Behind the Weld: Get to know Wildwood Cycles

Ever wonder what it takes to build a custom bike frame? We are taking a little dive into the minds of some of our favourite local Canadian custom frame makers to get a glimpse of where they came from, why they do what they do, and whats next for them. And perhaps give you inspiration for your next dream build.

For part two of Behind The Weld, we have a chat with Jesse from Wildwood Cycles, who has been making custom bikes on Vancouver Island for many years now.

Who are you, where are you from, what’s your favorite color?

Jesse Hildebrandt, 32 years young from Vancouver Island. Favourite colour: green   

How, why,  and when did you get into building custom bikes? 

I started building bikes just out of interest in 2011. I had a few years of repairing friends and my own broken bikes before getting kind of obsessed with frame-building. I worked in fabrication and machine shops for my whole life, so I built some skills and knowledge up before getting some tube sets and figuring it out. I never had a name for the brand or knew what direction things were going to go however I did know that I wanted to see unique and quality bikes made from metal in Canada.

What has been the biggest challenge to get to where you are now in the industry?

There are so many challenges with running a business, let alone being a framebuilder and trying to exist in the bike industry. I guess the answer is money.

How do you work with clients to determine their needs and wants when designing their bikes?

I usually just ask people to tell me what bike they are on at the moment, what they like and don’t like about it, see what kind of riding they are looking to do and what kind of terrain thats on. Then we’ll look at their measurements and pick some tubes and colours and try and get it to them as quick as possible.

What are your favourite materials, techniques, and parts to use when building bikes?

Lately I’ve been building more with titanium. I really like how light the bikes can be and having control over the finish process of anodization vs handing the frame off to a powder-coater and praying they do a good job and not damage the frame. My full suspensions with titanium front triangle and steel rear triangles have a pretty unique feel.


What is your favorite bike you have built to date?

Its for sure my current V2 full suspension. It’s the most capable bike ive ever built and the geometry suits my needs perfectly. Punch up to Rip down.

Where do you see yourself and your brand in the future? 5 years on? 10 years?

Im just focused on keeping what I do sustainable for myself. Right now i’m in a good balance of being about as big as I could be as a 1 person show could be. Growth is good but its always been best when its slow and grass roots.

Any shoutouts?

Mega thank you to everyone who has ever supported Wildwood. People who choose to spend their money on a bike made in Canada are being the change they hopefully want to see in the future. A future where we have more local manufacturing and can support one another.


If you like what you’ve read and seen, and are inspired to get a new bike made locally, check out their website for more info.

For Manufacturers in Canada who would like to learn more about our insurance broker services, please contact us at or call 1-877-621-6940

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