Devin’s love affair with bikes started out on the dirt tracks of Riverside, CA. From there it spread to track and road and the rest is history. He’s constantly on a search to push Stinner’s build process further, making it more streamlined and efficient. Process is everything. For him it never feels like work, he’s just doing what he always wanted to do.
Interviewer: Tell me about what you do at Stinner.
Devin: I'm one of the fabricators, I guess you could call me the frame builder. I don't do any welding, but they hand me the tubes. I check everything out, cut the tubes, drill the holes, fit it into the jig, and then I pass it off to the welder. Basically, I take the tubes and make them something recognizable.
Interviewer: Before it gets passed on to the welder?
Devin: Yeah, and then he welds everything that I just put together.
Interviewer: How important is your process and craft in what you do? Obviously, this is something that you, as you mentioned, have a background in and went to school for.
Devin: Everyone does it their own way. When I went to school, I learned it a certain way from Yamaguchi. When I came here, Aaron taught me his way of building. Basically, everything that I've learned before was re-learned again when I came here. I think for the better. It's a streamlined process. I keep trying to better myself every single bike; I get a little bit faster, do it a little bit better. We do follow a procedure of this then that. The process is really important.
It is nice that everyone here kind of takes the time out of their day to actually do what they fell in love with to begin with, and not just focus on selling bicycles to people. I mean, it’d be cool if we just build stuff, too. I don’t really mind either way.
Interviewer: Why bikes? What do you love about bike culture?
Devin: Just the adventure of riding a bike, you can kind of go anywhere. You don't really have to spend any money except for the initial start-up cost, then also getting that extra fitness. I was a little bit bigger growing up, and riding around, just adventuring on my bike keeps me fit.
Interviewer: When did you first start riding bikes? Your earliest memory of bike riding?
Devin: I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 8. I rode BMX in middle school, like little pump tracks and jerk jumps that motocross riders had built in Riverside, which is where I grew up—Riverside, California. I put it down and skateboarded through high school, and didn't pick it up again until the start of college. That's when I got into road riding and track riding and various disciplines, basically dove into all of it.
Interviewer: Cool. When it comes to Stinner can you tell me about your path to get here, how you came to arrive at Stinner.
Devin: I dove back into cycling around 2007-2008, when I first started college. I started riding fixies and then I got into road riding and just learned different compatibilities and parts, wrenching in my garage, and then I worked at a bike shop. I just kept going deeper and deeper, and then I figured out that I wanted to build frames. I attended Yamaguchi Frame building School in Rifle, Colorado. That's where I learned how to build frames and braze, not tig weld, but braze. I saw an Instagram post from Aaron, and he was looking for a fabricator, so I said what the heck. I had the same machine shop job for like 8 years while I was going to school, and I was kind of tired of doing that after I'd graduated, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. Using the education that I have and some of the skills that I learned along the way, and then they hired me. It was a dream job come true.
Interviewer: The fact that they're going out on rides and you're riding after work. Is that an important part of what makes the company special, that it practices what it preaches?
Devin: Yeah, it's pretty rad that everyone still takes the time out of their day to ride their bike, even though they take so much time making them. I know that some builders get lost in just building and they become constructors and say that they don't really ride bikes anymore, which is cool too, because you can become an expert in just doing that. It's pretty rad. Yeah, it is nice that everyone here kind of takes the time out of their day to actually do what they fell in love with to begin with, and not just focus on selling bicycles to people. I mean, it'd be cool if we just build stuff, too. I don't really mind either way.