Over the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing more and more of a new Arizona based brand that’s getting the ball rolling with a line up of some quality American made products and a team loaded with up and coming shredders. Obviously, like everyone else, we were asking ourselves “Where the hell did Freed Bikes come from and what are they all about?”… So we got ahold of them to find out their story. Turns out that this new brand is already making some real solid moves forward with a strong belief in quality over quantity and the goal to help BMX grow over take it for all its got. Let’s take a closer look at this brand in this new On The Horizon!
Freed Bikes is a new brand that popped up in 2012, right? When did things initially get started? What were some of the biggest motivations for starting the brand?
Yep. We started in 2012. It took us almost a year to get everything set-up and in place so 2013 is really our launch year. We spent a lot of time researching the market and creating our business plan, to make sure everything was well thought out. We were motivated to start Freed out of a passion to contribute to the BMX scene – we believe we can help promote riders and expands BMX.
There are a lot of things to consider when starting a brand like where you want to have your products made. What are some of the reasons you chose U.S production versus Taiwan like 90% of the rest of BMX?
Yeah, great question. We are 100% committed to making our parts in the USA. It’s just a personal thing for us – we feel a sense of loyalty here, and the quality is simply the best. For our customers that means durability and innovative design.
I’ve heard some pretty crazy horror stories about getting things even as simple as sprockets made here in the U.S. Were there any crazy hurdles the brand had to jump over to get things going smooth?
As with starting any new business, there are always hurdles – everything from software systems, operations, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, inventory, and on and on. So knock on wood- no horror stories. Really the only hurdle was the commitment to US manufacturing – it takes time, which is actually a good thing – there is a lot of demand. I think that is the reason many companies go overseas – you can order tons of products and get them fast. However, that’s just not our model.
Does the brand plan to do some production in Taiwan in the future or are you sticking to U.S production?
Nope – It’s all about the US. We will NEVER do production in Taiwan. We believe in US manufacturing and feel very strongly in supporting American made.
Care to take us through your current product line?
Sure. Currently, we have frames, bars and sprockets. Our frame and bars line is called FREEDom, which comes in 20.5, 20.75 and 21 (black, aqua and raw). Our frames have top and bottom gussets, removable brake mounts, removable gyro tabs, an integrated seat clamp, an integrated headset, and a mid bottom bracket. Sort of our signature is our FREEDom badge, on every frame. We also have bars with an 8.5” rise and 28” width (black, aqua and raw as well). We have a Team Sprocket in 25t, made of 7075 aluminum. We also have a ton of soft goods including tees, 3/4 baseball sleeves, hoodies, beanies, cinch bags, and snapback and trucker hats.
Do you have any plans of expanding the line any time soon? Care to drop some hints as to what you are working on?
Actually, we are currently in production for more parts. Look for some awesome and very different finishes in our new frames and bars. We will also be offering some smaller sizes frames for all of the little shredders out there. We have some more soft goods in the works as well, including Corey’s and Chris’ signature tees.
So I’ve been seeing some team edits pop up lately. Who’s currently on the team these days?
Yeah, thanks – hope you like them. Right now the team sits at Andy Smith, River Waldren, Chris Chamberlain and Corey Foster. Andy and River are street riders from Phoenix, Chris is from South Bend, IN and is a park rider and Corey Foster is from Barstow, CA and rides street and park.
Are there any more videos that will be dropping soon for us to check out?
Tons – dropping soon! We have a lot of edits stacked and are coming out with more in 2013. We have already released our team edit in Arizona and are currently releasing individual Welcome to the team edits. We are headed to Barcelona, March 20th for 10 days, so there will be a lot of edits that come out of that and we have at least two more team trips planned for 2013. Very exciting for us and the team.
Are you planning to expand the team any time soon? What kind of riders are you looking to have represent Freed?
We are always down to add another dude to the team, but we are in no rush and just letting the additions come organically. Basically all of the Freed riders are good dudes on and off the bike. Everyone gets along super well which is a huge deal to us.
Do you have any sort of method for finding riders at all? What kind of advice do you have for the people out there looking to ride for Freed?
We don’t have a particular method. We just add when we feel there is a deserving dude out there who believes in what we believe in. As far as advice, it would be simple – just relax and have fun on your bike, everything will come in time.
So what’s the plan with your team trip to Barcelona? That’s definitely a hot spot these days.
Barcelona! We are going to Barcelona along with filmer Bobby Kanode. We plan on keeping our edits pretty organic….just see what spots we come across. It’s going to be a crazy trip with all those dudes because everyone has such as different perspective at the same spot. I’m stoked to see what everyone throws down there.
Care to hint and what you have lined up for trips in 2013 at all?
For 2013, we have got Barcelona, a California trip, Woodward West and a trip to the Oregon Coast on the books.
So let’s say a shop or distributor is stoked on your product. How can they get your stuff in their stores and warehouses? Who should they contact?
Yeah, thanks for asking. We are currently talking to distributors and stores. If anyone is interested in carrying our stuff, the best way is through email at [email protected]
Where can Freed currently be picked up at?
Freed is available online at Freedbikes.com, as well as select BMX specialty shops such as Serenity Ride Shop in Phoenix, AZ and The Kitchen Pro Shop in South Bend, IN.
What kind of warranty do your products come with?
We warranty parts for 1 year. If anyone is interested, our entire warranty policy is on our website.
Let’s say a rider has a question about the Freedom frame. Who should they contact to find out more?
That would be awesome – they can contact us through Facebook at facebook.com/freedbikes, through our website at [email protected], or give us a call at (480) 540-1805. We are also always looking to hear from our riders on product ideas, comments, or anything else on their mind – so shout out on Instagram @Freedbikes and Facebook.
How can people keep up with Freed these days? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of the other social media sites?
Obviously with the brand being so new, the wheels are really just starting to turn… What are some of the goals you have for the brand in the short term? What about the long term?
When we started, our main goal was to produce the best quality available in both hard and soft goods, and offer it all at a good price. In our first year, we went to great lengths researching and finding the best stuff for all of the riders out there. Not only did we want to provide the best in the business, but we also wanted to offer the best pricing to the rider. Our short term goals are to continue to build the brand, make great edits, keep our focus on our customers, and keep riders first. We are good with the slow and steady approach – we don’t want to be a mass market company – if we did we would manufacture in Taiwan. We want to stay true to our cause and promote the sport. Our long term goal is to make an impact on the market. There are some pessimists out there that think because DC cut their BMX program and other things, that BMX is dying. We think the opposite – we think BMX has a bright future both here in the US and Internationally. We want to make a difference!
All right, time to sell it hard… Why should riders support Freed?
Good people, great products, US made – check us out. Riders First!
Is there anything I missed you would like to say?
We want to thank Kurt at The Union for the opportunity to tell our story and to everyone out there who has supported Freed Bikes from the beginning. We look forward to great things to come!