In a recent email sent to their dealers, Waterford Precision Cycles and Gunnar Cycles announced that they will be closing up shop at the end of June. With several employees planning their imminent retirements, including owner Richard Schwinn, they made the tough decision to cease production and wind down operations. Waterford and Gunnar are no longer taking orders for new bikes or restorations and are focusing on building the last of their existing orders to the exacting standards that have made them beloved brands ove the years.
In the three decades since Waterford took over Schwinn’s Paramount facility in Wisconsin, they’ve built tens of thousands of custom steel bikes in America’s Dairyland. In addition to the celebrated frames Waterford has built under its own name—including mine, pictured here—they’ve also manufactured frames for the likes of Rivendell Bicycle Works, Salsa, the Milwaukee Bicycle Co., Shinola Detroit, and others. Built under the same roof, Gunnar Bikes was founded in 1998 and focused on more affordable US-made options with stock and custom geometry.
We’re hopeful that someone who understands its value will step in to help resurrect production instead of losing Waterford to the annals of cycling history, though it’s unclear how the company’s legacy will continue without many of its key employees. We’ll be sure to share any updates as they become available. For now, we can say that Waterford and Gunnar will be greatly missed in the world of American framebuilding!
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