Lotta love to give

It has been a crazy few months here at Moonmen and you could even roll that back to when we pressed go on this project well over a year ago. To get a new company off the ground takes some serious effort and a custom bike company carries several unique challenges on its own. Many, many sleepless nights (even though that comes with the Moonmen territory) have been put into making this company real and in turn the bikes that we love and want to share with others. This has been a dream in the making and each passing day gets us a bit closer to realizing that dream. Every bike built, welded, and under a happy customer fuels the fire that drives Moonmen and serves as a bench mark of where we were are and where we are going. Nothing great is done alone and Moonmen is certainly no exception. From the likes and positive comments on all the media, to the nods from industry folks to let us know we have made something note worthy, to our friends that drop in and give high fives, all of this support has made this endeavor that much more special. To get positive feedback on something that was once an apparition late night or out on a ride and then made real with your sweat and sometimes blood is a very satisfying thing. Yet this project has taken much more to become reality. To create something unique, to make something that you feel proud of, to find a path for yourself that fulfills that most basic human desire doesn't come easy. Moonmen launched as a collective and slowly has become a one man effort to see the vision through. My main man and close confidant Ryan Mckee has made an everlasting mark on Moonmen literally and physically. Ryan is responsible for many things at Moonmen but most notably the word marks, logo, and brand that adorn our frames. Ryan has been integral in getting Moonmen to where it is and will forever be a part of Moonmen. He has gone on to pursue other projects and while we wish him the best we know that the other endeavors Ryan is a part of are lucky to have him. We hope to carry on and make Ryan proud.

The love I have carries further to my family, friends, and customers that have been by my side from the beginning. Thank You! My partner in crime and partner in life Jess has kept my head on straight in the darkest of times and stood by my me to help form Moonmen into something that I am proud of. Without her Moonmen does not exist. Further, the customers we have cultivated are some of the most supportive and and amazing people I can think of. Taking a gamble on a new company is a risk and and I can't thank them enough for letting me have that chance. Patience, support, and passion make for great clients and all of the Moonmen owners fill this category. Thank you all so much and know that I am here because you stood by me. Moonmen continues on to further our brand, build exceptional bikes, and to spread the joy of riding bikes as far as we can.

Todd- Moonman for life

 

 

Happy New Fork

This past year, while traveling around Europe for the Single Speed World Championships in Italy, Todd managed to stack pretty hard, breaking his fork. There for a couple months Todd was sans fat bike which forced some 36er sessions. Not such a bad thing but then the snow started to fall… After years of unicrown iterations Todd has been working toward this latest idea. Introducing the Moonmen Lupin Fork. It's built with 1 1/8" fork blades, tapered steerer, Paragon thru-axle drops and spacing for a 100mm front hub. Mind you Moonmen is a custom builder so though Todd's fork came together as such we can create whatever you like. 

Thusday Night Lights - Business

Paul, Todd and I are building the Moonmen foundation. Pouring the concrete. Cutting the trail. Our business meetings always include a ride. Riding is a Moonmen core value, we gotta ride. To keep you folks interested we know we have to keep the content fresh on the dub, dub, dub so we travel with a camera. Our intention this past Thursday was to grab some portraits of ourselves for the site so you know that robots aren't building your bikes. Though, BTW, we do strive for full robot automation by 2025, so we have more time to ride. Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University which is my alma mater. Go Rams! My school spirit is thin at best but I do have a bucket list item to attend a CSU sporting event before I die. But I digress. Our thought was to get some photos next to some of the sweet architecture the university has to offer. CSU is mostly locked up right now due to the winter break so after considering breaking an entering and/ or climbing up buildings, Pauly captured some sweet, shots outside of the under-construction, Lory Student Center.  

Paul, Ryan, Todd

Paul, Ryan, Todd

Our time spent riding doesn't have a lot to do with mileage goals or target heart rates, (though if that's your thing, I get it) but more about wandering. We're always feeling out the landscape for what's inspirational. Both following and leading, chatting or nose down, grinding it out, these ideas are meta for Moonmen.

illuminated heads

illuminated heads

We peeled off from campus and headed to the Poudre River Social Trails. These trails are comprised of meandering single track built of years of randomness and erosion. The river flooded like crazy this fall so much of the trail is now gone or covered in dead fall. There's a ton of potential but there's only so much time to get after it by the light of the moon with come alongs and folding saws. Regardless it's always fun to suss out the ever-changing landscape. West of the North Shields Natural area a major flood mitigation project is underway. The elevation is desolate from machines having scraped and moved the earth. We came up on this lone tree. Pauly set up for some timed exposures. The shots are nice and eerie. 

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We've got some great things on the way. Stay tuned. 2014 is going to be big!

 

Thursday Night Lights - Socked in with Oddity

It was a pleasure and a privilege to roll with Sean Burns and his pal, Thad from KC. Sean and his family relocated earlier this year from KC to Estes, just in time for a 100 year flood which isolated Estes from the rest of the world for awhile there. Sean is settled in, the road up Big Thompson Canyon is rebuilt and he's tooling up his shop to start building his brand of bicycles, Oddity. Pretty stoked for him and this new endeavor. Paul, Todd and I took these two FC, single track newbies around Dixon, up Maxwell for the big payoff view of Horsetooth Reservoir. Though visibility was scant with some nice low lying, snow heavy clouds hanging over the Res.

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It was rad to get the current on the KC MTB scene from these two. It happens every time but I'm continually blown away to hear that folks be riding and cultivating their bike culture all over the land, just like us.

Moonmen is building. Stay tuned, all 2 of you, for the grand launch of moonmenbikes.com. Thus far we've been having a soft opening.

- Ryan

 

Moonmen Begin

It all began some years ago. As an art school student at Colorado State University I suplemented my student loan checks by selling bikes at Lee’s Cyclery. My buddy and bike shop colleague, Sugar, mentioned that a fella he knows was building bikes and could use some help with marketing and what not. As an aspiring commercial artist and cycling aficionado it was a perfect convergence of passions. I reached out to this bike builder, James Bleakley, and he told me all about his brand, Black Sheep Bikes. Graphics and websites were made and traded for sweet titanium bicycles. As the Black Sheep brand became more established James brought on an apprentice, not even out of high school, Todd Heath. Together Todd and James evolved the Black Sheep aesthetic. It’s important to note the sundry folks who imparted themselves on to the brand through the years such as Jason Shelman, Jason Trujillo, Chris Sulfrain, and Black Sheep’s current master of finish, Paul Knowles. The Black Sheep story is punctuated by NAHBS gold medals, being a part of the permanent collection at the University of Iowa’s Museum of Art, annual representation at the Single Speed World Championships and constant trail ripping in the name of evolution and joy. Black Sheep is craftsmanship, evolution and progression perpetuated with stoke. 

 

The Black Sheep story continues. And now for a new story.

 

This new story begins under the moon. Over the last couple years I’ve hosted a group ride out of my garage aptly called Thursday Night Lights. It goes like this…

 

Kids go off to bed. Hang in the garage as riders show up over beers, herb, music, wrenches and tire kicking. "Ride leaves at 8:30", though we roll out on to the street around 9. In Fort Collins we’re fortunate with a myriad of choices and directions to go. Trails and more trails. There’s single track around the Reservoir and up to a rock of the same name. Chasing a lightening storm at midnight up the Blue Sky valley into Lory is extra ordinary. And a descent of MeeShow at 3am stinking of rotting elk carcass inspires haste to get home. The lesser-traveled trails actually aren't meant for bikes at all but built to move water. The canals always dry out and lend a perspective by bike of the city that leaves one lost, or at least disoriented. Then there's an enormous hole in the ground, a tube built to push water though with mad, pent-up energy. It’s a concrete pipe with 360˚ of transition to surf…on a bike. While the water is away it's best to take its place. But when the water is raging, portage is all right too. It's best ridden yet the bike can be pushed, thrown off the edge of a cliff, used as crutch to cross Gordon Creek, scooted up a trail that suddenly disappears up a steep wash. It's all about the adventure of getting lost in our backyard. 

 

Sometimes the TNL consists of a few other riders. Consistently though it’s we three; Paul, Todd and myself. With the three of us I’m confident that an adventure is always afoot. Our bond over bikes under the moonlight inspires our next adventure,

Moonmen Bikes.

Coming in 2014

 

- Ryan  

Todd ice biking a canal on a discarded, hi ten rig

Todd ice biking a canal on a discarded, hi ten rig

 

All custom bicycle purchases can be made by contacting the fabricator todd@moonmenbikes.com directly. Click here for more information.