Bridge Bike Works invests in North American carbon fiber bikes, manufacturing

TORONTO (BRAIN) — When collaborating on a brand new model, Michael Yakubowicz and Frank Gairdner did not simply need to construct a motorbike. They wished to create your entire manufacturing course of from pencil to color beneath one roof.

Bridge Bike Works is the outcome, a model three years within the making and constructed to design and manufacture carbon fiber frames, forks, and elements in North America. Its 8,200-square-foot facility — 2,000 of which is put aside for showroom and workplace house — is in Toronto, with the primary pre-production prototype accomplished this week for testing. Manufacturing bikes are anticipated by August, with 60 pre-orders crammed.

Bridge additionally has ambitions to start OEM carbon fiber manufacturing.

Yakubowicz, proprietor of Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto, and Gairdner, an skilled entrepreneur in manufacturing sporting items in North America, share a ardour for the game and shaped a partnership to construct a model that will not chase each manufacturing pattern whereas hoping to attraction to the grassroots bike owner.

“I feel that is possibly what makes us distinctive as a result of we’re not pushed by advertising and marketing selections however as an alternative a deal with constructing the most effective product attainable,” Yakubowicz mentioned. “Just about everybody who has their arms on our course of has deep expertise within the biking {industry}.”

For instance, of the eight full-time workers, Bridge attracted two engineers previously from Cervelo. Simply do not name it a boutique model.

“We’re attempting to compete, price-point-wise, with these greater manufacturers,” Yakubowicz mentioned. “For us, it was all about investing within the folks, the engineering, and focusing the product on our clients, which signifies that we’re not attempting to be a model attempting to sponsor a professional race staff, after which persuade people who that is the bike they need to journey. We’re designing an all-road bike for the fanatic.”

That first mannequin, the Surveyor, is designed round street geometry however with clearances for as much as 40mm all-road tires. “We actually labored on the engineering to make sure most tire clearance with as form of racy and performance-oriented a geometry as we may design,” he mentioned. “So the thought is it is form of your N+1 killer. We expect it is a actually versatile street and lightweight gravel bike that probably with two units of wheels you can do 90% of your using on.”

What you will not discover is an built-in wedge seatpost clamp or press-fit backside bracket. Whereas the model opts for an outsized D-shaped downtube and built-in cables, it makes use of a regular 27.2mm seat collar and threaded T-47 backside bracket.

MSRP for the frameset — which features a Bridge Bike Works fork, seat collar, and entrance derailleur clamp, plus thru-axles, and headset — is $4,000 USD. Full builds will begin at about $6,250 USD.

Opting to fabricate domestically was the plan from the start, Yakubowicz mentioned, a technique that was particularly well timed due to supply-chain points affecting the {industry} for the previous two years.

“We began this mission pre-COVID and all the time supposed that the bike could be domestically constructed. When it comes to investing in folks and group and actually the standard of the product, doing it domestically was one of the simplest ways to try this.”

Bridge efficiently raised preliminary funding for the mission primarily by means of the Ovare Group, primarily based in California, and Digsbury Ventures, primarily based in Washington, in addition to non-public buyers. Whereas fundraising remains to be ongoing, Bridge already has secured needed funds to drive its preliminary Surveyor mannequin by means of to manufacturing later this summer season.

Yakubowicz mentioned the corporate has had no drawback securing uncooked supplies and sourced carbon from North American producers. In beneath a 12 months, it has outfitted its facility with CNC mills, slicing tables, presses, ovens, an autoclave, and all the remainder of the equipment wanted for its processes. Bridge additionally has in-house 3D printing capabilities

“That enables us to be actually agile and fast by way of our design and iterations, however it additionally means if we need to minimize a brand new device, we do not have to outsource it and wait 4 weeks for it. We simply design it, minimize it in two days and begin working.”

Like all manufacturers, getting elements has been more difficult, however “we’re really in an excellent place by way of accessible teams, and our on-line construct configurator for the general public is linked to stock that we both have in inventory or what we have precise estimated delivery dates on,” Yakubowicz mentioned. “That configurator is supposed to have the ability to construct full bikes that can ship earlier than the tip of the 12 months.”

Whereas social and environmental causes had been apparent, Yakubowicz added that having full management of the manufacturing course of will profit the buyer most of all.

“We expect persons are extra conscious of the place their merchandise are being made and the way lead occasions have been affected,” he mentioned. “So even by way of supply occasions, doing it domestically signifies that as soon as we’re as much as manufacturing, we’re aiming to be delivering framesets or constructed bikes in a matter of weeks, versus many months and even years, which you are seeing from plenty of the larger bike manufacturers.”

Bridge’s facility is leased for 5 years, at which level will probably be decided if a much bigger house is required, Yakubowicz mentioned. And it may be if the OEM enterprise facet takes off. Yakubowicz mentioned Bridge has the potential to supply carbon fiber bike elements.

“We have had some conversations about potential OE manufacturing for different manufacturers, framesets or elements. However our considering is we’ll probably increase sooner or later into producing for different corporations as properly. We’re solely carbon targeted. Primarily, constructing hole carbon elements is what we have designed this facility to do.”

Along with his background, Yakubowicz naturally is keen on the retailer, and constructing a vendor community for the Surveyor — which probably will likely be joined by a extra gravel-focused mannequin in 2024 — already is underway. A few dozen sellers from North America and internationally have been secured. Shopper-to-direct additionally will likely be one other gross sales channel.

“Our consumer-direct gross sales actually are aimed for individuals who do not have native sellers,” Yakubowicz mentioned. “However by way of our vendor community, we’ll refer as many native gross sales to these sellers as attainable. I imply, I am clearly biased as a result of I personal a motorbike store and an enormous believer {that a} good native bike store remains to be the most effective place to purchase a motorbike. We’d be excited if sellers had been trying to attain out and discover out extra concerning the model.”

He expects first-year gross sales will likely be skewed extra towards consumer-direct.

“However as we develop, our desire is that yearly our vendor gross sales will take up a much bigger chunk. You recognize, if I had my manner in 5 years, I’d reasonably have 100 sellers promoting 10 or 15 bikes every a 12 months than attempting to promote 1,500 bikes consumer-direct a 12 months.”

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