The story of Heim

The seed is planted...

My story starts pretty much as any other kid, stowed in a burley, continuing on four wheels, eventually throwing out a couple, ending with a pair. My parents were active folks, often throwing us kids in their 76' VW Transporter along with bikes and tents. Growing up in Northern Norway, in a small city (Bodø), nature was never far away. I remember my father was a handy man, and I liked watching him as he opened his black metal toolbox and got his hands dirty fixing his bikes at home, with me sitting by his side handing over tools that weren't relevant to the job needed to be done. He was and still is a very active biker. One could rarely get a glimpse of his moustache flapping in the wind and his thin red marathon shorts as he flew by on his steel machine. I landed my first job at the age of twelve. I wanted to work at the local bike shop called Sykkelhuset, because they knew what they were doing and the guys working there were into freeriding and downhill, when this was just starting to get noticed in Norway. We're talking chunky "square" aluminium frames, massive Marzocchi forks with the bridge that literally looked like a bridge, big block twin calipers, oversized chain guides, and big bashguards. Cool? I thought so. I remember being scared of working there because my boss had quite a short fews, but as time passed we got to know each other well. I stayed for eight years, starting with floor cleaning, eventually becoming a full trained mechanic, until mandatory military service requiered my attention. Still to this day, I owe Bengt (my boss) a big thanks for teaching me so much. He is still there, being the very best at bikes and repairs.

The move...

After my time in the army as a K9 dog trainer, I headed for Trondheim. Love was what got me here, and when love left, I stayed put. I got a job as a bike mechanic, but after a while became discouraged over the quality of the bikes being sold in our store. My training from Sykkelhuset ingrained in me with the concept of selling only quality bikes, that naturally cost more, but you got your money’s worth, and with it a good team of knowledgeable mechanics! So I quit and started studying, but it wasn't right, so I jumped off and got a job doing something completely different. I got to know Trondheim well through this environment and met inspiring people. Jens Olav was one of these guys, the man behind the clothing brand Livid Jeans, making handmade denim jeans. I was in awe, and I wanted to be in that situation myself, creating, perfecting, with high quality in mind. One day while skimming through a bike magazine I got hung up on an article on fillet brazed steel bicycles made in Detroit. I started looking more into it, and discovered the world of handmade bicycle frames. My interest for bikes came back strong, and as we celebrated Christmas in Minnesota the same year, I visited a bunch of bike shops, asking if anyone knew what the deal was with bespoke frames, and if they knew of anybody making them in Minnesota. I guy at a local shop, Omnium bike shop, told be about a guy north of St. Paul, called Paul Wyganowski who was a builder and taught courses.

The beginning...

Getting in touch with Paul really got things tumbling into what I'm doing today. His teacher was Terry Osell and Terry's teacher again was Tim Paterek, as in the Paterek manual (a grand master in building bicycle frames). Not really knowing what I was getting into, I signed up for a one-on-one 3-week fillet course with Paul in Princeton, Minnesota the following summer. Though I had an understanding and experience with bikes mechanically, I'd never touched a torch, run a file across metal and for sure had never made something that you need to rely on, being built perfecty. Long days were a given, driving up from St. Paul daily, learning how to build in old school ways and heading back at night. We're talking miters by hand, full scale blue prints, building off table and barely touching a jig until the very end of the building process. For him it was necessary for me to learn this way, even though it's time consuming as a beginner. His reason? Simply because it makes you a better builder, gives you a better understanding, and builds a solid foundation of the craft. I managed well, and at the end I had my own fillet brazed frame, fork, and stem, all powder coated and set for my flight home. 
Upon returning to Norway, I set up meetings and tried to get the money I needed to set up shop. Thing is, it wasn't going to be easy, and nobody was really interested in my ideas! The only help was the bank. Having a low paid job only sufficed for a minor loan, not really giving me much to work with, so I decided to start a bike shop instead, just to get the word out and gradually buy tools from the repairs and from some of the products I would sell. I did this for two and a half years, going under the name Stålstua. I created a different kind of bike shop, serving great coffee in an atmosphere other than the in-and-out rush of a regular bike shop, repairing and restoring bikes, and showing off my own bike from the States. Most people thought it was cool, shrugged their shoulders, smiled politely and headed off again. I understood them. Here's a guy running a bike shop, but not really interested in running that bike shop because he wants to build bikes. Someone working a part time job, scraping together tools, not knowing what his brand is called, not knowing the answers to more detailed questions on manufacturing, just nodding, shrugging his shoulders and smiling politely. My goal was set anyway, I just needed enough tools to get off the ground, and I did eventually. As of april 2017 I started my own brand, Heim bicycles, a name that popped into my head out of many ideas. It fit because as I was showing my one bike at a small show for small businesses in Trondheim. People of all ages had the same reaction, - they got a sense of childhood memories and a positive feeling from it. Heim is an old Norwegian name for home. I thought it fit well because home for most people is a good feeling, and for me everything about a bike gives a good feeling. So I set a goal. I entered the Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show. By the time it started I would have a bicycle frame produced in my own shop and the name set.

Up until today...

My first frame was finished literally one day before the Bespoked show in Bristol. The reason I wanted to go to Bespoked UK was simple. I wanted to meet other builders, get inspired, and talk to people who were genuinely interested in the same things I was. It gave me a loads of inspiration and showed me how high the level of custom building was from the guys that live from it. From that point on, I've been working less in my part time job (Still need it to make ends meet) and more in my shop, transforming it into Heim bicycles. My bikeshop is still there, but now is under my brand Heim, instead of two separate entities, as my goal has always been to build bikes. I got my certificate for a registered trademark recently, gradually upgrading tools, all while learning the craft of making custom steel bikes. As of today, I've finished a complete second build - a lugged frame with a handmade fork and stem. This will be showcased at Bespoked UK 2018. I've also started on my third frame, which is my first fillet frame, that will become a touring bike, made from Columbus SP tubing dated to 1980. I'm now on my way to my second Bespoked show in Bristol (2018), to meet the same great people, make more contacts, get more inspired and start establishing myself as professional builder.