During the mid 1980’s, a fellow named Greg Smith started to build frames
under the Cyclesmith name in a workshop on Pier 23 in Halifax, Nova
Scotia. Like probably a lot of people who get into framebuilding, he
found out how much work was involved for limited returns, so he turned
Cyclesmith into a retail store.
In 1989, a bike mechanic named Michael Thomson
convinced his friend and fellow mechanic Mark Beaver that they should
take over Smith’s old framebuilding shop on Pier 23 and build their own
bikes. They bought Smith’s framebuilding and painting equipment, and
learned how to build bike frames. Thus was born Tamarack Cycles.
Thomson went back to school to pursue an engineering
degree a few years later but Mark Beaver carried on and became a full
time framebuilder in 1995. After a year, he bought Greg Smith’s
Cyclesmith store and with his new responsibilities, his frame building
started to taper off, only building one or two frames per year in the
off season. In 2021, after a twenty-five year career running a retail
store, Mark sold his shares in Cyclesmith to his younger partner Andrew,
built a new building at the end of his driveway to house his
framebuilding shop, and resumed making custom frames under the Tamarack
In 2021 he exhibited his frames and bikes at the Philly
Bike Expo in Philadelphia and has been building frames and bikes for
people around North America. Mark is best known for his touring bikes
and gravel bikes and has gained a reputation for building take-apart
travel bikes with couplers for airline travel.