..of Paul Componenet Engineering (nice parts since 1989) fame.
1 ) Retrobike: What’s going on at the mo at Paul Comp? How’s business?
PP: Business is very good. We’re buying new machines and expanding the building to meet worldwide demand.
2 ) RB: What do you guys get asked for most these days? Hubs? Brakes? Small plastic horses? (Love those product shoots.)
PP: The Chain Keeper has been a huge success, and we have several new mounting styles in the works. The market for brakes and levers is still very good too. The Racer after a few years is finally getting some momentum.
3 ) RB: I know you are just stoked to be in the shop and working away at a project, but do you still find the time to ride enough?
PP: I ride almost every day, at least every other day. Ten years ago I didn’t ride for a couple years and business was in the crapper. Then one day I woke up and gave a finger to the world and went for a bike ride. Things have been getting better ever since.
4 ) RB: The world’s gone a day left to run. Where do you ride? On what? And with who? (and which colour brakes do you fit?)
PP: We are at the base of the Sierra Nevada’s’ so I’d head up and get as high in elevation as possible, and away from as many people as possible.
5 ) RB: Following the XTR years that had a far reaching and damaging effect on high end aftermarket guys like Paul Comp back in the mid nineties, I read that you and the others got through that by leaning out and aiming where the big companies weren’t looking. How’s that working out now?..given that niche is the new mainstream for some of those big hitters.
PP: So far it’s good. There are still small enough spots where we can excel and they won’t bother us. Our main strength is speed though. I can go for a ride, think up a new part, get back to the shop and have the part made by that afternoon for testing the next day. That has actually happened a few times, but usually it’s a week or so.
6 ) RB: Desert Island Discs scenario. Marooned on a desert island. One luxury. Bike? Wine? Another Human? Choose one.
PP: I love bikes, but women are just a touch above for me.
7 ) RB: It’s not about the bike. Those that get it, all know that. But it sort of is though isn’t it? Does it matter what you’re riding as long as you’re out there? Or Is there a specific best friend on two wheels that you always reach for?
PP: I have about 16 bikes in rotation right now. I’ll add another this year. I love riding them all. One bike is designed specifically for a single local dirt road that’s my favorite morning ride. But it’s also fun to take a bike where it ISN”T supposed to be. Like a crit bike on a fire road, or a cross bike on single track. I try to put myself in as many different situations as possible-this where the inspiration for new parts comes from.