Albert Eisentraut  

Bicycle Ensemble, 543 East Eleventh St.,    Oakland, California
Updated 5.27.2016

A great podcast interview by Diane Lees on the Outspoken Cyclist, Sept. 2014    HERE

Albert Eisentraut acquired an appreciation of hand built bicycles at the elbow of legendary Paramount maker Oscar Wastyn in Chicago, and Albert, in many ways, is the dean of modern (post Korean War) USA custom frame builders. His frames, especially the famous "Model A" frames of the 1960s and 70s, had a special sculptural aesthetic and unorthodoxy in their shaping. This set Eisentraut bicycles apart from the European mimicry that influenced other builders at that time. Albert Eisentraut grew up with cycling in his blood.
     Following in his fatherís footsteps, he began racing in 1955 on the Kenosha Velodrome. He gained an appreciation of hand built bicycles working as a mechanic in the shop of legendary Schwinn Paramount maker Oscar Wastyn in Chicago. According to Albert, Wastyn didnít teach him the craft, "More than anything, I learned from Oscar that one person could make a bicycle by himself."
Albert built his first frame in 1959 in his fatherís basement aided only by a frame jig that he machined himself. In 1969 he became a full-time frame builder, working for Velo-Sport in Berkeley, CA.
     Branching out on his own in 1971, his clients include world class racers George Mount, John Howard, Mike Neel, Tom Prehn, Tom Schuler, Connie Carpenter, Miji Reoch, and Sheila Young.
     Albert has also taught dozens his craft; his notable students include Bruce Gordon, Joe Breeze, Skip Hujsak, Mark Nobilette, and Bill Stevenson, making Eisentraut the American godfather of modern day frame building. Albert commented, "The only constant in my life is the forever changing bicycle business."
     His sons now work in the shop, ďif the frame has the Eisentraut name on it, an Eisentraut had his hands on itĒ.
              Thanks to Brian Ignatin for contributions

Bicycle Guide magazine article, Sept-Oct 1987

Investment cast lugthat anticipated the 
trends of the 1980s.

Photos taken by the webmaster at the New York Bike Show in late 1970s

Deciphering serial numbers 
 Thanks to Bill Kloos and Ed Litton 
Example: the serial number on the BB and on the fork steerer tube is E130475.
This translates as being the 13th frame built in April of 1975.

Brian Ignatin's 1973 track bike
Custom made for Bill Best for use in the 1973 Detroit & Los Angeles Six-Day races, thelast such professional races held in the United States. Belgians Ed Demets and Willy De Bosscher won in Detroit; Austalian Graeme Gilmore and West German Klaus Bugdahl won in Los Angeles.


#E020773 (2nd frame built in July, 1973)
Made for John "Marmaduke" Dawson, founder/leader of the "New Riders of the Purple Sage" a 70's San Francisco area rock group.

The webmaster's mid 1970s "A" frame
Note the use of Eisentraut's unique bottom bracket shell with integrated cable guides.

wpe11B.jpg (15660 bytes)       

1977 Eisentraut 'A' frame #100377
using the unique and short lived cast lugs & bottom bracket.

The model "Limited,"
a model produced in the late 1970s to  provide a lower priced alternative to the custom 'A' frame


Bruce VanRemortel's brand new Albert Eisentraut "Neo-Classic" bike featuring Nervex lugs, Ideale saddle, Super Champion rims, and, of course, Campagnolo group with NR and original version of the Rally rear deraileur.



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