Bicycle Industry Insider Profile: Justin Kline

Aside from bicycles, of course, the main reason I choose to continue my futile search for fortune in the bicycle industry is because of the people I know and meet. There’s no shortage of extremely smart and passionate people who are insanely interesting, individualistic personalities. Sure it’s cool to be around famous athletes from time to time, but I much more deeply value the less publicly visible people that make the bicycle world go ’round. As such, I’ve decided to revive a special online series where we do a very brief standardized interview with some of these individuals: The Bicycle Industry Insider Profile Series. I want to share the stories of these people with the rest of the world through the Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times web sites. This week we have…

Justin Kline

Warminster, PA

Current location:
Sugar Hill, NH

What do you do for/with/to bicycles?:
What do I to bicycles…Is that some kind of sick question? I ride them of course, daily whenever possible but that is not what pays the bills. That is where Princeton Tec comes in. They provide me with the opportunity to work in the bicycle/outdoor industry, a small segment that I never hope to leave.

What’s the best thing about your job?
It is hard to nail down just one thing, but I really enjoy working with like minded people. The bicycle industry is built on a foundation of talented, interesting, and passionate people who share their love of bikes. This means no matter if it is a co-worker, sales rep, dealer, or distributor: you all share a common bond. At the end of the day most of us are doing what we really enjoy and that usually makes for happy people and a pleasant working environment. And yes, being able to have a quiver of otherwise unaffordable bikes doesn’t hurt either…

What’s the toughest part of your job?
When your occupation is based upon your passion it is inevitable that work and play will no longer remain two separate entities. It can be tough but ultimately you have to accept there will always be a large gray area.

What was the path that led you to work with bicycles?
In the latter years of high school and throughout college I progressively got more and more into the outdoors. Hiking, backpacking, skiing, mountain biking, whatever it was I just liked being out in the woods. On a bike I could cover more ground, see more places, and get the speed rush. I quickly found my way into collegiate cycling where I became totally hooked, decided to get into the skinny tire side of things as well, and the passion for cycling has never stopped growing since.

What was your first bicycle?
My first nice bike was a rigid cro-moly Schwinn my mom got me for my birthday when I was in sixth grade. Everyone else had BMX bikes at the time which just seemed silly to me. I was psyched about the LX components and I remember saving up for these ridiculous bright orange Tomac bar ends. The brakes were what really impressed me at the time though. I recall throwing myself over the bars grabbing too much front brake on multiple occasions.

What bike do you currently ride the most?
My commuter bike, a Redline Conquest Disc certainly sees the most miles, but I really love the dirt. More times than not I am rolling on my Haro Mary 29er single speed. For the longer hauls with a lot of steep climbing I have really been enjoying my Fuji Outland RC 29er. I still have love for the little wheels too though. It is hard to beat the lightweight, quick handling, and plush ride of my carbon Giant Anthem Advanced. Yeah…it is hard to ride just one, especially when I am too lazy to fix broken parts.

Where is your favorite place to ride?
There is a lot of amazing riding right out the door here in the white mountains. Kingdom Trails is top notch of course. I love Wissahickon and Middle Run/Whaite Clay in the Midatlantic, Moab & Fruita are absolutely awesome, and the Adventure Cycling Great Divide route is an amazing place to pedal dirt through beautiful scenery for days on end.

What music goes through your head (literally)?
Wow, this one is all over the place. Could be the Cult, Bronski Beat, Metallica, or anything in between. There always seems to be a lot of 80s new wave mixed in there though…I know. I know.

What are your interests aside from bicycles?
I love the outdoors. Bikes are a great way to explore, but I also enjoy backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and mountaineering and ice climbing in the winter months. I Love traveling to new places, eating good food, and good beer of course.

If you weren’t working around bicycles, what do you think you’d be doing?
My elementary school profile said I would be an architect so I am going with that. In more recent years though I interviewed for everything from a medical sales rep position to being a caretaker at an ice climbing shelter in New England. I am happy where I landed though and can’t imagine a career outside the industry at this point.

Please share one of your favorite stories you’ve seen or been a part of while working in the bicycle industry:
Too many goodies here. I am saving them for my next book. Or for next time you come over for beers.

Who would you choose for us to profile next?
Grant Peterson

I have the opportunity to work with Grant since his company, Rivendale Bicycle Works, is dedicated to selling some of our lights. I enjoy the time I get to speak with him about bikes, travel, and life in general. He is a solid guy with some interesting things to say, and I think you will enjoy hearing from him too.

Watch the Dirt Rag web site next week…most likely Friday…for when we post the Bicycle Industry Insider Profile for Grant Peterson.


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