Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Imperfection is Perfection
A Film About Richard Sachs and his Bicycles

For nine months in 2007, film maker Des Horsfield made a documentary about bicycle frame builder Richard Sachs. Horsfield's film takes an intimate look into the life and mind of the bicycle frame builder as Richard Sachs talks about why he does what he does, exactly as he does it. The story reveals his reasons for entering the frame building trade, how and why he works only with steel, and why the entities of Sport and Bicycle have remained inseparable to him.

Check out the trailer at Des Horsfield Productions.
Click here to read the video review by Ready To Ride.
Click here to read the video review by The Austin Bike Blog.
Click here to read the video review by The Washing Machine Post.
Click here to read the video review by Cyclocross Magazine.
Click here to read the video review by Bicycle Quarterly.
Click here to read the video review on Frameforum Dot Org.
Click here to read the video review on Belgiun Knee Warmers.
Click here to read the video review on Bicycle Retailer.
Click here to read the video review on Bike Radar.
Click here to read the video review on Momentum.

Random Quotes -
"Desmond Horsfield has composed a film that comprises superbly each of the dimensions of Richard Sachs' life. It includes Sachs' history in the sport, his life as a cyclist, and, of course, his mastery as a builder; as a result, this documentary is an indispensable window into both framebuilding and Sachs himself. It's a must-have for anyone who loves the art."
— Padraig, Belgium Knee Warmers

"I felt as if I was peeking through a keyhole into the humble life of a framebuilding legend. The film left me with an even deeper respect for the craft."
— Brian Riepe, Mountain Flyer Magazine

"Imperfection is Perfection is an invitation into the home studio of Richard Sachs, where he shares his story and some of the insights of his career. I loved learning about the early decisions that led Sachs to the craft of bike building. If you are a creative person who has followed your own vision and you have learned that the world sometimes has other plans, this film will appeal to you. What this film does not show is the great influence that Sachs has had in the revival of the craft of bicycle building in North America. Sachs simply offers his wisdom and experience with grace. Richard Sachs humility is a testament to the joy and dignity to be found in doing something that you love, and doing it well, every day."
— Amy Walker, Momentum Magazine

"This film is a lush behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's premiere framebuilders. It is great that people are recognizing and documenting not only Mr. Sachs, but his craft as well. Through the inter-cutting of Sachs riding one of his own machines we are constantly reminded that it is exactly these excursions that have helped him fine-tune the ride quality of his bicycles.
"What the film does well is bring a humanistic aspect to the process, taking us into his shop, letting us glimpse the unfinished product and what goes into bringing that to life. Some of my favorite shots were of Mr. Sachs building up and working on one of the cyclocross frames that I have grown accustomed to seeing on the many cross courses of New England. The red and white of these frames, at least for me, has shaped the face of the Cyclocross on the East Coast. Thanks for paying tribute to that. "

— Jeremy Dunn, Embrocation Magazine

"Imperfection is Perfection is not about bicycles, nor is it a promotion for a bicycle builder. Rather, I think it is more about a person's journey. It's a look at an individuals quest for excellence, from a philosophical starting point, through a progression of experiences, and to a place of relative contentment and understanding.
"As we follow this journey, we gain an appreciation of both the person and the object of his craft in a way that has nothing to do with the sport of bicycling. The film, and the story within, should relate to audiences on a number of levels, and not just to bicycle enthusiasts or those in the industry. It is very well done and does not pander or promote. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates hand-crafted objects, and the craft-persons creating them, which really should be everyone."
— Wayne Bingham, Director of Le Cirque du Cyclisme

"Having known Richard for about 4 or 5 years, I know his passion for cycling runs deeper than most. Whether it be his cyclo-cross racing, his framebuilding, or his countless hours surfing cycling sites online, this man is as immersed in a culture as one could be. It truly shows in this film, how deep his roots are within the cycling culture. He is the truly the "Prince Charming" of the cycling hierarchy."
— Don Walker, Framebuilder and founder of NAHBS

"An enthralling glimpse into the life of a master framebuilder. Those who have an appreciation of the work of a craftsman will love this film. Everyone who watches will come away with an understanding of how rare Richard Sachs' attention to his craft is in today's mass-produced world, and why Richard and those like him are more important now than ever before."
— Eric Norris, Campy Only


darren.lavallee said...

very neat to see richard talk about various aspects of his work. he is completely committed in everything he does.

i feel lucky to own and ride a sachs frame.

john said...

I ordered this DVD on a whim after I read the review at BKW and Embrocation Magazine. I sat down and opened a beer on the first day of my vacation and thoroughly enjoyed this film. I liked the look back in history and how the Sachs brand came to be. Richard's style makes me think of the Japanese wabi-sabi.

Anonymous said...

i have been studying about many frame builders in US for past few years, after watching this DVD, i can 100% say that Richard Sachs is the BEST of the BEST.

krausmc said...

As a close friend of RS and lucky (atmo) one who gets to ride his frames on the RS cross team, hearing him out his inners on this DVD adds depth, pride and an understanding to his way of being through his work.

Mr.G said...

Having ridden Richard's bikes for the last 25 years, and counting him as one of my dearest friends, I was like a kid in a candy store waiting in anticipation to see this short film on him, for which I was not disappointed.

I've been lucky enough to be a guest in Richard's home on a number of occasions; spent time in his work shop, and ridden with him in and around Chester, CT. I think the film did a fine job in capturing the very essence of The Man and what it is that drives him to do what he does.

Richard chased his dream over 30 years and now lives the life he has spent creating it; it's something that most people will never get to experience. And for those of us that are lucky enough to own one of his prized bikes, we get to experience the fruits of his labor and love affair with lugged steel every time we mount up and pedal off.

In the end Richard's never ending quest to achieve frame perfection is rooted in the fact that he knows it's an unobtainable goal . . . Imperfection Is Perfection.

flahute said...

I've known Richard for a little over 7 years now, and have two bikes that he has built for me ...

Des Horsfield's documentary gave me an even better insight into the thought, work, and craftsmanship that Richard puts into every single frame he builds, in that neverending quest for perfection in an inherently imperfect vocation.

ronnie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
drew.hartman said...

The Dvd was awesome, watching the video reminded me of when i started cooking, i thought it was all glitz and glamour. instead it was peel the garlic kid.
thanks for the insight into a world of true master craftsman.

Forest Bikes said...

It's hard to know what to say, but either you appreciate the video for what it demonstrates and represents or not. Most people wouldn't understand just how good it is if they've never worked with their hands. Anyone who aspires to be a artist/craftsmen should own this video. I'll be showing it to my high school sculpture classes.

ronnie said...

"the best of the best," need i say more! histoy, art, craft and pride
by a "one of a kind man!"
a "must have" dvd to enjoy over and over. "spencer at his best too"


Rebecca said...

dear richard,

i am sitting in limoux, france right now and thinking about the 30 letters you wrote to various frame builders. i know lightweight cycles was in england but i'm kind of close to there right now so it just made me think about that. all i'd have to do is drive to the north of france and then take the chunnel. then i'd be in england where you learned how to make your steeds...wild.

i respect the 30 letters you wrote to get you to where you are now. it's hearing stories like those that make me want to take chances to do something i love too.

thanks for that,
rebecca much

mike scammon said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this DVD. It dives into the craft of frame building through the mind of master builder Richard Sachs. Beautiful film work. As a budding builder myself, I would have enjoyed a sequential rendering of a build from the first tube mitre to the final clear coat, but perhaps in vol2, eh? What the viewer will come away with, is the confirmation that Richard is a master of the craft. Correction: *The* master of the craft, and it shines through his file and through his torch, leaving a mark of craftsmanship seldom seen, in an arena too few play in anymore.

Svelte Cycles - Product Reviews said...

I've know Richard for a long time now and his passion for the sport and bicycles in general still amazes me. He is relentless, passionate and true icon in not only the world of custom frame-building but also cycle-sport in general. This video depicts his rise to the top and the motivations behind it with candor and a uniquely positive energy. Pretty inspirational actually...

amy said...

The DVD stays on the top of the pilemo... a great film and a great story of a role model to countless people. e-RICHIE for president atmo.

Anonymous said...

The film gives you a great perspective into the bike industry and how most of us end up in it. Either by chance, or by the passion for the machine, we find ourselves foregoing careers that would afford us more financially in favor of that which makes us feel fulfilled. It's nice to see the honesty he puts forth about the craft and the learning elements involved in everyday life.

Robert Isaac said...

Special thanks to Richard. I ordered the DVD and in true postal service fashion, it never made it to me. Richard was very helpful and shipped me a new one right away. Great documentary, especially if you're into the mechanics of our great sport. Thanks again Richard. I appreciate the help.

$chola said...

Great to see Richard in action. I would have to loved to have heard more about fitting riders to the frame - but there are other places for that.

It's good to know there is room in the world for people who are willing to stick to their visions without compromise.

Bob Hodges said...

This is a wonderful film that cyclists and their non-cycling friends can enjoy. Anyone who appreciates pursuing their life's passion will love it.

As an RS frame owner who visited the shop and spent a little time with Richard, you feel a sense of connection to his philosophy of perfection is imperfection. This will be a film I'll enjoy watching over and over again.

creighton said...

I have watched many many times...and is always in rotation! The DVD case has also served as a coaster for the morning coffee!