Thick Bikes Case Report
Adam Haller and Thick Bikes of Pittsburgh, PA Take on Cyclocross
On Thick Bikes:
Adam Haller is the Head of Sales, Warranty and Fitting at Thick Bikes located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s historic south side. He describes Thick Bikes as as an “everyman’s shop” - unpretentious yet loving the racing culture. “Our main clientele demographic is comprised of commuters, fixie kids and touring folks. We do cater to the race scene but it is not our focus.” Recently, fat bikes have also become a big focus at the shop as they have grown in popularity. Haller says he loves his job because bikes have changed his life and if he can share a piece of that with someone else, he will jump at the chance. With this kind of attitude among the shop’s staff, it is clearly the kind of bike shop that anyone would feel comfortable in - from novice to elite racer.
On Cyclocross and the Thick Cyclocross Team:
This is the first year that Thick has had a “uniform race team.” It’s a small team of 10 people, 8 men and 2 women, who mostly race in cyclocross events. Some of the team members, however also compete in road and mountain bike racing. For cyclocross, they train on the cobblestone streets of their historic neighborhood as well as streets with “moon craters” for potholes and big hills. They practice bike handling skills on skinny tires on some great singletrack that is buried in the middle of the city (Frick Park).
“I love cyclocross because it brings the best features of road racing and mountain bike racing together, dropping the snobbishness at the door,” says Haller. “It is a fun culture that appeals to everyone from serious racing fans to families looking for a fun day out. I also really enjoy that the race course can be seen in its entirety from a single location because the course isn’t huge and is a closed loop. Drinking and heckling might be a little fun too.”
On the Thick Design and Podiumwear Gear:
Haller approached Podiumwear to make its team kit after hearing about a friend’s positive experience of ordering through the company. In addition, the team’s title sponsor, All-City Cycles, is a very dedicated cycle brand located in Minneapolis, part of Podiumwear’s stomping ground. It was important to the shop that their gear to be made “local” by a U.S. manufacturer.
The Thick team is wearing Podiumwear’s Gold Level cycling kits. “They fit and ride better than any other kit I’ve ever worn. My teammates agree.” says Haller.
“We are thrilled with our kits and they definitely turn heads on the race course,” says Haller. The design for their kits came from Saisha Harris of All-City Cycles, with whom we have a very special relationship. The Podiumwear design team took this design and converted it into the pattern templates for the Gold level kits. Not everyone comes to Podiumwear with a design already in mind and in those cases, Podiumwear works with the client to come up with a unique design. About the process of working with Podiumwear, Haller says “Julia Curry is great and she was phenomenal at helping to get our order done in a very crunched time.”
When asked if there were any team stories he wanted to share, Haller replied: The season isn’t even half over ... and it’s cyclocross, so there will be so many epic stories. Stay tuned.”