Darren Crisp is an American framebuilder. He is building custom handmade titanium frames. Crisp has built a custom frame dedicated to Campagnolo’s 80th anniversary mechanical groupset.
Crisp has been influenced by Italy, where he worked as an interior architect. From his website, crisptitanium.com, Crisp says that:
“I’ve been building bicycle frames for nearly as long as I have been in the specialty metals business. After completing my B.S. in Architecture at Texas A&M University, I started working for a blacksmith/sculptor in Mississippi, while racing on the weekends. It was during this time that I built my first frame. A few years later, I ended up in the heart of Tuscany building high-end precision display and furnishing elements for premier Italian fashion houses worldwide (while still spending every available free moment on my bike). Through these experiences I have learned the great value of craftsmanship, which, in Italy, is as highly a revered tradition as cycling.”
“I studied architecture back in 1990 here in Castiglion Fiorentino. It is a wonderful place to live and is very conducive to creativity, and the culture is very stimulating, coming from conservative Texas. The first time I came here, I knew immediately that there was something here to “discover” about this ancient and mysterious place. Medieval walled towns, Etruscan ruins…and great food and obviously great cycling. I came back after finishing my degree in architecture to race bikes here in Tuscany. Coming from the Texas plains, the hills of this region were a welcome change and offered me new places to explore on both the road bike and the mtb. Using my architecture degree to the max, I washed dishes in the local school for almost two years to afford me the possibility to learn the language and to race throughout the country. I had an accident on the mtb in 1994 and had to move back stateside for insurance and medical reasons and got back into metal fabrication in Mississippi. But the fire was lit, and it was only a matter of time before I was back over to Italy and back on the bike, in the shop, and building.”
And the story of the special Campagnolo 80th anniversary edition:
“I was working on a road frame when I received an email from a contact at Campagnolo. No details were divulged, but just receiving an email from the iconic Italian company made me wonder what was up. At first, I thought it was an inquiry about my build that was published in BICYCLING MAGAZINE some months prior.What did they want, some machined ti components? A frame for a trade show or GF? So I gave them a call.”
“After a few seconds on the phone with the Press Manager at Campagnolo I was informed about the project they were developing: The 80th Anniversary Groupset. They were interested in using a Crisp frame for the publicity campaign. Meaning they were going to hang their 80th Anniversary Group on a Crisp frame!”
Read full story: crisptitanium.com/campagnolo-80th-anniversary/