Click here to see the 2007 Subrosa completes!
Subrosa recently announced their upcoming line of complete bikes. They all look amazing and are stocked with some of the best components out there…Check the photos for proof. We hit up Subrosa owner Ryan Sher to find out more about the new line and the direction of the brand. He gave us the skinny and alludes that there may be a mystery bike to be revealed at Interbike… Read the interview, check out the bikes, and get stoked.
Your company is barely a year old, and your only frame (Pandora), hasn’t been available for very long, yet you are already coming out with a full line of complete bikes. Was this the plan from the beginning and why was it so important for you to have an entire line of completes?
From the early stages of discussing Subrosa, we knew we were going to enter the complete bike market. We saw a void in the way companies were representing the BMX lifestyle with their complete bikes and felt we could create a better experience for a new or advanced rider. It was important to us because we wanted to provide bikes at an entry level that had the look and feel of an aftermarket, pro level bike.
You have bikes ranging from around $240 to $1,100…is the frame the same on all the bikes?
It would be impossible to offer a bike at the $240 price point with all the same features as our aftermarket frames. That being said, we did our best to replicate the Pandora and represent Subrosa throughout the line. Using the similar geometry, and specs on the complete bikes as the Pandora line gives all the bikes the same feel, while using different materials and components to keep the bikes affordable. Also designing different graphics, and adding the same CNC’d details to all the bikes give them the look of our aftermarket products.
Not only do you have plenty of 20″ bikes for riders of all ages and skill levels, you also have 18″ bikes, 24″ bikes with mag wheels…What was the driving force behind putting out such extremely diversity with the line?
We didn’t want to create a complete bike line half way. Younger riders that would fit an 18″ bike are a very important part of BMX. I know when I started riding I would’ve loved to have had an 18″ bike instead of a 20″. You can’t expect a little kid to enjoy BMX if he can’t control his bike. As for the cruiser, they’re just so much fun to bomb around town or to the bar on. When I got my Shadow X Invisible Man cruiser, I went out and bought some Skyway Tuff wheels for it, and it reminded me of an old Hutch with a Hessian in a jean jacket riding it. We talked to Skyway for a bit, and figured out a way to have a few of the completes come with them.
With Interbike just around the corner, will we be seeing the completes at the trade show?
Yes, all 9 models will be at Interbike, and they’ll be in shops worldwide in November. Could there also be a late edition to the line? We’ll have to see at the show.
You’ve obviously been a busy man this past year getting the brand off the ground, what has been the biggest hurdle with the whole project? What has been the most fun part of it all?
Well being that we discussed almost every aspect of what we wanted to create and accomplish with our first collection beforehand, there wasn’t very many hurdles, so I guess I would have to say time and money have been the only things to limit us. Also, Sparky’s Distribution has such a great crew of people working there. From sales, to the graphics department, to the warehouse, none of Subrosa would be possible without all of them. There are so many fun parts of Subrosa to me. I love going through the design stages and finally receiving a finished product. The team is another awesome part for me. Traveling and working with them on products is great, theyy all have awesome ideas, and are fun to ride with.
Do you ever have time to ride anymore with everything going on with Subrosa?
I’m lucky enough to live in a city that feels it’s a good idea to build a free, open to everyone, cement park in every single neighborhood. I’ve been in Florida for the past three weeks, and in the time I’ve been gone three new parks have opened! The total of parks in the Portland area is nearing 12. Combine that with the amount of riders, and any time of the day you can find a session.
Subrosa has a lot of cool artwork going on with their soft goods and bike graphics…what is the inspiration for the art direction of the stylized skulls, weapons, and other dark objects?
Basically we’re inspired by what we’re into. I’ve always been a fan of the “Dia De Los Muertos” or Day Of The Dead imagery. And who doesn’t love a good skull with a dagger stabbed through it? It’s important to us for the company to have a theme. You need to have some direction with the look and vibe of your company to have something people can remember or associate with.
All the complete bikes (as well as the Pandora frame) only come in black and white. All the graphics are black and white, the ads in our magazine are black and white…why the lack of color in the brand? Are you encouraging kids to pick up a can of Krylon when they get their new bike?
Don’t forget about raw. Like I said above, we really wanted to have a constant theme for people to associate to Subrosa. Entering any competitive market, it’s important to stand out. We obviously didn’t want to stand out in a bad way, so we came up with the basic vibe of the company to be simple and clean. Black and white sums up simple and clean, and looks great at the same time. We definitely encourage riders to custom paint any bike they get. There’s nothing better than pulling all the parts off your frame and layering on the paint. That’s why we sell frame decal sets. (Hahaha)
This may be backtracking a bit, but where did you come up with the name? We know it means “under the rose”, but were you reading “The da Vinci Code” when you came up with it?
Ron Bonner and I have been talking about doing several different projects for some time now. In all of these different projects we talked about the Subrosa name. The meaning goes a little past just “under the rose.” Anything that was said or done under that rose would be kept a secret by everyone involved. It just adds an element to the company’s background story, and it also gives us some direction while thinking of new products or designs.