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We all know Colorado is a happy place for cyclists, whether you prefer slaying singletrack, eating up road miles, grinding gravel, or—if you have enough garage space—all three. But in addition to riding your bike across our roller-coaster terrain, don’t forget you can buy one from a reputable brand based within our rectangular borders, too.
Read on to learn about five bike manufacturers with roots in the Centennial State, hear what makes them tick—in their own words—and check out some of their sweetest rides.
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- HQ: Steamboat Springs
- Started: 1981
- Known for: All things titanium, including 3D-printed dropouts (the two notches where the rear wheel attaches to the frame) comprised of a 90-percent titanium alloy
Brand evolution in the words of brand manager Jon Cariveau
“Moots started in the back of a bike shop (then called Sore Saddle Cyclery). The owner of the shop, Kent Erickson, felt he could build his own bikes, so he went to a frame-building class in California given by the late Bruce Gordon and came back and built a bike.
“These days, Moots is known for domestically manufacturing the pinnacle of titanium bicycle frames and is dedicated to providing bikes that will last forever. We source only the best titanium we can get our hands on. Titanium can be sourced from a number of places around the world, but without a doubt, the U.S. mills (aerospace sector) have the best quality; it is certified and adheres to much stricter tolerances of base input material as well as roundness, straightness, and consistency.”
Bike we like
Roadies looking to go as light as possible (and who have deep pockets) will dig the Vamoots CRD (starting at $13,209). Moots’ updated take on a classic road bike pairs the brand’s proprietary tube set, “pencil-thin” seat stays, and those 3D-printed dropouts with clearance for larger tires (up to 32 mm). “It’s the pinnacle of everything Moots has learned about road bikes and is the distillate of this knowledge,” Cariveau says. “The Vamoots CRD is everything a modern road bike should be.”
- HQ: Golden
- Started: 1985
- Known for: Other than that distinct blue? A need for speed and technologies that support going faster, including its pedaling efficiency-enhancing suspension system: Switch Infinity
Brand evolution in the words of CEO and co-owner Chris Conroy
“Yeti Cycles was started in Southern California by mountain bike pioneer, John Parker, who was originally a Hollywood set fabricator and racing enthusiast. Parker fell in love with Colorado following the inaugural Mountain Bike World Championships in Durango in 1990 and later moved Yeti to Golden. For more than 20 years, the brand has produced countless award- and race-winning mountain bikes.”
Bike we like
With dual 27.5-inch wheels and Switch Infinity for what Conroy calls the “best-possible suspension performance and pedaling behavior,” the new-this-season SB135 (starting at $6,400) strives to be the most agile trail bike on the market. Yeti’s keen attention to details shines in the availability of two distinct frames (one for small and extra-small riders, another for medium, large, and extra-large riders) to optimize stand-over height and dropper-post travel.
- HQ: Carbondale
- Started: 2016
- Known for: Early pioneering in carbon wheels made from FusionFiber, a durable, lightweight composite polymer (made without environmentally harmful epoxy) that provides a damper ride
Brand evolution in the words of founder Adam Miller
“Founded by riders, for riders, the goal has always been to make bikes that people want to ride. Revel stands out from the rest for our passionate perspective and dedication to offering the best bikes, materials, and geometries for a wide range of riders. As lifelong lovers of titanium and steel, we love being able to offer a full range of bikes made of this beautiful material alongside our world-class carbon mountain bikes and gravel bikes. The amount of variation found in the Revel lineup is impressive for a company of our size.”
Bike we like
Gravel grinders, meet your next two-wheeled steed: Revel’s carbon-fiber workhorse: the Rover (starting at $3,199). “Room for modern gravel tires and a progressive geometry give the Rover an edge for weeklong bikepacking trips, gravel races, or the spirited lunch ride,” Miller says. “It’s designed to strike an ideal balance of comfort, precision, and all-around capability no matter where the road or trail leads.”
- HQ: Denver
- Started: 2011
- Known for: Mountain bikes made with Revved Carbon technology, which, according to the brand, is three times more impact-resistant than traditional carbon
Brand evolution in the words of president Will Montague
“We started with a love of mountain biking and a vision for Colorado-based manufacturing. Today, Guerrilla Gravity is the only bike company building a full line of carbon-fiber mountain bikes here in the U.S. We’re a group of mountain bike enthusiasts who like to push ourselves and the technology of the bikes we build.”
Bike we like
The full-suspension Smash (starting at $4,995) combines the brand’s signature Revved Carbon tech with 29-inch wheels and 150 mm of travel to create what Montague calls “a great all-arounder, capable of riding anything from our high-country rides to our bike parks to our local Front Range rides.”
- HQ: Fort Collins
- Started: 2005
- Known for: Twenty-nine-inch wheels (hence the name)
Brand evolution, in the words of Niner Bikes
“From ‘day one’ in 2005, we started making 29ers because they genuinely improved our ride, allowing riders to pedal faster, smoother, farther, stronger, and feel more confident….With a focus on unique, innovative product development and a constant effort to make riding on dirt better, the brand quickly became a sensation in the premium, enthusiast mountain bike segment….United Wheels acquired Niner in 2018. The Niner brand continues its focus on premium product development including e-bikes with carbon-fiber options.”
Bike we like
According to Niner, its e-mountain bike model, the RIP e9 ($6,699)—complete with an aluminum frame, 150 mm of travel, and a Bosch Performance Line CX motor—offers riders the “freedom to ride more dirt, more often, [which leads to] more fun.” Sign us up.
Two other brands worth a look, both based in Golden: Spot, which started in 1991 as a components company and now makes a variety of mountain and gravel bikes, and Alchemy, which has specialized in custom builds across biking disciplines since 2008.