AARON STINNER: OWNER/FOUNDER/FABRICATOR
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Aaron Stinner and I handcraft custom bicycle frames in Santa Barbara, California. I love riding bikes, but more importantly I enjoy both the challenge and the incredible reward of building bikes that are designed perfectly for an individual.
I have been riding bikes for as long as I can remember. It started with building street ramps out of plywood and two-by-fours when I was 5 years old. I would ride anywhere my legs would take me. Even at an early age I loved the idea of how far a bike can take you.
I got my first “real” mountain bike (Specialized Rockhopper) in 1996 when my family moved to Santa Rosa, CA. Annadel State Park was in our backyard, and I rode the trails daily. Soon after I was introduced to a small, local, junior cycling team and as they say, it was all downhill from there. My first road bike was a steel Lemond Zurich. I loved that bike. I cleaned it after every ride and quickly learned to be my own mechanic. It was the first time I felt the love between man and machine.
My family relocated to Santa Barbara in 2001. I joined a junior cycling team, and raced my bike all over the country throughout high school. I also got a job at a local bike shop. I learned a lot about bikes and got discounts on bike parts. It was heaven. If I wasn’t riding or racing, I was working on bikes.
I continued racing throughout college at UCSB, but the racing was getting faster and school was getting harder. I began to enjoy the training rides more and the racing less. Doping was in full swing and professional cycling was not for me. I gave up racing, started mountain biking again— sharing rides with friends— and re-discovered my love for cycling.
I graduated from UCSB and started working full time at a bike shop. I knew I wanted to get a job in the cycling industry, but realized that the corporate bike industry was not for me. At this point in time I had fit thousands of people on bicycles, worked for professional cycling teams and managed a bike shop. All with unsatisfying results. I did know two things though: I wanted to be passionate about what I was doing, and it had to involve bicycles. I wanted to build bikes that I knew would fit the rider, and last a lifetime. I wanted the rider to get on the bike, ride it anywhere, and trust the machine they were riding.
I went to the United Bicycle Institute (UBI) in January of 2010 to learn how to braze my own bicycle frames. For over 30 years UBI has been churning out America’s best frame builders. It was an amazing experience. Building bikes that are made to fit the rider and last a lifetime is an incredible skill. Luckily, I had a decade worth of experience. At UBI, I found my passion. I came home excited and ready to make my dream come true. Stinner Frameworks was born.
Cycling is nothing but trouble. Bikes are great; don’t get me wrong. But what’s worse than a troublemaker? A troublemaker that can go 10 times as far and fast. What started out as skids around the block, turned into dirt jumps in and around town, which turned into mountain bike racing and riding, and led eventually to road and cyclocross racing. From the age of 4 I’ve been getting lost and ruining bike stuff non-stop.
There is almost no style of riding that I haven’t attempted. While road and mountain riding take up most days, BMX and cross racing have played a huge role in the rider I’ve become. If it’s got two wheels, I’ve probably at least given it a shot. Over the past few years I’ve gravitated towards the ultra endurance side of mountain biking; there’s nothing quite like getting up at dawn and riding until dark. And it’s some damn fine peace and quiet.
Fixing the aforementioned bike stuff has taken me from ‘repairing’ my own bikes to working with professional teams and the best shops as a mechanic and now to Stinner FW. I’m inordinately particular about what I’m riding and custom bikes are a natural outlet for this neurotic obsession with having everything just so. I can only spend so much time making my own bikes perfect, so now I can spend all day making our riders bikes just right. Now I’ve got my dream job!
I met Aaron while racing for the University of California Santa Barbara collegiate cycling team. Turns out, we’re both picky about our bikes. We’ve spent the years we’ve known each other talking, riding, and now making bikes. This is the absolute best place to take what I know and make really cool bikes!