Words: Jonah Goldman
Photos: Kendall Rock
Even a glance of a Borealis fatbike ignites a strong sensation—a desire to ride.
Webster defines enjoyment as “A feeling of pleasure caused by doing or experiencing something you like.” Borealis Bikes isn’t just selling the most advanced fatbikes in the world--they are selling enjoyment. The product speaks for itself. Even a glance of a Borealis fatbike ignites a strong sensation—a desire to ride.
In 2010, Adam Miller was a freshman at Colorado College and Borealis Bikes did not exist. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Adam brought his passion for a unique biking experience to Colorado Springs and pursued it. A competitive racer since age 11, Adam also worked as a bike mechanic at Chain Reaction Cycles when he was 14. When Adam began tinkering with his own tires and designing new features to enable biking through the snowy Alaskan winter, the idea for creating an improved riding experience began to take shape.
When Adam met Steve Kaczmarek, a successful Colorado College graduate who was teaching an entrepreneurship class, they decided to take the concept of a new fatbike company from an idea to a reality. In September of 2013, this fledgling company entered the international bike trade show in Las Vegas. The response to their product was “awesome” and they built off the early momentum.
As the business plan became more defined during the summer of 2013, the company gained initial traction. When Borealis was launched and the first 50 orders were placed within a number of hours, Adam and Steve knew that this unique bike company had a real future. By December 2013, Borealis had broken $1 million in sales. Today that figure has more than doubled, and the company has expanded to employ 13 staff members who work in sales, assembly, customer support, accounting and management.
So what exactly is a fatbike? The abnormally large tires are hard to miss. They are attached to an innovative new mountain bike carbon frame, yielding a sleek design which combines function and form--as luxurious as it is exhilarating. These versatile bikes offer a fun ride and allow a rider to simultaneously conquer snow, sand, dirt and rocky mountain bike trails.
What makes Borealis’s fatbikes so great? Simply put, improved design. Borealis bikes feature cutting edge lightweight carbon frames, as well as forks and rims that are stronger and lighter than the competition. With incredible handling and traction, Borealis bikes can quite literally give you the ride of your life.
“We are just selling enjoyment. We offer the best products, best service, and sell bikes that people will have the most fun on.”
When I asked Adam how he views the mission and work of Borealis, he replied: “We are just selling enjoyment. We offer the best products, best service, and sell bikes that people will have the most fun on.”
Over the past couple years, Adam has experienced how rewarding it can be to start a company while also embracing the stress and constant change that a company undergoes in the startup phase. He enjoys hearing positive customer feedback, figuring out how to rectify problems, and simply riding his fat bike through Palmer Park. With around 150 retailers that are local, national and international, Borealis hopes to expand further into international markets in the next years and increase distribution to spread these amazing bikes around the world.
Inspired by the natural wonders of Colorado, bike models like the Yampa and Echo find their namesake in mountain ranges and canyons throughout the state. Because Colorado Springs hosts a healthy population of outdoor enthusiasts and nurtures a strong biking community, Borealis has found an amazing home and makes our fair city even more attractive to new enterprises and innovators.