With a background in painting and metal sculpture, Max got into bicycle building in 1993 through Rhygin Racing Cycles and Merlin Metalworks in Somerville, MA. Fueled equally by a passion for bicycles and metalworking Max dove headfirst into the world of bicycle building as a finisher and shipper with the intention of being a welder of titanium bicycles at Merlin. After many hours of practice and shattered nerves Max finally got the call-up to be a full-time welder of Merlin’s mysterious grey metal bikes.
In 1997, after doing production titanium welding at Merlin for 3+ years, the opportunity to work at the newly formed Seven Cycles presented itself and Max was on the move to the custom bicycle manufacturer. At Seven he was introduced to intricacies of custom bicycle building in a well designed, single piece flow production environment involving more contact with a streamlined building process. In his 8+ years at Seven, Max did production welding, machining, finishing, training of new welders, prototyping and frame repair in welded steel and titanium.
The year 2005 presented some new direction in the form of custom metal furniture, lighting and architectural elements at Gulassa and Co. in Seattle, WA. While at Gulassa, Max’s metalworking experience expanded exponentially into the many facets and processes that this well regarded company had to offer. Every day was something new, be it making a 300 lb. dining table, a custom swing-arm lamp, a fireplace, chairs, railings or a one-off funerary urn. The amount of hand work, machining, welding, grinding, sanding and patina work made for some great creative work experiences with a great crew.
Although his experience at Gulassa was very gratifying, the pull to make custom bicycle frames was too great. With his expanded metalworking knowledge and skills Max found a way back into frame building. Inspired by the “new” steel tubesets that were introduced by Columbus and Dedacciai in 2006, Max built his first frame as an independent fabricator under the name Bird and started welding titanium frames for local Seattle builder, Bill Davidson as well as doing independent contract metalwork for other custom fab shops (Argent Fabrications, DMA, and Saturn Designs).
In 2007 with the recent relocation of Bernard Georges, it all came together for the creation of 333fab. With generous help from Steve Hampsten in the form of shop space and use of equipment and tooling, 333fab got its start. Max continues to build frames in house for Hampsten Cycles on a regular basis and enjoys going to work and making custom steel and titanium bicycle frames every day.
Bernard’s cycling career started back in the late eighties with eight years on the mean streets of Boston, which taught him a lot about cycling. This led him to the bike shop world where he learned to wrench and work the retail floor. When that came to an end in the mid 90′s, Bernard had the opportunity to join Seven Cycles at its inception.
Starting as a finisher, Bernard had many adventures at Seven, including building show bikes for Interbike and helping Rob V. with the prototype bonding of carbon fiber tubes to Ti and Steel. He also got involved with R&D for their first dual-suspension bikes and 29er, back in the day. After a stint in machining, he cut his teeth in the welding department and ended up welding over a thousand frames for them.
Bernard left Seven in 2003 to experience the west coast. There he joined the Helen’s Cycles/I Martin family where he got to sell fancy bikes, kids trikes and all that ”sweet cream” in between. While in LA, fab work kept calling and Bernard got to work on more interesting projects on the side, including Ti kick stands for a set of motorcycle enthusiasts and a prototype walker for an intriguing entrepreneur, Stan Dashew. He also continued to dabble in bike welding with his good friend Trystan, and together, produced their own Ritchey breakaway model for a customer.
2007 found Bernard in Seattle where he and old friend and Seven co-worker Max K. got reacquainted. Determined to attend the NAHBS show, they decided to build under their own name, and 333fab was born. The rest is history …in the making.