Grand Junction’s Savvy Cycles debuts wooden mountain & fat bikes
Mike Mahoney of Grand Junction has constructed skateboards for years. As the founder/owner of Honey Skateboards, he handcrafted wooden longboards that have been sought after across the nation. Now Mahoney has his eyes on a new challenge — wooden mountain bikes and fat bikes.
“I have been seriously mountain biking since the mid-80s, and on the weekends I am not skateboarding,” he said, noting a natural progression towards manufacturing vehicles for his sport of choice.
After putting Honey Skateboards on hold at the start of 2015, Mahoney officially founded Savvy Cycles. He operates out of the same production warehouse; and he uses much of the same machinery and skills he applied to making longboards toward bikes. The design of Savvy Cycles comes after two years of experimentation.
“The knowledge helps with construction,” he said.
According to Mahoney, he makes bikes from hickory and ash trees harvested domestically. The front triangle is hollow; the bike is made of shaped wood; and weight is comparable to bikes made of more common materials, like composites and steel, ranging from 25-27 pounds. And it’s coated in resin to water-proof it.
“Treat it like any other bike,” he said. “It’s durable and strong. … The biggest difference [from other bikes on the market] is wall thickness. It’s up to six to eight times thicker than a carbon bike.”
Savvy Cycles isn’t just selling frames; Mahoney said he will finish each bike produced in Grand Junction. Plus, 90 percent of materials used to finish his bikes are sourced locally. Wheels come from DT Swiss and the fork comes from Mountain Racing Products.
“This is a bike you buy to ride, not just to own,” said Keith Kitchen, service manager of The Bike Shop (950 North Ave., Grand Junction).
Kitchen, who owns his own Savvy bicycle, plans to race it in the upcoming 18 Hours of Fruita race (May 1-2).
“The ride quality is of a nice, high-end steel bike,” he explained.
Sarah Mah Withers, co-owner of Grand Junction’s Desert Rat Tours and Savvy bike owner, agreed.
“It’s like riding a piece of art; a very capable piece of art,” Withers said. “ … It handles the technical trails well.”
Prices range from $3,000 to $5,500 and up. Single-speed and geared bikes are both available. It takes three to four weeks for production.
“My market is bicycle enthusiasts who probably already have several bikes in their garage,” Mahoney said. “They’re looking for something unique, and a bike that has a really good ride quality.”
Mahoney also hopes to develop other bike styles, including a city/commuter bike, a “gravel grinder” meant for dirt or gravel roads, and a road bike.
Want to try one out? Mahoney’s bikes will be available for demo at Fruita Fat Tire Festival over the weekend. Bikes will also be available at The Bike Shop after the festival is done.
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