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How a Group of Friends Made a Dent the $6 Billion Bike Industry Childhood pals find big profits in stripped-down bicycles with their company Pure Fix Cycles.

By Jason Daley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Cyclists are an exceedingly loyal crowd: Hard-core riders make blood oaths to brands like Trek, Cannondale, Giant and Specialized, while casual pedalers rarely break up with childhood sweethearts like Schwinn and Raleigh. Still interested in making a dent in the $6 billion bike industry? You're just as likely to find yourself on the podium at the Tour de France.

But Pure Fix Cycles, which brought in nearly $4 million in 2012, has positioned itself to become a big wheel in the bike biz in just two short years. The company, founded by four childhood friends, sells roughly 2,000 of its no-frills bikes each month both online and through a nationwide network of 300 bike shops. Incredibly, the team got their start while designing bike frames between college classes.

In 2010 Austin Stoffers and Michael Fishman were seniors at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, when they decided to go bike shopping. Madison has one of the largest cycling communities in the country, but they still couldn't find what they were looking for--a simple, functional, good-looking set of wheels for under $1,000. "We found a void," Stoffers says. "So we did our research on why bikes are so expensive, and we found it was because of the gears. Adding eight or 30 gears to a bike is costly."

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