Get SF Weekly Newsletters

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

Page 3 of 4

click to enlarge broakland.jpeg

Broakland is the bicycle company run by Jason Montano, owner of the eponymous bike shop MontanoVelo which is on Piedmont in Oakland.  Broakland has been quietly cranking out bikes for the last nine years.

“I started Broakland because I saw a window in the industry where a small-batch builder could slot in and bring some down-to-earth design, form and function to an industry that is wavering in both standards and direction,” says Montano. “It was also a chance to flex some design and geometry ideas while developing a local brand within a bicycle shop."

Broakland specializes in track and road bikes. The bikes aren’t necessarily custom-made, but they are made-to-order, and they do make the bikes “in house” unlike the previous two companies. Unlike many smaller boutique custom frame-builders, Broakland has a division of labor among designer, engineer, frame builder, and marketing.

Montano tells me that the company hasn’t grown all that much in the last nine years for a couple reasons. First, they don’t really want to become a big company. “No one is going to line their pockets with this business model, but so what? If I wanted to make money I wouldn't be working in the bike industry that's for sure," he says. "So, I'll settle for making a living and great bikes one at a time for customers. “

click to enlarge critfighterdsc34.jpeg

Montano emphasizes that while Broakland makes and sells “expensive, high-end bicycle frames” that “you can't buy experience. Just ride, enjoy what that means for you, and purchase things that help you enjoy that more.

"It's not equipment, it's attitude and you that goes faster, jumps higher, rides longer, feels free, saves the environment and enjoys the beautiful experience of cycling,” he says. 

  • Pin It

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.


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"