PORTLAND, Ore. – The search for the perfect city commuter bike is over, at least in the eyes of some Portland bike enthusiasts. Their holy grail is the new “A-Type” bike from Detroit Bikes.
So what makes this bike so great? It manages to check off everything on a list of key criteria:
- The bike is mass produced
- The bike is good quality
- It’s American-made
- It won’t break the bank
Right now there is only one place in Portland you can find the A-Type: the quirky WTF Bikes (don’t be dirty – the WTF stands for “well tuned fast”).
“Mass-produced United States goods are a rarity these days,” said store owner Tom Daly.
The Detroit-based bike company chose Daly’s store as their only Portland retailer in part because of his eccentric shop.
“I focus on keeping things in stock that I know will sell; socks that say funny things on them,” Daly said.
Being manufactured in Detroit is part of the bike’s appeal for Daly.
“The fact that these are coming out of a city that has no more of a reputation than being a great place to meet a pack of stray dogs,” he said.
Daly also was intrigued by the bike itself.
“I look at it and I’m like ‘this is a great looking, this is neat,’ and then I saw the price and I thought ‘wow, really? 550 bucks for this bike brand new with a lifetime warranty on the frame? Ok, I’m interested now,’” he said.
The bike is perfect for the low-cost lineup that Daly prefers in his shop.
The name, of course, adds to the shop’s appeal.
“When I first came up with the business I wanted something that was catchy,” he explained. “Then we started thinking of acronyms and ‘WTF Bikes’ came up pretty quickly. Pretty sure there was beer involved.”
So far, Detroit Bikes only has a model that fits people who are 5 feet, 5 inches or taller. They are, however, working on a smaller model.
You can learn more about the bikes on the WTF Bikes website.