Saratoga Frameworks has shut down, but a new high-end bicycle-frame manufacturer will soon open somewhere in the county.
The Toronto-based No. 22 Bicycle Co. announced the hire of four workers left unemployed by last week’s closure. Company co-founder Bryce Gracey said he hired the team because of the quality product they produced at Saratoga Frameworks and its predecessor company, Serotta.
Founded in 2013 by Gracey and Michael Smith, No. 22 Bicycle Co. had contracted to have Saratoga Frameworks build their titanium frames. But when the company abruptly closed its Geyser Road shop last week, Gracey said he and Smith made the quick decision to hire the key workers who helped make the products designed by his company.
“We definitely didn’t want to lose connection with these guys,” he said Tuesday.
With a manufacturing workforce on board, Gracey said his company is now scouting locations throughout Saratoga County to set up shop. By April, he hopes the company — named after the number for titanium on the periodic table of elements — will be producing frames in New York rather than contracting the service out to other businesses.
“It’s the next logical step forward for us,” he said. “For us, it’s taking out the vulnerability of contract-building.”
Gracey said he may hire some of the other workers impacted by Saratoga Frameworks’ closure. He said his company aims to produce about 200 frames annually at the outset and may need more help.
The company was founded by Ben Serotta, a Saratoga Springs native who built bicycles for roughly four decades. At its peak, Serotta Competition Bicycles produced nearly 3,000 units a year and had a workforce of roughly four dozen employees.
The company was put up for sale in 2011 after an influx of inexpensive high-end bicycles from Asia flooded the market. The business was purchased by Bradway Capital, a private investment company based in Massachusetts, for approximately $1.5 million last year.
Serotta was initially merged with Blue Competition Cycles and Mad Fiber Wheels to form Divine Cycling Group. But the merger failed to produce more funding for the business, prompting Serotta to lay off nearly half of its workforce in 2013 and announce it would cease operations after completing all of its existing orders.
About a month later, Saratoga Frameworks announced it would set up shop at the old Serotta factory with much of the same staff. The new business model called for the company to make titanium and steel frames for various bicycle brands rather than just Serotta in an effort to increase business.
Last week, the company told workers the factory would likely go out of business.