Made in Tribeca: Priority Bicycles

What’s better than a new bike? Not much in my book. And that’s what I think Dave Weiner was thinking when he ditched his tech job and crowd-sourced the funding for his company, Priority Bicycles, which was started Harry-Potter style under the basement stairs at 174 Hudson.

Weiner (Village resident, young father, 39) built bikes from scratch as a kid, worked in bike stores all through college in Cali, then got into software. Fast forward a dozen or so years, and he’s sold the software company he’s running in the building, and he cooks up the idea to make low-maintenance, affordable bikes that sell direct to the consumer. But he also wanted them to be high-tech – or at least better than the ones he saw at the $500-ish price point on the market.

The result after a LOT of tinkering: hand-painted aluminum frames designed to be maintenance-free, carbon-reinforced belt (no more rusty chain), rotary shifters developed by Porsche engineers, and online-only sales to eliminate mark-up and retail costs.

“All the innovation happens at the $3000 price tag,” said Weiner. “But normal, every-day bikes, it was the same stuff being sold as when I was in high school.”

He put the first campaign on Kickstarter in 2017 with a $30K goal and within 30 days hit $565,000. The company (founding partner Connor Swegle and business partner John Benis) is now producing 10,000 bikes a year between the welders in China and the assembly and painting warehouses in Pennsylvania. He wants to do more in PA, but it hasn’t been easy to single-handedly bring back manufacturing in the US. (94 percent of bikes sold in the U.S. are made in China.)

The average sale is $500, though bikes range from $300 to $4000 for a really tricked out electric number (there are some super cool ones in the middle range too). The company has also sprouted 174 Hudson, which has unique bike acessories like collapsible helmets, and Brilliant Bicycles, which are less expensive models with a focus on fashion and lifestyle design.

Locally you can spot his rides at the Arlo Hotel, the Nomad Hotel and the Roxy – which has the classic city cruiser. There’s the L Train bike – designed for the stranded MTA commuter – and the Gotham Edition with puncture resistant tires. Some have self-powered lights that also have a USB port to charge your phone. The top end of his line is a pedal-assist electric with a Bosch motor that tops out at 20 mph.

The showroom is gorgeous – in a best-of-Tribeca way — plus you can ride a bike in it. Stop in, but only by appointment.

Priority Bicycles
174 Hudson at Vestry
info@prioritybicycles.com
https://www.prioritybicycles.com/
917-336-0357
Monday to Friday, 9 to 5

 

1 Comment

  1. How absolutely wonderful! Alas, I must CitiBike because my apartment has a serious lack of space! This made my day!

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