Who in Their Right Mind Would Start a Bike Company?

Coatline claims to build the best bike ever. Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly.
Coatline claims to build the best bike ever. Go check out the Kickstarter page. Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly.

My friend Chad is starting his own bicycle company.

Coastline Cycle to be exact.

He’s not going to try and sell socks or jerseys or tools or toys.

He wants to sell bicycles.

Bicycles he conceived of and designed. Of course he had a little help from years of bike industry and the friendships this fosters.

But good god man, why?

Why would someone seemingly so smart, with years of watching and working in the bicycle industry want to try and sell bicycles.

The One

The One, by Coastline. Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly
Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly

Let’s get this out of the way first: He has a great idea. Actually his idea is actually a bike. A bike I have ridden around a parking lot for five minutes.

So it is not vaporware.

It is a bicycle.

An honest-to-god piece of pedaling transportation spec’d and designed to be a no-nonsense two-wheeled companion.

It is not trendy. It is not flashy. It is not carbon fiber.

It is a bicycle you want to throw you leg over and go places on. To the beach. To the grocery. To your local bike path. To just about anywhere you can think to pedal.

The bike is called the “One” because the folks at Coastline believe you will only need this one bicycle for all the things you love to do on two wheels. They have designed the bike with longish chain stay, a slack head tube angle, 27.5 inches wheels and, of course, the Gates carbon belt drive. All this adds up to a bike which is designed to climb well, descend like a beast, and remain a stable riding companion in all possible situations, while still remaining grin worthy.

And this is what he wants. Chad wants people to ride their bicycle. Not dither about talking about the bike itself, but talking about the ride.

The Campaign

I love Chad. But what crazy talk this is. Trying to sell a bike designed to be ridden without any fireworks or trendy bits or outlandish claims of sub-10 pound weights or amazing shock rebounds.

Come on, who is going to go for such an outlandish idea as buying a bike designed by someone who spent years doing customer service for the bike industry.

Well, the Coastline Cycle Kickstarter campaign is not exactly setting the world on fire. As one would predict is not easy to kick a new bicycle company off.

But you should at least go take a look at Chad’s bicycle. Most of them are being built with Gates Belt Drives, with your choice of tires and components. There is even a dropper post option.

These whips may not be flashy or trendy or even overtly sexy, but they are built by someone who, in the poetic words of Cyndi Lauper, just wants to have fun.

Even if your garage is full of carbon fiber two-wheeled goodness of every variety, this just may be the One bicycle you find yourself pedaling off on.

And I guess I can’t help but want to support this endeavor, even if it is completely nuts.