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Friday, December 19, 2014

Small-Batch Builders Offer An Alternative to Big-Box Bikes

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 2:20 PM

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click to enlarge endpoint.png


Full disclosure: I bought a frame from Endpoint, because I happen to be exactly their niche customer, and I had to spend a fair bit of money on bikes to claim insurance replacement costs after my bikes were stolen earlier this year. Much like the Ocean Air Cycles, Endpoint is making one bike right now: the Coffee Grinder. It’s kind of a play on the “gravel grinder” bandwagon on which every big company is jumping.

“Our goal is to make high-quality, USA-made bikes that are affordable enough that riders of a broader demographic can ride them,” says Braden Govoni, one of the owners of Endpoint. “Endpoint started simply because I always found I was looking to custom builders to make the kind of bikes I wanted to ride.”

When I asked Braden about the Coffee Grinder, and what it’s really supposed to be or do, he says “We wanted to make a road bike our way and make it in the USA."

Eventually, the company plans on being able to have stock frames on hand so when someone wants a bike they don't have to wait for a production run.

The Coffee Grinder is effectively a road bike. It’s not a touring bike, it’s not a cyclocross bike, and it’s not a mountain bike. It’s a road bike with road bike geometry that just happens to be able to clear 38 mm tires, with pretty short chainstays. For elaborate reasons I wont’ go into, that’s kind of an engineering feat. It’s definitely a little bit more industrial and go-fast oriented than the Ocean Air Rambler. It comes in one color: none more black. It costs $1,350 with steel fork, or $1,500 with carbon fork. The Rambler and the Coffee Grinder are both “all-arounders” but they do everything in different ways. It’s easier to see somebody riding the former in street clothes, while the Grinder looks more like something you’d want to don some on-trend kit before you saddle up.

Govoni runs a bike shop called Carytown Bicycle Company over in Vermont, and he and his partner Andy Stiles, run Endpoint as a “labor of love.” He says they don’t want to take on investors or cut corners, and while that’s a noble goal, he knows that it’s not a great way to get rich.

“We're on a first-name basis with almost every Endpoint rider and I wouldn't mind keeping it that way, “ Govoni says.
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About The Author

Leif Haven

Leif Haven

Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill — literally and metaphorically.


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