Jerome Cycles: Custom Steel City Bikes To Last A Lifetime

Located in a one-time cold storage facility for seafood, Jerome Cycles is just blocks from the sprawling Port of Los Angeles. In the former fishing village of San Pedro, owner Jared Jerome creates American-made, handcrafted, “city bikes” inspired by classic European design.

Handcrafted City Bikes in Downtown San Pedro

Located in a one-time cold storage facility for seafood, Jerome Cycles is just blocks from the sprawling Port of Los Angeles. In the former fishing village of San Pedro, owner Jared Jerome creates American-made, handcrafted, “city bikes” inspired by classic European design. “Handmade frames are popular, but the focus is usually on racing,” said Jerome. “There aren’t a lot of makers concentrating on high-end utility bikes that can be used to have fun, to haul around groceries, or to head out on a bike date like my wife and I do. It’s a different experience.”

The community of San Pedro projects a unique vibe due to its diverse culture and a rich, working-class history. Lured by low rents and the industrial grittiness of the port, newcomers enjoy breathtaking oceanfront vistas and an emerging arts scene.

Steel is more forgiving, particularly when you weigh it down with baskets and racks. Plus, it lasts longer. You still see steel bikes from the 40’s being ridden today.

Jerome’s interest in bicycles began at an early age and, by his teens, he began fabricating bar ends and seat post clamps under the tutelage of his father, who traded the parts with a local shop.
“It gave me a real foundation in constructing things,” said Jerome. I learned how to turn parts on a lathe, run a mill, and use a TIG welder; those tools weren’t foreign objects to me.”
Later, a gig as a welder at a BMX manufacturer during college added to his experience. However, after working in the corporate world as an environmental planner, Jerome longed to be in a shop again. “I would sit at a computer, staring at the screen all day,” he said. “I thought if I could make bikes, that would be it for me.”

He began making frames for family and friends in his off-hours, adding a few road-racing bikes to his portfolio. “Every once in a while, I’m fine with building something to go fast,” he said. In 2015, Jerome began building bikes full-time. When it comes to a custom creation, he believes there needs to be an element of trust between customer and builder.

“A customer can see the frame design, but can’t visualize exactly how the components are going to work together, or how colors will enhance those elements,” he said. “Unless you’re an artist, there aren’t enough drawings available to convey exactly how the customer wants the bike to look.” Addressing steel as his material of choice, he went on to say “Steel is more forgiving, particularly when you weigh it down with baskets and racks,” he said. “Plus, it lasts longer. You still see steel bikes from the 40’s being ridden today.”

Jerome would like to focus on riders with special needs who are marginalized by commercial markets. A step-through, dirt-touring bicycle is in the works. “Some folks need a bike that’s customized and made specifically to their size,” he said. “We don’t want to shoehorn people into stock-sized bicycles.”
The ultimate reward for Jerome is knowing a client is enjoying one of his creations. “It just feels good when someone comes back from a ride and says, ‘This bike is awesome’.”

Words by Lizett Bond

Photos by Victor Prestinary

www.jeromecycles.com

You May Also Like
The ENVE Team
Read More

A Peek Inside One Of The Most Innovative Cycling Manufacturing Facilities In The World: ENVE Composites

ENVE Composites, maker of carbon wheel sets and frame components finished work on a massive 73,000 square foot factory and opened it up to the public for the first time this week. The wheel maker has been making wheels in Ogden, Utah with 168 employees for more than 10 years and the new mothership allows for a 4x increase in production. Ready to see inside?
Read More
Stinner Frameworks
Read More

Stinner Frameworks

Goleta, CA – Stinner Frameworks in Goleta offers locally custom-made bicycles that are built for performance, as much as for longevity. Stinner’s options are simple, but versatile, and highly expandable, with Steel and Titanium frame options for all styles. They are able to accommodate any of the sought-after tech-driven features such as wider tire clearance, disc brakes, and bottom bracket height.
Read More
Mandy Marquardt Team USA
Read More

Mandy Marquardt Is A Rider To Cheer For

Mandy really loves cycling, but training for a race like the UCI Track World Cup still requires dedication of mind, body, and time. Fortunately, USA cycling arranged for her and the other riders to arrive in Los Angeles a week early so that they can train on the Velodrome they will be competing on.
Read More
Read More

The Cyclist Running for Sheriff Makes the Case for Reform

When we heard there was a candidate running for sheriff who is an active cyclist, we took note and sat down with the man himself, Duke Nguyen, to hear his take on some of the issues we’ve seen in Southern California, and specifically in Orange County. Nguyen is a 26-year law enforcement veteran of the force and currently investigates officer involved shootings for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Read More
Read More

A Quiet Protest With A Loud Message

The day of the ‘die-in’ was cold and windy; cyclists carried signs, bikes, and bloodied shirts as they made their way on to the grassy knoll at Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes. Around forty cyclists gathered together at 3:55 pm on Tuesday, pulling white, blood-splattered shirts over their head as they began to lay down on the grass.
Read More
Dennis Christopher
Read More

Breaking Away With Masi

We embarked upon the “Legacy Project”, a series of different elements that combined to celebrate, promote and raise awareness of Masi’s Ninety Year history. The center point of the project would be a brand history book that recorded the story of Masi from its earliest existence in rural Florence, and through its Californian era in the early 1970’s.
Read More
Read More

The American in Search of Swiss Gold

A conversation with ASSOS CEO Philip Duff. ASSOS has committed to providing uniforms for the USA Olympic team through 2020. We were interested in finding out how this all came about so we put in a call to Lugano, Switzerland to speak with Philip Duff directly – here’s what we found out.
Read More
Adam DeVos Rally Cycling
Read More

An Air of Confidence: Rally Cycling at the San Diego Wind Tunnel

We accompanied Rally Cycling to the San Diego Wind Tunnel earlier this month, and had the opportunity to see how the team uses the tunnel. Members of the team brought their bikes into the chamber and mounted them atop an aluminum platform that measures the effects on the static bike/rider combo by the forced air circulated by a 20-foot propeller on the other side of the building.
Read More
Read More

Zak Pashak: The Canadian Re-Building America By Bicycle

Growing up in Calgary, Zak Pashak was always intrigued by the city’s infrastructure and the many modes of transportation moving through his “sprawling mass of a city.” Though most of his youth was spent in Canada, Zak was drawn to U.S. popular culture and influenced by performers like Eddie Murphy, the music coming from Detroit, and the American urban scene.
Read More
Read More

Nick Roumonada: Giving Back to CAF

Nick Roumonada, a dynamic 30-year-old triathlete, began working with the Challenged Athlete Foundation (CAF) when he was given a prosthetic running leg through their grants program. After learning about CAF’s rich history in supporting disabled athletes, Nick was motivated to participate in triathlons.
Read More