The employees at the Moots Cycle production plant in Steamboat Springs work as a team and are all proud of the bikes they produce. They carry on a tradition that began when the company was founded 40 years ago.
So when the motorcyclist was named the best consumer brand at the Colorado Manufacturing Awards, the people who work for Moots or the customers who have grown to love the selection of mountain, road, cyclocross and gravel bikes in the world. company were not surprised.
“We never really approached these things to go after rewards. It’s just not our thing, ”said Jon Cariveau, marketing, social media and brand spokesperson for Moots. “We just want to be recognized for manufacturing a high quality product and for our know-how. Our people come to work every day with the mind that we’re going to build the best, and we know how to do it. “
This mindset helped Moots dominate a field of over 40 finalists to win one of 14 awards at the 2021 Colorado Manufacturing Awards, the largest ever presentation for the group. But more importantly, Cariveau said the award honors the Moots’ state of mind.
Founder Kent Eriksen, who is now a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, started the company in 1980 with the first bike released in 1981.
Eriksen spent 25 years with the company, working with several partners before selling in 2000. He stayed for another five years before leaving the company completely in 2005 to start his own business.
“They’ve had great owners, and the new guy is on,” Eriksen said. “They also had loyal people who stuck around, which kept things going. They have also known how to evolve over time and have always manufactured quality products. They are really doing a great job continuing on this path. “
Moots has built a solid reputation for its handmade titanium bikes and has been identified as a source of innovation in the cycling industry since its inception. Today, the bicycle maker has become a leader among the growing gravel bike community.
The company prides itself on the talents of its employees, including a team of talented welders who turn bike frames into works of art, the machinist who creates the parts and the finishing team who take care of all the details. final.
The company also produces many titanium and aluminum parts that are used to build the bikes and has integrated 3D printing to manufacture some of the parts in-house to exact specifications, with consistent results.
“There are 28 of us here full time these days, and we make about 1,000 bikes a year,” Cariveau said. “Some years we make a little more, and some a little less, but to be recognized outside the bike industry as a manufacturer that can afford 40 years is pretty amazing.
This year has been difficult for businesses as they face the impacts of COVID-19.
When the pandemic struck last spring, Cariveau said Moots had shut down operations and was waiting to see what happened. For a few months, sales declined as people tried to figure out how the pandemic was going to impact their lives.
Things changed in May and June as people started buying more bikes in all price ranges. Cariveau said more people are realizing they can work from home and it’s easier to fit a run into their schedules, and for some it was a dream come true.
“I think some people started to think, ‘Well if it’s the end of the world I’m going to get my Moots this year,’ Cariveau said.
The increase in demand has put pressure to restart the production facility.
“We had planned to increase our production capacity a bit, but this sort of thing forced our hand a little early,” said Cariveau. “We have increased the number of employees in the production floor, and when I say increase, it’s two to three more people.”
The only thing that hasn’t changed, Cariveau said, are the expectations of the employees who make the bikes and of the customers who are willing to wait for the bikes to be delivered.
“Cyclists in general see Moots as some kind of ambitious brand,” Cariveau said. “The beautiful thing about Moots is that it’s made right here. We do not rely on foreign sellers or suppliers to send our frames to us and label them as Moots. They’re made right here in the building, so we have control over what we can deliver.
He said employees have also stepped up to keep the wheels turning.
“We have a good plan in place, and I think we’re doing a great job of sticking to it,” Cariveau said. “We get together every week and make little adjustments here and there, but hopefully we can weather the storm and stay another 40 years.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ Framp1966.