About

Retrotec History

Retrotec started in 1992 when Bob Seals wanted to race his old cantilever frame. This set him on a way to produce quality modern geometry cruiser bikes. I moved to Chico, CA in 1993 to build the Retrotec frames for Bob when his first welder left. Living on the ranch was great and I learned a lot, but with Bob’s blessing I moved the company to San Francisco, CA in 1995. Curvy steel bikes were out of fashion at that time and very few orders were coming in. Bob probably thought I would just spin my wheels for a while and then the company would finally fold for good. I plugged along in San Francisco, building frames part-time, and experimenting with new Retrotec designs until 1998, when I moved the business to Napa, CA.

Since that time, custom bikes and curved-tubed bikes in general, have been embraced on a global level. We have Retrotec customers in Japan, Europe and the Philippines. I have added a number of new frame styles to the Retrotec mix over the years and continually update the geometry since tire sizes change every time I blink. If someone had told me in 1993 that my “summer job” would last this long, I don’t think I would have believed it.

Inglis History

I launched Inglis Cycles in 1996 while living in San Francisco, CA. I was sharing a live-work space with the Sycip brothers South of Market and wanted to offer a more traditional straight tube frame in addition to Retrotec. After extensive market research and a focus group, I decided to cash in on my last name for this brand… or I couldn’t think of a clever name, so I stuck with my last name. Whatever the case, here we are twenty years later.

With both types of frames, I can offer customers just about anything they would want.

Thank you for your interest in my bikes.
– Curtis

Timeline

1968 Born
1985 First bike shop job.
1986 Fired from first bike shop job. Hired back to same bike shop job 6 months later.
1987 Joined the Air Force. Traveled the world. Learned to weld.
1992 Bought first mountain bike, the Diamondback Apex. You know it, the blue and black one.
1993 Graduated from the University of Southern Napa with a Drafting Associate degree and moved to Chico, CA to work for Retrotec.
1995 Moved Retrotec to San Francisco, CA.
1996 Launched Inglis Cycles. Continued to build Retrotecs when orders came in.
1998 Moved me, my new wife and the bike building business to Napa, CA.
2002 Re-launched Retrotec with some new frame designs. That’s marketing speak to remind people that we were still making bikes.
2008 Hosted SSWC08 here in Napa with the help of a bunch of friends and family.
Present Day Still building and riding bikes. I can’t believe it’s been over 20 years! Feeling pretty lucky that I get to have this rad job. I might have won a few building awards here and there too, but I don’t like to call attention to that stuff. My wife made me mention it though.