Detroit Bikes: Making bicycles in the Motor City

You’ve heard about the eye-candy, low volume retro jewels from the Detroit Bicycle Company. This isn’t them.

This is Detroit Bikes. They are creating a simple, low-cost, practical urban bikes that should retail for just under $500. And they expect to be building them in the city of Detroit – up to 100 a day if all goes as planned.

Detroit Bikes is starting to get noticed. The Detroit News and Crain’s Detroit Business both wrote about the new company and its founder, Zak Pashak, an entrepreneur from Calgary.

Pashak told the News, “Henry Ford’s goal was to create affordable, reliable transportation. That’s my goal.”

However, the best, more comprehensive coverage of the new company is on Detroit Make it Here.

Pashak is intent on taking advantage of the industrial opportunity here. He said that he doesn’t think he would have been able to easily find welders and machinists in Calgary and that in Detroit he can buy an industrial building for $300,000 that would cost more than $2 million in his native city.

Manufacturing bicycles “doesn’t seem like the kind of thing I could start in Calgary,” Pashak said.

It’s possible to produce affordable, American-made bikes in volume, especially in Detroit, he said.

This is really exciting. We’re not sure the last time bicycles were built in earnest within the city of Detroit.

We are sure about wanting to buy one of these.

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2 Responses to “Detroit Bikes: Making bicycles in the Motor City”

  1. Dave Says:

    Pashak also didn’t want to throw himself into the enthusiastic biking scene just to get a durable yet affordable bike. “I felt like I had to get a tattoo and join the cult,” he said.

    I don’t mean this in a critical tone or way but…Hm…doesn’t seem like the type of image you want to be putting out there for someone that has a business plan that is a gamble and really needs it to “blow up” as he puts it. At least not the word “cult”–it has a rather negative connotation. I’ve never gotten the impression that cycling was at all an activity that I would ever describe as a “cult”, but I’ve never participated in a bicycle club or the like. It seems like a very straightforward activity. Riding for any one or more of: fun, fitnesss, access.

    However, what he describes on the product end is what I would like in a bicycle from what the article reveals (does not mention frame material), something I can use for transportation and would not risk losing such a large investment (which U.S. made bicycles are, relatively speaking) given the higher risk of leaving a bicycle locked up in public or the like.

  2. Todd Scott Says:

    I’m guessing he’s being facetious with the cult and tattoo references. Then again, if you’ve watched Portlandia…

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