Sole Bicycles

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Jonathan Shriftman and Jacob Medwell wanted a cool bicycle, and when they thought of an alternate way to get it, they found (to their delight!) that everyone else wanted one too. Out came Sole Bicycles, a one stop store for Fixed Gear Bicycles, or “FIXIES”, as they call it.  The initial funding, made by family and friends, led to a phenomenal rise, and the Sole Bikes are now wearing down the roads in most of the states of the US, and about 20 countries.

The two met at the University of Southern California, (Jacob is still enrolled; Jonathan graduated in 2010) where the college students were mostly using mountain bikes or skateboards. However, the emergence of a new trendy, Fixed Gear Bicycle caught Shriftman’s attention. “They were the ones chasing down buses and doing all the cool track stands and skids,” says Schriftman. “Jake and I were like, ‘that’s what we want to ride!’ The basic ‘Fixies’ were available at around $900, clearly above most of the student’s reach. So Shriftman and Medwell, sharing the mutual love for bicycles, went online to look for manufacturers, who could reduce that cost. They ultimately secured a deal with a Chinese manufacturer.

While designing a prototype, they entered a competition organized by Inc. magazine, wherein they won $15000. This money, combined with contribution from Jacob, allowed them to buy their first stock, of 150 bikes, which they priced at about $ 310, a great reduction from the normal ones. The initial stock, sold out in a few days. The pair then connected with the Gilt Group, and the next stock was sold out in, wait for it, SEVEN MINUTES!!!!

 

Shriftman and Medwell with their Sole Bicycle.

 

The frames of the bikes are built and assembled by hand. They are made from post-consumer recycled steel, (Following the Go Green policy). The frame is welded to provide maximum stability and durability. What makes the Sole bikes so catchy is that it can be driven as both a ‘fixie’ and as a ‘single speed’ bike. The bike is lightweight (you can pick it up with two fingers); its frame geometry and advanced road bike tires maximize efficiency and speed.Broadly, there are two varieties, one which focuses on tricks, while the other on commuting.

Interested in getting one? It’s simple. Log on to their website (www.solebicycles.com) and select your model. Next up, the payment can be done through Visa, Master card or the American Express. They then mail you the nearly assembled bike, via post. The bike come 90% assembled, and the only assembling required are the pedals, front wheel, handlebars and level adjustments.

The bikes come with a 7 day return policy from the date of arrival.  Also, a one year warranty for the frame and the fork is honored.

Sole Bicycles has caught the attention of the customers and the critics alike. The high sales depict the customer’s interest, while the accolades received by the duo are a manifesto of their entrepreneurship talent. At 22, Jonathan was named one of the top college entrepreneurs in the country by Forbes Magazine.  Inc Magazine called their company Solé one of “America’s Coolest College Startups of 2011”. Within the first year, Solé received recognition as Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top Five College Entrepreneurs” and a grant from Alibaba.com as the “Third Ranked Newpreneur of the Year“.

Although the word about these “Low on cost” and “High on Attitude” bikes is spreading, the team Sole is working at lengths to expand their business. They persist on following their “Word of mouth” policy, which has got them this far. While they work to expand Sole Bicycles, the pair says they haven’t touched a cent of their revenue, which, is on the rise. In 2010, the revenue was $450,000, and the prospects looked even brighter in 2011.  “Every dollar we make, we put towards our next order,” says Medwell, showing the commitment of their team.

Written By: Salil Srivastava & Saumya  Mittal

JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida, 2012.

About Me: I am Salil Srivastava, a final year Instrumentation & Control student. I am an individual who is always ready to face new challenges, edifying myself on the way.

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11 Comments

  1. Shubham Tonk says:

    “necessity is the mother of invention”- and the article elaborates it well…nicely written…

  2. Ayush says:

    Quite creative yaar…..Brilliant idea….:)

  3. Ankit Agarwal says:

    Awesome work….!! Very creative.

  4. shivangi says:

    nycccc work..:)

  5. Garima Singh says:

    An interesting and a message-conveying article by the two of you. Enjoyed reading every word of it.

  6. salil srivastava says:

    sharad and shalini…thnks!!!

  7. shalini says:

    nice work…! 🙂

  8. sharad kumar says:

    amazing loved that !

  9. salil srivastava says:

    thnks ankita and kaushal

  10. An awesome article, tracing the journey of an idea that resulted into a successful entrepreneurial venture.

  11. wowww !!! wat an article !!! love d writing !! perfect.. 🙂

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