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.