Brian Williams and his Kelson brand enjoy a legendary stature within the cycling community of South Eastern Idaho. For years, Brain has been quietly building exquisite custom bicycles with sales and distribution driven almost entirely by word-of-mouth. He is considered a visionary and a genius by his friends and customers who have been fortunate enough to own and ride his bikes.
To really know and love these bikes, it helps to have a sense of how they are made. Brian is a born tinkerer with the aesthetic of an artist and a meticulous attention to detail. He is not in the business of mass producing bicycles. Kelson is a one-man operation. Brian builds your bike from start to finish. He takes the time to know the bike that is right for you and takes the time to build it right. Every bicycle that he builds is unique to its individual owner.
Unlike many custom builders, Brian has extensive experience with a variety of materials (steel, titanium, and carbon) as well as a wide variety of bicycles (road, mountain, and cyclocross). As tempting as it might be to treat these bikes like works of art, they have untold miles of real world testing in races, club rides, and the broken pavement and gravel of the back roads of Idaho.
Brian has a long history with steel, from the bikes he raced as teenager to the first Kelson bikes that he built. Steel frames are beautiful, ride like a dream, and provide a link to the golden age of cycling. But a steel Kelson is not just a piece of nostalgia. The same qualities of steel that have made it the material of choice for generations of bicycles are still relevant in to a modern bicycle. With custom fit, expert assembly, and up-to-date technology, steel is better than ever. Consider steel for your next cross bike.
Even in the age of carbon, titanium is a miraculous material; light, strong, and corrosion resistant with a lively and outstanding ride quality. It is probably the best frame material choice for most people. Brian’s primary fame as a builder can be traced to his heirloom quality titanium frames. Many of these frames have insane mileage on them and their owners without exception will tell you they are the best bikes they have ever ridden.
Steel and titanium are still highly viable materials, but carbon is the material at the cutting edge of cycling. These are the lightest, fastest frames in the world. Building a perfect fully custom carbon frame became an obsession with Brian. He spent many months and countless hours designing, building, breaking, and testing carbon framesets. In doing so, he developed unique and innovative processes that are at the heart of every carbon Kelson frame. Brian took some of his carbon bikes to Lotoja, the grueling 206 mile Logan-to-Jackson race. Clinton Mortley, the previous year’s winner was on one of the new carbon bikes. He commented afterwards that the bike is so light, tough, and comfortable you forget it is there.
Given the location of Kelson in a wild, sparsely populated area of Idaho, a lot of the testing of Brian’s bikes has taken place on the almost limitless grid of lightly traveled asphalt and gravel roads that extend from his doorstep. As Brian explored the high desert, rolling farmlands, and mountains around Ashton, his friends started to take notice. Before long, they were going on all-day adventure rides over virtually every imaginable road surface. They rode road, mountain, and cyclocross bikes. None of the bikes seemed perfect to Brian. The result of these rides is the new RAD series of bikes from Kelson. Utilizing innovative construction and drawing the best features from a variety of different bicycles the new RAD bikes are perfect for an on-and-off road race like The Crusher in the Tushar or a long day in the back roads around Ashton.