Adam Miller is the 21-year-old co-owner of the Fat Bike Company, a local firm specializing in a new breed of off-road machines. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Miller currently is a student at Colorado College, majoring in economics with a business focus, and plans to graduate in May 2014. Miller took some time this week to talk about his business venture and its role in Colorado Springs.
It’s safe to say that you enjoy cycling/biking. Can you tell us how you got started and how that passion has evolved throughout the years?
That is a safe thing to say! I started really mountain biking when I was 10 years old. There was a program for kids called Mighty Bikes and it got me hooked on riding single-track immediately. I started racing a few years later and I chose to go to school at Colorado College because of the excellent mountain bike trails that are so close by.
Tell us about the origins of Fat Bike and give us some details about the young company.
We got started last November when Steve Kaczmarek and I met. I had an idea to start a small bike company, and Steve was a professor of entrepreneurial studies at Colorado College. We started talking and quickly decided to start The Fat Bike Company and ramp up our operations to get the first carbon fat bike to market, and we did. Our goal was to make the lightest and best “fat bikes” (bikes with wide tires designed to ride on any terrain) and so far we have won numerous awards for our design and have been growing faster than we ever could have imagined.
Fat Bike was recently headquartered in downtown Colorado Springs. Why?
Colorado Springs has so many positive factors that make it the ideal place for our business. The outdoor culture, the incredible bike trails and the wonderfully small-but-growing cycling community make getting out to ride and test new products a blast. But what I never imagined was the awesome level of support in the community for our new business. The city has offered us so many resources for employment, finding a great location, and helping to market our new company. And the tax incentives certainly don’t hurt either.
What brought you here from Alaska?
Mountains, bikes and an excellent college. I love Alaska, but there is nothing like the amazing climate and proximity to world-class trails for hiking, biking and skiing around here. Colorado College has allowed me to receive an excellent education while being able to explore and have tons of fun in the outdoors.
What are your goals and aspirations?
I’d like the company to stay fun and awesome where the focus is always to make the best bikes possible and have as many people able to ride them to see the joys of fat bikes. What that means, I don’t know exactly. We are growing very quickly and plan to continue to grow and develop new products. We will always stay in Colorado Springs and hire from the local talent here. Fat Bikes are the fastest growing segment of the bicycle industry, and we plan to stay on the top of the new market.
Where do you see Fat Bike in five, 10, 20 years?
I see Fat Bike growing to a very sustainable, fun level. Ideally our business will be a fun, successful place where all of our employees get to ride awesome fat bikes during lunch breaks. We want The Fat Bike Company to be the most fun place to work, so as long as we keep selling bikes like we are, I think we’ll get there.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
Palmer Park is the most fun accessible single-track around! Section 16, Red Rock Open Space, Ute Valley and Cheyenne Cañon all have excellent rides close by.