Every UBI faculty member has years of bike industry experience and was chosen for their extensive backgrounds in mechanics, frame building, shop operations, and other industry endeavors. In fact, UBI employees have spent a combined total of more than 200 years in the bicycle industry! Their teaching style creates a fun and creative learning environment which stimulates the mind and allows easy comprehension of each mechanical procedure.
The size of our faculty roster means that UBI has the best student-teacher ratio in the industry. In our mechanics classes, our student-to-teacher ratio is no less than 6 to 1, and in our frame building classes it is a minimum of 4 to 1.
Ron Sutphin, president of UBI, has been working professionally in the bicycle industry since 1978. He spent several years as a retail bicycle shop manager and a custom bicycle frame builder and has been a UBI instructor since the school was founded in 1981. His skills provide a background that gives a perspective few instructors can match. Ron's easily understood style of teaching makes learning bicycle repair and frame building easy and enjoyable. Ron enjoys metal fabrication in his home shop, family time, camping, and motorcycles in his spare time.
Seth Rand grew up in Ashland, OR and began learning from UBI instructors as a teenager. Fast forward 20+ years and his experience in the bicycle industry is extensive. Through racing, working in shops, and for manufacturers, he's built a comprehensive understanding of bicycles and their power to change lives. Seth left the bicycle industry and was a high school teacher for a few years but something was missing -the bike! Outside of riding, he loves spending time with his family and friends in Southern Oregon. If you come to class, make sure you ask him about the best places to ride here, just do it on a break or after class because he has a lot to say.
Jeff Menown is a Northwestern native, hailing from Seattle. He has lived and worked all over the USA in many roles throughout the cycling industry since 1989. His favorite is teaching at UBI — of course! Jeff has worked at large-scale manufacturers such as Litespeed, Merlin, Quintana Roo, and Giant; as well as specialty suspension companies like Halson Designs and Fox Racing Shox. When he isn't teaching at UBI, Jeff rides motorcycles and spends time with his daughter who is a talented swimmer and water polo player. At the end of the work week, he loves getting into the mountains to reset and get ready for another week of eager students.
Peter Barson entered the bike industry as a midlife career change. After working at destination hotels for most of his life, he attended UBI and opened a service orientated family bike shop in suburban Chicago. He has also worked at an online-only shop, a boutique road and tri shop, for a multi-state bike chain, for a legacy accessory brand, among others. He strives to bring some of his guest-focused hospitality training to the bike world, hoping to make it a more friendly, diverse, and inviting place for folks wanting to learn more about bikes.
Mike DeSalvo occasionally teaches and assists with UBI's TIG Welding Seminars, and the Steel TIG and Titanium frame building classes. A native of Yreka, California, Mike now calls Ashland, Oregon his home. He is a multiple award winner at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and he has established a world-wide reputation as a versatile frame builder in steel and titanium.
Paul Sadoff joined UBI's staff as a guest frame building instructor in 2008, and he occasionally teaches a session of UBI's TIG Welded Steel frame building class. Paul has been building frames fulltime since 1988, and is best known as the creator and builder of Rock Lobster Cycles in Santa Cruz, California.
Denise Sutphin was raised in Ashland, Oregon and grew up riding bikes with her brothers all over town. She started working in the bicycle industry in the 1980’s at United Bicycle Supply. She currently oversees the administrative side of UBI. Denise loves to ride her bikes, hike, camp, travel, and spend time with her husband and two adult children.
Richard Whitley hails from Decatur, Illinois. Richard got his start in the bicycle industry at a shop in Ashland, Oregon in 1981. Richard officially retired from public school administration a few years ago and currently is UBI’s tech guy and occasional classroom assistant. Richard has toured in France, raced mountain bikes in the 1980’s, and enjoys hiking and van camping at the Oregon coast with his wife, Rachel, and their dog, Jack Wagon.