Sea Otter 2012: John Cowan’s new bike company

by Chipps 1

We bumped into legendary dirt jumper, and lovely chap, John Cowan today, walking the pits with his ready-for-production new dirt jump bike. It’s a full carbon frame, made in the US, near San Diego. John has pioneered this himself and, with the help of a few friends, has established a machine shop and full carbon production centre in a small industrial unit.

Bold graphics and matt finish looks really sharp.


The man himself. Dirt jump rider, monster jump builder, guitar player, golfer and now bike company boss.

Cowan’s reasoning for using carbon isn’t for the weight – it’s beefed up enough that it weighs in around 4.5lbs, comparable to many dirt jump bike frames, but he’s using it for its strength. Many companies are now turning to carbon for more and more aggressive uses because it’s actually pretty hard to break, if you design and build it right…

Internal rear disc hose routing and integrated seat post makes this a neat looking frame.


Beefy looking front end for inevitable botched landings.


Very neat cowled dropouts


Nothing to break off here.


Big down tube for stiffness, the other reason Cowan went for carbon. He also reckons that it performs impressively on the face of jumps, giving 'spring' to take offs.


Could have got a black fork though John...


The Cowan bikes website is now live and John reckons that the bikes will go into production in May with an estimated retail price at a reasonable $950. He’ll be selling direct from the website, so it should still be reasonably priced in the UK after shipping and taxes.

Comments (1)

  1. carbon dirt jump bike. blimey.

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