Adam Eldridge - Changing Gears


Adam Eldridge traded in his suits, BMW and
corporate marketing job for cycling tights, a
handcra ed bicycle and his own business. He’s the
owner and only employee of his start-up custom bike shop,
Stanridge Speed. Creating his own business came a er
discovering that being employed for a corporation le him
unsatis ed and didn’t provide an outlet for his deep love of
building things.
 
“When you get out of college, you think, ‘I’m going to be a
millionaire and make all this money,’ and then you really
start to realize what’s important and what’s not important,”
Eldridge says. “So here I am, going from driving a 7 Series
BMW to riding the COTA bus – but I’m much happier now.”
He oversees the bike-building process from beginning to
 nish, starting with taking the measurements of a customer
before handcra ing a custom frame. Eldridge estimates the
process takes 80 hours from start to  nish – 80 hours that
he squeezes in between shi s as a manager at Roll bike shop
at Easton, where he rides his bike every day from German
Village. In fact, he estimates he hasn’t driven a car in two to
three months.
 
His love for tinkering and creating was deeply in uenced
by his two grandfathers. “ ey were always building and
creating, and they were both self-made. So they weren’t
reliant on anyone else.” As a child, he spent summers living
with one grandfather who lived in Kentucky, and the other
in Tennessee. It’s from these two in uential  gures, George
Stanton and J.M. Eldridge, that the name Stanridge Speed is
derived.
 
Eldridge’s custom frames start at $1,750. When quality, labor
and the assurance that the bike is not coming from a faceless
factory are taken in account, the cost is wholly justi ed.
“I worked for corporations and at jobs that didn’t really
have meaning behind them. You start to wonder, ‘Is what
I’m doing really making a di erence in the grand scheme of
things?’ Whereas when I start o with this, I know that I’m
going to make this, somebody is going to ride it. I have a
direct e ect on each individual that I build a bike for.”