Word out of Longmont, Colorado is that craft brewer Oskar Blues is getting into the bicycle building business. They’ve created a new brand for the bike called “Reeb” (beer pedaled in reverse), and their first model will be a mountain bike. Colorodoan.com shared the following details:
Chad Melis, marketing director for Oskar Blues, said the company is manufacturing handmade, steel, single-speed, 29er hardtail mountain bikes using the Denver-based Gates’ Carbon Drive system.
The Gates Carbon Drive system is a “belt”-driven bicycle drive that replaces a standard chain, according to the company. Compared with a normal chain that requires lubrication and maintenance, Gates said its belt drive is maintenance free.
The folks at Oskar Blues say that the sturdy, single gear bike is a reflection of the down-to-basics thinking that makes Colorado great, and that the bike is well-suited to the rugged Colorado terrain. Now, I’m not a mountain biker and don’t live in Colorado, so I’m not sure if all of that is accurate, but I can tell you this: This bike is a hipster’s wet dream!
First off, the whole “fixed gear” bike thing is a staple of the hipster scene, just do a quick Google image search on “fixie hipster” to see what I mean. Also, hipsters love PBR in cans, but I’m sure many also appreciate the irony (and previously, the novelty) of Oskar Blues’ craft beers in a can. Good beer in an unassuming package? OMG, I’m soooo evolved! Add it up, and a single gear bike from a canned beer manufacturer might be the ultimate hipster ride.
Or maybe not. After all, hipsters are cash poor (the rent in Brooklyn is through the roof and vintage clothing can get pricey) and the Reeb costs $1,200 for the frame and will run $3,000 to $4,000 fully kitted out. That’s a pretty penny on an Apple Store salary. Plus the Reeb sounds like a pretty serious mountain bike and might be overkill for carving up the cobblestones. Overall, I think the price of entry will keep the hipsters from co-opting the Reeb and turning it into the bicycle version of skinny jeans, which is fine by me.
After all, I don’t think they are the audience Oskar Blues has in mind for the Reeb. I’ve lost count of the craft beer geeks (especially the can fans) who are hardcore mountain biking enthusiasts, but they are legion, so this move makes sense for the gang in Longmont. They’ve already produced 20 bikes, most of which were snapped up by their own employees, which may be an indication that the demand is there.
I say good luck to OB on their new endeavor and have just one word of advice: Don’t offer the Reeb in DayGlo colors, and the hipsters should be kept at bay.