Philly Bike Expo’s “Exhibitor Stories” feature is a way to get to know the people behind the showcased products and services. Our hope is that by getting a little more inside info, Expo attendees will feel like they’ve already been introduced to that person in the booth. Recently, I’ve found that the best way to do that is by emailing my subject a few questions and letting them tell their story in their own words. In the case of NJ’s Crust Bikes, everything you could possibly want to know about Australian expat and founder Matt Whitehead can be discovered on the crustbikes.com website. This includes detailed descriptions and reviews of the bikes and frames, blogposts, podcasts and video interviews. Although this will be the first time Crust Bikes has exhibited at the Philly Bike Expo, the PBE “family” has known Matt for a while -besides visiting the Expo on the other side of the booth as an attendee, some years back Matt commissioned our Stephen Bilenky to build him a couple of bikes for his own use that would be capable of carrying surfboards. This specialty purchase opens a little window of insight into Matt’s activities and interests. While someone else might order more custom bikes to suit their next set of required features not (yet) available elsewhere on a production bike, in 2014, Matt decided to launch his own line of bike designs. From sketch to prototype to production, (oh, and Instagram!) Crust realized a dream. I highly recommend watching/listening to Russ Roca’s lively “Path Less Pedaled” video interview, if you want to know more about Matt and Crust Bikes, his views on a wide range of topics, and his vision for the brand. I had a few questions not already answered by the video. Unfortunately, my timing was “off”, as I found out that Matt had recently undergone surgery for a broken ankle, and wasn’t feeling up to “talking” much. Get healed soon, Matt- we know you have tons of adventures ahead of you! Note: My last questions may seem odd, but I first thought that the “crust” in Crust Bikes must be a reference to crust punk. (It’s not?) Then, I saw the “tweet length statement” Matt had furnished on his Philly Bike Expo Exhibitor sign-up form and questionnaire that read: “Crust bikes, maybe I should have opened a pizzeria.” I now thought the name had to have something to do with pizza! Doesn’t everybody love pizza? Well, you know what they say about assumptions!
PBE How did you choose your NJ location?
MW It just happened by chance. You could say it chose me.
Where and by whom were/are your prototypes made?
MW Some in Taiwan some in the US all by different people.
PBE I noticed on the Crust Bikes website that your Evasion, Terrible One, and Cheecho models say “out of stock”- are you in the process of restocking?
MW Yep, new stock is always on the way, just takes time.
PBE What’s next for Crust Bikes?
Bankruptcy? No not really sure, I just take it day by day.
PBE What’s the story behind your company name?
MW To earn a crust, means to making a living, which is what I am trying to do, in the best way I know how.
PBE What’s your favorite pizza?
MW Vegan cheese and pepperoni.