Eastern Bikes may have started in 1996 but the idea was sparked sometime in 1992 when Mike Corley had problems with a frame he was running and the company wouldn’t warranty it. Mike was taking welding classes at the time. He wanted a frame he could trust, so he decided to take measures into his own hands. Mike didn’t actually do the welding but knew enough to cut the tubes and get the pieces ready to weld.
There were a total of four frames made and were ridden by Mike Corley, Jon Byers, Mike Mancuso and one other person who we just can’t remember. Jon and Mike for them for two years with out a single problem and no one broke one. A few years later Mike and Jon started Eastern Bikes and the rest is history. In fact Jon recalls; “The thought of starting a bike company was never really the purpose… it was just to build a few frames, but the experience spawned the thoughts of a bike company that wouldn’t leave us alone for the next few years.“
Take a look at Jon’s personal frame and see where it all started…
The rear triangle was cut from a Schwinn. The front-end was made of chromoly bought locally.
The dropouts were cut with a grinder Mike had in the garage, hey he didn’t have any real tools then.
The tubes were welded by a friend of Mike’s. The welds weren’t pretty, but it was never meant to sell these frames. Random fact: The welder now resides in jail.
The Fatty decals were die-cut down by a local sticker maker, Harwood Designs who are still in business today. And the owner was attacked by a knife.
Another friend of Mikes was restoring and old Vette and he used some extra paint to give it a 74’ corvette yellow paint job.
Jon Byers riding the very same Fatty frame you saw above in 1993 on a big vert ramp in Florida.
Mike riding his Fatty on Jon’s backyard ramp.