Detroit Bikes Making Steel Real in the Motor City


Detroit Bikes A Type

While Shinola has been getting all the press lately (factory tour here), there is a small new company doing manufacturing a new vision of American efficiency within the Motor City Limits.

The idea is simple as their product line. Just a one size fits all bike available only in black. That’s right. One size. One color. It’s attractive, it’s affordable, and it comes with everything you need to commute from one side of town to the other.

Well, that’s just one half of the idea…

Detroit Bikes Headtube BadgeThe founder of Detroit Bikes is Canadian Zak Pashak and he’s actually a music guy.  As a young gun he helped create a vibrant music scene in Calgary and Vancouver, but his endeavors were too frequently mired in red tape. So he made an unsuccessful bid for a city counsel position.

Short story long, he did what no sane American would do – bought a ticket to Detroit and decided to settle down. It’s here where these last two paragraphs intersect. Running for city council spurred Zak to look at alternatives to cars and shopping for a bike in Detroit left him empty handed. He just couldn’t find anything simple, affordable, and elegant enough to buy, so he decided to build his own.

Detroit Bikes Fender Rack

Taking a page from Henry Ford, the A-Type is available in whatever style and color you like, as long as you want a 3-speed cruiser in flat black with a coaster brake and fenders.

Just like the design, Detroit Bikes marketing scheme is also a little different. The company is choosing to take a homegrown approach by trying to develop a strong local dealer network before branching nationwide. Ideally, the company will eventually pump out roughly a hundred complete bikes daily. 

Detroit Bikes A Type ModelThe bikes will retail for $550 USD and are currently available anywhere through their online ordering system. The bikes will show up at your door almost fully assembled, with all the tools required to do the few remaining adjustments e.g. mount the handlebars, etc…

Detroit Bikes A-Type Specs

While $550 is a large amount of money for many of the residents of Detroit, the company is banking that many residents will pay that little bit extra for a bike made by the people and for the people.

For more visit Detroit Bikes 

Comments

gravity - 08/23/13 - 4:00pm

Now guys, tell us again how much you love your Walmart Thruster.

Eric - 08/23/13 - 4:00pm

Bravo!! It can be done.

typx - 08/23/13 - 4:28pm

“While $550 is a large amount of money for many of the residents of Detroit” Classic line.

Chris - 08/23/13 - 5:32pm

As Moe Szyslak once said: “Hey, lay off Detroit. Them people is going through Mad Max times.”

Joking aside, $550 for a made in the USA bike with a chromoly frame and IG hub is actually pretty inexpensive. Only thing I think these townie bikes get wrong is the rear rack. A basket in front makes way more sense. With a basket in front you can just drop in your laptop bag and go – no need to attach a pannier and your stuff is in sight and accessible. Also more stable if you have the correct fork rake and wagging tail sensation when you get out of the saddle.

fred - 08/23/13 - 5:58pm

This is great. I think that this is way cooler than Shinola. Are these actually going to be made in Detroit? If so, awesome.

filibuster cash - 08/23/13 - 9:21pm

$550 is a lot of money in a lot of markets, but most of those markets, good folks will save for a little bit longer knowing the bikes are in large part American made. I hope this works. Some sanity in an otherwise absurd industry.

Zach W - 08/23/13 - 10:04pm

Bravo! I’ve been emailing Shinola forever that although they’re in with the hipsters, no one in Detroit can actually afford their products. Having grown up in SE Michigan I would gladly buy one of these!

ACE - 08/23/13 - 11:43pm

I dont understand why a company would spend time building a bike you can get for a quarter of the money somewhere else?I mean great head badge and logo on the rack, very impressive!I can really see the extra dollars here.Now do i need to spend more for a kick stand?

greg - 08/24/13 - 12:28am

a quarter of the money doesnt get you a cromoly frame. it gets you crappy seam welded mild steel. it doesnt get you a sealed cartridge bb, it gets you a one-piece ashtabula crank. it doesnt get you brand name tires. it gets you oil-slicked plastic tires. it wont have a rustproof chain, a Shimano 3speed hub, i could go on.
this is a great value.

MikeC - 08/24/13 - 2:06am

Cool! Something in between Worksman and Gunnar. At a price point where a lot of 3sp IGH import bikes show up. Slap a flag on that sucker and watch them fly off the sales floor.

@Chris: Add a Wald basket up front, problem solved cheap and US-made.

delnerdo - 08/24/13 - 9:22am

Put me down for four. If domestic shipping were free, they would have an unstoppable business model. That’s not too much to ask, in light of retail markup. But $150 to ship?

mudrock - 08/25/13 - 10:08am

I wish them luck. But one size fits all?

gravity - 08/25/13 - 10:57am

You know, “one size fits all” (or most) is common for European-style city bikes, where a comprehensive fit just isn’t particularly relevant. Given that this is the general vibe they’re going for, it’s not surprising and surely keeps labor costs low. I’d wager that with success, eventually multiple sizes will follow.

austin - 09/05/13 - 4:52pm

I am 6 feet 5 inches tall and can tell you that the one size fits all is just fine for me. This bike is more comfortable for me to ride than any bike i have ever owned and built better than bikes i have owned that were double the price. Don’t waste your money on something else, make the best decision money can buy and buy a Detroit Bike!

Phil Coolberth - 09/05/13 - 6:16pm

Outstanding initiative–outstanding bike! Can’t wait till they offer a 10 speed and more of a long-haul commuter design…in the meantime, I think I will get one just for neighborhood cruising. Detroit on the move, love it!

Bradley Greene - 09/05/13 - 7:10pm

I took a test ride at the Detroit launch event… Very nice, surprisingly light!! I even reefed on it and it showed no signs of weakness!! Although if I get one I losing the tourist bars…

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