We’re a new bike company, dedicated to two things

  1. Making  transport bikes that are fast, fun and family-friendly
  2. Making them in Portland, Oregon.

Why are we doing this?  So more people can enjoy the magic we’ve enjoyed of doing more by bike, and so we can make a livelihood in our hometown doing something challenging, cooperative and broadly good.

If you call Kinn Bikes and you may reach Alistair Williamson or Max Miller. If you ride a Kinn bike and you’ll be enjoying the work of at least five Portland companies (as well as some fine components from Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, Japan and Belgium).

How it all began

Alistair Williamson founded Kinn bikes in early 2012. He was motivated when he discovered others desired the bike he designed for himself and there were bike manufacturers in Portland ready to help build them.

It was December 2010, and my grand-kids were getting older. When they sat on the back my regular bike they would tip the front up: it wasn’t safe to ride together anymore. No problem, I thought, I just needed a bike a few inches longer so their weight would be in front of the rear wheel instead of behind it. But I couldn’t find such a bike. There were excellent longtail bikes and box bikes but I didn’t want – or need – anything that big as most of the time I’d be riding it alone to and from my work.

The first Kinn (made from cut up bike frames and aircraft tubing) and the first Kinnfolk (my grand-kids)

I was puzzled why such bikes didn’t exist (the rules of physics said it should work just fine) so I descended to my basement to build one. A couple of months later, with the generous help of Tom LaBounty, a bike emerged. It was stable and nimble and the grand-kids could go fast again! I was happy and they were gleeful. However the first Kinn was cobbled together and would not last a year. Soon there was a second Kinn, only this time built by the award-winning frame-builder Joseph Ahearne. It was beautiful, I was very happy, and there it was supposed to end …

… but it did not.

People wanted this bike. They would follow me into cafes, they would flag me down on the street. They had the same needs I had: an everyday bike and kid/cargo bike in one. So, with the support of my neighborhood bike shop the Bike Commuter,  Kinn Bikes was conceived.

You can read more about the development story on Bike Portland about developing the Kinn bike.