Coasties Letter


H ey rideSFO!

Johnny at Coasties here.

I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the SF Bike Expo. It helped launch my business.

Over a year ago I wanted a 700c track wheel laced to a Coaster Brake. They didn’t exist. All the Coaster brake stuff was for little kid bikes or cruisers. I ended up building my own set. Other people saw them and wanted them, so I started making and selling them.

I was only a few months into this business when I found out about the Expo. As a start-up business, I was nervous to drop the cash to get vendor space, but when I saw who would be attending I bit the bullet and did it anyway, just hoping to get enough recognition to break even.

It was better than that. I got written up in Cyclelicious. Wired Magazine picked that up.

What I’m most excited about is that people are so happy with the Coaster Brake wheels that they have been referring their friends. This is what they’ve told me that they like about them:

Being unique. You’re different from all the other single speed bikes on the road.

You get a beautiful bike. You get the clean lines of a single speed without brake cables. The only option available for that clean look before I built these wheels was fixed gear. I don’t hate fixed gear bikes but they feel unsafe to me. I *don’t* want to keep pedaling all the time. I don’t want to slip off the pedals and lose control. Sometimes I just wanna coast down a hill.

You get to skid around like you did when you were a little kid, but you don’t hurt your knees like you can trying to skid stop a fixed gear. Mechanical advantage. A bunch of people riding these wheels are older (22-32) and they’ve already had their time on a fixed gear.

The brakes are built into the wheels for those three months a year we get rain. Internal hubs like Coaster brakes stop better and stay cleaner than external gear and braking setups in yucky weather.

I live in Oakland. I ride bike 1-10 miles a day. I’m an urban dude. I own 5 bikes I ride regularly and I choose to ride these wheels the most.

Thanks again, man. SF Bike Expo was a blast! See you again this year!

—Johnny at