Made in Carolinas: Kish Fabrication

CARBORO—Bicycles have seemingly always been a part of Jim Kish's life.

He once led bike tours and now he builds and sells bike frames with his company Kish Fabrication. Kish makes his bike frames out of titanium and there are advantages to do so.

"It's really strong and light. Unfortunately, it's really expensive. But if you know what you're doing and make the bike right the first time, they just kind of last forever," said Kish.

Many bikes on the market now are flashy and covered with logos, but that's not what customers get from Kish Fabrication.

"They're a lot simpler and more understated than a lot of the bikes now,” said Kish.

Kish is in his comfort zone, making a bike a week, which ends up being around 50 bikes a year. He said he does so in order that his customers don’t end up waiting for several months in order to get their bike. The frames can be constructed for any type of riding, but they are generally hybrids.

"A lot of times you can sort of split the difference between a few disciplines and, and make a bike that'll fit that person better," said Kish.

He brought his operation to Carrboro from California about four years ago.

“We moved here because this is where we wanted to be and it was just an added bonus that there was a real strong cycling community,” said Kish.

Recently he has begun passing along his bike-building knowledge to others, but at this point there's no fear that he's creating competition.

"I've got a couple decades jump on everybody, so I'm not, I'm not too worried about it," said Kish.

Twenty-three years in, there's no end in sight for Kish Fabrication.

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