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Ko Zieleman was one of the most talented frame builders in Amsterdam and made and sold his bikes in his shop in the ‘Rivierenbuurt’ (River Quarter) in the South of Amsterdam. Ko was a craftsman and built all of his bikes (also non racing frames, which were sold under the brand name Spirit) with the same care and attention. The brandname Ko Zieleman was only used for custom-built high end frames. Ko started his business in the IJselstraat (IJssel Street) in a shop he inherited from his father. Later he moved to the Reggestraat (Regge Street), also in the ‘Rivierbuurt’.
Zieleman did no sponsorships, teams nor riders. If you wanted a Zieleman you had to buy one. As with other builders at the time, different (professional) riders bought a Zieleman frame and had it refinished in their team colors.
In the late nineties, after forty years, Ko thought it was enough. He locked up his place and put an advertisement in Wielerrevue (a Dutch Cycling Magazine). It was this very short announcement: “Ko houdt er mee op. Gereedschap en materialen zijn te koop”. In English: “Ko quits. Tools and materials are for sale”.
Do you have a Zieleman …
… or a nice anecdote about the brand you want to share with us, please send a message.
…as Chris did before you.