We’ve recently become familiar with the splendor of the building that lives at 16401 Table Mountain Parkway in Golden, Colorado.  Proudfoot Cycles and the neighboring New Terrain Brewing Company have bikes and beer covered for any cycling enthusiast. As the location for the First Annual Bikepacking Summit, we had to swing in to check out the space, and say hi to our friends at Proudfoot. 
proudfoot cycles
Proudfoot Cycles storefront in Golden, Colorado.

Proudfoot Cycles is a steel-loving boutique bike brand building a variety of bikepacker-friendly rigs. Don’t be fooled, though. These aren’t just any steel frames. Jon, the man behind the brand, is an aerospace engineer and a direct descendant of the Wright Brothers. Making things is second nature to Jon, and he has combined his passions of aerospace engineering and bikes. Their philosophy?
“From our experience in aerospace, we are confident in our performance driven design and weight-to-strength ratios. And hence we’ve developed geometry, using aerospace-grade engineering software, that inspires confidence on the descent but is still comfortable climbing.”
The welder and fabricator at Proudfoot, Derek, is an experienced craftsman whose family heritage also brought him into the aerospace industry, where he worked in the US Airforce as an F-16 crew chief on missions in Italy, Iraq and South Korea. 

proudfoot cycles

When we came by the shop, Jon and Derek were hard at work building a CX_135 Cyclocross bike. Their manufacturing shop is situated smack dab in the middle of the New Terrain brew house, with fragrant smells of hops and barley abound. Jon was so kind as to build us up one of their MTB_148 hardtail mountain bikes to test for a couple months, so we were admiring that along with all of the other beauties, including their Proudfoot Prime prototype full suspension. 

proudfoot cycles

proudfoot cycles

We went out for a ride with Jon to test out the fit on the North Table Mountain trails which are located 100 yards from their backdoor. My first impressions of the MTB_148 were positive. Since then, I’ve put about 200 miles on the bike. 

proudfoot cycles
The Ride
The 148 is spunky and quick to climb. Equipped with a Fox Transfer dropper, it’s comfortable while descending technical terrain, too. From the first ride, I knew I could sustain long days in the saddle on this bike. From North Table Mountain singletrack to rugged 4×4 roads in eastern Utah, the 148 handles anything from rough terrain to smooth gravel and sand with ease. Proudfoot has tiered levels of build options for the MTB_148, however, all bikes from Proudfoot are custom built to order, so like our tester, you can pick and choose what components you want. It is confident and capable, and with the ability to accommodate plus-sized tires, this could be your one-bike-quiver ride.
lockhart basin loop

The Look
Although Proudfoot claims a utilitarian design, their frames are, simply put… beautiful. I have a keen eye for designs that achieve functional simplicity. This is one of them. As they state on their website, “ the simplest solution is often the most effective at solving a problem.” Proudfoot uses straight steel tubing for the front triangle and fabricates all of their chainstays and seatstays in house using aerospace grade steel so that they can control the outcome. The MTB_148 comes in 5 different color options.

proudfoot cycles

Stay tuned for a long-term review of the Proudfoot MTB_148 later this summer. 

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