DREAM BUILDS

Bike (USA) - - Contents -

Ca­pa­ble. Pro­gres­sive. Ex­pen­sive. Nause­at­ingly ad­justable. Mul­ti­fac­eted. Sup­ple. Sup­port­ive. Can bikes get more com­pli­cated? More deca­dent? More spe­cific, more broad? We cer­tainly try, shame­lessly show­cased in Dream Builds.

THE CHEE­TAH AND THE GAZELLE

be­came the first and sec­ond fastest an­i­mals in Africa as a di­rect re­sult of their preda­tor/prey re­la­tion­ship. When­ever two species in­ter­act, there’s a sym­bio­sis that slowly makes each more adept at ex­ist­ing with the other. And it’s not al­ways an­tag­o­nis­tic. Flow­ers evolve to at­tract and feed bees and hum­ming­birds, who then spread their pollen. Those flow­ers even­tu­ally take on a color and shape that is ev­ery pol­li­na­tor’s dream date, and they then repli­cate that color and shape as closely as pos­si­ble as many times as pos­si­ble.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers have a sim­i­lar re­la­tion­ship with riders. They de­sign a frame aimed at a par­tic­u­lar au­di­ence, and then spec it to at­tract the largest pos­si­ble share of that au­di­ence. They amass ware­houses full the plas­tic-wrapped OEM com­po­nents that have the broad­est ap­peal, and then bolt them to­gether with Henry Ford-ian ef­fi­ciency and econ­omy. The sys­tem is mar­velous but, as in na­ture, it’s some­what rigid. A gazelle can’t sud­denly choose to use wings or skunk spray or por­cu­pine quills to fend off a chee­tah.

Maybe that’s why we love the idea be­hind Dream Builds so much. It de­fies na­ture. When some­one sits down and care­fully chooses each part on his or her bike, that per­son is break­ing free of the fo­cus groups and mar­ket analy­ses that drive the bulk of the in­dus­try. They make per­sonal choices that may be whim­si­cal or even ir­ra­tional. But they will cre­ate a bike that is a true ex­ten­sion of them­selves. Here, we’ve got five ma­chines that are re­flec­tions of their cre­ators’ per­son­al­i­ties. We hope they’ll in­spire you to think about your next bike, or maybe your cur­rent bike, and go a lit­tle wild.

STU­DIO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY AN­THONY SMITH

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