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A LETTER FROM LANCE: Canfield Bikes Past, Present and Future

Lance Canfield | Canfield Bikes

Dear Canfield Fans,

Yes, it’s been quiet in Canfield land for far too long now. But the party is just about to start!

I want to fill all of you close to the brand in personally on what we have been up to and what the future holds. 

I want to start by saying thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the loyal customers and fans who have believed in us and even after two years of silence consistently check in with us for updates, wondering when we will be making more bikes.

We apologize for the lack of communication, but it was necessary while we restructured. 

 

Canfield Bikes

This is the announcement you have all been waiting for. 

The brand is alive and well and I’m excited to carry the torch and continue doing what I love: building badass mountain bikes worthy of wearing a skull on the head tube. 

Going forward, Canfield Brothers will officially be Canfield Bikes. Please be patient with us as the brand undergoes this transition. There is a lot to be done, but as the website, webstore and the rest of our properties make the switch, any interruptions or delays are no cause for concern—we are here to stay!

Canfield Bikes will maintain the level of quality products and hands-on customer service you have come to expect. 

Components, including Crampon Mountain and Crampon Ultimate pedals, rebuild kits and C2 AM and DH cranks are in stock and available immediately. 

New bikes are slated to be available by spring 2020, with details and pre-order options expected by the end of the year. Service parts for existing bikes will also be available.

If you need parts, have questions (we can’t say too much on new products just yet) or just want to say “hi,” feel free to reach out—we’re always stoked to hear from you!

 

The Brothers

Over the last couple of years, Chris and I have been working behind closed doors to figure out how to proceed with the Canfield brand. We have explored many options, not all of them with happy endings. 

At the end of all this, I knew continuing—and growing—Canfield Bikes was what I wanted to do. After two decades, I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

I am happy to announce that both Chris and I are moving forward with what we love to do, albeit separately. 

I will continue as the sole owner and principal designer of Canfield Bikes. Chris will retain the rights to the Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) suspension patent and will be working on new projects on that front. 

Yes, Canfield Bikes will continue to use CBF.

Chris has always been very passionate about the CBF patent and suspension design. He was instrumental in creating it, and his spirit, energy and creativity have played a vital role in making the brand what it is today. He will be missed, but I have no doubt that great things await him.

Chris has also been training and racing downhill for the last couple seasons and has absolutely killed it! He took the Masters title in the USA Cycling National Championship and a few weeks later, followed it up with a World Masters win at Bromont in Quebec on his Jedi. 

Congrats, Chris!

The last couple years for me have been continuing to travel with my partner Michelle and our dog, Joey the boxer. And we just rescued a new boxer named Scarlett! Only two years old and full of energy; she's going to make a great trail dog!

I have been enjoying some days riding chairlifts with my Jedi (and even pedaling my Balance occasionally!). I've also been having a blast twisting the throttle on my adventure bike and it's been a fun change going from a DH bike to a 500-pound motorcycle and pushing its limits. 

Once a freerider, always a freerider!


The Canfield Legacy

When I chose mechanical engineering as a career path, I never imagined I’d end up combining it with my greatest passion.

You may not know this about me but my first degree was auto body repair. I worked in body shops and even had my own shop for a while, specializing in hot rods, motorcycles and custom paint. We painted Honda race team bikes, Harleys, Mustangs and GTOs, even jet skis. I loved the creativity and seeing the outcome of all the hard work, but in the end I had to stop for fear of poisoning myself with all the hard chemicals in a paint shop. 

I had a drafting class in junior high and I really enjoyed it, so I went back to college for mechanical engineering. I ripped through that course like a DH track and was able to ace my trigonometry and calculus exams through the CLEP (college level examination program). Design work reminded me a little of the creative aspect of working in a custom rod shop—so cool to see your work in the final stages, standing back and thinking "that's RAD."

I spent 10 years as a mechanical engineer, designing all sorts of things including ATM booths. I enjoyed it, but none of my projects truly sparked passion. 

Then I discovered downhill bikes.

I started racing DH bikes in 1996 in sport class. I had a lot to learn and it wasn't until I had a few dozen races under my belt that I started winning and was able to move up the ranks. I was training and focused on increasing my overall pace and bike handling skills. But I always felt that something was missing when it came to the bikes I was riding.

 In 1998 I took second in the National Finals in Big Bear, CA. I felt heavy disappointment in not winning. 

I knew I could be faster on a better bike. I started designing my first bike and used the trailing arm suspension of trophy trucks as my inspiration. 

Chris and I worked to bring my concept to life, and after five years of racing bikes that always seemed to be a compromise of their potential, the Canfield Brothers Big Fat Fatty Fat was unveiled in 1999 at Deer Valley’s NORBA Nationals. With 12 inches of travel front and rear, and a rearward axle-path parallel-link design, it was unlike anything else on the start line.

It was official: Canfield Brothers Bikes was born. 

We continued to engineer and innovate, driven by our careers as pro racers and freeriders. Riding fed design creativity, and the resulting designs allowed riding limits to be pushed further.

Chris was the younger, faster racer who would go on to compete in multiple World Cups. I was more of a freeride big-mountain rider and went on to compete in the first four Red Bull Rampages (2001 to 2004) on bikes that I designed and built.

It was on those downhill tracks and the cliffs and ridgelines of the Utah desert that the inspiration for the Canfield Bikes you all know and love was born. 

To this day, all Canfield bikes and components are engineered from the trail up with that pedigree in mind.

 

Looking Forward

“Look where you want to go.”

It’s advice that anyone who races or hucks bikes knows all too well. And it applies to more in life than two wheels.

That’s why I’m looking toward the future of the brand and continuing to build some of the most fun bikes you can possibly throw a leg over.

But regardless of what goes on behind the scenes, Canfield Bikes wouldn’t be what it is without YOU, the riders.

Thank you for making the last 20 years a dream come true. 

Here’s to many more!

Sincerely,

Lance Canfield

 



32 comments

  • My first DH bike was a Canfield Jedi. It was a thing of great beauty and so much rad fun! I progressed so much as a rider on that bike. I’m overjoyed to hear that you will continue to make your awesome bikes.

    Kitima
  • Awesome story. Keep living the dream. Glad to see you’ll still be around when I’m looking for a new ride in the spring.

    Don Laury
  • So happy to hear that Canfield frames will be back in production this 2020. I did miss the chance to get a Riot/Toir and now I am looking forward to getting one! I’m also considering getting an N9 for a dedicated SS build because I ride SS during off seasons. My 2014 YS is still with me and has been my go-to bike regardless of the ride. I’ve sold quite a number of bikes already and certainly, this YS is something for keeps and won’t be selling it off.

    Leonard Natera
  • Great to hear good news of all you.
    I’m a fan an owner of a balance, since these 2 years too many things happened to me, I’m wondering to spend 2hours with the bike and the forest, it doesn’t matter I just can ride few days a month, when I ride I’m happy.
    Thanks to make that happines better with Your knowlege making the balance.
    Best wishes for all of you.

    Daniel Figuerola
  • Lance,
    Thank you for taking the time to share this update with us. I think many, if not all of us, are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that you, Chris, and the company are doing well. As a proud owner of a 2015 Balance, I am even more stoked that it displays “Canfield Brothers” because of its heritage, pedigree, and what it means to me.
    Thank you for continuing to share your passion and talents with us. Wishing you, your partner, dogs and family the best. I’m excited for what’s to come.
    -Rainier
    Lifelong owner and supporter.

    Rainier Tablante

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