A LITTLE ABOUT US

We make family bikes that are fast, fun and easy to love.
We make them right here in Portland, Oregon.

And why are we doing this? We’re doing it so more people can discover and enjoy the magic that is traveling together by bike. We’re doing it so we can make a livelihood in our hometown that is challenging, interesting and worthwhile. lastly, quite importantly, we’re doing it because we think we can do it well.

... AND HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Alistair Williamson founded Kinn bikes in early 2012. He had discovered other people wanted to buy the bike he designed for himself and that there were manufacturers in Portland who could help him build some.

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