When we first heard that QBP was going to be launching a line of all carbon fiber bikes, a lot of questions came to mind. Last Thursday we spent some time at The Angry Catfish getting those questions answered.
Our guide? None other than Jason Grantz, Foundry Cycles Brand Manager or Foreman as they call him. The Foreman was nice enough to spend some time with us, explaining what Foundry Cycles is all about.
Three years ago QBP explored entering the market of carbon fiber bicycles and aftermarket parts. At that point they had a decision to make; continue and expand Winwood, a low-priced entry-level brand competing with Origin 8 (from rival J&B Importers) or step-up their game and create something new, obviously they chose the latter. With that, Foundry Cycles was born and the next three years were spent developing the brand, and the type of bicycles that they wanted to carry. Foundry is joining a rather large stable of bike brands already at QBP which includes; Salsa, Surly, Civia, and All-City. This line-up is mostly steel, so Foundry found themselves wading into some uncharted territory for QBP.
Everything about the brand is set up to make you imagine, tough sturdy things. Foundry (a place where metal is forged), Jason is a “Foreman”, and each of the bikes is named after a tool (Auger, Router, Ratchet). While that is at odds with most people’s perception of what a carbon bike is (light and fragile) Foundry is out to change that with their motto:
“Foundry believes that a bike is a tool, a means to an end – not a trophy.”
During their initial year Foundry is going to offer three different base models, all designed around the same principle; understated performance.
The Router– This is their mountain bike which they said is a 29er, that rides a little bit more like a bike with 26 in wheels. While they aren’t looking to be known as a company that makes the lightest bikes on the market, the Router weighs in at just 973 grams as a bare frame, that would put them in the ballpark.
The Auger- The all around cross-bike that comes in two different models, one with canti-studs and one ready for disc brakes. Now that they are UCI legal, a cross bike with disc brakes is going to be a hot commodity. Without a ton of other options in the market today our money is on this being their most popular bike in 2012.
The Ratchet – Rounding out the line-up is a road bike designed for century rides, not for pro riders or crits. One advantage to not having to design your bikes for a pro rider is that you can make them comfortable for all types of riders.
You will start to see these bike cropping up next spring at shops around the country and while the final build price for each model hasn’t been established yet, expect it to be very competitive. Next year Foundry bikes will be carried in only 50 bike shops nationwide, luckily we have a few in the Twin Cities.
Ultimately, only time will tell if Foundry Cycles lives up to their name and the reputation that they are seeking; that the bicycles they produce are light, durable, tough, tools. It does help that along with that branding comes a 10 year warranty.