Earlier in December, I visited three Michigan bicycle companies on a short press junket and this is the first story that I’ll write from those travels. My first stop on the trip was to RAD Bicycle Company which is run by Matt Craig and Mark Major in Pinckney Michigan. RAD is focused on making handmade steel plus and fat bikes specifically designed to rip on their abundant local trail systems. My first contact with Matt was about the kid’s fat-bike (above) that he built for his son and Julio reviewed their Grizz fat-bike back in 2016. Both Matt and Mark come from a BMX background and have been mountain biking since they were knee-high to a grasshopper. The area in which they’re located is in a unique region on the eastern side of the state that boasts trails like Poto, Waterloo & Millford. It’s not sandy like Western Michigan and their trails run from rowdy to flow back to xtra-rowdy!
They’ve been working on getting their shop and fixtures dialed and at the same time. prototyping and developing bikes purpose-built to ride on their local trails. By the looks of their latest frame builds, they should start to consider taking orders.
RAD currently offers the Dire 27.5 Plus Bike and The Grizz Fat-Bike. Let’s start with the Dire.
The Dire was designed to reflect the personalities of both these cat’s riding style along with the trails where they ply their trade. The dire is a boost spaced (83mm bottom bracket ) aggressive hardtail built to run a 130mm suspension fork. The head tube seat tube angles are 68/73 and the Dire is made from Chromoly steel.
If you’d use the word shred to describe your riding style and you have ‘steel is real’ tattooed somewhere special, the Dire should be on your radar.
The Grizz is a slightly more traditional fat-bike design with the tried and true 69/73 head tube seat tube, but the beautiful thing about small custom builders is you can ask them to make you something more RAD! When I asked M&M, where the RAD name came from, Matt said it stands for “Rugged – Agile – Distinctive” and then Mark said “or Ride All Day” and then we all agreed that you can’t do much better than naming it after the movie RAD! The Grizz and the Dire both use locally sourced tubing and are hand-made and powder coated right there, just a few miles from Hell, Michigan.
For more information about RAD Bicycle Co. visit – https://radbicycleco.com/