Moonmen Bikes hasn’t been around all that long but the cred of the founders goes back a long ways in the Fort Collins Bike scene. Both Todd Heath and Paul Knowles had stints at James Bleakley’s legendary Black Sheep Bikes with Todd putting in 10 years, from the tender age of 17, under James’ tutelage.
Meanwhile, Ryan, the creative/marketing force behind Moonmen has been working in the marketing department at super bike-friendly New Belgium Brewing for years and there has been tasked with, among other projects, the Cruiser that New Belgium does every year as both a promo and a reward for company employees. If a Tour de Fat has every rolled it’s carney atmosphere through your neck of the woods, you’ve likely seen some of Ryan’s work.
With experience, passion and drive the three founders have forged ahead making the kind of bikes they want to ride and honing the ride experience and crafting distinctive fat-bikes from sweet titanium goodness. As an example you may have seen Moonmen #M00 http://fat-bike.com/2014/06/moonmen-m00/ on our site a few months ago.
On the day I visited the shop there was a frenzy of activity as both Todd and Paul were scrambling to get ready to head up to Single Speed Worlds in Anchorage, AK. With a 3AM trip to Denver International looming, Todd was methodically putting the finishing touches on a frame he would be riding!
An interesting facet of Fort Collins frame building, and the manufacturer scene in general, is the spirit of cooperation and commaradere. Fort Collins isn’t that big a place and everyone knows everyone else.
Sharing the building and common space with Moonmen is a company called Yendra Built. Owner Zach Yendra’s motto is “You Dream it, We Build it”. Not just bicycles but furniture and other metal or wood projects. On the bike front Zach had two projects in the shop. One was a 10 passenger bicycle school bus commissioned by the City of Fort Collins that carries 8 kids and 2 adults as well as a couple of Half-barrel carrying trikes. Both will have fat-bike components.
Later that evening Zach coerced me into a doing guest spot on KRFC’s Bikes and Beer Radio Show that beams out on the airwaves to the northern Front Range and the Internet every Wednesday evening. I got a chance to talk about fat-bikes and that isn’t a bad thing!
I’m really looking forward to what comes out of the Moonmen shop next!