9225 Baltimore Ave. (current location 9217 Balt. Ave./new owners),
Park, Maryland (301) 441-2928
1972: Across the street from the University of Maryland, 3 young bike
enthusiasts decided to make their own bikes and a booming business was begun. Proteus took a very hands-on,
proletariat approach... you could buy a bike frame, or a bike frame kit, or have your
kit's tubes mitered by Proteus, or have your bike painted after you made it at home!
Proteus also was a prime supplier for building bits and tubing. They published a frame
building book (sadly long out of print) which
made the magical art of frame construction more accessible to the average craftsman.
It was The Proteus Frame Building Book: A Guide
for the Novice Bicycle Frame Builder
by Dr. Paul Proteus. In fact there was no Dr. Proteus and it is
presumed the book was created by Larry & Barry (see below) In
all cases, this paperback put in very basic terms what was
required to make a ride-able bicycle with simple hand tools. It
is published online
sold by and labeled PROTEUS were made by various employees who changed regularly.
Yet highly trained
master builders also came & went at Proteus. Perhaps most notable was
Koichi Yamaguchi, who went on to have his own workshop in Colorado and build quite a
Top: Larry Dean,
Beth Williams, Barry Konig-
Bottom: Steve Schuman, Jim Wilkin at the Proteus Design bike
Picture courtesy route-one.org
Proteus full Campy bike, ordered in
owned by Dan Rovelli, Newtown, Conn.
(thanks Dan for info!)
at the NY Bike show in the late 1970s
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