I got the chance to catch up with Joe Prisel this week here in Portland. If you know bike parks, you know Joe. Joe is a very well known master park builder. He is the owner of Burlington Bike Park in Burlington, WA. Located less than an hour north of Seattle and just a couple hours drive from Vancouver, BC it’s location is perfect. If you haven’t been there I suggest you check it out. It is the first all dirt indoor bike park. They just got a brand new foam pit! http://burlingtonbikepark.com/
Hellion. That was the real reason I was getting together with Joe. Hellion Bike Company to be more precise. Joe and his wife Casey decided to get into the bike manufacturing business. Joe decided to get into frame design because his son likes to ride bikes and he wanted to create something good for him to ride. And really it has always been a dream of Joe’s to build bikes for all levels and ages. Joe took a stab at making bikes back in early 2000 but it just wasn’t the right time for him back then. Joe see’s too many kids come into his bike park with nothing to ride that suits them. He wants to offer bikes that are safe and cost effective for all levels to allow them to get into the sport that he loves so much. All of Hellion Bikes models will be made in the US. He is currently on the look out for someone that can handle production for him. The frames are chromoly and Joe’s focus right now is to offer light and strong frames. Mike Laird has built the prototypes. Joe mentioned that down the line they might also look into producing some small bike parts as well. Currently Joe is also looking for forks for the bikes in order to sell complete bikes.
Hellion plans to offer models in 16″, 18″, 20″ and 26″ wheel sizes. The bikes plan to be released as either bmx or dirt jumper frames. Joe is hoping to go into 18″-20″ DJ bikes production here shortly. For now he is offering one off frames. He would like to be into production by mid April if all goes well. Joe plans to offer the bikes through all avenues. Some bike parks look to be lined up with carrying Hellion in their rental fleet. Portland local Max Suffin is Hellion’s only team rider and the only other person (aside from Joe) riding a Hellion prototype. Max is rocking a gorgeous 20″ dirt jumper that he absolutely loves.
After spending a couple of hours with Joe and Max at The Lumberyard in Portland and checking out their bikes I hope that this venture works out for Joe and Casey. The bikes look great in their candy apple red color. I haven’t had the chance to throw a leg over one but I’ll take Max’s word for it when he tells me that he really loves the frames design. Congrats on a job well done and good luck Joe and Casey! I will be getting back to everyone with a full run through once the builds are done.