of department store cruiser. It was probably a 26" wheel bike, too big for a 7 year old and I pretty much destroyed it in a year.
What bike do you currently ride the most?
Right now it’s my cyclocross bike but with road tires on it. The trails are too muddy to ride this week.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
The bluffs at Wilder Ranch state park. You are 60 ft. above the Pacific ocean on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the U.S.
What music goes through your head while you ride?
Lately, Chuck Berry if I’m trying to go fast !
What are your interests aside from bicycles?
I like to play guitar, cook and eat good food…….find great red wine on the cheap, write some really insulting stuff on a blog that will surely see me burn in frame building hell.
If you weren’t working around bicycles, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would be dodging drunks playing guitar in every dive bar that would hire me.
Please share one of your favorite stories you’ve seen or been a part of while involved with the bicycle industry…
In 2005 I went with Ross Shafer to North Carolina for a ride and get together with all sorts of mountain bike historical folks: Paul Thomasburg, Jaquie Phelan, Joe Murray and the Statesville locals. We met at First Flight bikes and got to have a pizza party surrounded by the most incredible collection of bikes I have ever seen. We rode five hours at Pisgah in a steady drizzle… it was epic.
Who would you choose for the next subject for the Bicycle Industry Insider Profile Series?
Mike DeSalvo or Jeremy Sycip.
Because both of those guys are super craftsmen, impeccable human beings and are way more humble than the caliber of their work would call for.