Kelly Bikes is Back In Biz

Chris KellyChris Kelly has re-launched the Kelly bike brand that had been dormant since “forces beyond his control,” as he put it to me, led to the dissolution of the original LLC in 2007. The dissolution ended a 21+ year run that began in a tiny redwood shack in the back yard of Grandma Kelly’s house in the Fruitvale district of East Oakland, CA where the first 30 or so Kelly brand frames were crafted.

In the intervening years, Kelly had time to reflect upon the difficult decision that he had to make in 2007. Then last summer, with his four year old daughter upon his knee, Kelly experienced the epiphany that would lead to the resurrection of the brand (he’d wisely retained trademark rights after the dissolution). Kelly told me that his daughter looked up at him and said: “Daddy we need to start Kelly bicycle company so we can fix people’s bikes and make bikes for them.”

Kelly knew in his heart that it was the right thing to do. He told me that he has always loved building bikes, and that there had been a steady stream of folks approaching him and asking him to build them a bike. He also stated, quite frankly: “Dude, I needed the money.”

Why not re-fire the torch and make a living doing what you love to do? In a nutshell, that’s exactly what Kelly has done. The Kelly website has all the particulars on the Kelly product lineup which includes bikes, forks, Take Offs, apparel, frame repair, and powdercoating. Kelly told me that he’s trying to build up stock on popular items such as forks and his Take Off shifter mounts. Bikes are pretty much built to order at this point. If you’re interested, it would be wise to get your order placed toot sweet.

During our conversation, Kelly also told me that he successfully pitched the idea of a “bicycle talk show” to KVMR, his local radio station. Kelly now hosts the one-hour BikeTalk show monthly, and has posted podcasts and more information on his website.


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