The TIG torch of James Bleakley, the man who started Black Sheep back in 1999, welds every Black Sheep bike. He’s
welded hundreds of frames over the years,
each with a specific rider in mind, and none
of them “stock.” His custom bikes are built
with custom geometry, sizing and features
to fit the needs of the person who’s going
to be turning the pedals and to match the
trails that rider wants to turn them on.
This custom-build philosophy allows
James to take on the wildest projects
involving the newest trends and technologies. Whether it’s an XC race bike or a
long-haul bikepacking bike, a tandem or
a townie; if you can dream it, James can
probably build it. It’s that mentality that led to
James’ first 36er, a bike he built for himself.
The 36er we’re testing is his son’s personal bike,
built to handle the rigorous trails on the Front
Range of Colorado. We brought this bike in to see
if those huge hoops could actually be used to make a
bike that’s worth riding and not merely a sideshow freak.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
Any Black Sheep bike is made specifically for the rider who
orders it. There are no stock frames, no “standard” wheel sizes
and very few rules when it comes to requesting a bike. When
Master craftsmanship: Black Sheep’s welds are neat as a pin.
Their bikes sport elegant lines throughout.
Double everything: The double top tube is a signature feature on
most of Black Sheep’s bikes.