Welcome to 1×10, where we ask 1 inspiring human 10 questions about how they are using cycling as a force for good. Read on to meet Paul Price, Owner and Founder of Paul Components Engineering, makers (since 1989!) of legendary rad, colorful, high performing, long-lasting, and made-in-the-USA bike components, based in Chico, CA. I met Paul briefly at NAHBS 2019 earlier this year and he, without hesitation, agreed to do an interview for this blog. I hugely admire what he’s built, how he’s built it and look forward to see what’s to come for Paul Components Engineering (insta). Read more to learn about Paul’s most memorable ride, his thoughts on e-bikes, how he’s helping build a better world through bikes, and more in his 1×10 interview.
1. How / why did you fall in love with cycling?
I’ve always been excited by anything with wheels, and a mechanical type of person. Before I got a driver’s license, bicycles were the thing! At 15 I got an actual road bike and just fell in love with going out on my own and fiddling with the frame and components. After I got my license I got a car and that was much more important than bikes, although by then I was working as a bike mechanic. By the time I went to college for engineering the mountain bike thing was just getting underway and that got me back into it big time.
“By the time I went to college for engineering the mountain bike thing was just getting underway and that got me back into it big time.”
2. Favorite Bike (that you own or covet)?
Too many! My Oddity is a favorite as is my Surly ECR. Two bikes I’m riding a lot these days.
3. What’s the most memorable ride you’ve done, and what happened?
I rode with a girlfriend from Furnace Creek in Death Valley to Scotty’s Castle and back. It was 113 miles with a lot of elevation gain. About 15 miles from the end my body started to seize up and it became excruciating to pedal, but I had to so I did. I curled up in a ball on the hotel bed and moaned while my girlfriend got dinner and gin and tonics.
“I curled up in a ball on the hotel bed and moaned while my girlfriend got dinner and gin and tonics.”
4. Who do you admire in the cycling world?
The beauty of the machine. The people I’ve met and the fact we’re in it for the love of bikes because nobody ever gets rich in the bike world.
5. Top tip for a new rider, or a cyclist about to take on a new challenge?
Just try it! You’ll be more adept and better at it then you thought. Don’t get caught up on equipment, just run what you brung.
“Don’t get caught up on equipment, just run what you brung.”
6. Favorite trend or innovation in cycling?
Dropbar dirt bikes getting way out in nature, not just shredding some local park.
7. What are you doing to use cycling as a force for good?
Mostly enjoying nature and trying to get others out too. Just getting outside to see nature to see the natural world is beautiful and should be saved. People need to pull their head out of their ass and wake up to the fact that day in and day out their lives don’t change much but the system we live in is killing all life on earth. Just a little thing that’s been on my mind……
“People need to pull their head out of their ass and wake up to the fact that day in and day out their lives don’t change much but the system we live in is killing all life on earth.”
8. Thinking about the work you’re doing, what do you see as the potential change for people or the planet? If you are successful, what impact will you have?
Ultimately I think e-bikes will make the biggest difference. The transportation sector is number one or two in total greenhouse gas production. One of my goals 20 years ago was to build the Mercedes of commuters. I tried, it flopped. Very few want that, not enough to actually get people on bikes to the point it could make a difference. The e-bike though, maybe.
“Ultimately I think e-bikes will make the biggest difference.”
9. What’s your biggest challenge/obstacle to success?
At the moment I’m demolishing a bathroom with plans to rebuild it. I’m a little distracted by that but luckily I have built an outstanding team of people to take up the slack. Other then that there is a lot of mundane meetings where we nail down details for packaging, events, new product etc. They are very important but sometimes I feel like I need to escape that and really look at the big picture. Where do we want to be in five, ten years? What kind of good can we do along with making a profit to keep us all paid? Ultimately what is the best use of our talents for the company and future products/services?
“Where do we want to be in 5, ten years? What kind of good can we do along with making a profit to keep us all paid?”
10. How can people help? Where can they learn more about your work?
I believe we provide a product that is a buy once a lifetime kind of thing. They cost a lot but they do not wear out, and work very well under most circumstances. So buy parts from us.
Seriously, just ride a bike. Whenever you can. Any bike you have.
“Seriously, just ride a bike. Whenever you can. Any bike you have.”
Paul Price is the Owner and Founder of Paul Components Engineering, makers of wonderful bike components, in Chico, CA since 1989! When not finding new ways to machine amazing components, he can be found riding vehicles of all kinds all around the Chico, CA area!
Edited by John Kim. When he’s not out for a ride, John uses his expertise in Corporate Social Responsibility to help companies do well by doing good. Find him at email@example.com or VirtCyc on twitter or instagram.
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