donhou

I seriously love Donhou Bicycles. I know that this is hardly a professional way to start an article, but I mean, come on. This is about bicycles so I’m kinda allowed to be excited, and what’s even more Donhou is really killing it.

Founder Thomas Donhou has found a way to build a very reputable business banking on innovation, solid design and great collaborations. Donhou bicycles are handmade and built to order in London, with a great deal of attention to detail, by people who have pretty much ridden bikes for their whole lives. So you know it’s supa good.

Of course as always this is an outsider’s view but I can see Donhou Bicycles do nothing but grow in the future. Here’s why.

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Bike porn by Donhou. Look at the frame. Look at the one piece stem / track drop bars. BRB, fapping.

Donhou Bicycles are beautiful. There’s not much more I can elaborate on that. Of course beauty is subjective, but if you don’t like the bike above, go get your eyes checked. Next.

Innovation. Putting disc brakes on road / track frames (for road use) will certainly not appeal to purists, but seriously, this is innovation. The Rapha Continental type of build is a great idea – I have a feeling that most people who ride bikes non professionally tend to abuse and rely on their brakes more than they ideally should, so it really makes sense to use a disc brake, since the weight difference would not actually matter for the everyday rider. I understand that the use of disc brakes on road bikes is a hot subject right now, but siding with the revisionists rather than the traditionalists even if it’s just for a single project, certainly shows an innovation friendly attitude.

the-100-mph-bicycle-7598

The 100mph bike. You will need Robert Fostermann’s thighs to make that thing move.

What prompted me to write about Donhou Bicycles, was their latest experiment doubling up as a perfect PR stunt: the 100mph bike. A singularity of a low-pro track bike, built with a freakish large chainring (is it 104t? woah.) The insane gear ratio on this bike guarantees a normal human being would never be able to make it move. Let alone push 100mph – which I think is actually impossible anyway. However this is as brilliant of a move business wise as it gets.

Seeing the concept bike, I was certain it would open Donhou a door to reach mainstream media – and it certainly did as revealed by the simplest of google searches. More than half the battle was won at the bike’s name. The 100mph bike. No matter if the bike will never break the barrier, the name alone characterizes it and sets it as a frontrunner in the imaginary battle to break the 100mph landmark on a track bike. The inspirational character of the story makes the it newsworthy and rememberable – it really helps carry the brand forward.

The bike’s appearance certainly goes well with the name: make no mistake, this thing is a war machine. In an imaginary conversation about breaking speed barriers on track bikes, it displaces the question from “what if there was a bike” to “what if there was a human strong enough to ride the bike T. Donhou built”. And this, simply put, is a PR stunt for the ages.