Which brands started as cool and have managed to remain so?

ishaw

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It's a tough one, as many mainstream brands in the 90s were putting out some great stuff, but now many of them have nothing but their name living on, and sadly on some poor or generic bikes (GT, Raleigh, DBR to name a few).

Some got it right and bowed out at their peak, Fat chance, Amp for example (though fat are now active again, but are they as good?).

A couple of brands popped into my head while typing, maybe they are still 'cool'? Merlin (are they still going?), Litespeed? I'm not cool myself so maybe I'm wrong as I have no concept of it.
 

T'boo Ted

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i'm reading the question as brands that were (supposedly opinion) cool back the day, is that company still cool today, in its current guise? (as opposed to cool back in the day, do I still think they were cool)

Its a pretty sad state of affairs really. There are lots of companies making great stuff, but not necessarily cool (IMO). But most of the cool companies from back in the day, are either gone, or just, so far from cool...ugh.

But there are some...
Yeti, I personally don't love their direction, but they are obviously doing a good job of catering to their market (just not me any more)
Santa Cruz, there was a time I wouldnt be seen dead on a Santa Cruz, but these days I would, basically the opposite of Yeti.
Intense, still doing a good job.
Moots, always lovely stuff.
Ritchey, nice parts and cool frames, not quite the level of the old days, still cool though, only reason I didn't buy a new Ultra is...
Fat Chance...must be still cool, I just bought a new one.
Litespeed...I think they went through some troubled times, but seem to have come out OK.
Selle Italia, Flites were cool then, SLR's are cool now (well to me)
Also Chris King and Cane Creek, while i never thought of them as "cool" back in the day, like ringle/nuke proof, just great solid products...they still do the same thing today.
 
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fearfactoryüberalles

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Easy: Breezer.

But... if I was in charge at Scott, I'd recreate some of their Racing Series steel bikes-comp/team/pro, from the finest iron available, in retro livery, with a bit modernised geo., V+disc brake compatible.

They still have a cult following and just like the Zaskar re-issue, it could be a blast! 😈
 

Betsy

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For me.. it's not so much the products which make something cool (tho it does help) it's the brand ethos, or more specifically the people behind the brand who push it forward, (Pace or Paul would be a good example of this) I would rather buy something from a small company who's design ideas.. whether they be good, bad or just folly filter directly to the market place rather than a large corporation who's design department.. already held back by corporate constraints filter ideas through focus groups, marketing and accounts departments where ideas get watered down to hit sales targets.. it just takes the soul and therefore cool away from a brand.
Coolness is always a bit subjective isn't it?
 

konafan

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I’ve never been a Trek fan to be honest. Always seen them as a bit too mainstream and corporate. Same for Specialized even though I’ve owned a few and will probably buy another of their road bikes at some point.
Although I think Trek used their power to get the plus sized wheels thing going, Shame they backed out on 29+, it was obviously too niche but goes to show innovation, also the pro caliber decoupled hardtail frame and as mentioned the supercaliber, good to see attention to tech across the board rather than everything becoming a long low enduro motorbike.
 

konafan

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Easy: Breezer.

But... if I was in charge at Scott, I'd recreate some of their Racing Series steel bikes-comp/team/pro, from the finest iron available, in retro livery, with a bit modernised geo., V+disc brake compatible.

They still have a cult following and just like the Zaskar re-issue, it could be a blast! 😈
The new Scott Spark full sus with almost invisible shock looks impressive.
 

clubby

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The new Scott Spark full sus with almost invisible shock looks impressive.

Frame looks amazing, then you see the triple decker lock out on the bars and the nest of cables. On their DH bike they make a huge deal about being able to make huge number of adjustments to the suspension system and geometry, while fitting a non adjustable one piece bar and stem. Not cool.
 
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