Welcome to one of the biggest weeks on the bike industry calendar - it's time for the Eurobike show
! Located in the small, tucked-out-of-the-way, hard-to-find-a-room town of Friedrichshafen, Germany on the shores of Lake Constance, this bike show is hands down, without a doubt, no kidding, all hyperbole aside, the world's biggest bike show. No really, it is! This is the ONE show where all the heavy players show up to exhibit their latest two-wheeled wares.
And as is common for the days leading up to the show, bike journos the world over get inundated with press releases for all kinds of new bikes and new bike companies. Of all those that I've been privy to, none were as exciting as the note I got from Joshua Colp at Culprit bikes. Yeah, like you I'd never heard of the brand before either, but one look at the bikes quickly convinced me that I needed to chase Joshua down and find out more about his new bike bike brand.
The TRP/Parabox disc brake equipped Culprit hits the scales at 16 lbs. Photos: Daryl Carey
RBA: Who the heck are you and what's the story behind Culprit bikes?
Well, I grew up in Ventura, California and went to college in Santa Barbara while I was chasing hotel career in business. I got unhappy working hotels, and then I learned about jobs teaching English in Taiwan and I gave that a go. In my first year here my friend got me started competing in triathlons. We went to the Taipei bike show and I started emailing companies/brands asking for free product and a few responded and with that my door to the industry was magically opened.
Eventually I became very close with a company called Trigon. As a decent triathlete and occasional road racer in Taiwan. I followed the trends and was able to give product feedback and push them in their development. I have helped them with their shapes/outer designs. Of course, since they have been producing carbon frames and components for the worlds top brands, when it comes to knowledge about internal carbon layup, they are the professionals. But the Trigon brand isn't famous and I attribute it to their lack of marketing history combined with a preference to build for the OEM companies.
Backside mounted front brake and underside mounted rear brake, the Culprit is as contemporary as they come when it comes to aero brake mounting.
This last January I married a local girl who was aware of my passion for
cycling and together we decided to give the Culprit brand a go. With
our saved money and a bank loan she took out for us, we started the
company and began a focused R&D effort. I chose to work with Trigon
for the carbon parts due to the brands they already produce and most
importantly, for the good relationship we already enjoy. Luckily,
despite being a “nobody”, I have a lot of weight in the factory and they
have worked hard to produce my dream in a relatively short time for
I am close to TRP and good friends with them. When I
heard of their Parabox hydraulic unit I was already thinking of road
bikes with disc brakes. When I saw Colnago's bike at Taipei show I was a
bit frustrated because I realized that I had been beat to a disc brake
road bike. But if anything, it just proved to me that my early idea was
right. So I worked even harder to get things moving.
happened so quickly and we aren't fully ready but we are entrusting God
to provide, get all the suppliers on board and make the brand the next
Cervelo. We only want to compete against the likes of Trek, Cervelo and
The proprietary Croz fork mates perfectly with the rear mounted TRP side-pull brake.
Yeah, Culprit has a full-tilt tri bike as well.
I have one service center already arranged in the
U.S. for my carbon bikes since I am going consumer direct. I am looking
for shops to work with for doing a bike fitting. A lot of direct brands
cut out shops, but I want to engage the brick and mortar guys all bikes
to get a fitting, so this gives them guaranteed money if they sell
culprit, albeit not as much as usual).
DON'T FORGET THE FAST KIDS
Besides the frames that Culprit frames and bikes that Joshua wants to bring into the States, he also has a duo of ready to roll hi-tech kids bikes that he wants to bring in as complete bikes.
"Culprit Bicycles is still seeking distributors
for the Culprit Junior bikes and components in countries around the
world Brick and Mortar shops with bike fitting can contact:
for further information."
And that my friends is the Culrpit story as I know it right now. I plan to meet up with Joshua in the halls of Eurobike later this week and he says that the Culprit Bicycles
website should be providing a full retail price list later this week once the bikes go public in Germany.
Look for more from Eurobike later this week, or if you feel so inclined, head to the show this week as the last two days are public days and you will never see more new bikes in a single place anywhere in the world.