I have a distinct memory of the first time I met Jeff. It was 2005, and we were at the NORBA National downhill race in Sonoma, California. We were both competing in what was called the ‘Semi-Pro’ class.
During practice, I remember approaching the finish line when someone came flying by me. It startled me a bit, because the last time I looked back, no one was in sight! Clearly this guy was ripping - and it turned out to be Jeff!
We got in line for the shuttle and started chatting. I noticed he had some black tape wrapped around the rib cage of his Demo 8 frame. I asked him what the deal was and I remember him saying with a huge smile, ‘oh that? the frame is completely cracked through. This tape is hiding the damage, check this out,’ and he pushed the bike from the side with his foot on the bottom bracket. Sure enough, the frame separated where the tape was.
"Dude, you're racing with a broken frame?!" I said.
"Yeah, it's all good man, I'm just here to have fun!"
Almost 15 years later, and this anecdote still represents what Jeff is all about: simply having a great time on the bike, and making total strangers feel like friends.
(Jeff finding lines on the grassy and rocky ridges of Iceland. Photo by Petur Thor.)
Our brand statement, “we hate how expensive bike parts are”, is about minimizing the inflated costs that have been associated with larger brands and passing significant savings on to the consumer. We have all previously worked for such brands. It was astonishing to see literally millions of marketing dollars fly out the door, only to be recouped later via what we saw as over priced products. Keeping with our brand statement, we have to balance our goal of minimizing prices with our desire to partner with top pros. These riders prove our designs and reliability through rigorous training, riding, and racing.
We are particular in which riders we partner with, as well as why we partner with them. Our riders are passionate and thoughtful, not just about riding and the mountain biking community, but also about the components they use. We have a lot of exciting products in development for 2018. Both Jeff Kendall-Weed and Kyle Warner's experience at the elite levels plays into this process. Their feedback is instrumental in designing products for our customers. We didn’t just sign them for their product feedback though, as you can easily see how much fun these two genuinely have on their bikes! They truly represent the spirit of PNW.
(Jeff on set in Los Angeles, photo by John Watson)
We partner with people who are passionate and thoughtful, not just about riding, but about the components they use as well. We have a lot of exciting products in development for 2018, and both Jeff and Kyle Warner's experiences at the elite level plays into this process. Their feedback is instrumental in making better products for our customers. Plus, you can easily see how much fun these two genuinely have on their bikes.
(Check out the build on his Ibis Ripmo 29'r, featuring our Range 45mm Stem, Handlebar, and Bachelor 170 dropper post. Photo by John Watson)
Follow Jeff's YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to catch his latest video releases, and check out the build on his Ibis Ripmo 29'r, featuring our Range 45mm Stem, Handlebar, and Bachelor 170 dropper post.
There will be many fun projects coming this year, so stay tuned.
Welcome to the PNW squad, Jeff!
-Aaron Kerson, Co-Founder & Owner