John Cowan WIth Carbon Dirt JumperRiders of a certain age might remember earning their scars and sharpening their skill set on a rad little hardtail from Kona called the Cowan. Designed by legendary John Cowan, both the original Cowan DJ and DS bikes where some of the first jump specific models ever created.

Ever the visionary, John recently built a new bike company around a ground breaking new entry into the same market he helped create. The star of the product line is the American made carbon dirt jumper pictured above. 

Cowan Carbon Dirt Jumper HeadtubeThe frame weight varies from model to model based on paint, but Cowan did share a scale shot on his cellphone of a raw frame with a headset and BB bearings that weighed only a touch over 4 lbs!

Cowan claims he didn’t make the move to carbon because of the weight though. Instead, he made the move because the material is stronger and more impact resistant than anything else on the market. Cowan Carbon Dirt Jumper Frame

The frame itself is incredibly clean, with no option for a derailleur, and an internally routed brake cable.

Cowan Dirt Jumper BBEvery frame is custom built to order so the carbon layup can be modified for individuals needs. Each frame includes bottom bracket, drop outs/brake mount, head tube bearing races, seat mount, and internal cable guides.

Depending on what type of cranks you intend on running, Cowan installs either Shimano or GXP bearings into an internal aluminum sleeve, which eliminates the need for external bottom bracket cups – and helps give the frame such a distinct appearance. Cowan Geometry FiguresAlso in the works…..

Carbon Cowan Slopestyle Bike

is a new park bike. It’s currently still in development but will be the first carbon slope bike on the market when it hits.

For more info, visit Cowan Bikes



  1. gotta wonder why he didnt build it with a fox 831. They are half a pound lighter than the argyle.

    Keep in mind that good steel frames are only 1 pound heavier.

    Anyway, looks sick.

  2. A steel FRAME my only be 1 pound heavier, then add seat post clamp, seatpost, the bottom bracket saves a few grams, so the end product will be lighter.

  3. He didn’t do it for the weight Mulletracer did you not read it. He did it for the impact resistance and fact the frame is stronger, another positive is that you get extra pop when dirt jumping from a carbon frame , it assist you getting through rhythm sets.
    You can actual visit the manufacturing plant in San Diego I believe to see that is American made 100%

  4. In your article you talk about the choice of carbon is because the “material is stronger and more impact resistant”. But in the video on his website he talks about building the bike he wants, and if that means sacrificing durability to make it light it doesn’t matter to him. Those two comments seam at odds.
    Could someone explain to me what I’m missing?

  5. John lays up the frames himself in sunny California. They are Extremely Tough. While I was there at the Factory, He demonstrated the strength/durability by swinging a frame as hard as he could into the corner of the huge storage rack in the factory and there was hardly a mark on the frame. The technology going into these is amazing. Far more durable than anything else out there.

    Get Your Ordered Now !

  6. wonder why this is a purely an American obsession down hill racing saw a program on discovery Europe about the birth of mountain biking group off men 50+ downhilling with no brakes just hobnail boots looked very danagerous

  7. Very, very, cool.

    I just recently bought my first new BMX in nearly 10 years and was amazed at how light they have become, obviously way easier to jump and control. A sub 20lb DJ bike sounds like a blast!

What do you think?