By Patrick Kelleher-Calnan
Moving a business is generally a trying affair. Dan Sorger, owner of DBC City Bike Design (formerly the Dutch Bicycle Company) compares his shop’s recent move from Somerville to downtown Boston to the time a local anesthetic wore off during his knee surgery. But he is positive about the new location.
“This will sound nuts, but my rent went down and the number of people walking by my shop went up,” said Sorger. “We’ve received a warm welcome from the Mayor’s office and Nicole Freedman… Boston proper is much more interested in cycling than Somerville.”
DBC pulls together Massachusetts-made frames, high-end components and useful accessories to make bikes specifically for commuters. DBC bikes come with racks, built in lights, internal gearing, and put the rider in an upright position rather than the forward position of the traditional road bike.
“Major bike companies don’t build transportation, they build sporting goods and toys,” said Sorger.
Inspired by the more practical commuter bikes found overseas, Sorger and Maria Salve started the former Dutch Bicycle Company to import European city bikes to the United States. But, finding the quality of the bikes available not up to standards (“trash” is the word he uses), a decision was made to transition from importing to designing their own bikes. They came up with the Swift and Lady Swift models; city bikes assembled in Boston with frames built by Massachusetts and New Hampshire shops, and wheels built by DBC.
It’s clear that Sorger cares a lot about quality, and as such he places a lot of stock Greater Boston’s community of bike builders and designers, Citing the “New England work ethic,” he said: “we couldn’t do this anywhere else.”