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  1. #1
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!

    I have been searching for Neville Cork for a long time.

    His super cool east coast bikes, the folklore behind his company, and the fact that he just disappeared from the bike building business, were all factors in my desire to ask him personally all the vintage MTB bike-nerd questions that have popped into my head over the years.


    After lots of dead ends, I hit the jackpot a few months ago...yup, found him.

    We chatted a bit online, I sent him pics of my Devil (was glad he liked it), and after a while I asked him if I could send him a few questions about Nevil history.
    He was very cool about it and I started typing out everything I wanted to know.
    Before I knew it the list was getting pretty long, so I wrapped it up and sent it his way.


    Today when I got home from work there was an email from Neville and I was thrilled to read the first hand answers I had wondered about for so long.


    With Neville's blessing here are the fruits of my search: (in letter format with his answers after my questions)





    Hello again Neville,


    Thanks for allowing me to pick your brain about the bikes.


    Questions in no particular order....


    Is the best way to ID an Aremet tubed bike the riveted on cable stops? Riveted Bottle Mounts or take a hammer to the top tube. If you cannot dent the top tube with a hammer then it is Aermet if it dents then it is chromo and sorry about the dent.J


    Did you build a lot of bikes with the Aermet tubing? For me yes, but, compared to Specialized, no. No clue how many but less than 100.


    Anything special/interesting you remember about them? The tubing was very durable welding was tricky at .028 wall thickness. I purged the tubes with argon while welding. When the supply ran out it was going to take $40,000 to make a run of tubes myself. I just didnít have that kind of money to invest in the material.


    Do you still have contact with any of the guys who rode on your team? A few, we are all old timers now.


    Interesting stuff about the history of the brand? Iím just old nowÖ It surprises me that people still care about the brand but thatís cool. I know I had a cult following at the time but I didnít realize that people would still have the passion after so many years.


    How did you end up in the framebuilding business? Breaking a lot of frames racing and decided to build my own. I went to welding school with the plan to work at Brew Bikes. I made the mistake of telling him I wanted to make my own frames and he didnít hire me after I moved to Boone, NC. So, I sold my charter boat and took the money to buy equipment and started on my own.


    Did you ever build forks. or just frames? A few but not many.


    I've seen pictures of a very cool trials Nevil,,,how many of those were built? 10-20


    How many different model did you build over the span of the company? Not sure, I did a lot of custom work too. I tried to count but ran out of fingers and toes.


    How many bikes do you think you built in total? Not enough to keep doing it. Around 1,000 total.


    I remember an article on a titanium frame...was it a one off? Essentially, I made about a Ĺ dozen. I coupled them with the Battle carbon rear end. I should not have used that rear end. I lost some market identity there.


    I had a brief conversation with a guy who worked with you building bikes, can't remember his name, but was it just you and one other person who built all the frames? I had four different people that helped over the years.


    What years were you building? Ď91-Ď98


    What made you shut down? Grew tired of rice and beans every day. It is a hard business to make a living. The guys doing it now deserve a lot of credit for their dedication to the craft. There are just a handful of the builders in it that we building when I was. I hope they have figured out how to thrive. They deserve success because they have worked hard to establish themselves.


    Any thoughts of restarting the frame business? No, I still have the equipment and may teach others how to build some day but no interest in production bikes.


    I really like the high BB, long top yube, and geometry of my Devil...what made you build that way outside the "norm" of the time? It was what worked for east coast riding styles. I would have made the top tubes longer but the tube sets were too short to go any longer. I would have had to use straight wall chromo and they would have weighed a ton.


    What tubing did you use on the non-Aermet steel frames? Easton, True Temper, Reynolds and Columbus


    Do you have any frames or parts left from back then? Yes, a few.


    Any pictures or articles you can share? team shots would be awesome. Yes, somewhere.


    Do you still ride/race MTB's? Ride yes, race, HAHAHAHAH. I am too old to care about how fast I am.


    Did you only build MTB's and trials, or did you do road frames as well? I probably built over 100 road frames.




    I think I better stop there, lol.


    Thanks again for indulging my collector's curiosity.


    Cheers,
    Steve

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Very cool. Great sense of humor too.

    What does your bike look like Steve?

  3. #3
    taste death, live life.
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    Interesting conversation.

    I recently sold a TET-built Aermet tubing Jamis. So, so light. I read it was hard to work with.

  4. #4
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
    Reputation: eastcoaststeve's Avatar
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    DC, you're right, this thread could use a few pics (and Neville does have a great sense of humor):





    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-img_1278.jpg





    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-img_1275.jpg




    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-img_1286.jpg




    I have some pics somewhere on my hard drive of other Nevils...I'll dig them up.





    Steve

  5. #5
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Random Nevil pics I have collected:









    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevil-devil-3.jpg

  6. #6
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevil_5.jpg




    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevil_7.jpg




    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilteam11.jpg

  7. #7
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevil_2-2-.jpg




    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevil_4-2-.jpg

  8. #8
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilteam10.jpg




    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilteam9.jpg



    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilteam5.jpg



    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilteam4.jpg



    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilteam1.jpg

  9. #9
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Name:  neviltrials.jpg
Views: 77
Size:  7.3 KB



    Name:  nevilgreen.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  11.4 KB



    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!-nevilrestomod.jpg

  10. #10
    gobsmacked Moderator
    Reputation: girlonbike's Avatar
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    Interview with Neville Cork of Nevil Cycles!

    Nice! So true what he said about making it as a framebuilder. Also interesting to hear him say he wanted to make the top tubes longer but his tube sets were too short. I'm glad you posted this thread. Nice to learn more about other obscure bikes.

  11. #11
    gobsmacked Moderator
    Reputation: girlonbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoaststeve View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Nevil_2 (2).jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	120.1 KB 
ID:	1146587




    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Nevil_4 (2).jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	119.4 KB 
ID:	1146588
    Who owns this one?

  12. #12
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Who owns this one?
    G,
    It belonged to a member here named "soulcha-cha".


    It is a great looking example.


    Steve

  13. #13
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoaststeve View Post
    G,
    It belonged to a member here named "soulcha-cha".


    It is a great looking example.


    Steve
    Yah. That fork looks good with it.

    Glad you uploaded the photos directly. I'll have to try and start a new thread and figure that out.

  14. #14
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    This is super, thanks for sharing.

  15. #15
    artistic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoaststeve View Post



    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nevilrestomod.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	94.1 KB 
ID:	1146596
    Would love to throw a leg over that thing.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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