Lauren Trout fabricates custom titanium and steel frames that seamlessly blend form and function in her Austin, Texas workshop. After a long history in the New England frame building scene, mainly at Seven Cycles in the Boston area, Trout relocated to her native Texas in 2014 to reconnect with her roots and eat all of the tacos. Each frame is individually designed and fabricated from scratch to suit the specific rider’s fit and purpose. With a modern classic aesthetic, Trout’s finely crafted machines speak for themselves, letting the smooth welds and clean lines do the talking. When she's not making bikes, she's likely to be riding them or talking about them over beers and aforementioned tacos.
ITCHY: When did you start Saila Bicycles? Who is behind it?
LAUREN TROUT: Saila was started in 2010 by me and well, me.
ITCHY: When and where did you learn building bikes? What led you to start building?
LAUREN TROUT: I started learning frame building at Seven Cycles in 2006 when I got an entry level position on the production floor where I started out as a finisher. Before that, I had been a messenger off and on for about 9 years in several different cities in the U.S. After I eventually ended up in Boston in 2004, I had some friends who were working at Independent Fabrication, which was based in the area at the time. I steadily became more interested in the fabrication aspect of things, and although I loved riding everyday, I was looking for a way to get out of slinging packages. I wanted to be in a shop. Soon thereafter, I submitted a resume to Seven and they hired me in June of 2006. I started as a finisher which I really liked but I was hungry. I wanted to learn everything.
ITCHY: A bunch of reasons that led you to start Saila Bikes
LAUREN TROUT: I started learning how to weld on my own time and eventually moved into welding full time. As time went on, I started learning more and more, and then I realized I could make a complete frame start to finish. I started Saila as a side project just to have a way to make my own thing the way I wanted it. I then realized I really liked doing my own thing so I kept at it. I still work at Seven and luckily they are supportive of this, and have been great to me the whole time. They’ve let me learn all the things I wanted to learn which I feel very grateful for. I’ve been taught by some of the best builders in the industry.
I: Why the name Saila Bicycles?
LT:The name Saila (officially Saila Bicycles not bikes :)) is alias spelled backwards. When I was trying to think of a name they were all nicknames or aliases of mine but I didn’t like any of them. So i decided to flip it and call it Saila.
I: Do you have a favorite material for building?
LT: With Saila I make TIG welded steel and titanium frames, which I like in different ways. I was brought up on mostly Ti so I guess I prefer that in its purity and ability to stand unpainted. But I also love riding and building steel. They’re both awesome- just different. At this point I’m making all things road, track, cross, touring, etc., but i have made quite a few track bikes in the past. I like making track bikes because it’s the cleanest, sleekest look, and I’ve been into that style of riding since my early messenger days. My aim at frame building is making things that are fairly simple, but awesome. I feel like I like to let the bikes speak for themselves. Most things I make aren’t particularly flashy or trendy- just classic, well made, and streamlined.
Read more of Lauren's interview on Itchy