Six Mile Bikes
Six Mile Bikes
Where: Nelson, BC
Year Established: We’re in the embryonic stages
Owner: Kevin Armstrong
I custom build high-end steel bikes for gravel, bike-packing, hard-tail mountain riding, and road.
Give us a brief description of your manufacturing processes and philosophy.
A beautiful bike combines both form and function. I perform the entire build process from design to welding to paint in order to create a unique custom product. I work with the client to design the best fitting bike but also one that performs well.
One of my favourite parts of the build process is designing a unique paint scheme. I can custom cut graphics at my shop and I rent space in a professional paint shop nearby which gives me access to an infinite selection of colours, fades, graphics, and metallic or pearl fleck. Painting is not easy, but I love it.
How many employees and/or contractors do you work with?
I’m solo ’cause YOLO.
What brought you to the Kootenays and how long have you been here?
The mountains, obviously. I’ve been living in the Kootenays for about 13 years. I moved out from Ontario after university and began working in the ski industry. I work as an ACMG ski guide at Monashee Powder Snowcats during the winter months.
Tell us about the history and relative work experience of your founder(s).
I grew up working in my father’s high-end classical musical instrument repair shop in Toronto. There is a unique attention to detail and a persistence that you develop repairing instruments, but it was also a joy to work with people who really cared for their instruments. There is a lot of similarity to these musicians and how cyclists feel about their bikes. Cycling is my main off-ski-season sport. I started with road cycling while training for the ski season. I eventually got into road racing, gravel events, mountain biking, and hitting the pump track with my son, Mica. In 2020, I started on the path to frame building. I traveled to Escuela Técnica de la Bicicletta in Madrid, Spain, where I studied design, manufacturing, and fillet brazing with master frame builder Andres Arrequi-Valesquez. I found Andres’ unique and scientific approach to building frames, and attention to detail inspiring and is a quality I strive for in my work.
Describe the mission, vision, goals, and aspirations of your company.
My goal with Six Mile Bikes is to build bikes that are fast, durable, and functional. It’s the bike that you pick nine times out of 10 because it feels so damn good to ride. I want people to use my bikes to seek out new adventures, travel to new places, and experience the world in a way they didn’t before. If my bikes are a part of that, I’ve done my job.