Handbuilt Bicycle News


Groovy Cycleworks

Mark Hallinger

Monday 19 February 2018

Groovy, man!

Groovy Cycleworks is Wooster, Ohio reisdent Rody Walter's one-man business. He brings fun to the custom bike world with wild paint jobs, and now he uses a new ceramic finish material to make his paint as tough as the bikes themselves.

Groovy, man!
Photo: Groovy Cycleworks

Groovy Cycleworks hails from the northern Ohio town of Wooster, and Rody Walter is the owner and founder. He has been in business since 1994 and Hartford is his 10th NAHBS.

He makes about 15 bikes per year: “Born one at a time for each individual customer,” says Walter. You can’t buy a Groovy Cycleworks frameset; Walter only offers full builds with titanium, aluminum and steel tubes, but offers all styles of bikes - mountain bikes being his specialty.

Rody Walter of Groovy Cycleworks at the 2018 NAHBS in Hartford.  Photo: Mark Hallinger

Groovy is truly a one-man operation. Walter does all of his own welding, machining, and painting, and his bikes often sport his Groovy brand cranks, stems, seatposts and distinctive “Luv handles” handlebars. The dropouts on his frames are either handmade or from Paragon Machine Works.

Like many domestic builders in the U.S., Walter is mourning the demise of True Temper’s steel bicycle tubing division. Although he has some True Temper left, Walter has recently been using Columbiana, Ohio-based Vari-Wall’s tubesets, and “supporting a fellow Ohioan,” he says.

A typically funky Groovy Cycleworks paintjob. Photo courtesy Groovy Cycleworks.

Given their counterculture, hippie theme, Groovy are known for intricate, creative paintjobs that can often be described as psychedelic. Walter does all the paint in-house and the finish can be powder coat, liquid coat or, more recently, a ceramic finish called Cerakote.

The latter is an offshoot from military applications that has come to the civilian market in the last few years, and thankfully for Groovy it’s now available in colors other than olive drab, tan, brown and a few shades of black that the military might use.

Walter likes the finish as it is very tough, thin and durable. It’s also lightweight. It adheres to the metal at a molecular level, and can vary from having a sheen to being flat in appearance, based on application.