What do you get when you mix a lifetime of automotive manufacturing, years of bicycle racing experience and a newborn child? We get Rad Bicycle Company, the new passion of Michigan’s Matt Craig. Two years ago when his son was born, Craig decided to shift his focus away from racing and use his extensive manufacturing knowledge to start building bikes instead.
Rad Bicycle Company seeks to put people on high quality USA hand-made frames at a competitive price to overseas manufacturers. Craig’s 4130 chromoly frames are designed and welded in-house, with a balance of race-able light weight and daily thrashing durability in mind.
Check out more of Rad Bicycle Company’s craftsmanship after the break…
For over a year, Craig has been designing and machining his own tooling while converting his barn into a workshop. He’s currently assembling his sixth fat bike frame and has orders for four more. Working as a weld engineer by day, he builds his frames after hours and can currently produce one per week.
As a supporter of USA-made product, Craig is focused on keeping all steps of production as close to home as possible. All his frames are painted locally, the chromoly frame tubing comes from a Michigan steel mill, and the laser cuts for yokes and bridges are done within 20 miles of Craig’s shop. Frame components like BB’s, dropouts and head tubes are purchased pre-fabricated from Paragon Machine Works (Richmond, CA).
Rad builds their front triangles with double-butted 4130 tubing, and rear ends from straight gauge 0.35” tubes. Their frames are back-purged with pure argon to allow for less contamination and stronger welds. Craig equips his bikes with routing for full cable housings to keep snow, sand and grime out, an ideal setup for fat bikes.
The brand is more concerned with making affordable bikes than catering to the high-end boutique market, so custom frame geometry is not being offered. However, non-standard paint schemes can be discussed, and Rad offers the option of purchasing frames only or complete builds. It won’t all be fatties in the future, Craig also plans to build 29ers, and a few 29er+ and gravel bikes.
Their first fat bike model ‘The Grizz’ is in production now, weighing in at 4 pounds, 10 ounces for a size large. Frames will be available at a limited time price of $750 to start, and Craig plans to keep the eventual price of all his future non-custom frames under $1000 USD.
For news updates and photos of the building process check out Rad Bicycle Company’s Facebook page, or for more information visit their website.